(Langley, British Columbia) Spurred by the appalling number of fentanyl-related deaths taking place in British Columbia, Alternatives Funeral & Cremation Services® has announced the development of a program it will be presenting to as many schools, youth clubs, sports groups and church youth groups as possible in an attempt to curb the fentanyl overdose crisis.
In 2016 throughout the province of B.C., there were more than 900 recorded deaths due to drug overdose. Alternatives® owner, Tyrel Burton, likened that number of fentanyl-related deaths to having a student’s home room class wiped out every day for over a month. However, so far in 2017, there were 525 fentanyl-related deaths documented in B.C. between January and May alone – an increase of 109% over the same period in 2016.
The company’s presentation takes approximately 45 minutes to deliver and involves personnel from local victim services and parents who have lost a child or young adult family member to the ravages of addictive drugs, particularly fentanyl.
Mr. Burton stated that as a company involved in providing funeral services, Alternatives® felt it could no longer tolerate the waste of young lives with which it was frequently being called upon to serve. He said, “Our funeral home alone serves 4 to 5 families a month who have had a loved one die due to a drug overdose. Frequently that drug is fentanyl. We felt that we had to do something to reach teens and young adults before they become addicted. This program is our response to what we see as a critical need. We greatly admire the many committed health professionals and emergency paramedical staff who deal daily with those addicted to drugs – most of which are laced with fentanyl. But where the emphasis in those cases is on harm reduction, our focus is on harm prevention.
The Fentanyl Prevention Program developed by Alternatives Funeral & Cremation Services® includes some powerful, perhaps even controversial, visual aids. The company brings a hearse and casket (to name just a couple) to the site of the presentation, reinforcing the fact that a decision to use drugs can, and frequently does, lead to death. Another powerful segment of the presentation is the reading of a letter from a father whose child died of a drug overdose, pointing out that the decision to use drugs doesn’t hurt only the user; it hurts the entire family, especially should that decision lead to a death from drug overdose.
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When we lose a loved one there are so many decisions to make in such a short time it can seem overwhelming. Deciding what to do with cremated remains can be confusing, especially during such an emotional and troubled time in your life. Many people find comfort in having their loved one’s remains close by, but what options are out there?
Alternatives Funeral & Cremation Services® is excited to bring a unique and incredible option to our families. Working directly with Remembrance Diamonds, a local, Canadian company affiliated with Algordanza (creators of the Memorial Diamonds located in Switzerland), we would like to introduce you to an extraordinary technology. They have come up with a fascinating and unexpected approach to memorializing our loved ones who have passed by compressing and super-heating their cremated remains to turn them into man-made pure diamonds that can be worn and cherished for generations.
It all begins with a chemical process that extracts the carbon from the departed’s ashes. This carbon is then heated to convert it into graphite. That graphite is then heated to as many as 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit and subjected to forces as high as 870,000 pounds per square inch. The color of the finished diamond, which can range from white to dark blue, depends on the boron content of the ashes of the deceased. The process of extracting carbon from the cremated remains and then applying this kind of heat and pressure can take six to nine months to complete. When finished, a stunning one of a kind lab grown pure diamond is produced. What a beautiful way to keep the memory of your loved one alive!
The size of the diamond depends on the duration of the process, diamonds as large as 2.0 carats have been made. There is also an option to pick between a classic cut diamond in familiar shapes such as heart or princess, or a Signature diamond which is rough cut and uniquely faceted. As many as four diamonds can be made with just 500 grams of ashes which gives an option to share with other family members.
The diamond has always been a symbol of eternal love. What a special and unique way to take the memory of your loved one with you all the time. If you have any questions or would like to place an order for Remembrance Diamonds, we are happy to help you.
For more information and to receive a brochure, please contact your nearest Alternatives location.
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Did you know that a person will make funeral arrangements on average once every eleven years? While many times a death may be expected, there are also the cases where you find yourself thrown into unexpected grief and have to make many decisions that you haven’t thought about yet. Below are a few suggestions that may help you before you go through the process of choosing the right funeral provider.
- Know What You Want
Have you really sat down with your family members and discussed what is going to happen? Take some time before you start with the funeral arrangements to discuss things and think about what direction you wish to take. For example, will you be cremating or burying your loved one? Will there be a service in a church or an event space? Will you be putting aside some time to allow people say a last goodbye with a visitation? Knowing the answers to the questions above will help with the process. It will also help prepare you to ask the right questions as you go through the arrangement.
- Shop Around & Call First
Many people just automatically contact the funeral home closest to them, however it doesn’t need to be this way. Nothing is stopping you from calling a few places for information. Funeral Homes are all different, some specialize in more traditional services with large facilities that can accommodate 100+ people, while others are smaller and focus more on services at churches and halls. There can also be a very large price difference between the larger and smaller facilities, especially if you are interested in more simplistic service such as a basic cremation. It really depends on your needs and what you want.
- Who is the Executor?
It is very important to know who the executor or next of kin is before making any decisions. If you are calling on behalf of this person to inquire that is fine, however once the death occurs the funeral director must hear from your legal representative to allow your loved one to be received into their care and to make the final funeral arrangements.
- Take The Time You Need
Many people feel rushed to sit with the Funeral Director and finalize all the details right away. After you have made the initial call to the funeral home to assist with the immediate need, if you need a day to connect with family just let them know and they will accommodate you. Sometimes this time is also necessary to locate all the legal documents you will require to proceed with the arrangements, make calls etc.
Did you know that most funeral homes are owned by large corporations? If doing business with your local independent funeral home is something that is important to you, just ask the funeral director you speak to over the phone and he can help direct you.
Alternatives Funeral & Cremation Services is one of the largest independently run funeral homes in Western Canada, proudly serving families for 25 years. We know how stressful this time can be, which is why we offer in-home and online arrangements for our families. Visit our website to find out more about the services we provide.
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