Many people often wonder if a memorial is necessary if they or their loved ones choose to be cremated. It’s a good question—and a common one, too.

In a word, "Yes!” The purpose of memorials is tomemorialize the unique lives and legacies of our loved ones. Through memorials, we remember those who have gone before us. Through memorials, we pause and reflect on what those people meant to us during their lives and what they still mean to us today. Through memorials, we permanently preserve the often small, yet always special marks those we love have left on the world.

Because of this, memorials of all shapes and sizes are perfect for any loved one, whether they choose to be buried or cremated. Both options lend themselves perfectly for memorialization, though in different ways. For example, those choosing cremation might opt for a columbarium, a way to house cremated remains that ranges from small, family displays to large, public ones. Others might select urns, which can be placed in innumerable locations, such as the living room, the backyard, and more. Less traditional options also work well for those preferring cremation: benches, posts, boulders, and plaques all provide creative opportunities to remember those you love.

Two additional options include Living Headstones and glass memorials. Living Headstones combine the best of traditional memorialization with the best of digital memorialization by creating a website devoted to collect and preserve the memories of your loved one. This website can be viewed anywhere: at the gravesite, at home, on mobile devices, and more. Glass memorials are made by glass blowers who can infuse a portion of your loved one’s ashes into glass artwork such as hearts, vases, and more. These glass memorials are a beautiful and daily reminder of the lives and legacies of those you love.

Each of us deserves to be remembered, whether we choose burial or cremation. Memorials play an essential role in helping preserve those memories, regardless of what option we choose.