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Funeral Home Selection

Funeral Home Selection Funeral planning, also referred to as funeral service planning, is a crucial aspect of planning a loved one’s funeral. The funeral service is one of the last social events of a person’s life. The family and friends that have been closely associated with the deceased since childhood may become understandably frustrated with the funeral planning process. There are a few steps involved in every phase of funeral planning, but it’s important to remember that they all depend on the overall funeral service, so understanding what happens during a funeral will be of assistance to all family and friends in the future.   The first step in any funeral planning involves choosing the location of the funeral home. This decision should not be made lightly. Choosing the wrong location may lead to delays or even financial difficulties for family members, especially if the family lives far from the funeral home. This is why funeral homes are located close to the local community where the deceased lived or worked, so they can respond quickly when family members request information.   The next step in the funeral home selection process is selecting the staff of the funeral home. Funeral homes must have licensed and experienced staff members in order to help with funeral arrangements, but they must also have a sufficient number of volunteers to cover unexpected situations. In addition to having the staff members who are licensed and certified, the funeral home must also have a volunteer clergy, funeral director, funeral assistant, funeral director, or cemetery staff in place as well. The size of the staff depends on the number of attendees and the size of the funeral service. The cost of the funeral service and casket may also affect the size of the staff needed.   The third step involves gathering information regarding the services the funeral home provides for family members. This includes the time and place of the service, the number of seats, the size of the casket, and any other details that are important for the funeral services to have. Many times family members and… read more Funeral Home Selection

Learning How to Plan a Funeral – Things to Know

Funeral planning is something that is very important and something that a lot of people do not really think about. That’s why it’s so important to talk to someone that has done it before. There are some ways to learn how to plan a funeral, but you will have to be able to work with the people that are involved to make sure that you do all the right things that they need you to. It can be a lot easier to make your own funeral planning if you have people that know what they are doing. It’s a good idea to get a few different opinions on how to plan a funeral. Find some people that have done it in the past and ask them what they thought of the process. You can always use this information to make your own funeral plans as well. Make sure that you take a look at what other people have to say about funeral planning, because there are probably a lot of tips that you can use and things that you can improve on. When you are learning how to plan a funeral, you may want to consider hiring a funeral director to help you with everything. This way you will know who is doing what and you will know exactly what you need to do to make sure that everyone knows that you are having a funeral and that you are letting them know that they are being a part of the process. Another important thing to remember when you are trying to learn how to plan a funeral is that the last thing that you need is a big funeral. You may want to make sure that everyone in the funeral home knows that you are having a funeral and that you are sending out eulogies for everyone that will be leaving the body. You can even have a memorial service for those that are left behind. You just have to make sure that you have the funeral home know ahead of time and that they are ready for the… read more Learning How to Plan a Funeral – Things to Know

Example of a Creative funeral.

Life Celebrations have become very popular in recent years.

Coping With the Death of a Spouse

Losing a spouse can be devastating, whether the death is sudden or following a long illness. One day you are married; the next day you are single, alone, and grieving. Between the intense emotions, the lifestyle changes, and the many practical considerations that accompany the death of your spouse, you probably feel overwhelmed and anxious about your future. Over time, the grief will likely subside and you will build a new life for yourself. In the meantime, here are some tips to help you cope. There is no “right” way to feel after losing your spouse. So many variables contribute to your reaction, including how long and happy your marriage was, how your spouse died, how old your children are (if you have them), and how dependent you were on one another. You may feel numb, shocked, brokenhearted, or anxious. You may feel guilty for being the one who is still alive or relieved that your spouse is no longer suffering if he or she was ill for a long time. You might even feel angry at your spouse for leaving you. You may cry a lot, or you may not. How you grieve is unique to you.1 Be prepared for friends and family who may not know what to say, avoid you, or try to comfort you with cliches (such as “he’s in a better place). Often, well-meaning people are uncomfortable talking about death, but it doesn’t mean they don’t care. If you can, tell those close to you what you need (or don’t need). If people avoid mentioning your spouse, for example, and you actually want to talk about him, let them know. Keep in mind that your friends and family are also grieving and may find it comforting to share memories of your spouse. Take Care of Your Physical Health Grieving can take a toll on your body as well as your emotions. You may have no appetite or trouble sleeping. It may be easier said than done, but try to take care of yourself by eating well, exercising, and getting enough sleep. Try to avoid drowning your sorrows by… read more Coping With the Death of a Spouse

The Grief of Grandparents

The Grief of Grandparents By Helen Fitzgerald, CT There is no bond greater than the bond between parent and child. When a child dies, the pain of parental loss is near the top of the scale of human grief, and there is an immediate outpouring of sympathy and concern for the bereaved parents. But other grieving family members, including siblings, are often seen as secondary players who must provide support to the distraught parents. Among these forgotten grievers are the grandparents. In many families, the relationships between grandparents and grandchildren are every bit as profound as those between parents and their children. The death of a grandchild also ranks high on the scale of human grief – but it is rarely acknowledged. There are few books or support groups addressing the grief of grandparents, and bereavement counselors who specialize in this kind of grief are rare. Grandparents are usually left to cope as best they can. When a grandchild dies, the anguish of grandparents is doubled. Their grief for a son or daughter suffering this tragic loss only compounds their pain at the loss of a beloved grandchild. Grandparents who outlast a grandchild struggle with a death that seems out of order; they may cope with survival guilt, perhaps wondering why they couldn’t have died instead. Moreover, a grandchild’s death chips away at a grandparent’s assumed legacy. Most of us hope to make a mark in the world, and the achievements of our children and grandchildren are a part of that dream. When one dies prematurely, that loss resonates through the generations, and like the bell in John Donne’s poem – “it tolls for thee.” Many families are fractured by divorce, violence or mere inattention, and struggling single parents are hard pressed to provide the consistent and unconditional love that children need. Grandparents fill the role of the enduring presence, the ones who are available and who can be depended upon for affection and support. The deep, nurturing love shared by many children and their grandparents is a bond that is extraordinarily painful when broken by death. It is a grief… read more The Grief of Grandparents

Grief: Coping with reminders after a loss

Grief: Coping with reminders after a loss Grief doesn’t magically end at a certain point after a loved one’s death. Reminders often bring back the pain of loss. Here’s help coping — and healing. By Mayo Clinic Staff When a loved one dies, you might be faced with grief over your loss again and again — sometimes even years later. Feelings of grief might return on the anniversary of your loved one’s death or other special days throughout the year. These feelings, sometimes called an anniversary reaction, aren’t necessarily a setback in the grieving process. They’re a reflection that your loved one’s life was important to you. To continue on the path toward healing, know what to expect — and how to cope with reminders of your loss. Reminders can be anywhere Certain reminders of your loved one might be inevitable, such as a visit to the loved one’s grave, the anniversary of the person’s death, holidays, birthdays or new events you know he or she would have enjoyed. Even memorial celebrations for others can trigger the pain of your own loss. Reminders can also be tied to sights, sounds and smells — and they can be unexpected. You might suddenly be flooded with emotions when you drive by the restaurant your partner loved or when you hear your child’s favorite song. What to expect when grief returns The course of grief is unpredictable. Anniversary reactions can last for days at a time or — in more extreme cases — much longer. During an anniversary reaction you might experience the intense emotions and reactions that you first experienced when you lost your loved one, including: Anger Anxiety Crying spells Depression Fatigue, or lack of energy Guilt Loneliness Pain Sadness Trouble sleeping Anniversary reactions can also evoke powerful memories of the feelings and events surrounding your loved one’s death. For example, you might remember in great detail where you were and what you were doing when your loved one died. Tips to cope with reawakened grief Even years after a loss, you might continue to feel sadness when you’re confronted with… read more Grief: Coping with reminders after a loss

Finding the “New Me” When your child has died.

Finding the “New Me” When you’re newly bereaved, you don’t see how you can put one foot in front of the other, much less survive this loss. You’ll never “recover” from your loss nor will you ever find that elusive “closure” they talk of on TV—but eventually you will find the “new me.” You will never be the same person you were before your child died. It may be hard to believe now, but in time and with the hard work of grieving (and there’s no way around it), you will one day think about the good memories of when your child lived rather than the bad memories of how your child died. You will even smile and, yes, laugh again someday—as hard to believe as that may seem. When the newly bereaved come to a meeting of The Compassionate Friends, you will be able to listen and learn from others who are further down the grief road than you. They will have made it through that first birthday, first death anniversary, first holiday, and so many other firsts that you have not yet reached. You will learn coping skills from other bereaved parents who, like you, never thought they’d survive. There are no strangers at TCF meetings—only friends you have not yet met. More than 18,000 people a month find the support they are seeking through meetings of The Compassionate Friends. Please check our Chapter Locator on our national website for the nearest TCF chapter. Or call the National Office at 877-969-0010 and we’ll be happy to give you a referral to the closest chapter and send you a customized bereavement packet at no charge. We have many other ways of providing support including: our national website and Online Support Community; We Need Not Walk Alone, our national magazine available by free online subscription; our monthly online e-newsletter which talks about the organization and its events; our Facebook Page with over 50,000 members; our Worldwide Candle Lighting each December; our national conference; and our Walk to Remember. We will be here as long as you need us. Even though you are… read more Finding the “New Me” When your child has died.

Family & Social. When your child has died.

Family & Social If you have surviving children, you find yourself suddenly overprotective, not wanting to allow them out of your sight. Yet you feel like a bad parent because it’s so difficult to focus on their needs when you’re hurting so bad yourself. You find that your remaining family at home grieves the loss differently and you search for a common ground which seems difficult to find. You’ve been told by well-meaning people, even professionals, that 70-80-90 percent of all couples divorce after their child dies. You are relieved to find that new studies show a much lower divorce rate, from 12-16%, believed to be caused by the “shared experience” aspect of the situation. Old friends seem to fade away as you learn they cannot comprehend the extent or length of your grief. Things you liked to do which seemed so important before now seem meaningless. Others say you’ll someday find “closure,” not understanding that closure never applies when it is the death of your child. Fleeting thoughts of pleasurable activities bring about feelings of guilt. If you child can’t have fun, how can you do anything that brings you enjoyment? New friends come into your life who understand some of your grief because they’ve been there themselves.

Physical. When your child has died.

Physical Either you can’t sleep at all or you sleep all the time. You feel physical exhaustion even when you have slept. You no longer care about your health and taking care of yourself—it just doesn’t seem that important anymore. You’re feeling anxiety and great discomfort—you’re told they’re panic attacks. The tears come when you least expect them. Your appetite is either gone or you find yourself overeating.

Emotional. When your child has died.

Emotional You rail against the injustice of not being allowed the choice to die instead of your child. You find yourself filled with anger, whether it be at your partner, a person you believe is responsible for your child’s death, God, yourself, and even your child for dying. You yearn to have five minutes, an hour, a day back with your child so you can tell your child of your love or thoughts left unsaid. Guilt becomes a powerful companion as you blame yourself for the death of your child. Rationally you know that you were not to blame—you most certainly would have saved your child if you’d been given the chance. You feel great sadness and depression as you wrestle with the idea that everything important to you has been taken from you. Your future has been ruined and nothing can ever make it right.

Psychological. When your child has died.

Psychological Your memory has suddenly become clouded. You’re shrouded in forgetfulness. You’ll be driving down the road and not know where you are or remember where you’re going. As you walk, you may find yourself involved in “little accidents” because you’re in a haze. You fear that you are going crazy. You find there’s a videotape that constantly plays in an endless loop in your mind, running through what happened. You find your belief system is shaken and you try to sort out what this means to your faith. Placing impossible deadlines on yourself, you go back to work, but find that your mind wanders and it’s difficult to function efficiently or, some days, at all. Others wonder when you’ll be over “it,” not understanding that you’ll never be the same person you were before your child died—and the passage of time will not make you so. You find yourself reading the same paragraph over and over again trying to understand what someone else has written.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE

When your child has died, suddenly it seems like all meaning has been drained from your life. When you wake in the morning, it’s difficult to get out of bed, much less live a “normal” life. All that was right with the world now seems wrong and you’re wondering when, or if, you’ll ever feel better. We’ve been there ourselves and understand some of the pain you are feeling right now. We are truly glad that you have found us but profoundly saddened by the reason. We know that you are trying to find your way in a bewildering experience for which no one can truly be prepared. When you’re newly bereaved, suddenly you find yourself on an emotional roller-coaster where you have no idea what to expect next. Here are thoughts on some of what you may be experiencing or feeling (many of these will apply to bereaved siblings and grandparents): REQUEST A BEREAVEMENT PACKET

ONLINE COMMUNITIES ONLINE SUPPORT

ONLINE COMMUNITIES ONLINE SUPPORT The Compassionate Friends offers “virtual chapters” through an Online Support Community (live chats). This program was established to encourage connecting and sharing among parents, grandparents, and siblings (over the age of 18) grieving the death of a child. The rooms supply support, encouragement, and friendship. The friendly atmosphere encourages conversation among friends; friends who understand the emotions you’re experiencing. There are general bereavement sessions as well as more specific sessions. Online Support

THE DEATH OF AN ADULT CHILD

THE DEATH OF AN ADULT CHILD The death of any child, regardless of cause or age, is overwhelming to parents, who can never be fully prepared for their child to die before them. Parental grief is intense, long-lasting, and complex. The grief and the healing process contain similar elements for all bereaved parents, but for those whose adult child has died, there are additional factors that may affect their grief. Others often assume that when the child who died was an adult, the parents’ pain is less than if the child was young. Parents whose adult child has died often find their grief discounted or disallowed. Discounted Grief If an adult child dies as a result of an accident or illness, parents are frequently told by friends or family that they should be grateful their child lived as long as he or she did. Of course, you are grateful to have had your child for 20 or 30 years, or sometimes much longer, but that does not mean your grief is lessened. Many parents have observed that their relationship with their adult child had evolved into one of friendship. Not only do they feel they have lost their child—they have lost a friend, often their best friend, as well. Over time it is normal for the relationship between parents and older children to develop from parent child to a more mature relationship. Parents who have loved, reared, and encouraged their child’s development into maturity and a full life of their own, feel a sense of pride and accomplishment as the adult child completes his or her education, establishes a career and develops adult relationships. By the time a child has reached adulthood, parents have made an immense emotional and financial investment in this person. When that life has not run its anticipated span, there is often a sense of abandonment combined with total futility. Parents often question their own purpose in life, since everything they invested in their child now seems for naught. Discounted grief also occurs when the adult child dies from a cause that makes others uncomfortable or… read more THE DEATH OF AN ADULT CHILD

Pre-Need Funeral Planning in America

Death is a topic simply isn’t pleasant to talk about. However, there’s nothing relatively like being prepared. Taking care of things ahead of time is helpful as it can save you time, money, and unnecessary trouble. More Americans are now considering pre-need funeral planning as it offers them financial and emotional security not just for themselves but to their families. With pre-planning, families and individuals find assurance in knowing that the funeral will go according to their wishes. Most of the time, when someone is face with death of a love one or a family member, decision making is difficult and emotionally draining especially that you are dealing with a lost. But when a pre-need is already crafted, it could surely help a lot. Pre-need arrangement began in the early 1800’s with burial societies located in the South and were affiliated with a church. In 1970’s, Service Corporation International, Houston, Texas began selling an insurance product intended to pay for a funeral ahead of time. Payment could be made in installment or in one lump sum. What is a pre-need? Now, we define what is a pre-need. It is denoting to the planning and written documentation of desired funeral and/or cremation services and merchandise in advance of the death. As a rule, this is accomplished with the help of a trained, licensed Funeral Directors or what we call as Pre-Need Sales Counselors. They will be the ones to help you carry out the necessities of the plan. What are the benefits of pre-need? Americans can express their desired wishes as to how their funerals would go. You can make plans with your families or significant others ahead and eliminate future incongruities. It can relieve emotional and financial burden to the survivors and keep costs according to your budget. Most Americans agree that it is better to pre-arrange own funeral services than passing the weight later to the bereaved families. Who are the target population? Women are more likely to avail of a pre-need than men and average age is 72 years old in both male and female groups. What are… read more Pre-Need Funeral Planning in America

Obituaries by State

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How to Donate Your Body in the US

Have you thought about life after death? How about the body you are going to leave behind when you die? Does it even matter to think about it now while you are still alive? The truth is, there are many things you can do with your body after you give your last breath. One of these is to donate your body to science for research and scientific advancement. You can be an organ donor or donate your whole body.

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Funeral Visitation and Services

Upon learning of a death, close friends of the bereaving family if possible should visit the family’s home to offer sympathy and assistance – this is sometimes referred to as a condolence visit. The length of your stay at the visitation or funeral/graveside service or reception is a matter of discretion. The visit can take place any time within the first few weeks of death, and may be followed with one or more additional visits, depending on the circumstances and your relationship with the family.

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Flowers and Charitable Donations

Flowers at the funeral service not only add warmth and life to a somber event, they are a tangible tribute. They let the bereaved know, visibly, how much their loved one touched the lives of others. Charitable gifts in memory of the deceased are often made particularly when the family has requested gifts to be made in lieu of flowers. The family is notified of the gifts by personal note from the donor or by the charity or other organization.

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The Importance of Embalming

Embalming is the process of sanitizing and chemically treating the body of the deceased. This process reduces the presence and growth of microorganisms, retards the decomposition of the body, and restores an acceptable physical appearance. Embalming retards the decay of the body for a period of time which is often necessary to allow distant family members time to gather.

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Advantages of Online Obituaries

Online obituaries is a modern way to communicate the recent passing of a loved one. Traditionally, a newsletter or a death notice to a newspaper is often created by the next of kin once their relatives or family passes away. Whichever platform is preferred, both medium are used to inform the friends of the deceased.

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Making Funeral Arrangements: Attending to Details

When someone you love has just died, there are a number of responsibilities that require your immediate attention. Your first priority, naturally, will be to comfort those most affected by the death. Then when you are able to focus your attention to making arrangements, the first calls should be to the funeral home and clergy person preferred by the family.

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What Families Need to Know About Funerals

The funeral service has evolved through the years as a result of our instinctive wish to honor our dead and to comfort the bereaved. The ceremony of the funeral symbolizes the beliefs of a culture, its hopes, its ideals, its spiritual concepts.

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Types of Funeral Services

Funeral services serve an important purpose. It allows us to recognize a life that was lived & acknowledge that the life has come to an end. Funerals exist for the living; for survivors who suffer the loss of a loved one. Here’s an overview of the different types of services that funeral providers offer.

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How to Choose a Funeral Home

A funeral home is one of the primary concerns once a loved one has passed away or when planning your own when that time comes. This is important to ensure that you and your family will have a trusted and expert partner during these difficult times. The process is and will never be easy, that’s why we’ve come up with steps on how to start and what to look for in a funeral home.

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Guide to Choosing Funeral Flowers

Flowers are considered as the second language both in love and sympathy. Different flowers as well as their corresponding colors convey different emotions and meanings too. If you’re unsure of what flowers to bring or send to a funeral, here are some of the things you should consider.

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Pet Funeral Service

Pets are considered part of the family. The idea of giving them a proper funeral and burial comes natural with their passing. This need has eventually led to the rise in the funeral industry’s pet death care services.