Learning About Urns and Caskets

Keeping Guests Calm During A Funeral Service Or Wake

Posted by on Oct 21st, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Keeping Guests Calm During A Funeral Service Or Wake

If you recently had a loved one pass away, and you are in the midst of planning for a funeral service to memorialize their life, you may be concerned about the reactions guests will have as they attend to say their goodbyes. Many friends and family members of someone who passes away will display signs of sadness, or perhaps even anger, when attending a funeral service or wake. Here are some steps you can take to help keep those attending from becoming publicly embarrassed should their emotions get a hold of them during a funeral. Provide A Secluded Area For Guests To Utilize It is a good idea to ask the funeral director if they have a room away from the hub bub of the funeral where those who are feeling exceptionally emotional can get away from the crowd for a bit. Place several boxes of tissues, snacks, and bottles of water in this room for guest usage. It is a nice idea to place a basket containing makeup remover and a few cosmetics inside a restroom for those who need to touch up their appearance should it become altered from tears. Provide a compact disc player or radio so guests can listen to relaxing music. These small touches will allow someone to regain their composure during this difficult time.  Enlist A Family Member To Provide Support Ask a family member or two to help you greet guests as they arrive to the funeral parlor. Throughout the wake or funeral, have these people watch over those attending. If they notice someone who is having a hard time with the process of saying farewell, they can go up to this person to offer them a tissue or shoulder to lean on if needed. Those who arrive at the event on their own may find the funeral to be very difficult as they would not have someone readily available to speak with. Simply having someone available to provide support can help those feeling emotional get through the event without embarrassing outbursts. Keep Guests Busy To Distract Them During The Event Giving guests a few tasks to engage themselves with leading up to the funeral may help them remain their composure. Provide a guest sign-in book for those attending to browse through should they feel sadness creeping into their thoughts. Several posters of pictures of the diseased will also allow those attending to reflect on the positive aspects of the person’s life. These additions will distract guests from constant sadness, allowing them to keep their emotions from getting the best of them during the...

read more

5 Top Things To Consider When Writing An Online Obituary

Posted by on Aug 3rd, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 5 Top Things To Consider When Writing An Online Obituary

A loved one’s obituary is probably going to be one of the hardest things that you feel compelled to write. Yes, it is your opportunity to tell the world anything special and significant about the person, but the weight of this responsibility can add stress to an already difficult time. Nowadays, nearly every obituary is written to be placed online. Even if it will also be placed in a newspaper, an online version is likely to be requested by the newspaper and/or funeral home. Here are five of the top things you need to consider when writing an online obituary for your loved one. Tip #1: Be as specific as you are comfortable being. Many people come to an obituary to read about the person and also are curious about how they passed away. This is especially true for younger people who pass away. While you are under no obligation to share the details of the death in an obituary, it can be a helpful thing to provide readers. It will also prevent people from asking you the cause of death and prevent the pain that may stir up each time it’s asked. Tip #2: Keep final grievances out of the write-up. All people are flawed, and you could probably list things about the deceased that upset you at one point or another. If you have major grievances, yet are tasked with the responsibility of writing the obituary, refrain from giving in to the temptation of telling the dirty details in the obituary. Tip #3: Write the obituary as a record for the person’s children. When you are composing an obituary, keep in mind that the children of the deceased will likely save the obituary and may share it widely. You want to write a story of the person that their children can be proud to share. It should be something that can comfort them. That can help you best decide what to put in the obituary and what to edit. Tip #4: Elaborate on interesting areas. Obituaries are boring when they only state the bare bones of someone’s life. Listing where someone was born and died is an important part of an obituary, but millions of people are born and die in the same cities. What is important are the details of the person’s life. While you will likely be on a word limit for the obituary, assess the interesting stories that you know about the person and include the best ones. Tip #5: Keep attempts at humor out of the obituary. Unless the deceased person was especially noted for their sense of humor to the point where it is the most significant thing you remember about them, don’t make jokes in their obituary. It can be seen as tacky and tasteless by loved ones and strangers alike. Sometimes humor doesn’t translate well online, and an obituary is not a place to test out the material. Instead, keep it informative and, when possible, uplifting in how it talks of the deceased person. Finally, keep in mind that you should simply focus on sharing what was best and most loved about the deceased. As long as your writing is genuine and from the heart, you are already one step ahead of the game as long as you follow these...

read more

Making Sure Your Family Has the Grief Support It Needs

Posted by on Jul 25th, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Making Sure Your Family Has the Grief Support It Needs

As you create your funeral pre-plan, one consideration to have is that the funeral home has adequate grief support for your family. After you pass away, your family members may respond to their loss in a number of ways. The grief support services in the funeral home will help them through their loss. Investigate what your chosen funeral home offers for grief support and decide whether it is sufficient for your family. Here are some of the ways that grief support can be handled by a funeral home. Professional Grief Counselors on Staff Some funeral homes hire trained grief counselors as full-time staff members. These grief counselors work out of the funeral home and offer a number of services, such as educational programs to help the public understand the grief process and how to manage it support groups where people affected by the loss of a loved one can share their experiences of moving through the grief individual sessions for those people who prefer one-on-one counseling rather than a group setting These counselors are there to focus on the needs of families using that funeral home. Contracted Grief Counselors A funeral home can also use the services of grief counselors from outside of the funeral home. These counselors offer some of the same services as noted above, but they will often work out of their own offices, which requires your family to go to a different location for help. The counselors also maintain a private practice and see other clients, which may make it harder for your family to schedule time with the grief counselor. Referral to Grief Support Organizations Smaller funeral homes may not directly offer grief services. Instead, they may help your family to connect with organizations in the community that offer support. This may be a good option if your family responds better to a more specific type of grief counseling, such as support by religious organizations that do counseling within that particular belief system counseling by professionals trained to work with children or people with special needs The Need for Grief Counseling Everyone processes grief differently. Your family may find that the support they give each other is enough to help them move through the process. But when grief becomes a deterrent to a family member’s daily activities, they will need the additional support that the funeral home may offer. Make sure that you are comfortable with the type of assistance the funeral home can give your family. Then you’ll know that you are leaving your family in good...

read more

5 Tips For Balancing Your Bereavement And Your Budget

Posted by on Jul 7th, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 5 Tips For Balancing Your Bereavement And Your Budget

With prices of funerals rising all the time – coupled with so much emotion involved in the process of planning one – it can be easy to let it break the bank. But if you’re on a budget, it’s important to know how you can save money and avoid some of the financial pitfalls of making funeral arrangements. Here are 5 top ways to keep any memorial on a budget. Recognize a Sales Pitch. There are ways that funeral home staff can steer you toward choices that cost more, so be aware of such pitches. This can include phrases like, “I’m sure you want what’s best for…” or “This is the last thing you will do for…” Remember that your love is not determined by how much you spend on a memorial service. Ask for the Price List. The Federal Trade Commission’s “Funeral Rule” says that you have the right to see a general price list when seeking a funeral home’s services. Often, this price list will help you save money over package deals being offered. Use the price list to price out only the services you want and need, then comparison shop. Bring Someone More Objective. Because this is an especially difficult time for those who loved the deceased, making choices may not be best left up to them alone. When meeting with funeral staff to make decisions, it’s good to bring a friend who wasn’t quite as close to your loved one as you are. Discuss what your budget is and what type of service you want before you reach the funeral home, then let them help guide you to make the right choices. Seek Less Expensive Alternatives. There are a number of ways to find cheaper versions of the basic funeral necessities. You can often save a lot of money by shopping online, even at big box stores that you might not normally expect to carry things like caskets, urns and flowers. If the deceased was a veteran, you may be able to have a funeral for little or no cost through Veterans Affairs, too. Consider Unusual Options. Many people assume you must have certain things for a funeral. Embalming, for example, may not be necessary if the viewing will be held shortly after the passing. You can also often rent a casket or choose a low-cost model (generally not shown unless asked for). Consider a less formal memorial without the body present – an option that can save a lot of money and still provide a beautiful remembrance. By knowing how to avoid some of the costly choices offered by a funeral home and what alternatives there are, you can plan a memorial or funeral that will honor your loved one without sacrificing your financial future.  Be sure to use a trustworthy funeral home, such as Morris Nilsen Funeral...

read more

How To Maintain Proper Funeral Etiquette

Posted by on Jun 28th, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Maintain Proper Funeral Etiquette

Funeral directors receive many questions about funeral etiquette. It is especially difficult for those who weren’t close to the family but want to share their condolences and say goodbye to a friend or colleague. Here are four tips to maintain proper funeral etiquette, regardless of who you are saying goodbye to. You Don’t Need to Wear All Black Unless it has been specifically requested by the family or the deceased, all black isn’t a requirement or expected for funerals anymore. People tend to wear darker colors, but they may be blues and purples instead. Some people will even request bright colors to say goodbye to loved ones. It is best to err on the side of caution when arranging your outfit. If you’re not sure, darker colors are better and stick to a conservative style. This is a time for people to mourn the deceased and not talk about your outfit. Family Sit at the Front The first couple of pews are usually reserved for family members of the deceased. This will depend on the size of the family, and those who were classed as family by the deceased. If you’re just visiting and don’t really know the family then step back from the first couple of rows and then seat yourself where you feel comfortable. If you are a family member and find yourself isolated at the back, you can move forward. When there are people who are not family, you can also politely request that they move to allow you to say goodbye to your family member. Funeral directors are there to help with this if you have trouble or feel uncomfortable asking. When the room is full and people are standing, funeral directors will also look out for those with a disability or unable to stand for long periods of time. Do give up your seat if you find there is someone unable to stand for the whole service. Don’t Worry About Greeting Everyone You don’t need to make the rounds to greet everyone at the funeral. Make sure you share your condolences to the main family members, saying hello and maybe discuss how you knew the deceased. During the wake, you can then chat to people you know. There will be some who want to know who you are, so just remain polite and remember this is a day for people to remember the deceased. They just want to know more about the loved one’s life. As a family member, you may not be able to get to speak to everyone. You certainly don’t need to get into a deep conversation with anyone. A “hello” and “thank you” is often enough.  Try talking to a funeral home, such as Michels & Lundquist Funeral Home, for more...

read more

Quell Your Nerves When Delivering A Eulogy With These Strategies

Posted by on Jun 8th, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Quell Your Nerves When Delivering A Eulogy With These Strategies

Delivering a eulogy at the funeral service of a family member or close friend is an honor, but it’s also something that can keep you up the night before as you fret about speaking in public. If you’ve decided to accept the honor of speaking at the service but want to be as calm and confident as possible, there are a variety of techniques you can use. Most people know about the importance of being prepared and taking deep breaths, but there are other ways that you can feel less nervous, despite the importance of the moment. Here are some strategies to try. Get Beta Blockers From Your Doctor A trip to your family doctor in advance of the funeral service can be beneficial as a way to reduce your anxiety when delivering the eulogy. Ask your doctor for a prescription for beta blockers. These pills are designed to essentially prevent your body from reacting physically to the anxiety you’re experiencing, which can be hugely helpful. For example, when you’re already nervous, you’ll only get yourself more worked up when you feel your knees shaking and notice sweat on your palms. The beta blockers temporarily shut off these symptoms, which means that your body won’t be worsening any anxiety you’re feeling. Admit That You’re Nervous Even though the eulogy is about remembering the person who has passed away, it’s acceptable to interject a little bit about yourself into your remarks — after all, you’ll likely be talking about your relationship with the person. There’s no harm in admitting that you’re nervous. Early on, say something such as, “I’m extremely nervous about any type of public speaking, but I couldn’t think of turning down the honor of eulogizing Dave. Let’s get through this together,” for example. Sharing your feelings can take some pressure off; the group already knows that you’re nervous, so you’ll feel less worked up if you slip up over your words. Avoid Focusing On The Crowd Some people advocate finding a friendly face in the funeral home and making eye contact, but this process can be risky. As you scan the crowd while giving a eulogy, you’re likely to find faces that are emotional, frowning or looking down — not exactly what you want to feel supported. Instead, avoid looking at faces in the crowd. Pick a spot at the rear of the room, such as the clock hanging above the door, and deliver your speech to this area. This way, you won’t risk getting flustered by the less-than-ideal facial expression of someone in the crowd. For more information about giving a eulogy, see Shepherd Funeral Home or another funeral home near...

read more

Tips For Showing Support Beyond The Funeral Service

Posted by on Jun 7th, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips For Showing Support Beyond The Funeral Service

It can be extremely difficult to witness a loved one enveloped in the pain that grief causes. You may want to do everything within your power to ease one’s suffering after someone they care about passes away. Being there and showing you care at this time is a way to express your love that will always be remembered. The good news is that there are things that can you can do even beyond the funeral that can provide ongoing comfort to your loved one as they face the death in coming days, weeks, and months. Check In Often You will need to put extra effort into the friendship when someone is grieving. While they may have previously thought to call you frequently, they may temporarily stop reaching out for a variety of reasons. They may even be afraid of being bad company or burdening you with their pain. Reach out to your loved one even more often than you did before the funeral. If you had weekly phone calls, try to call twice per week. Make Plans When somebody is in the grip of grief, they are likely not going to want to expend emotional and mental energy on doing stuff like planning fun outings. However, getting out of the house and having a good time can be exactly what they need. Try to plan out fun outings or maybe even entire afternoons, then call up and invite your loved one along. Offer Specific Help It’s common for people to say, “Call me or email me if you need anything.” However, someone who is suffering with prolonged grief is not likely to feel up to that. Rather than make them reach out and ask for favors they may be afraid to seek, assess the situation. Think of the unique needs of your loved one and offer to take care of specific tasks that may be trying to them when they’re hurting. If the person is not a good cook, you may plan and deliver meals a few times per week. If they’re overwhelmed with parenting responsibilities in the midst of grief, you may offer to babysit often. Finally, keep in mind that simply showing up can be the biggest help to your loved one. Some people disappear at difficult times, and after the funeral, many more tend to slowly drift away. Showing that you continue to care throughout the entire painful healing journey will go a long way to strengthen the bond you have with your loved one. Funeral homes, such as Elmwood Meunier Funeral Home, can also provide advice in this...

read more

How To Save Some Money When Making Funeral Arrangements

Posted by on May 27th, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Save Some Money When Making Funeral Arrangements

Making funeral arrangements can be a difficult, especially when it comes to figuring out how to afford all of it. To help you keep the costs down, you will want to make use of the following tips. Buy A Casket Somewhere Else You do not have to purchase the casket from the funeral home. While they might sell them, you have the option to comparison shop and look for cheaper options. There are now some major wholesale stores that are selling caskets. You also have the option to purchase one online directly from the manufacturer of the casket. Just make sure that you are speaking with the funeral home about the delivery of the casket so there is no confusion. Ask if it can be shipped straight to the funeral home. Otherwise, you will simply have to keep it at your home until the funeral home is ready for it. When they are ready to use the casket, you can simply place it in the back of a truck and take it to them. Skip A Day Of Viewing While it might be nice to have as many viewing days as possible, it might not be feasible with your budget. This is because the funeral home will charge you a fee for each day that the viewing room is reserved for your family and friends. Instead of two days of viewing, you might want to cut it down to one day of viewing. If you are working with an extremely tight budget, you can skip having a viewing day and simply invite friends and family for the funeral service, where they can then pay their final respects. Consider The Option Of Cremation When you opt to have your loved one cremated, instead of having them buried, you will save a lot of money. This is because you will not have to worry about the expense of purchasing a burial plot in a cemetery or a headstone. You also do not have to purchase a casket, as the caskets used for viewing purposes before the cremation are not used in the actual cremation process. Most funeral homes have caskets that they rent out to families who have decided to go with cremation but would still like to hold a viewing for all of their family and friends. With those three helpful suggestions in mind, you should have no trouble figuring out how to save money on the cost of the...

read more

Materials To Consider When Picking Out A Memorial For A Recently Deceased Loved One

Posted by on May 17th, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Materials To Consider When Picking Out A Memorial For A Recently Deceased Loved One

Shortly after the passing of a loved one, you’ll want to take the time to find the right memorial to mark their grave site. You’ll need to understand the options you have and the limitations of the cemetery. When starting your search for the perfect headstone, here are some of the items you’ll need to know. Get the Restrictions from the Cemetery Every cemetery will have a number of rules concerning the types of memorials allowed. Make sure you understand these before starting your quest. The rules will specify such items as: the materials allowed for a memorial the size and shape allowed for a memorial the accessories allowed on a memorial, such as vases or statues the requirement for the memorial to be placed on a base With these restrictions in hand, you can begin your search by deciding on the material you wish for the headstone. Common Materials Used for Headstones Marble – This is a traditional stone that can be carved into simple shapes and engraved with your inscriptions. Marble can be found in a variety of colors. It can be polished to a high gloss or left with its matte appearance. Granite – This has become a favorite for headstones because of its durability. Marble can weather slightly over time, making the engraving difficult to read. Granite takes much longer to show signs of wear. Granite can be carved into the same shapes as marble and polished or left with its natural look. Bronze – This is the metal traditionally used for headstones. It is poured into molds so it can be made into shapes that stone cannot. Bronze memorials are etched with inscriptions and are unaffected by the weather. Bronze must be polished periodically to prevent a patina from forming and dulling its shine. Concrete – This material can also be poured into molds to create a variety of shapes. It can be tinted and textured to look like stone or wood. Glass – This material can be tinted and then cast into a number of shapes. Inscriptions are permanently etched into the surface. Mix and Match Materials If allowed by the cemetery, you can mix a variety of materials together in one memorial. Some suggestions include: a granite headstone with bronze flower vases set on the base a marble headstone with concrete statuary attached to the base a bronze memorial with a marble base and pillars at each side Talk to a supplier, like http://pemibakermemorials.com, for more...

read more

How To Save Money When Shopping For Headstones

Posted by on May 4th, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Save Money When Shopping For Headstones

If you are in need of a headstone for a loved one, you might be worried about cost. If you want to make sure that you are going to be able to find a quality headstone without going deep into debt to buy it, you will want to make use of the following tips.   Shop Online Do not make the mistake of assuming that your only option is to shop locally at a monument company. You can find many online stores that sell headstones that will work perfectly for the grave that you are trying to mark. The best part of shopping online for headstones is that you are able to easily comparison-shop among different stones and companies in order to make sure that you are getting the perfect headstone for the best possible price. Once you find the perfect headstone, you can pay online and they can ship it directly to the burial site so that it can be placed on the grave. Shop For Slabs Of Stone That You Can Have Engraved Instead of shopping through a traditional headstone company, you can shop for chunks or slabs of granite or other materials and those can be used as headstones. Many stone companies will have leftover pieces that they may be willing to sell to the public at a discounted price because the pieces are too small for them to use for any job. Then, all you have to do is find someone that can engrave the stone with the name, dates of birth and death, and anything else you would want on it. Just make sure that you are getting permission from the cemetery so you can use a unique stone as the grave marker. The reason this is important is because some cemeteries have very strict rules about the measurements of the stones that are allowed to be used as headstones.  Look For Discounted Headstones Call around to your local headstone companies to see if they have any discounted stones for sale. These might have been stones that were a special order by a customer who never came back to finish paying for it. Therefore, the company simply wants to get it sold so it is out of their way and they are not missing out on all of the money. There may also be some headstones that have a small chip in the corner of the stone. If it is not a very large chip, you may find that it is barely noticeable but it is enough to give a discount over it. With those few tips in mind, you should have little trouble finding a headstone that fits your budget....

read more