Monday, September 28, 2015

A Consistent Place of Healing- Wall of Memories

This memorial wall is open to anyone who wishes to place a permanent, bronze plaque.  The plaque is custom made for your loved one and can include name, dates, personal history, poem, emblems, artwork, even cast bronze portraits. The Wall of Memories is located on the center pathway on the south side of the Elm Dormitory.
Also, many families are choosing to scatter the cremated remains of their loved one in a favorite place; the ocean, or even in the skies above. While that may seem fitting at the time, it means that you do not have a consistent place to connect with the memories of the person you loved so dearly.
Having such permanent place - in a cemetery, mausoleum, or cremation garden - that can be visited regularly by family and friends is an essential part of the time following a death. It becomes a focal point of memorialization, and gives everyone a special place to go to remember your loved one, or to commemorate important occasions. It can help to make a birthday or anniversary less painful.
A permanent place to reflect on your loved one becomes a way of connecting to a family's past. Visiting the resting place of grandparents or great-grandparents may provide children with an anchor to their personal history. It is a connection to the past, to love shared. It truly honors the relationship you still have – and will always have – with that person.

Friday, September 25, 2015

What We Do: Funeral Services

Gathering with friends and family gives everyone the opportunity to share memories, express emotions, and find comforting support. Whether you choose burial or cremation; whether you select a formal funeral or a more relaxed memorial service, the need for acknowledgment of the loss with family and friends is ever present. We can help you create a unique meaningful ceremony to express the genuine individuality of your loved one.
We offer families a beautiful setting in which to come together to honor your loved one. But, you may certainly choose to celebrate their life in a more unique setting. No matter where you decide to gather together, such a service will make a difference in the lives of all who attend.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

365 Days Of Messages...

Seven days a week we'll send you a short message of support. That's 365 days of wise words, helpful tips, and healing activities.
    Letting the Sun Shine In Daily Emails
  • When someone you love dies, grieving that loss can take a long time. As in any emotional journey, there are rough spots to be weathered, and moments when you catch a glimpse of a sunnier horizon. We want to be your daily companion, helping you to let the sun shine back into your life. These daily emails provide encouragement and gentle reminders of the recovery process. Interested?
  • Your daily affirmation emails have given me hope for a better tomorrow. - Emily
    • Your messages have helped me reflect the life my grandfather lived and have helped me heal. - Dan

  • Click HERE To Sign Up
  • Privacy Statement

    Bryan Braker Funeral Home values your privacy. We will never give, sell, rent or otherwise share your email or personal information with any other organization. Subscribing to our daily emails will not result in unwanted emails from us or third party vendors. Should you ever wish to unsubscribe, you can easily do so by clicking on a link at the bottom of any one of the affirmation messages.

Friday, September 18, 2015

How to Write a Letter Of Condolence

Too personal to follow a formula, intimate letters of condolence must come from the heart. Here are some tips to consider when writing them.

Step 1: Send a handwritten letter
Follow up any earlier e-mail or telephone expressions of sympathy with handwritten correspondence.

Step 2: Address the letter appropriately
Address the letter to the closest relative if you knew the deceased or to the relative to whom you are closest if you did not.

Step 3: Express your feelings
Put your feelings on paper. Be sincere. Flowery language in itself is of little value.

Step 4: Share a memory
Share a fond memory of the deceased when you begin the letter. Rather than saying you know how the surviving relative feels, simply say that you are thinking of that person.

Be honest. Don’t try to make the deceased sound like a better person than they actually were.

Step 5: Express your sorrow
Express your sorrow at the person’s loss rather than saying that the deceased is now in a better place. Avoid cliche phrases such as "time will heal all wounds."

Step 6: Avoid the cause of death
Avoid dwelling on the details of the illness or cause of death.

Offer assistance only if you were close to the deceased and you know the deceased’s close family needs help.

Step 7: Send the letter promptly
Send the letter within one week of the death. And remember, the worst condolence letter is the one that is never written.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Cremation and Permanent Remembrance

More info at

Years ago, cremation was seen as "just cremation." Families would hear a family member say, "just cremate me." What many families didn't realize then was that such an approach could limit the ability of the family and friends to fully say goodbye to a loved one, and to successfully move through the grieving process. At the loss of a loved one, there is no such thing as "just." The emotional needs of the family and friends at the loss is exactly the same for families whether they choose cremation or burial. Learning about your choices with cremation ensures that you and your family can benefit from the time-tested approaches that help families move from grieving to remembrance.

Saturday, September 12, 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.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

How to Comfort Someone Who Has Lost A Loved One

The loss of a loved one can leave partners, friends, and family devastated. To ease the burden, offer whatever solace you can.

Step 1: Allow them to grieve
Allow the person to grieve in their own way. Don't judge their behavior, which may be erratic at first. Unpredictable moods are normal.

If you tend to be a caretaker, now is the time to dial it back. You can't fix this.

Step 2: Show empathy
Comfort the grieving person with genuine sympathy for their loss without assuming to know how they feel. Avoid giving advice.

Step 3: Change the environment
Suggest a walk or a drive to remove them from their environment for a short time. They will need their strength in the coming days, so a little relief might be appreciated.

Step 4: Listen and absorb
Listen and absorb any need they may have to dwell on the past or obsess about regrets regarding the loved one. Right now they need to vent and your unconditional regard is crucial.

Step 5: Take on tasks
Offer to take over everyday tasks, like grocery shopping, child care, phone calls, and final arrangements if the grieving person was a family member or very close to the deceased. Running interference and handling phone calls will save their energy and will allow them time to think or rest.

Step 6: Support them with silence
Support them with silence and hold their hand or hug them. Don't push them to express emotion, even if their brave smile seems to suggest that something is being repressed.

It will take time to get through the loss. Don't stop checking on them and offering your shoulder -- even months later.

Step 7: Get clinical help
Suggest clinical help if the person seems unable to come out of it, especially if they demonstrate difficulty functioning, thinking, acting, or speaking, or they exhibit excessive bitterness, substance abuse, or social withdrawal.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

5 Stages of Grief

When you experience the death of a loved one or family member, there are stages you all go through in order to process the loss that person has left in your life. These 5 stages of grief are completely natural and are a way for hearts and minds to mend themselves before coming to terms with death. The five stages of grief, also known as the K├╝bler-Ross model, are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.
Denial: In this first step, the person experiencing grief refuses to accept the death they've experienced. It's an important coping mechanism in the initial first days after the death of a loved one. The denial of death allows you to cope with the immediate tasks at hand, such as informing other family members and friends and making funeral preparations. Denial can make you feel numb and, while these emotions are not healthy in the long-term, they help you move forward in the days following death.
Anger: Once your denial fades, it is typically replaced with anger. In this phase of the 5 stages of grief, it is typical to blame everyone else. You feel rage and anger for others that are still alive and ask yourself "Why me?" While the outward emotion experienced by those around you is anger, there is pain buried underneath the surface. It's important not to suppress the anger felt when grieving the loss of someone close. If you openly express anger, it slowly dissipates and gives access to the deeper pain you feel.
Bargaining: This stage of grief can take on many forms. You may try to strike a deal with God to bring back your loved one or promise anything just to have everything back to the way it was before the loss. This stage is riddled with thoughts of "What if..." and "If only..." as you attempt to come up with a solution that will bring things back to the way they once were.
Depression: Of the 5 stages of grief, this stage may take months or years to move through. There is no predetermined length of time to heal from depression. In this stage, you begin to feel the emptiness of your life now that your loved one is gone. During this time, you may withdraw from friends and family and feel overwhelmed with the prospect of managing grief.
Acceptance: In this stage, you come to the realization that your loss is real and it is a part of life. This is not to say you are "OK" with the loss experienced, but you accept it as the new norm and try to rediscover happiness . During acceptance, you can begin to rebuild your life around the fact that, although someone important is no longer physically alive, they will be in your heart and mind forever.

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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Online Pre-Planning Form

Make these important decisions in the privacy of your own home with our simple online pre-planning form. You can take your time, too; you'll be creating a log-in name and password, so you can save your work and come back to it anytime.

Click HERE To Start Your Form.