Wednesday, April 18, 2018

How To Plan A Memorial Service

A well-planned memorial service honors the deceased and comforts those who are grieving.

Step 1: Think about what's appropriate
Give careful thought to what kind of memorial service would be most appropriate for the deceased's personality and what they would have wanted.

Step 2: Make a guest list
Make a guest list. Ask friends and family for suggestions. You don't want to leave anyone out.

The number of guests will determine the size of the location and the quantity of food.

Step 3: Choose location and time
Choose an appropriate venue for the memorial service using online or local directories. Determine the date and time of the event.

The date should be far enough in advance to allow plans to be made for the event, including guests' travel.

Step 4: Select speakers, readings, and music
Select people to perform readings and choose the music for the event.

Step 5: Choose the food and flowers
Choose the type of refreshments that will be available and the type and quantity of flowers and decorations for the memorial area.

Step 6: Plan memorial display
Plan a memorial of photos and other items of personal significance that will be displayed at the event for attendees to view.

Step 7: Create and print programs
Create and print programs that provide a timeline for events in the memorial service. Print enough for each attendee and for possible additional guests.

Step 8: Place obituary and notify guests
Place an obituary in the local newspaper and notify the guests of the upcoming event.

Did You Know?
Did you know? The Alfred Lord Tennyson poem, "In Memoriam" which contains the famous line, "Tis better to have loved and lost / Than never to have loved at all." was written for his friend Arthur Henry Hallam.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

How To Follow Proper Funeral Etiquette

Funerals allow family and friends to mourn their loved ones, provide closure, and enable the living to move forward. Observing the etiquette of this important ritual will help you feel more comfortable while providing comfort to those in mourning.

Step 1: Attend the wake
Attend the wake, also known as a visitation or calling, at the funeral home prior to the funeral. Approach the casket, which may be open or closed, and offer a prayer or quiet reflection. A short stay of 15 minutes is considered appropriate to express condolences to the family.

Make sure to dress appropriately for a viewing, funeral, or burial. A black suit or black dress will suffice.

Step 2: Send flowers
Send flowers, if you wish, to the funeral home or the family residence. Charitable donations in the name of the deceased may be indicated in lieu of flowers, in which case you may send an edible arrangement to the family in addition to the donation.

Step 3: Attend the service
Attend the funeral or memorial service. The family will appreciate the show of support.

Offer condolences to the family prior to mingling with other friends or family.

Step 4: Say a few words
Say a few words of condolence either before the service or when everyone has gathered after. A simple 'I'm sorry for your loss' is enough to offer comfort to relatives.

Avoid cliches such as: "Everything happens for a reason," and "I know how you feel." If you can't think of anything more to say, offer a hug.

Step 5: Share remembrances
Share fond remembrances, anecdotes, and stories about the deceased with loved ones. Recounting what the deceased meant to you is always appreciated.

Step 6: Attend the burial
Attend the burial, which usually follows the funeral. If you were close to the deceased, you may follow the lead of the family if they choose to deposit a ceremonial shovel of earth or drop a rose or rose petals into the grave.

Step 7: Share a meal
Share a meal with the family and friends of the deceased after the burial, if one is planned. This tradition allows close friends and family to share fond memories, enjoy each other's company, and symbolizes the continuation of life.

Did You Know?
In the Buddhist religion, death is prepared for through meditation and is viewed as a rebirth.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

A Family's Guide To A Cemetary Burial

Ground burial provides loved ones a place to remember those they have loved and lost. This is the most common form of final disposition and is usually performed in a cemetery or a memorial park. There are several products and choices available when choosing this option and a basic understanding of the terms and products can be very helpful in making proper choices.
GRAVE SPACE OR "PLOT": This is the land space for burial. Typically it is about three-and-half feet wide by eight feet in length. This can vary greatly by rules and regulations of the cemetery. The depth of a grave also can vary for many reasons. It is not always true that a grave must be six feet deep. This was probably the desired depth when a simple burial was done in a field or prairie, simply to protect from animals or vandals. Today there are better ways to protect and bury, so the depth can vary. The grave space will be the site of a permanent grave memorial or monument.
DOUBLE DEPTH: A grave can be designed to accommodate double depth or more. This is very common and widely accepted. It allows for more burials while using less land space and can be a good option when space is limited. It may also be a less expensive option because of the space savings and the additional ease of care.
BURIAL VAULT: The vault or liner is what surrounds the casket to add protection. In most cemeteries and memorial parks there is a requirement for this protection. The earth which is placed on the burial is extremely heavy. The vault can be made of several time defying elements which provide necessary strength to support the site. There are many choices available to provide additional protections and can easily be explained by a funeral director or cemetery representative.
GRAVE MEMORIALS AND MONUMENTS: Memorials and monuments serve a much greater purpose than to simply "mark" the site. Memorials can be as unique and varied as the number of individuals they represent. Memorials are usually made of time defying elements such as bronze, granite or marble. They can be as simple as consisting of names and dates or as complete as representations of lives that have been lived. A memorial serves one of the most basic needs of mankind. The desire to be remembered lives deep within all of us and is truly what separates the human spirit from all other life. Many families find great comfort in creating a personal memorial that reflects the individual being remembered.
MAUSOLEUM: A mausoleum is any building which is designed to place human remains. Mausoleums can be constructed for a single individual or can hold many thousands. A mausoleum which has been designed for a single person or family is called a private mausoleum and represents one of the most grand and elaborate means of entombment. A mausoleum that has been designed for many entombments is referred to as a community mausoleum, and while it provides tremendous protection and stature, it can be quite economical due to space savings and many other factors.
LAWN CRYPT: This is where the vaults or crypts have been preinstalled underground. At the time of burial they simply dig down to the top of the crypt and remove the lid and place the casket. When it is built this way, it often allows for the installation of drainage and an added level of protection and uniformity.
CRYPT OR TOMB: A crypt or tomb is nothing more than the space in a mausoleum where a casket is placed.
ENTOMBMENT: Is the act of placing the casket in the crypt for final rest.
MAUSOLEUM MEMORIAL: The mausoleum space or "crypt" is usually memorialized in the same manner as a grave. The selections can be quite uniform to create a very beautiful and unique appearance or can be very individualized to reflect the lives of loved ones place there.
ENDOWMENT OR PERPETUAL CARE: These are the funds which have been set aside to care for the space or crypt into the future and even after the building or cemetery is completely full. These funds are invested according to strict guidelines and laws. It is the interest derived from these funds which is there to pay for upkeep and care for perpetuity.
CEMETERY REGULATIONS: Many families aren’t aware that most cemeteries have regulations about the type of grave memorial or monument you can place, and also about where you can place them. For example, some cemeteries only allow flat grave memorials, other allow a mix of flat and stand-up monuments, and still others allow a mix, but have specific sections for different kind of monuments. It is important to clarify any rules before purchasing a monument, and your local cemetery will be happy to help you with on these, and help you understand all your choices.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Funeral Homes: Guiding You Through This Trying Time

Some funeral homes can provide families with far more than just a service or gathering to honor a person's life. For those who have lost someone, finding a facility that can handle this process for you is very important. What most people don't realize, though, is that they do have options. You can turn to any facility in your area and contact the company for information. You can get a quote for care, and you can learn what other services the facility offers. Though you may feel that you just want to get this over with, it pays to look for the company that can make this process more about healing than suffering.
Providing Your Options
Funeral homes are not all the same. Some are very methodical and limited in what they do. They may help you to put together a basic service and then to set up an opportunity to make basic decisions. One thing that you may want, though, is the assurance of numerous options. You may want to be able to choose between various types of services. You may want to follow very specific, traditional or religious beliefs and processes. You may just want to know what you should be doing right now. The right facilities can help you to make that happen.
Giving You Help
This is not easy. It will not be easy for some time. Yet, the very best providers are able to offer you and your immediate family members with the counseling and compassion you need. Whether you just need to talk to someone who understands or you need to get answers as to why this is happening, it pays to visit a facility where professional counselors are available to help you. You may have children who are experiencing loss, or you may be so shocked you have no idea what the next step is. Counseling can help.
Guiding You
Decisions have to be made. The process has to happen. You may not know what to do or how to do it, but these professionals do. They can give you options and help you to put together a plan for celebrating the life of your loved one. They will work with you to ensure every detail is thought of and planned for. You don't have to worry about making mistakes. They will guide you through the process.
Funeral homes are more than just places to go and get a service performed. They provide you with care, comfort and counseling services at a time when you may be suffering significantly. Look for a company or provider that is able to give you the guidance you need through this.

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Friday, April 6, 2018

Keepsakes To Help Memorialize The Passing Of Loved Ones

When someone we love passes away, whether it is a friend, a relative or even a beloved pet it is often difficult to get through the grief process. The hardest part is coming to terms with the fact that they are gone from your life. This is why many people choose to memorialize the departed in a keepsake that they can keep close allowing them to feel like they have the loved one near. When it comes to choosing a memorial keepsake, the decision is very personal, but here are just a few suggestions of things which might interest you.
Sewing A Memorial Quilt
Textile art is something that is becoming very popular and quilts are becoming very fashionable, so what better way to keep loved one's memory alive than by sewing a quilt for them. A lovely idea is to use the person's clothing or favorite fabrics to create a patchwork which tells a story of their life. Each and every time you stroke the square that came from their favorite shirt or the one that came from their nightgown it will evoke happy memories of your time together. Alternatively, you could put together a quilt that features fabric you feel depicts the person. As an example, if the quilt is a memorial to your grandfather who loved to fish and play golf then you could look for fabric with a motif to match. There are also companies who will print photographs onto fabric and even create quilts or afghans for you.
Create Some Memorial Jewelry
If you are looking for a memorial keepsake that you can take with you everywhere you go, then jewelry might just be the answer. There are services which allow you to use ashes from a cremation to create glass pendants which are a beautiful reminder of someone special. It is also possible to have photographs turned into pendants or charms to place on a bracelet. You may even just wish to have a piece of jewelry engraved with their name and dates of birth/death. You can even go simpler and take a piece of the deceased person's jewelry like a ring, and string it on a cord to wear around your neck.
Make A Dedication In Their Name
A larger memorial that many people go for is to dedicate a bench or a tree in the person's honor. This usually involves paying the local community authorities to plant a tree or place a new bench in a park which will bear a plaque that is engraved with your loved one's name. Some funeral homes and crematoriums even have special gardens or areas where you can do this rather than having to go through the authorities.

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Tuesday, April 3, 2018

The Importance Of The Funeral In The Grieving Process

Some ways in which the funeral helps in the grieving process are:

At a worldwide level, the funeral gives other world leaders or their representatives a chance to show solidarity in the acknowledgment of the loss the world has experienced because of the death and to express condolences to the people of the country and the family of the deceased.

At a communal level, the funeral gives leaders of community groups or clubs in which the deceased was involved an opportunity to acknowledge the service and contributions he or she made to the community and to recognize special achievements. It also gives them a chance to pay their last respects to the deceased and to offer words of comfort and consolation to the family and friends as they grieve the loss of their loved one.

In the workplace the funeral gives managers and colleagues in the workplace or the leaders in the education organisation an opportunity to acknowledge the loss to the company or education organisation because of the death of the person, to pay their last respects to the deceased and to offer words of comfort and consolation to the family in their grief.

In the School or other Education Institute, the funeral gives the principal, teachers and students an opportunity to acknowledge the loss, to pay their last respects to the deceased and to offer words of comfort and consolation to the family in their grief.

In the faith community, the funeral is a time to give expression to faith and religious beliefs about life and death. All religions have specific rituals. The readings - usually taken from one of the Holy Books, the prayers of thanksgiving for the life of the deceased, prayers of comfort and consolation to the bereaved and the commendation of the deceased to rest in peace offer the bereaved hope, comfort, and consolation in their grief.

For the members of the immediate family, the funeral makes them focus on the reality of the death of their loved one. They have to make decisions and choices when planning the funeral, they have to express personal feelings and memories of the deceased as they prepare and give the eulogy and finally, they commend their loved one to rest with love and in peace. All these actions mark the rite of passage of their loved one from life to death and afford some closure to their relationship with their loved one as it was when he or she was alive. One of the most important aspects of the funeral is that the love, support, and friendship expressed by those attending the funeral give comfort and consolation to the bereaved and ease their pain as they move forward in the process of grief.

For these reasons the funeral is very important, whether it is on a grand scale for a prominent person in the world, or a private affair for a select few of family members and friends as it helps everyone to acknowledge the loss and move forward in the process of grief.

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Saturday, March 31, 2018

Mysteries Of Vernacular: Hearse - Jessica Oreck

Today, we recognize the word hearse as a vehicle that carries a coffin to a funeral. Jessica Oreck explains how this word has, at various times, described a wolf, a rake, and a frame, eventually landing at its meaning today.

Lesson and animation by Jessica Oreck.