"We were taught, as infants, to say 'hello' and 'goodbye'"
The human race has, for millennia, faced death by caring for our dead. However, in today's modern culture, phrases such as "its just a shell" or "they're not there anymore" are often used to describe the earthly remains of those who have died. While both statements may be factually true at their core, intellectually and emotionally speaking, the body that remains is still the physical representation on this earth of someone who was loved and offered love to others.
That is why it is important to consider all of the options available for your family to say goodbye, including a private family viewing, a public viewing/visitation and having your loved one's body present at their service before the cremation occurs.
At Johnston & Williams, our goal is to help educate your family on these options and give you and your family the proper foundation to be able to cope, heal and begin the process of moving forward.
For the last 100 years, when burial was the preferred choice of disposition for most families, there was no question as to how your loved one would be cared for when you called upon the services of a funeral director. Loved ones were brought back to the funeral home, embalmed, dressed and placed in a casket for viewing, funeral services and burial in a cemetery. In other words, the basic standards of care for those who were buried were, and for the most part still are, universal across the vast majority of funeral homes.
However, over the past 50 years, as cremation has grown from the exception (less than 5% in 1960) to the norm (about 75% locally in 2019), many things have changed. The focus has shifted away from the actual body itself and more to the celebration of the life lived. We consider both equally important to the healing process and one should not take precedence over the other. To us, caring for both the family's needs and the professional care of the loved one that has been entrusted to our care are both of paramount importance.
In a culture driven by convivence, cost efficiency and depersonalization, it is important to us that we affirm to families who cremate their loved ones that they care just as deeply for them as families who select burial. We take seriously the great trust placed in us in the handling and supervision of the cremation process and believe that is the daily enforcement of our protocols that sets us apart from the vast majority of funeral homes and cremation providers in our area.
If your loved one passes away and you are choosing cremation as the final disposition, whether you call upon our services or not, we strongly encourage you to be as scrupulous as possible in your investigation of cremation options and providers.
Some are better than others.
Ask exactly how your loved one will be handled from the very beginning to the very end of the cremation process and then compare it, along with prices, to our Standards of Care. This is a question worth asking and one that we believe demands a thorough answer.
Johnston & Williams Funeral Home is the only funeral provider to serve Kittitas County with a crematory located in Kittitas County - right here at our funeral home in Downtown Ellensburg. All other providers who profess to have a crematory - whether it be "in house" or "our own" - must transport your loved one at least one or more counties away for the cremation to occur.
It is important to remember that the practices and protocols of how your loved one is cared for can vary widely between funeral homes and cremation providers. When researching your options, consider not only the price of the service being offered, but the value of what your family will receive with it. Johnston & Williams prides ourselves on offering reasonable prices for the value you receive through our service.
As home of Inland Crematory, the only licensed crematory in Kittitas County, your family can take comfort in knowing that, from the time we initially transfer your loved one into our care until the time we return the cremated remains to you, your loved one never leaves our facility in Ellensburg.
Our Standards of Care for handling and supervising the cremation process for families who call upon our services include:
We believe that every family deserves the opportunity to say goodbye to their loved one through time at the funeral home for a final viewing. We also believe that the best experience for this is offered when your loved one has been embalmed. Although not required for arrangements that do not include viewing for the public (such as direct cremation or immediate burial), we encourage families to allow us to proceed with the embalming process to provide the absolute best final memory possible. We have structured our cremation service packages in such a way that you won’t be charged an exceptionally large amount for embalming when it isn’t usually required. Certain parameters apply to this policy, which will be explained to you by your funeral director at the time of the arrangement.
Cremation should be thought of as an alternative to casketed burial in a cemetery, not as an alternative to ceremony. Many people believe that if their loved one is going to be cremated, they won't have the opportunity to hold a viewing or have their loved one's body present at a service. Both of those beliefs couldn't be further from the truth.
There are many options available to families who select cremation, including: