Final Arrangements


The Manitoba Home Builders' Association is celebrating 75 years.

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JUNE 2014 • PAGE 2 a r r a n g e m e n t s "Honouring Life" SOBERING FuneralChapel&Crematorium ServingBeausejour&NortheasternManitoba On-Call24Hours On-SiteStateoftheArtCrematorium 268-3510orMBTollFree1-877-776-2220 CANADIANINDEPENDENT 412WardlawAvenue,WinnipegMB, R3L0L7 Telephone:453-6416 Fascimile:477-1379 VICTORIAE.LEHMAN LAWOFFICES Providingpersonal,effectiverepresentation andconflictresolutionservicessince1982. Family, Divorce, Wills and Estates, General Practice By Jennifer McFee For the Free Press a memorial doesn't only mark a memory. It also provides a place of pilgrimage. With options that range from traditional to technological, families can customize the way they commemorate their loved ones. And some people are choosing their own memorials, in cemeteries and online. For Rabbi Alan Green of Shaarey Zedek, it's important to preserve the long-standing tradition of the memorial in a cemetery. "It's the place where you go to make a connection with the memory of the person who passed away and also with their spirit," says Green. "For many people, I think this is the doorway to the infinite. That's why we're willing to invest so much time and energy and money into these kinds of places, because this is how we maintain that connection." The cemetery is also an ideal location for a memorial bench affixed with a dedication plaque. "It's a place to sit and pause and reflect in a beautiful setting," Green says. "The Shaarey Zedek cemetery is one of the nicer cemeteries I've seen in my life. It really feels more like a place of life than a place of death." The synagogue also offers indoor memorial plaques to commemorate the lives of loved ones. "People will put up a brass plaque, one of many that are in our chapel. They have an electric light attached to them that gets turned on for the entire month of the anniversary of their death," Green says. "You walk into our chapel and you see a certain pattern of lights that are on. Once again, this is a way of preserving the memories of people in a very beautiful way." As well, the synagogue has embraced technology to provide a digitized form of remembrance. "We have a computerized screen in the sanctuary lobby at Shaarey Zedek where the names of the people who are being commemorated are run on a scroll. They'll flash with the name of the person in English and Hebrew, along with the date of their death," Green says. "You can also use a touch screen to find out the biography of the person and see their picture. It's much more sophisticated than brass plaques, but the brass plaques are still more popular than the digital commemoration." The traditional approach also remains the most popular at Larsen's Memorials, although the company also offers high-tech options, such as QR codes that can link to websites. Shelly Bohn and her brothers bought the business 14 years ago from the Larsen family, who operated it for three generations. To increase their knowledge and abilities, the current owners recently became certified as master memorialists. "We also have a new impact etching machine, which is very close to the hand-etch process. It's something we can now offer to our clients. We can do people's portraits or do a fishing scene or a campfire scene or different things like that. As well, we always have the hand-etching option available," Bohn says. "But the granite memorials are still No. 1. The granite has been in the ground for millions of years already, so it's a good product that we're working with. It's all-natural stone." With an eye on the future, Kelly Larkins of Brookside Memorials has noticed an increasing number of people preplanning their memorials each year. "About 10 or 15 years ago, that wasn't really something that was done at all. Now we have several memorials that we have stored here for people that have prearranged everything — their funeral, their service and also their memorial. Sometimes people don't want to think about those things ahead of time, but it makes sense," says Larkins, who co-owns the company with his father. "It won't be a burden to the grieving family to try to decide what their relative would have liked. Also, the individuals making the arrangements ahead of time are getting exactly what they want and what they think is appropriate for themselves. It takes away the guesswork and maybe the disagreements among family members thinking about what one person would want." At Brookside Memorials, the founding family takes pride in their ability to create personalized options to honour the essence of each individual. "We can do all of the old type of memorial work, like the hand work, the chiselling and the carving," Larkins says. "As well, we are on the forefront of the newer technology with the laser etching. We have capabilities of duplicating any type of artwork. We cover all the bases. That comes naturally from a family business that's been here for nearly 100 years." marking OUr PlAcE Memorials come in many forms Shelly Bohn and brother Dennis Bohn are co-owners of Larsen's Memorials. Photo by Darcy Finley

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