Combining Dignity & Affordability
|Distinctive Qualities of Services Offered by Southern Heritage|
Southern Heritage directors and staff understand “Celebrating Life” is completed in varied ways by different families for many reasons such as family members living in distant places, religious beliefs, culture, financial situation and personal preferences. Southern Heritage believes customization for each family provides them the opportunity to make choices that honor their loved one in a way that reflects their own unique situation. Toward this end Southern Heritage offers a wide range of traditional services as well as non-traditional tributes such as memorial candles, video montages and extended receptions including catering and much more.
Most families are more familiar with this type service than any other. The professional and caring staff of Southern Heritage compassionately assists a family by planning, coordinating, personalizing and directing a night visitation with a funeral service the following day at our chapel or their church followed by burial at the cemetery. Some families may choose to vary the traditional service by having the visitation a couple of hours prior to the funeral service or by having the funeral service at the graveside, weather permitting. We continue to see more families who choose to have the traditional visitation and funeral service followed by cremation. Regardless of the traditions a family wishes to honor, our responsibility is to be sensitive to their needs and gently guide them in planning a service that will celebrate the life of their loved one.
Southern Heritage operates the only crematory located in the Wiregrass performing cremations for many funeral homes in the surrounding area. Our crematory is inside our facility and inspected as required. Our staff includes a Director who is a certified crematory operator as well as others who are very familiar with the cremation process. We utilize a cremation identification system that assures the cremains a family receives are those of the loved one entrusted to our crematory. We offer a wide selection of cremation urns, including keepsake urns, memory boxes and cremation jewelry, and urn vaults. The cremation options available at Southern Heritage include direct cremation, cremation with a memorial service with or without a visitation prior to or following, a visitation and funeral service with cremation to follow or any other combination that a family chooses to celebrate the life of their loved one.
Southern Heritage gladly coordinates partial or full military services for men and women who have served in any branch of America’s military. Because we have an on-site crematory and a shaded lot adjacent to the funeral home, we can coordinate and provide an on-premises location for full military honors for those families who choose a full funeral service followed by cremation as well as coordinating the same for those who choose burial.
In a continuing effort to help our families following the loss of a beloved family member or friend, Southern Heritage offers a complimentary careletter, Transitions, which is published by GW Publishing. A Special Issue of Transitions is presented to those closest to the deceased a day or two following the Celebration of Life Service and monthly issues are mailed to their home for the following twelve months. These careletters are a compilation of articles, poems, suggestions and experiences by grief and recovery professionals and by people who have also experienced the death of a loved one. Included in the Special Edition is a list of additional resources, reading material and websites, to which the bereaved may refer. The Special Edition also includes a reminder list of things that need to be taken care of in the days and weeks following a loss as well as sample letters to contact those who may have benefits payable to the family. Through these careletters, we hope to help the families we serve cope with their grief, the passage through loss and pain.
Southern Heritage was the first funeral home in this area to offer the personalization of video montage to the families we serve. Originally done in-house, videos in DVD format celebrating the life of the deceased are now produced by an outside professional who works from a studio in his home. For this unique approach to honoring a loved one, the family brings in 25 to 30 pictures which they have organized in the order they wish them to appear in the video and a compact disc with the background music they wish to use on the video. The professional video creator then takes these items to his studio, scans the pictures “cleaning up” any old or worn ones, and begins the process of putting all of the material together in a seven to ten minute video that always brings many pleasant memories for the family and friends who view it. Many families choose to play the video, repeating continually, at the visitation so that everyone who pays their respects to the family may share in the memories and celebrate the life of the deceased and once again at the funeral service. Others choose to play it at one or the other of these times. The original DVD, along with a CD of the still pictures in the video, is presented to the family in a personalized case that has the picture of their choosing on the cover. Loved ones and friends are able to order copies of the DVD as they choose.
As part of the memorial package offered by Southern Heritage, families may choose a memorial candle to honor their loved one. These candles are personalized with a picture of the deceased as well as their name, date of birth and date of death. We have a variety of scenic candles to choose from that include patriotic, pink roses, doves, beautiful gardens, lake cabins, wheat, beach scenes and more. The lighted candle is placed on a stand at the head of the casket for the visitation and funeral or on a table for a memorial service to celebrate the life of the family’s loved one. The original candle, which will burn for many hours, is presented to the family along with the memorial book and laminated obituaries in the day following the service. Many times, loved ones and friends choose to order additional candles as a remembrance and as a way to continue to celebrate the life of the deceased.
Personalized Visitations and/or Memorial Services
Southern Heritage offers the families they serve the opportunity to celebrate the life of their departed loved one by setting up picture boards, display tables and easels for cherished memorabilia, trophy and award displays and items created by the deceased such as needlework, quilts, woodwork, works or art, etc. We work with families to present any treasured items that will assist them and those sharing their grief to celebrate the life of the one being remembered.
Release of Balloons or Doves
Some families choose to celebrate the life of their departed loved one by releasing doves or balloons at the graveside. Southern Heritage can assist the family with this unique memorial by arranging with a florist or the dove provider to have the requested balloons or doves available at the appropriate time. The fee for this service can be added to the contract and Southern Heritage will handle the financial arrangements as well.