Monday, July 27, 2015

How To Write An Obituary In Four Steps

Writing an obituary isn't something most people want to be faced with having to do. If you find yourself having to write an obituary for someone, you may be wondering how to go about it effectively. You also may be wondering where to start, what to say, and how to say it eloquently, just to name a few concerns. In this guide, I'll show you how to write an obituary for a family member or friend in just four simple steps.
Writing an obituary for a friend or family member can be accomplished using an outline divided into four parts. The first part of an obituary is called the introduction. On a sheet of paper, write the word "introduction." Under this header, list the person's name, age (optional), date of death, and place of death. If you are comfortable with it, you may choose to include the cause of death, but this piece of information is rarely added today. You are only preparing the basic structure at this point. You'll fill in the obituary once you've completed the outline.
Background/Short biography
Moving further down the sheet of paper, write "Background/Bio." Under this header, list the highlights of the subject's life. You should include date and place of birth, name of parents, any causes or organizations in which the deceased was passionate or active. Name two or three things your family member or friend truly enjoyed doing. For example, my grandmother's favorite hymn was "Mary," and I included this in her obituary. Highlight any significant challenges this person overcame during their lifetime.
Surviving Relatives
It is customary to include a list of surviving relatives in an obituary. Begin with spouse, children (and their spouses), and siblings. Next, list the number of grandchildren, great-grandchildren, cousins. You may also choose to mention friends and co-workers, without giving names or quantity.
Additional Information
For the final part of the obituary, write the title, "Additional information." Under this header, write the name and address of where wake and funeral services will be held. Also, optionally, write the address of where donations, condolences, and gifts can be sent.
In each of the above sections, link the ideas listed into sentences and paragraphs, and edit for grammar and syntax. In four simple steps, you've completed the obituary. This is an emotional task, one which many people never want to have to do. It's my sincere hope that this simple four step outline helps simplify obituary writing for you as it has for me.

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Friday, July 24, 2015

How to Express Sympathy

A grieving friend or family member may experience shock and sadness of loss when someone dies. Express your sympathy at a funeral by offering them much needed support.

Step 1: Offer your time
Offer your personal time to help with needs such as arranging transportation, cleaning a home, or helping watch children.

Step 2: Cook
Bring, buy, or prepare food. Often, after a death, time is taken up by grieving and funeral arrangements, and mourners won't have time to cook for themselves. Sometimes a meal can say what words cannot.

Step 3: Send flowers
Send flowers with a personalized message or donate to their recommended charity.

Step 4: Give them a hug
Offer a hug, or two.

Step 5: Listen
Listen to them and allow them to express their feelings.

Listen without offering any advice.

Step 6: Call
Call and express your sympathy or send a card and express it in writing.

Step 7: Be present
Be in their presence. Even if you do not talk, being physically present can be helpful.

Did You Know?
Neuroscientists have found that feelings of sympathy not only trigger brain activity in areas associated with emotion, but also in areas associated with performing an action.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Funeral Messages - Coping With the Loss of a Loved One

Delivering funeral messages is a honorable way to grieve for your loved one. Here is some advice on coping with death and why a funeral message will help you to get through this sad time.
If you are bereaved and are wondering how in the world you can go on and what life could possibly offer after such a great loss, then i hope that some of these ways of coping will help you out. Funeral messages are one good way to put your feelings and emotions into words and will enable you to express them either privately or publicly at a memorial service or at the internment.
As you wrestle with your grief, it may be of help to reflect back in your life to see how you have coped with other traumatic events that may have occurred. Maybe you tried to resolve the crisis yourself, or maybe you buried your feelings, not wanting to let others know how badly you were hurting.
It is essential to your health that you must express your grief and your emotions. Burying them is only going to come back later on in your life and hurt you, whether physically, emotionally or even causing health problems. That is why bereavement messages and funeral messages is a great way to express how you are feeling, and in a way, it helps others as well. It lets them connect with you and they can reflect back as well as you are reciting the funeral message.
Guilt can be a very powerful emotion and it can cause you to become isolated from everyone else who need your support in this time of mourning. But be careful not to mistake guilt with regret. Regrets are things that you wish you could have said or could have done while the loved one was still with you. Guilt on the other hand is when you feel that you have done something wrong and there is no way now to apologize for your actions or your words, or lack of them, whatever the case may be. Again, this is where funeral messages can play a huge role in lifting that heavy weight of worry off of your chest.
Depression is another factor of coping with a loved ones death. It can last for a day, a week or even longer. Remembering your loved one could eventually help you with any depression that you may be feeling, or it could also bring back memories that are just going to upset you at the moment. However, after time, these memories will be something that you cherish, and you will feel pride in what your loved one has accomplished in their lifetime. funeral messages and bereavement verses will help you to see that more clearly early on in the grieving process, allowing you to heal sooner. You should try to relish all of the good times that you had spent together and you will be able to laugh at all of the funny things that had happened while you were together.
If you need help with delivering funeral messages [] or are having trouble putting your feelings into words, then I recommend the resource that has allowed me to honor my loved ones with a funeral message at their service. Go to [] to get the help that you need.

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Saturday, July 18, 2015

Sending Funeral Flowers and Sympathy Flowers

Sending Funeral and Sympathy Flowers is a widely practiced tradition across many cultures to express condolences and respect following a death. When someone has lost a loved one, it can bring great comfort to receive a flower arrangement with an expression of sympathy. It provides a simple, uplifting and touching way to show the bereaved that you are thinking about them in their time of loss.
What is the difference between Sympathy Flowers and Funeral Flowers?
Sympathy Flowers are typically a personal expression to offer condolences sent direct to the home, or place of work, of the bereaved family. Sympathy arrangements are usually of the design that they will fit onto a table-top, and give a heart-warming distraction to the grief-stricken during the time of recent loss. Conventionally Sympathy Flowers are white, although other colours are quite acceptable. If you chose to send Sympathy Flowers, a number of options are available, selecting designs from simple floral bouquets to a houseplant or an exotic orchid. The important consideration in sending sympathy flowers is that the natural beauty and scent of flowers can have a special effect on the human senses in evoking compassion. Prices for sending Sympathy Flowers do vary, but you can expect to be able to send a simple arrangement from $30.00. Using an online flower retailer is becoming common practice these days, and indeed significant savings can be made this way. Cheap Sympathy Flowers can be ordered online, or by telephone, from US Funerals Online.
Funeral Flowers are traditionally considered the flower arrangement that is sent to the funeral service. A Funeral Flower arrangement is typically a standing arrangement, most are one-sided and fan-shaped, and they are carefully designed for the purpose of creating a very visible floral tribute at a funeral service. This is why most funeral flower arrangements are designed for display purposes on an easel, or to be laid on or around a casket. As with Sympathy Flowers, Funeral Flowers are sent as an explicit expression of condolences, and are often sent to a funeral service when one is unable to personally attend. Funeral Floral displays are an important aspect of adding colour and grace to a funeral service, helping to create a compassionate ambiance to a somber event. Florists will offer a selection of standing funeral flower arrangements, and prices generally start from around $65.00 with large standing sprays or casket sprays ranging to $300.00.
If you are intending on sending funeral flowers to a church or funeral home for a funeral service, then you may need to consider a few things. Firstly, you may need to establish what the wishes of the family they want floral displays, and would they prefer them to be sent to the funeral home, the cemetery or the church? What time is the service being conducted? The funeral director can normally advise on the families' wishes if you cannot speak directly to the family. However, do be wary of the funeral home offering to arrange flowers for you, as they can often cost more than ordering direct yourself. Florists are extremely understanding of ensuring funeral flowers are delivered in a timely fashion for a funeral service, and many will even offer to call you to confirm their delivery. To view a selection of cheap funeral flowers offered with a 50% discount on full retail price, visit US Funerals Online and view our Funeral Flowers.
What else to consider?
Whether you are selecting sympathy funeral or funeral flowers, you can choose either traditional arrangements, or select flowers and colors that represent special meaning to the bereaved. For example: you may choose colors that help to signify a story about the life of the deceased. It is often considered common for a veteran to be honoured with a red, white and blue floral tribute
What message to send with Funeral Flowers?
Not sure how to convey your condolences? A simple card and message lets the bereaved family know that your thoughts are with them. The common messages used to express condolences are "With deepest sympathy", "Thinking of you in these difficult times", and "My thoughts and prayers are with you".

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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Funeral Planning - Creating a Smart End of Life Plan

Like so many families, when we suffered the loss of my mother last year we faced the difficult decision of what to do next.  Because we were never willing to accept this as a possible outcome, nor did we think about planning in advance for this incomprehensible loss, we had no idea where to begin or who we could turn to. 
Most people tend to overlook one of the greatest gifts you will give your family, which is properly preparing them for the inevitable. At best, you might have started your estate planning process by creating a Will or Trust. However, the harsh reality is that approximately over 70% of Americans have no form of estate plan. So by having a will or Trust, you have clearly taken a step in the right direction toward preplanning your future financial wishes. The problem is, this form of planning fails to accomplish the most important task, which is addressing your family's immediate concerns.
The person, or in most cases people, responsible for taking care of your final arrangements are usually forced to make extremely important decisions, as well as major financial purchases, within a small time frame...usually within approximately 48 hours after your death. Of course, you cannot expect to fully alleviate the emotional and financial stresses of your loved ones during such a difficult time, but you can help themtremendously by having a plan that outlines your funeral wishes.
Most financial professionals are realizing that an integral part of a sound financial and estate plan is taking care of your funeral services ahead of time. Funeral Preplanning gives you the ability to choose your method of disposition, the exact type of services you want, and allows your family to focus more on things such as grieving and recovery. In addition, funeral preplanning is also a good thing for you because it allows you to make extremely important decisions through a calm and clear thought process. Emotionally, it is much more likely that you will create a more rational and logical end-of-life plan.
When preplanning your funeral, here are several general guidelines to begin your preplanning process:
  •         Visit various funeral homes and interview multiple funeral directors
  •         Choose a funeral home and director where you think your family would be most comfortable
  •         Consider bringing family members with you during this selection process  
  •         Be aware and informed of bereavement entitlements such as veterans, unions, fraternities, etc.
  •         Consider religious and moral convictions, and discuss them with your family
  •         Determine your method of disposition (burial, cemetery, entombment, cremation, etc.)
  •         Plan your ceremony considering things like casket viewing, religious aspects, who should be included, etc.
  •         Itemize your costs
  •         The Federal Trade Commission offers a free funeral planning guide titled "Caskets and Burial Vaults" (202-326-2222) which has made it easier for consumers to comparison shop.
The FTC Funeral Rule requires funeral directors to give pricing information over the phone, as well as provide you with a readily available General Price List if you visit them in person. This FTC Funeral Rule also allows you to purchase caskets, which are the single largest funeral expense, from outside vendors without the threat of a carrying charge. For more information about The FTC Funeral Rule, you can visit 
What About Paying For Funeral Expenses In Advance?
Although planning your funeral arrangements in advance may help alleviate many of the details, prepaying (also known as prearranging) for your funeral services is a way of taking care of the actual expenses.
Prepaying your funeral or cremation is one of the fastest growing, and most appreciated and accepted aspects of funeral planning. Similar to preplanning your funeral, paying your funeral expenses in advance is also becoming widely accepted by many financial professionals as a solid piece of a sound financial and estate plan.
When prepaying your funeral plan, the most common and widely used strategies are savings and life insurance, mainly because they tend to be deemed the most reliable and readily available. However, there are several other strategies to consider when prepaying your funeral costs or expenses:
Savings Although many people choose to set aside savings to pay for funeral expenses, there are several reasons this does not always end up working out as originally planned. First, the savings can be depleted based on unexpected financial circumstances, such as health or financial issues. Second, these funds are not always readily available and liquid upon death due to the challenges and restrictions often found in estate planning. Third, the funds set aside can often be insufficient due to inflation and the rising cost of funeral expenses. Finally, it should be noted that savings are included in a part of one's estate, and, thus, the taxable consequences can often come into play.
Life Insurance Term Life Insurance is widely considered to be a flexible, simple, and affordable way to pay for your final funeral expenses. Although Term Life Insurance has a set term, or set number of years, it also has multiple uses in prepaying for your funeral. Because upon your death it becomes a liquid asset that is usually not part of your estate, it can be used for many things such as funeral, burial, cremation, liquidity, and many other things, including debts or obligations.
In addition, there are some types of life insurance that allow the funds contributed to these policies (either in lump sum, monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually) to grow and accumulate as a cash value that can be accessed if necessary. Therefore, these policies can not only be used for funeral expenses, but also for other financial planning options that may arise such as financial emergencies, college, etc.
Funeral Insurance Funeral insurance is an insurance policy which is specifically designed to cover any costs or expenses which are directly related to your funeral. If you purchase one of these policies, one of the options you have is to determine exactly which funeral costs or expenses are to be covered, such as flowers, burial plot, grave marker, and much more. Another option you have is for the policy to be paid out in a single lump-sum, which can be used to cover your pre-determined costs or expenses, or simply help your loved ones financially as they plan for you. There are many insurance companies that offer funeral insurance packages, and certain funeral homes or funeral companies also offer policies. 
Pre-Need Trust Agreements Another alternative to prepaying your funeral is to consider a Pre-Need Trust Agreement to pay for your costs or expenses. Generally speaking, these Trust accounts are typically funded with monthly payments that are invested in a fund which is designed to grow over time. Although a Trust account is designed to provide the potential for protection against inflation, it is not guaranteed to do so.
In summary, although nobody likes to think or talk about dying, it is one of the facts of life we all must eventually face. If you are trying to build a successful financial plan, the only way you can be sure your plan works smoothly and efficiently is to be proactive about your planning process. This is particularly true and necessary when creating a proper plan of succession, which I firmly believe should include an end-of-life plan.

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Sunday, July 12, 2015

Funeral Planning: Six Things You Can Do Ahead Of Time

Dealing with the death of a loved one is never easy. In addition to emotional shock, loved ones are often forced to handle funeral planning - a process that can be overwhelming at an already difficult time. Although it might seem morbid, making arrangements prior to death can lighten the load for any family. With that in mind, here are six things you can do ahead of time to make things easier for your loved ones after your passing.
1. Prepare For Burial Or Cremation
Decide whether you want to be buried or cremated after death. If you prefer the latter, it might be a good idea to call a crematory to check their availability. If you prefer the former, and most people do, it is important to contact a few local funeral homes and ask about their availability. In particular, you should find out how much time they need to arrange services at their establishment.
2. Find A Funeral Director
An experienced funeral director can be a godsend during a difficult time. From filing certificates, permits, and authorizations to arranging the actual funeral service, a good director does his utmost to ensure that everything goes according to plan. If you have never arranged a service for a family member before, the best way to find a good director is to simply ask around.
3. Choose A Casket Or Cremation Container
People make bad decisions when under emotional stress. That's the main reason folks overspend on funeral planning. Selecting a casket or cremation container in advance will help you stay on budget, which should reduce the risk of family members fighting over shared expenses.
4. Pick A Headstone Or Marker
If you want to be buried, selecting a headstone and having it inscribed will take time. When this process is completed after death, odds are your loved ones will be charged extra fees for expedited service. It may also be harder to find the perfect headstone at the last minute. It is for these reasons that we suggest shopping for a stone or marker early.
5. Plan Transportation
Although most of the cars in the procession will be driven by attendees, the family of the deceased must make arrangements for transportation of the body to the cemetery or final resting place. In most cases, the funeral home will provide this service in their total package. However, it may be a good idea to call ahead to make certain hearses are included.
6. Select Music And Songs
Though it may provide comfort with the passage of time, hearing a loved one's favorite music shortly after they die may be too much for survivors. We recommend that you pick out a few top tunes in advance and include them in a mixtape that can be played at a ceremony, service, or reception at the family home.
Completing these simple tasks in advance should save your loved ones time, money, and emotion while funeral planning.

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Thursday, July 9, 2015

How to Dress For A Funeral

Pay your respects with grace and dignity by wearing appropriate attire.

Step 1: Wear dark colors
Choose dark colors. While black is traditional and safe, dark blues and grays are also acceptable.

Step 2: Dress for house of worship or a job interview
Dress as you would for a job interview or house of worship. A suit, collared shirt, and tie are appropriate for men. Women may wear a pantsuit, skirt suit, or a modest dress that covers the shoulders or is accompanied by a wrap.

Pallbearers need a sports jacket and tie.

Step 3: Be sensitive to religious customs
Be sensitive to the dress codes of certain religious or cultural customs. Ask in advance, if you can.

Some Christian, Muslim, and Jewish denominations require mourners to wear a headscarf or a yarmulke, or skullcap.

Step 4: Wear appropriate accessories
Wear appropriate accessories, such as closed-toe shoes, a muted color tie, and understated jewelry. Hats should be formal and not too big or flashy.

Step 5: Bring a handkerchief and umbrella
Have a handkerchief handy for yourself or to lend to someone in need. An umbrella is also a good idea for hot or rainy outdoor funerals.

Did You Know?
The world’s oldest, continually used cemetery is The Mount of Olives in Israel.

Monday, July 6, 2015

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 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 for 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.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Funeral Planning : How to Write an Obituary

An obituary often contains an individual's name, their date and place of birth, the survivors of that person's family and details about a funeral service. Include an individual's favorite organizations and accomplishments in an obituary with help from a licensed funeral director and embalmer in this free video on funeral planning.