Friday, April 29, 2016

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Pre-Planning Can Be Important Part 2

Pre-Planning Checklist

For many, it feels like there’s an overwhelming amount of things to think about! But in all honesty, taking control of the important things in life just feels good; you know it's the right thing to do for you, and your family.

Arrange and Delegate
The people who know and care about you will be there when you need them. You only need to provide them with instructions, important financial details, and then relax. You’re in good hands.
  • Give your Executor a copy of your Will. Safety deposit boxes are often opened up during the estate settlement process, long after the funeral. Any funeral planning documents therein can be of no help to your executor.
  • Make sure your representative has a list of important account information or telephone numbers for retirement plans, insurance policies, investments, bank accounts, safe-deposit boxes, properties, preferred law and accountant firms and mortuaries. Remind your personal representative that the Social Security Administration will need to be called and, if you're receiving benefits such as those from the Veteran's Administration, they should be contacted as well.
  • Designate a power of attorney to ensure that proper information can be accessed in the event of your illness or death. Make sure the power of attorney over health care or the health care directive and a living will are in place so that your wishes are carried out if you are unable to do so.
  • Make arrangements for telephone and utilities services, and newspaper and magazine deliveries, to be cancelled.
Pay for:
  • Cemetery and memorialization services
  • Funeral arrangements, including clergy, florist and transportation
  • Make arrangements for pets to find a new home.
You can also contact us for additional information. We're pleased to answer any questions you may have, without obligation.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Pre-Planning Can Be Important Part 1

Pre-Planning Checklist

For many, it feels like there’s an overwhelming amount of things to think about! But in all honesty, taking control of the important things in life just feels good; you know it's the right thing to do for you, and your family.


Laying the foundation for a well thought out plan for you or a loved one takes a bit of time, but, it's worth every moment spent. After all, you’re setting the stage for a more relaxed and enjoyable life, because you’ll have the peace-of-mind preparedness brings. Here’s what to do to get started:
  • Prepare a contact list of individuals who should be notified in a medical emergency or death.
  • Write an obituary or simply jot down information you would like included in an obituary.
  • Decide where obituary and memorial information should appear.
Choose the type of service you would like including the burial you prefer and make those arrangements. You will need to decide:
  • Cemetery lot location
  • Casket type; cremation urn type
  • Vault or sectional crypt
  • Type of service: religious, military, non-denominational, or fraternal
  • The contact details for the funeral home you designate to care for you
  • Pallbearers, music, flowers, scripture or other readings
  • Charity to receive donations in lieu of flowers, if donations are preferred
  • Select the speakers and the eulogies that you would want to represent you.
  • Decide what organizations or church will benefit from memorial donations in your name.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Funerals As Unique As Your Life

Life is full of opportunities to show someone we love them. One such opportunity is the funeral or memorial service. Such a loving event celebrates the choices they made, the relationship you shared, and honors the memory of your loved one.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

The Wings Of Gold Gift Set

The Wings of Gold Gift Set includes a beautiful Italian Style Music Box, and a lovely yellow silk sympathy bouquet. When the music box is opened, a glass enclosure allows you to see the musical movement as it plays “Wind Beneath My Wings”. The inside of the music box is finished with black velvet to hold jewelry or other treasured mementos. Also included is a yellow silk sympathy bouquet, which is a lovely accent to the home, with 8 yellow silk roses surrounded by greenery.

• Music box contains Sankyo brand movements, the highest quality available, to ensure the melody is always clear and consistent.

• Verse on front of music box and attached to sympathy bouquet reads:

Thursday, April 14, 2016

3 Myths About Funerals And End Of Life

Because death and end of life have traditionally been difficult subjects for us to talk about, there are many misconceptions that add stress as families plan funerals and end of life services. Here are some of the most common.
Myth #1: There Are No Ways to Make Funerals or Cremations Less Stressful. The loss of a loved one will always be difficult; for many of us, it is the most difficult time of our lives. What makes this even more stressful for many families, however, is that end of life is unfamiliar territory, so we just aren't sure about our choices, or even if we have any. As Remembrance Providers℠ we are committed to using the knowledge we have to support you emotionally, to give you all the information and choices you need, and to show you and your family proven ways of making funeral and cremation planning as stress free as possible.
Myth #2: There is no good way to learn about funeral choices. In the past, there have been few simple, clear materials about funerals, and in our culture it has been difficult to bring up the subject. That’s why we've developed The Remembrance Process℠; it’s a simple overview of the funeral and cremation process. In addition, we've created videos, and print materials that can help understand key aspects of funeral and cremations. 
Myth # 3: You have to make all your decisions on a strict timeline. One of the best ways to reduce stress at end of life is to give yourself the time you need. Take a breath. Talk to your Remembrance Provider℠ about a funeral schedule that is comfortable for you and your family. Allow yourself time to think and plan. Understand that the funeral or cremation is about your loved one, but is for you and your family. If you have family members that live out of town, allow time for them to travel, and most importantly, allow time for yourself and your family to begin grieving.
Talk to your Remembrance Provider℠ to learn more.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Impending Death: Ways To Help Yourself And Your Family

How an anticipated death is different

Knowing that a loved one’s time is limited doesn’t necessarily make their passing any easier when it does happen. Somehow, we can never really be ready to say goodbye, and no matter how much we may realize in our minds that our loved one is no longer suffering or leading a life without enjoyment, our loss is a difficult and complicated situation to bear. But for many families, the chance to anticipate a death, and plan in advance—even if it is just a few days, can be a huge blessing. When you have time to prepare with family and friends, clergy and funeral professionals before the death, you are very much more likely to do so in a calmer frame of mind than at the time of death itself.
Additionally, anticipated deaths often take place while your loved one is under close medical supervision, and so legal issues of pronouncing and reporting the death are usually very straightforward. This removes one additional burden from your responsibility and again makes it easier for you and your family to start the grieving process. If your loved one is an inpatient at a hospital, nursing home or inpatient hospice facility, staff and procedures are in place to comply with initial legal requirements, and often to notify the funeral service provider of choice that the death has taken place. When a person dies at home while under the care of a hospice organization, a call to the hospice nurse will start the process of completing initial legal requirements.
Having advance warning of an impending death can allow for discussions of final wishes and planning, but many of us are reluctant to face up to these eventualities, or are too overwhelmed by care-giving activities to plan or think about services. But overwhelmingly, families who take this step to plan in advance say it was the most important thing they did to make a difficult situation more bearable.

Step One: Orient yourself to the process.

One of the reasons end of life is so stressful for many families, is that we just don’t know what to expect. Getting an orientation to the process before the death occurs has proved invaluable to many families. Because death is a difficult subject to bring up, it is often easier to gain information in the privacy of your home. To give yourself an overview of what is to come, you may find it helpful to watch the short video:The Remembrance Process℠.
Also this would be a good time to review 3 Myths About Funerals, and 5 Things Many Families Don’t Know About Cremation.
With these two overviews as background, you will likely want to reach out to your clergy and hospice / medical advisors and ultimately to a funeral professional, who is the caregiver who will help once the death has occurred.

Step Two: Reach out for professional and family help in advance.

Your clergy and hospice professionals will provide tremendous spiritual and emotional support, but ultimately, the advice from a funeral professional can make sure you have the information and choices you will want once the death occurs. Reaching out to them in advance, lets you prepare better, and allows the funeral home to prepare as well. They can show you all your choices, document your wishes, and prepare necessary documents in advance, all of which will reduce the stress on you and your family when the actual death occurs.
There are many benefits to addressing the funeral in advance. Just some of them are:
  • You will gain information when you are calmer, and better able to absorb information and choices.
  • You will be able to share that information with family and friends, so they can provide input and suggestions on how best to say goodbye to your loved one.
  • It allows you to think about the full Remembrance Process℠ and all the ways you can move from grieving to remembrance.
  • Your funeral home can prepare documents and a list of your wishes in advance—so there is far less stress on you and your family to make decisions when the death occurs.
  • Importantly, an Authorized Remembrance Provider℠ will help you plan, document your wishes, and explain all your choices, at no cost to you, and with no obligation.

Step Three: Taking care of yourself and family when the death occurs.

One of the biggest differences in an anticipated death versus a sudden or unexpected death is that you will be in a hospital or hospice situation, and they will take care of many of the immediate and necessary tasks, such as verifying the death automatically. You will have to reach out to your funeral home at this time however, and if you have planned with them, they will be able to move promptly to meet your needs.
Having anticipated a death, we may fall into an autopilot mode and systematically follow a list of tasks. We may have planned it all out only to find that we are still confused and can’t remember what to do next. In any case, and in each succeeding step, make sure that your emotional needs and those of your family are taken care of, even if this means changing your plans.
Your most immediate need may be to call your pastor, or for loved ones to gather around you. Taking care of your emotional needs and those of your family should be your first priority. All else can wait for a few hours, if necessary. Here are some key points to consider:
  • Don’t rush yourself through decisions and procedures, or miss out on your opportunities to say your goodbyes.
  • Nearly every decision can wait for a few hours, so be sure to take care of yourself and your family first.
  • Are there family members who will need to come right away?
  • Would the support of a friend help you get through this? If you feel it would help, make those calls whenever you are ready to do so.
  • If you haven’t done so yet, a good way to gain an overall perspective of what will happen is to watch The Remembrance Process℠ Video.

Step Four: Consider both the needs of your family and the wishes of the deceased.

Even if we have thought out and agreed to a course for action prior to our loved one’s death, we may find that unforeseen realities cause us to question our plans. We may be torn between promises made to our loved one and the very real needs of our family. Often, the dying person doesn’t want to burden their survivors with the expense of funeral services, or would prefer to think of them rejoicing in life rather than gathered in sadness.
No one wants their legacy to be one of sorrow, but unless we work through our grief following a loss, we may have difficulty moving forward back into life. For most people, having some sort of funeral or memorial service is a positive way to work through and deal with these issues. Services can be traditional, casual, religious or secular. What is most important is that family and friends can come together to share the burden of the loss and acknowledge the importance of your loved one’s life.

Step Five: Ways of saying goodbye.

Again, every decision you’ll need to make does not have to be rushed, so if you are really unsure about what kind of ceremony would be appropriate, or whether you would prefer burial or cremation, explore your options. The funeral home will need to know whether you want them to prepare your loved one for a family and friends goodbye. In this case, they will need your permission before beginning embalming preparations. But with that said, if you are unsure about your choices, you can wait until the next day to make your decision.
Your funeral home will make an appointment to meet with you and explain your options. Years ago, most services were very similar. Today, it is customary for services to be adapted and arranged to fit your specific needs and wishes. There are many choices for services such as a private family goodbye, friends and family goodbye, or community gathering, whether burial or cremation. There are also highly personal choices for a permanent remembrance, which many families find extremely comforting. Give serious thought to what you need from the service, and to what other family members, friends and members of the community need to say goodbye to your loved one.
You may be surprised to learn all that is possible and all the different ways that these aspects of funeral ceremonies can be made more meaningful through planning and family participation. And in most cases, your friends and family will want to help. At this time, and in years to come, memories of the support family and friends provided will be a key part of moving to remembrance of the loved one. At we have more information on the types of funeral and memorial services families are using today and other information on choices available to you.
If you have planned with a funeral home in advance, then you will be able to focus more on helping yourself and your family with the grieving process. We have learned from the experience of thousands of families that working through the time-tested steps in the Remembrance Process℠ helps in moving from grieving to remembrance. Saying Goodbye to Your Loved One with the support of your friends and family can be a huge part of this process, and we strongly suggest that you and your family explore the choices that most appeal to you. The memories shared, the stories told at these “goodbye” services will be remembered and valued forever. What many families don’t realize is how personal and creative saying goodbye can be. Eulogies and obituaries can also be a key part of remembering your loved ones, and reviewing the sections on this website can give you the information you need on how to prepare a eulogy or obituary so they can be most meaningful. Friends and family are often eager to help here, and often, some of the most memorable parts of the service are the words said about the loved one.

Step Six: Permanent Remembrance.

Lastly, many families find that permanent remembrances like cemetery monuments and grave memorials can be especially valuable for now and for decades to come. But many families don’t know they can have these remembrances even when they choose cremation.
Having a permanent place to remember your loved ones is another time-tested way of helping move through grief. For families who choose traditional burial, a cemetery is the clear choice.
But many families who choose cremation don’t realize they have even broader choices for permanent remembrance. These choices can include special sections in cemeteries, cremation gardens, cremation niches, columabariums, and even highly personal locations.
All of these choices allow a family to choose a headstone, monument, grave memorial or other permanent tribute. View this video to learn more about the ways other families have remembered their loved ones and the many choices you have for permanent remembrance.


We know that the loss of a loved one is not a one-week, or one-year event. Our goal is to help you deal with the fact that your loved one is gone, but still with us in our memories. Remembrance is an on-going state that is positive and life-affirming. And unlike the concept of “closure,” it doesn’t imply that somehow we are closing a chapter on a life. Instead, remembrance is an on-going collection of images, words, and memories that we will never forget.
One way to help you with this process is to listen to how others have dealt with the loss of a loved one. Listening to grief counselors, clergy and other families at this time is like learning from a best friend who has been through it. features a variety of videos that are inspirational, emotional, and practical from both professional caregivers and personal stories from people who have lost people close to them. These videos provide real world advice from people who have been there. They can be your personal guides. We think their stories will touch your hearts and minds, and give you insights that can help at this most difficult time.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Keys To Reducing Funeral Stress

1. Even in an emergency, you have more time than you think.

One of the greatest causes of stress around planning and arranging a funeral—especially an unexpected one, is that you have to do it in a very short time. Trying to plan a funeral in just a couple of days can be extremely stressful, and frustrating. But the reality is that you have more time than you may think.
While it is true that certain aspects have to be done quickly, the actual date and arrangements for the funeral can be done on your schedule, within reason. (The exception to this is that certain religions like Judaism require strict timelines for burial.) Find a funeral home or cemetery in your area that can give you expert advice on any specific requirements.
If this is an Emergency, go to our section on Funeral Emergency or watch The Remembrance Process℠ video below for a quick overview of what needs to be done.

2. Empower your family by getting information in advance.

For many families, especially in American culture, the idea of discussing death, and funeral planning is uncomfortable. Even in families where a loved one is terminally ill, the idea of discussing funeral arrangements is often seen as morbid, or an indication that the family is “giving up” on the loved one. In addition, because information about funerals, cremation, monuments, hospice, nursing homes, has not been readily available, the subject is treated with the fear that accompanies the unknown.
The Remembrance Process℠ can provide planning materials, and information about your options and rights on-line, or over the phone, or by calling a Remembrance Provider℠. Gaining this information in advance allows families to plan in a calm and peaceful way in the privacy of their home. When you can discuss options, look at choices, and consider ways of saying goodbye to your loved one, the perspective about the funeral can change dramatically. Knowledge is power, and never more so, than about this inevitable life event. Funerals will always be stressful events, but knowing what to expect in advance, can reduce that stress tremendously.

3. Plan in advance (even shortly in advance) if you can.

Giving your family a funeral plan, may be one of the best gifts you ever give them, since it allows them to stop worrying about details, allows them to come together as a family to grieve, without distractions.
Often, a significant cause of stress in planning a funeral is the disagreement between family members over what “ dad or mom would have wanted.” Arguments can occur over whether burial or cremation is desired, what kind of casket is appropriate, what kind of service, what kind of monument, when to have the service, and how much to pay for these arrangements.
Ironically, these arguments often occur in the most loving families, where different family members have strong opinions on how to honor their deceased family member.
See information on funeral planning on this site, or find a funeral home to learn about funeral planning tools that can assist you in creating a funeral plan that is as simple or detailed as you want. You can even add information about your genealogy, choices of music, or obituary that may provide extraordinary comfort to your family not only at the time of death, but in years to come. Almost 40% of all families now choose to use hospice care as the way to make end of life a more personal and natural process. Allowing the loved one to be cared for at home, surrounded by family members, is seen by many as a tremendous advantage over a death that occurs in a hospital, that almost always has to be more impersonal.4. Explore hospice care as a way of making end of life a more natural, personal process.
In addition, many families find that the care provided by hospice nurses, chaplains, and medical and social worker professionals not only helps the terminally ill patient, but helps the family as well. These professionals are experienced in helping families say goodbye to their loved ones in personal ways, and they can also help in personalizing the care the dying person receives.
By helping make death part of a natural process, rather than a sudden and separate event, the hospice experience leads to a funeral process and event that for many is more natural, more humane, and in many cases, more spiritual than what they have experienced by dealing only with the hospital. 
For more information please visit the hospice section of this site or call one of our counselors to find a hospice or funeral home near you.

5. Budget and explore financing options for the funeral in advance.

If you have time to prepare, there are many ways to reduce the financial stress of a funeral. And your Remembrance Providers℠ can help here. Also, if you have traditional insurance, your Remembrance Provider℠ can help process this for you. In addition, Remembrance Providers℠ can discuss various approaches to making sure you get the funeral you want, in a way that matches your budget, so that you can focus on moving from grieve to remembrance. They can also tell you about final expense insurance, which is inexpensive and generally available to people 50-85.

6. Connect with a clergyman or spiritual counselor to help your family through this time.

End of life is a difficult passage, and for many families, the counsel and advice provided by experienced ministers or clergy can be a significant aid. Even for families who may not be actively involved in a church, the guidance and support of a clergyman or woman can be wonderfully comforting. In addition, many families may need advice on religious traditions that their parents observed, and which they would like to honor.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The Sympathy Store: My Soul Lives On Blanket

This inspirational throw offers support to those in need. An intricate border encloses these words of support.

• This Tapestry Throw is 54 inches wide by 70 inches tall, and is woven from 100% cotton.
• Soft Luscious feel with a quality and texture that only comes through weaving.
• Woven from 100% cotton ensuring vibrant colors.
• Jacquard woven style lends a dynamic, textured look.
• Hand finished for uniqueness.
• Woven in the USA.
Poem reads:
I am not gone.
My soul lives on
but in better place
Surrounded by the
Light of God
in all his glory
and grace.

Click HERE for more information

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Cremation And Permanent Remembrance

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.