ATTENDED SERVICES - VIEW FROM A PIER
Some families choose to be present aboard the yacht during the burial at sea. For several reasons it can be much better for some rather than being physically on aÂ boat. It is disheartening to spend a lot of money to be on a boat then have a ’bad’ experience. Occasionally, someone gets sea-sick; or the adults with children spend all of their time ‘watching’ their children rather than enjoying the experience; or the elderly or handicapped find it very difficult. Of course, many times nothing compares to being on a boat and we do everything in our power to make it a great experience. We just urge you to give it some serious thought as to what will be best for you.
There is nothing more memorable than experiencing the scattering of ashes of your loved one at sea in an incredibly unique and caring fashion. This of course, is where The Angel’s Ashes really shines. I don’t believe there is a company out there that can match the sheer beauty of our ceremony. I also believe that all of our UNATTENDED SERVICES are unmatched for the reason that we do not treat it any differently or perform the ceremony any differently than if someone were on board. The same kind, loving, and honorable respect for the deceased is always observed. I can’t stress that enough for we have been told about many companies that don’t even come close to giving the care and love that we do.
We provide our burial services for both the general public and the Military.
There are several advantages of the View from a Pier services versus the view-from-a-boat services. Carefully consider these when planning your special day. Some, I have already mentioned:
1. No one gets sea sick. Invariably, at least one person gets sea sick when on a boat. Let’s face it: most of those attending are land lubbers. It really affects the ceremony when several may be attending the individual who is sea sick.
2. A pier offers a much better vantage point for viewing the ceremony. On a boat, everyone is gathered on one side and several cannot see very well, especially someone in a wheelchair. On the pier, no view is obstructed as everyone is basically looking down on the boat at a very short distance away.
3. No limit to the number of people attending. A boat can only accommodate a limited number of people due to licensing restrictions and size of the vessel. Obviously, these limitations do not apply when viewing from a pier.
4. Expense. Viewing from a pier is always going to be less expensive than boarding and traveling on a boat. This can be dramatic with larger parties.
5. Handicapped people. Many boats do not have handicapped access or allow handicapped people on their vessel. A pier always accommodates the handicapped and makes it very easy and pleasant for them. After all, they are important and deserve to be a part of the ceremony should they desire.
6. Families with children. Many boats do not allow for children. If they do, those under the age of 13 have to wear a life vest which usually makes them a little unhappy. Also, on a boat, it is rather encumbering for the parents in that they often find it difficult to relax and enjoy the ceremony as they have to hold or watch after their children. On a pier, it is a little easier and everyone enjoys the experience at a higher level.
7. The elderly. Everything on a pier is easier for the elderly. They do not have to face the difficulties of getting on and off a boat. Nor are they constantly having to face the changing movement of the deck creating balance and falling issues. And, in general, a pier is more comfortable for them where they are not exposed to the elements or special confinements.
8. Safety. This is big one. For everyone, it is always safer on a pier. The risk of injury in ‘bracing’ one’s self, falling, bumping your head or falling overboard is easily eliminated. Even with the best Captains and experienced boat operators and crew, some will likely get injured on a boat. Why take the risk? Relax. And enjoy the experience on a pier.
9. Exposure. A boat, most likely will give you more exposure to the sun and elements than a pier. The wind will generally be less on a pier as well as the sun’s reflection. Overall, you will usually be more comfortable on a pier rather than on a boat.
10. Ease and distance of travel. At times, getting to a boat and boarding a boat can be much more difficult and can involve greater distances than the simple process of parking your car and walking or maneuvering a wheel chair down a pier.
11. The After-Celebration of Life. At least 90% of our families go out afterward to continue their get-together. The view from the pier has a lot of advantages for this part of your day. Someone being sea sick, injured, or just a rough time from being on a boat can dramatically affect your plans. These plans are a very important aspect of the entire event.
12. The preparation, expense, and planning of the service. Many families are dealing with strollers, wheel chairs, flowers, food and drinks in coolers, children and the elderly. These aspects are dramatically reduced when we just meet on the pier. We eliminate all the hassles by handing the food, drinks, and roses to you, free of charge.
13. Splitting up the party. Many times there will be some that wish to attend or some that are with you that do not want to board the boat. This uncomfortably splits up the party for the funeral service as those wait for the boat to return. This problem is easily resolved when everyone is viewing from a pier.
14. Cancellation or postponement. Unfavorable sea conditions have caused cancellations and postponements. This is obviously an inconvenience to say the least. Many times guests and family member are coming from out of town, out of state, out of the country. There have been times when it has been so dangerous, that the Coast Guard prevented boaters from leaving the harbor. People were out of a lot of money and not too happy with the burial company. This problem is eliminated when you are viewing from a pier in ‘protected’ waters.
There are two types of Unattended Burials at sea that we provide:
- Multiple scattering of ashes
- Single scattering of ashes
Multiple scattering of ashes
Unfortunately, and sadly, some die without immediate family. Or family members chose for the Crematorium to dispose of the ashes. To make this the most affordable for the Crematorium, ashes are collected and stored separately by the Crematorium then disposed of by the chosen licensed professional. The Angel’s Ashes does not mix the ashes of two individuals unless asked to do so specifically by a family member. This has happened when a son or daughter has the ashes of both parents for example, and wants them to be entered together.
When we have been given multiple ashes from a Crematorium or Mortuary, we treat the deceased in the same loving manner as with all of our services. We will not scatter the ashes at one burial site. The Angel’s Ashes instead, performs separate ceremonies at different burial locations chosen for each individual. We also place the ashes in a basket, cover them and decorate the basket with roses and rose petals. As we gently lower the ashes into the water, we record the exact location coordinates of Latitude and Longitude. We compose a letter to a family member, create a Memorial Certificate and mail these to the Crematorium or
Mortuary should they wish to direct these documents to a family member. We also handle the necessary paper work required by the appropriate Health Department.
Single scattering of ashes
At times, a single family member contacts us to do a scattering of ashes at sea and for various reasons they cannot attend. We perform this service in a very special way. I go out to sea, place the ashes in a specially designed basket, decorate it with roses and rose petals and begin taking pictures. After saying a silent prayer, I gently lower the ashes into the water. I also take pictures of the ceremony when requested by the family. I record the exact coordinates of Latitude and Longitude and time of day. After I return, I send the family the photographs and a Memorial Certificate, the Crematorium and Mortuary a letter of when and how the ceremony took place, and mail the Application and Permit to Dispose of Human Remains document to the local Health Department.
For the State of California, the Secretary of State and Attorney General, Department of Justice, and Department of Consumer Affairs have awarded a non-profit, public benefit, charitable trust designation to The Last Watch Foundation to provide funeral services to help the Military and their families. We are the only organization in the United States to be awarded this honor. The State has also given us license to perform the scattering of ashes at sea. If a donation to The Last Watch is ever received, those funds are deposited directly into The Last Watch Foundation.