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Planning a memorial service for a loved one can be difficult and emotionally exhausting. With cremation fast becoming the preferred disposition method in the United States, memorial planning experts Gail Rubin and Susan Fraser have authored the new book, "Hail and Farewell: Cremation Ceremonies, Templates and Tips." Pre-orders are now being taken and copies will be available November 25, 2015 through online retailers and in bookstores - just in time for family conversations during the holidays!

The popularity of cremation services has risen to a national average of 50%, as people realize cremation offers families many choices in memorials for loved ones. However, such a wide range of options can create complications in planning. Families may stress and struggle over creating a memorial theme or program. "Hail and Farewell" presents many ideas for memorial services and gives necessary direction for grieving families.

The book's title refers to the last line of an ancient elegiac poem written by the Roman poet Gaius Valerius Catullus approximately 2,000 years ago. He mourns the death of his brother, who died while Catullus was traveling abroad. Upon his return, he sadly addresses his sibling's cremated remains, "... with brotherly weeping. And forever, brother, hail and farewell."

Families who are looking for new or interesting ways to celebrate the life of their loved ones will appreciate all the detail this book provides:

  • Why it's important to hold some sort of goodbye ceremony.
  • A description of the cremation process, so families know what to expect.
  • Examples of different ways to scatter ashes - more than you'd think!
  • Stories of creative memorial services in different settings to spark ideas.
  • Templates to easily create meaningful memorial services.
  • Sample scripts from actual memorial services to provide inspiration.
  • Suggested readings, music and online resources for a wealth of meaningful materials to weave into a service.

"The only difference between a memorial service and a funeral is the presence of a body," said Rubin. "Cremation offers increased flexibility and a range of creative options for a memorable send-off. The best time to learn about funeral planning issues is NOW, before there's a death."

"When families find themselves in the unfortunate position of having to plan a memorial without knowing what choices they should make, they need support in their grief," said Fraser. "Hail and Farewell encourages people to take the time to consider how they could memorialize their own lives, and to form a plan now."

"Hail and Farewell: Cremation Ceremonies, Templates and Tips," is published by Light Tree Press and retails for $10.00 (plus shipping and NM sales tax as applicable). "Hail and Farewell" can be pre-ordered now from and it will be available soon on and The book can also be ordered through bookstores.

About the Authors

Gail Rubin, The Doyenne of Death, is a death educator who helps families plan and implement customized, creative memorial services. She "knocked 'em dead" with her TEDxABQ talk on end-of-life issues, and she uses humor and funny films to reduce resistance to discussing death.

She is a pioneer of the Death Cafe movement in the United States and writes regularly about funeral trends for industry publications and The Family Plot Blog at She is also the author of the award-winning book, A Good Goodbye: Funeral Planning for Those Who Don't Plan to Die.

Susan Fraser is the founder and CEO of In The Light Urns, a family owned company. Founded in 2001, In The Light Urns has pioneered dozens of cremation urn products through research and development. She and her staff continually improve and innovate to provide excellent, compassionate service to families in grief. Their cremation urns, keepsake urns and memorial products are designed to offer families an ideal send-off for their loved ones.

Rubin and Fraser co-wrote the free eBook, Celebrating Life: How to Create Meaningful Memorial Services, with Templates and Tips. Hail and Farewell builds upon this comprehensive resource for planning memorial services.

# # #

Contact: Susan Fraser, In The Light Urns
PH: 800.757.3488 (US) or 001.559.561.1031 (International)
Email: Susan(at)
Gail Rubin, CT, A Good Goodbye
PH: 505.265.7215
Email: Gail(at)

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