Thursday, December 22, 2016

Healing and the Holidays

The holidays are often filled with treasured memories of our loved ones. The traditions shared and the times of being all together are cherished deep within the heart and remembered across the passage of time. In the midst of the joy surrounding the holidays, as well as our memories, this time of year can also bring up feelings of loss and sadness for those mourning a loved one.

Healing and the holidays

Accepting Our Feelings
The holidays are an emotional time, and each person experiences the stress and mix of feelings differently. Dealing with loss is especially challenging around the holidays, and it is normal to feel overwhelmed. Taking time to acknowledge your feelings, as well as being open with those around you, gives you space during a hectic time for healing. Being kind to yourself and those around you, as you each mourn and remember in your own way, is important year-round, but even more so around the holiday season.
Honoring Old Traditions and Making New Ones
For some, carrying on old traditions provides a sense of comfort and continuity, while for others, acknowledging that things won’t be the same opens up space for new traditions. There is no right answer other than the one that feels right for you and your family. Sometimes the best way to honor a departed loved one isn’t to carry on exactly as before, but to find meaning in a new tradition. Lighting a candle in his or her memory, visiting their resting place, or giving back to an organization they cared about are just a few ideas.
Reaching out for Support   
At White Haven, we hope the serenity and healing atmosphere of our grounds will help you this holiday season by offering a connection, as well as a peaceful place, for reflection and remembrance. We offer printed resources, as well as the opportunity to discuss more ideas for honoring your loved one. For more information, please call (585)-586-5250.  

White Haven Memorial Park is a unique green sanctuary in Rochester, New York that honors our departed loved ones. Memory and beauty flow hand-in-hand with nature in this one-of-a-kind setting. The healing power of nature’s serenity, we believe, comforts those who choose White Haven. With burial options for anyone, we are a certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary. For more information, please visit our site, or contact us here.  

Monday, November 14, 2016

Healing and The Holidays at White Haven Memorial Park

Many of our best memories in life are spending time with family and friends during the holidays.  While we look forward to another holiday season full of joy and celebration, we also miss loved ones we have lost and want to take time to remember them.
We understand that this time of year can be especially hard if you have experienced a loss, and we want to support you in your healing and the honoring of your friend or family member.    Our staff at White Haven Memorial Park is here to offer our comfort and invite you to share your memories with us.  Connecting with others through stories about your loved one is an instrumental component to the healing process.
Healing and the Holidays
White Haven Memorial Park also provides you with free printed resources to address your specific needs while grieving.  Every individual’s grieving process is different, so it is vital to equip yourself with the resources most suited to your situation.  We welcome you to come by and select some reading material that will be most beneficial to your healing.  
The holiday season is a good time to establish new traditions to honor your loved one.  We suggest visiting the cemetery and burial site to spend some time in reflection and remembrance.  It is helpful to demonstrate that your loved one has not been forgotten, and many people find the cemetery offers a quiet sense of peace while mourning that is difficult to obtain elsewhere.  
Honoring the life of the deceased through loving thoughts and actions helps you along your journey after loss because it affirms the relationship you cherished.  Some special ways you can honor your loved one during the holidays at White Haven Memorial Park include; placing a wreath on the grave, dedicating holiday flower arrangements in the mausoleum, or ordering a holiday arrangement for the vase on the niche or crypt.  Please feel free to contact us for assistance or other suggestions at (585)-586-5250.  
We also encourage you to find healing in your celebration of the unique life of your loved one and the incredible memories you made together.  You are invited to our Holiday Remembrance Service on Saturday, December 3rd at 4:00 p.m. in the All Seasons Chapel, featuring music, poetry and names and photos of the loved ones that have been given to us in advance.
For further information on any of these healing opportunities, please visit our website at or call us at (585)-586-5250.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Saying Goodbye To Your Pet

Thanks to their amazing ability to give us totally unconditional love, many of us develop very special relationships with our pets. It is no surprise, then, that after losing a pet we sometimes face the same symptoms of grief we face in the loss of a human family member. The decision on what to do with the remains of a pet can help with this grieving process, just as it does with our human losses. Thanks to some recent legislation in New York State, there will soon be some new options to help you say goodbye to your beloved pet.

A new law just signed by Gov. Cuomo will give White Haven Memorial Park  permission to bury the cremated remains of pets with their human family members.  It will take a few months to work out all of the details and have our products and procedures approved by our regulators, but you can now rest assured that White Haven Memorial Park will soon be able to bury your pets’ cremated remains with you in a variety of burial options, both in ground and above ground.  If you would like to be notified as soon as these options become available, please call our office at 585-586-5250 and ask to have your name place on our Pet Burial List.

Saying Goodbye to your PetIn addition to our pet-friendly burial cremation options, White Haven also participates in a number of other pet inspired activities. Take a look:

Blessing of the Pets
On October 2nd, White Haven hosted our second annual Blessing of the Pets ceremony outside of the All Seasons Chapel. Reverend Nanci DeLeo provided individual blessings for a variety of pets including dogs, cats, hamsters, birds and fish. Guests and their pets were welcome to explore our hiking trails before and after the blessing. Please plan now to join us next year!

Pet Memorial Area
White Haven Memorial Park has a pet memorial area with a bridge crossing a “stream” of rocks. Individual rocks may be engraved with your pet’s name for a tax deductible donation to our Memorial Gift Fund. Additionally, our pet-friendly hiking trails are the perfect fall spot for people to take a walk with their four-legged friends and enjoy the changing leaves.
Pet Memorial

Serving the Rochester, New York area since 1929, White Haven Memorial Park offers a wide selection of burial options. We are delighted to now include the burial of cremated pets among those options. There is no better way to celebrate the life of your pets than with a permanent memorial in our Park, with its beautiful and Audubon certified forest and grounds. Visit our website or call 585-586-5250 for more information.  

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

White Haven Rocks!

No, not like in rock ‘n roll.  REAL rocks!
About twelve years ago we got the idea to offer people a burial place that rivaled the kind of place they might go to scatter a loved one’s cremated remains.  Places like the Adirondack Mountains where they used to go camping, or wooded areas around the Finger Lakes where they used to go hiking, fishing or swimming.  Many people told us they would rather remember their loved ones in places where they made so many happy memories together.
The problem with that idea is that those places can be hard to get to on a regular basis; the ownership of the land and accessibility to the location may change over time; and not everyone who wants to remember the person can remember exactly where the person’s remains are located.  So, we created the Nature Trail for Cremation Burials in a beautiful forest located within White Haven Memorial Park. 
white haven rocks
We chose natural rocks to mark the gravesites so that the grave markers would blend right in with the natural surroundings.  Now, people could enjoy a walk in the woods right close to home and they could remember their loved one in a setting that felt more like a weekend getaway place than a suburban cemetery.  And their loved one’s memorial was there for all to see in the form of a unique, natural rock with a small, bronze plaque.
So many people liked this concept that the Nature Trail soon became our most popular burial option.  Not everyone intended to be cremated, however, and there was no room for caskets to be buried along the Nature Trail.  So we created another new burial option called Rock Lawn.  This option offers lawn burial for caskets as well as cremated remains and also offers the option to mark the grave with a natural rock and a small bronze plaque.  Now, whether people want to be cremated or not, they can choose a burial spot at either of our cemeteries that is marked by a one-of-a-kind natural rock.
Now our only challenge is to keep enough rocks on hand!  To do this, we work with several different suppliers who are all looking for a nice selection of rocks for us in the sizes and colors we need.  Once one vendor’s supply is exhausted, we call the next one! When the rocks arrive at White Haven, we sort them by size and then carve out a space on each rock where the bronze plaque will be located.  Then the rocks are ready to go on display where people can pick their very own special rock to mark their future gravesite.
Now when we say “White Haven Rocks” you know just what we mean!   

Monday, August 22, 2016

White Haven’s Canandaigua Lakeview Cemetery

Did you know that White Haven Memorial Park operates a small, rural cemetery overlooking beautiful Canandaigua Lake? Canandaigua Lakeview Cemetery is a quiet, rural retreat with sweeping views of the lake.  It is truly a “chosen spot” that you and future generations of your family will want to visit again and again over the years to come.

Fall is a beautiful time of year in the Canandaigua area, so we invite you to take a drive down the east side of Canandaigua Lake for a visit.  Take Route 364 south from Routes 5 & 20 on the east side of town.  You’ll pass two public beaches along the way where you may also wish to stop to enjoy the lake.  Turn right on Rt. 11 and go past Pelican Point Marina and the LeTourneau Christian Camp, then turn left on Jones Road and go up the hill until you find two brick pillars that mark the entrance to the cemetery. While at the cemetery, there are plenty of benches where you can sit and enjoy the magnificent view. For a little exercise you can take a stroll along our nature trail in the shaded forest.

canandaigua lakeview cemetery
At Canandaigua Lakeview Cemetery, you’ll find burial sites for either a casket or an urn or for a combination of the two. There are no rows of monuments here; just planting beds filled with ornamental grasses, flowers and smaller shrubs and blooming trees.  All of the graves are marked with permanent, bronze plaques, either flush to the ground or raised on one of the naturals rocks that dot the landscape.  We have options at a variety of price points and convenient, monthly payment plans that can be tailored to fit your budget.

Whether at White Haven Memorial Park in Pittsford or at Canandaigua Lakeview Cemetery in Gorham, we are dedicated to providing unique cemetery experiences that celebrate the variety and constancy of nature, season after season and year after year.  We hope that you will come and explore both of our cemeteries soon.

If you would like to learn more about White Haven Memorial Park or Canandaigua Lakeview Cemetery, please visit our website or call 585-586-5250.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Beauty Abounds at White Haven Memorial Park

At White Haven Memorial Park our goal is not only to provide a beautiful, tranquil and respectful sanctuary for your loved one’s final resting place, we strive to make it a location for healing and happiness where families, friends and the community can come and enjoy the natural beauty of Pittsford, New York.

Come see our flowers and trees
Visitors of White Haven are able to peruse the grounds, enjoying beautifully manicured gardens with nearly 15,000 annuals grown in our very own greenhouse. The flowers include a colorful and bold mix of zinnias, marigolds, celosia, salvias, geraniums, dahlias and cannas. The park also boasts over 100 species of trees, with the largest being a red oak in the center of the grounds. Other tree species include:

  • Shagbark hickory
  • Nootka cypress
  • Kentucky coffeetree
  • Katsura tree
  • Japanese snowbell
  • Tupelo
  • Yellowwood
  • American fringetree
  • Goldenchain tree
  • Paperbark maple
  • Copper Beech

White Haven is a fully certified member of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program with a Level 1 Arboretum Certification from the Arbnet Arboretum Accreditation Program.  This means we are committed to managing our park with natural settings, wildlife and most importantly, environmental impact in mind.    

Everyone is Welcome
So much more than a memorial park, White Haven has over 170 acres that are open to walkers, runners, bicyclists and even dogs (on leashes and picked up after).  Geocachers are also welcome to enjoy the grounds. The park contains a Nature Trail with several waterfalls, a forest recreation area that welcomes pets and a variety of other natural settings perfect for leisurely strolls. 

White Haven Memorial Park is a place for visitors to come and remember a loved one’s legacy and find solitude in nature. We are honored to share it with anyone who comes to enjoy our beautiful grounds.  We invite you to come here BEFORE a time of need to create happy memories that will comfort you in a more difficult time. For all of these reasons, please come and see all the beauty that abounds at White Haven Memorial Park.

Impressive Horticulture, Progressive Vision: White Haven Memorial Park
by Megan Frank (July 10, 2016)
Upstate Gardens Journal

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Where Do All The Flowers Come From?

At White Haven Memorial Park, we are much more than a traditional cemetery.  There are no tombstones to interrupt the beauty of nature, only a green sanctuary for wildlife to thrive.  If you have visited White Haven recently, you’ve likely noticed the beautiful flowers thriving across our grounds.  This is thanks to the hard work of our employees and a fully functional greenhouse.

White Haven Memorial ParkWhite Haven’s on-site greenhouse grows close to 15,000 annuals each year!  The process starts in the fall with the selection of seeds for next year’s crop.  White Haven’s Gardener and Director of Horticulture collectively choose an assortment of flowers that provide color and are easy to grow, such as zinnias, marigolds, geraniums and dahlias.

In February, propane heat is turned on in the greenhouse and the planting process begins.  Staff members enjoy the change in temperature when they come in from their work outside in the snow and blustering winds.  As the seedlings begin to sprout, some of the weaker ones need to be removed to help the others reach their full potential.  It is a tedious job, but the reward is worth it as spring approaches and the blooms begin to form.  

In late May, the flowerbeds throughout White Haven are turned over and enriched with compost.  As soon at the weather permits, thousands of plants are carefully planted in precise patterns throughout the Park.  Eventually, brilliantly colored plants brighten every corner of the Park and provide a warm welcome to all who come visit their loved ones or just want to enjoy the sights and sounds of nature.

Amazingly, all this work is done by just a handful of very committed staff members, who also perform interments, shovel snow and maintain the rest of the Park and all of its buildings.  The next time you see one of our employees out on the grounds, please say thank you to the for helping to make White Haven such a beautiful place to remember.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Honoring Those Who Made the Ultimate Sacrifice

Here in the United States we are blessed to have so many freedoms.  But often we forget that the freedom we enjoy also came with a huge price – the lives of countless men and women who died in the line of duty to protect our rights.  At White Haven Memorial Park, we never want to forget or take for granted these freedoms or the sacrifices that were made on our behalf.

With that in mind, we are proud to announce that our memorial park, located in Rochester, has been chosen to be the official site of the Gold Star Families Memorial in New York State.  In addition to being another way to honor these fallen men and women, this stunning memorial of polished black granite was designed specifically to recognize the families who now live on without them.  It is to be a quiet place of solace and reflection for families, friends and anyone who has lost a loved one in service to our nation. The monument will be a fitting addition to our Park, which already has three large burial areas dedicated to all who have served.  It will be located just across the road from our other major veterans memorial in honor of those who served in the Korean War.

At White Haven, we know that families of service members also serve as they wait and worry while their loved ones bravely serve our country.  They also sacrifice when that loved one is lost and their home is left with a permanent void.  We want to pay tribute to these families and thank them for the many sacrifices they also have made so their loved ones could protect our freedom.

Please join us on Friday June 10, 2016 from 4:00-5:30 p.m. as we dedicate New York’s Gold Star Families Memorial. In addition to honoring our fallen service members and their families during this special ceremony we will welcome three Medal of Honor recipients, including Herschel Williams, and be joined by various officials from Rochester and the surrounding areas.  If you can’t join us for the ceremony, please plan to visit soon to see this stunning memorial.  Just follow the signs from the main entrance.  Feel free to contact us for more information. 

Memorial Day

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

White Haven Memorial Park, an Accredited Arboretum

An arboretum is an area devoted to the collection of trees and shrubs.  It is different from a normal forest, nursery or park because it is a place where varieties of trees are grown for scientific, educational and ornamental purposes.  An arboretum is a great way to care for the environment, preserve the land and study plants.  In addition to scientific and preservation purposes, it is also an aesthetically pleasing place for people to visit and feel in touch with nature.

At White Haven Memorial Park, we are committed to managing our property with wildlife and the environment in mind.  In recent years, White Haven was awarded a Level I Accreditation by The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program for our impeccable standards of practices in arboreta and botanic gardens.  In addition, we are also recognized as an accredited arboretum in The Morton Register of Arboreta.  

Since opening in 1929, White Haven has accumulated over 100 varieties of trees and plants and our variety is growing.  White Haven Memorial Park has 170 acres of parkland that showcases everything from venerable oaks that pre-date the cemetery to more recent plantings of Bradford Pears and Star Magnolias.  Recent efforts have been focused on spreading colors and blooming times throughout the park so that it might be enjoyed throughout the year.  

At White Haven, we continue to use our arboretum as a way to educate and uplift our community.  If you are interested in learning more about our 100 plus species of trees, we have information on each of our specimen trees and their location in our office.  Whether you are a researcher, educator or nature-lover, we invite you to hike White Haven’s trails and view our arboretum of spectacular trees and the impressive variety of wildlife these trees support!

To learn more about the nature, wildlife and unique burial options at White Haven Memorial Park, please browse our website at

Monday, March 28, 2016

What Is a Funeral Celebrant?

When a loved one dies and you are faced with the difficult task of planning a funeral, one of the biggest decisions you will have to make is who will conduct the service.  If your loved one was not religious and you do not feel comfortable choosing a pastor or priest to perform the ceremony, there are other options to choose from.  A certified celebrant is a great alternative to a clergy person.  

A funeral celebrant is an individual who is trained and certified to meet the needs of families during their time of loss.  Because they are not affiliated with the church, certified celebrants are a great alternative for those families who do not want a religious funeral service.  Rather than placing an emphasis on the word of the Lord, celebrants focus on the individual.

The celebrant spends hours with family members and close friends creating the ceremony, learning about the deceased, crafting a eulogy and conducting the ceremony.  They provide a service that reflects the personality of the deceased by incorporating unique stories, songs, readings, quotes and experiences.  More than anything, this is a tribute to the deceased and their wishes.  There is no need to worry because certified celebrants are bound by a confidentiality code.

Through comprehensive and sensitive training, certified celebrants have found a way to step outside the box of “traditional” funerals while still providing a meaningful ceremony.  If you’re interested in having a celebrant conduct your loved one’s funeral, White Haven Memorial Park has celebrants trained and certified by In-Sight Institute.  

White Haven charges a small fee of $100 to have one of our on-staff certified celebrants plan and conduct your service.  Since the celebrant will spend approximately 10 hours in preparation for a service, it is customary for the family to present the celebrant with an honorarium for their services as well.  To learn more about our certified celebrants, Nanci Deleo and Donna Miller, please contact White Haven at 585-586-5250 or browse our memorial services online.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Comparing Above Ground and In Ground Burial

Above ground crypts or mausoleum burials were once reserved for the rich and famous. They are associated with a refined, aristocratic air which makes them an increasingly popular choice for modern burials. But how much more do they cost than a traditional ground burial?

Most people are very surprised to learn that above ground burial usually costs no more than in ground burial when all costs are included. Even though the price of a crypt to hold one casket is more than the price of one grave, the crypt includes several items that must be purchased separately or cost more for in ground burial.

  • Memorialization: Bronze lettering for names and dates is included with a crypt, but a monument or memorial for the ground burial must be purchased separately at a cost that is usually $1,000 or more.
  • Burial Vault: Most cemetaries require the use of a concrete burial vault to protect the casket when making a ground burial. These vaults can cost $1,200 or more. They are not required at all with above ground burial because the crypt is its own, protective concrete vault, included in the price.
  • Burial Fees: Making a ground burial is more labor intensive and therefore more expensive that making an above ground burial. The higher cost of the burial fee can add hundreds of dollars to the cost of in ground burial. 

Once people understand that the cost is about the same for a full casket burial, whether it is in the ground or above the ground, they move on to consider many of the other benefits to above ground burial, such as the ability to visit in comfort year round.  And, of course, above ground burial is available for cremation burials as well and at an even lower cost.

At White Haven Memorial Park, we have many options for you to consider, from above ground burial in our Lasting Light Mausoleum with a cozy fireplace nearby, to cremation burials on our Nature Trail in a beautiful, hardwood forest.  We even offer eco-friendly or “green” burials in a wildflower meadow at White Haven for the environmentally conscious.

Whether you choose an above ground or in ground burial, at White Haven Memorial Park you can be sure your loved one’s memorial will be a beautiful and dignified site at a cost and terms tailored to fit your budget.  For more information about our burial options, please call (585) 586-5250 to set up a tour at no cost or obligation to you. 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Cremation Burial Options at White Haven

When a loved one passes on, there are a number of burial and memorialization choices to consider.  In recent years, cremation has become a frequent option for those looking to save money and decrease stress during this difficult time.  It is important to understand, though, that cremation is not an end in itself, but merely one means of preparing a body for burial and memorialization.  Some people keep a loved one’s cremated remains in their personal possession; others scatter them in a special place, but in doing so they miss out on the many benefits of a permanent burial spot.

At White Haven, we create special places that people actually WANT to visit. And we
offer the widest range of burial options for those who choose cremation, including our forest nature trail, traditional ground burial, or elegant above-ground burial.

Take a closer look at our cremation burial options:
  • In our Nature Trail, you can choose a site near a tree, pond or waterfall.  This is a great option, with the sights and sounds of nature all around you.
  • Our Maplewood Mausoleum features lighted, glass-fronted niches to display an urn and photograph of your choice in a comfortably furnished setting you can visit all year round.
  • We also have several unique options for a couple to consider when one person chooses cremation and the other does not.

Doesn’t your loved one deserve the dignity and respect of a permanent burial site?  Take a look at the importance of choosing permanent burial:
  • All friends and family members have a special place to visit and remember.
  • At White Haven, friends and family can visit, bring a flower or make a dedication in honor of a birthday, anniversary or any special occasion.
  • All friends and family members can visit a neutral location without anyone else’s knowledge or permission.
  • Unlike churches, private residences or public parks, White Haven will always be here, protected by law and open to visitation by one and all.
  • White Haven will always provide a permanent record of your loved one’s life, with their name and life highlights for all to see.

Before you make an irreversible decision you may one day regret, consider the benefits of a permanent burial.  At White Haven, we believe EVERY life should be remembered forever.  With a variety of lovely settings and a full range of services, we can help provide you with cremation burial options that friends and family members will visit for years to come.  For more information, please visit White Haven Memorial Park or call (585) 586-5250.