Dealing with Death

Dealing with Death

6 Things A Funeral Director Can Do For You After The Death Of A Loved One

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One of the most difficult times any one has to contend with is the passing of a loved one. You have to mourn and at the same time come to terms with the sudden loss. In the midst of all that, a funeral director plays the crucial role of organising all the aspects of the funeral activities. This not only relieves you of the duties, it ensures you have adequate time to mourn. In all, a funeral director can handle the following processes for you: Relocation to the funeral home Once you have been alerted of the death, it is important that you engage a funeral director as soon as possible. With the authority to act on your behalf, they will see that the deceased’s body is removed from the hospital or government facility and placed in the funeral home. This way, the body will be in a facility of your choosing where the best care possible can be administered. Embalming & dressing After being placed in the funeral home, the funeral director will oversee the embalming process. They will advise you on what needs to be done depending on the condition of the deceased. Once done, the body will be prepared for viewing through cleaning, dressing and beautification. The funeral director will liaise with you to decide the best outfit and presentation for the deceased. Organizing viewing & wakes A funeral director will also actively organize viewing and wakes for the deceased. Considering you cannot be present at the funeral home all the time, the funeral director will be more conveniently placed to do so round the clock. In the process, they will arrange other matters such as what music to be played and what flowers to be placed in the viewing room. Handling legal requirements As the funeral arrangements progress, the funeral director will ensure that all the legal paperwork required is attended to. This involves applying for death certificates and seeking burial permits. They will also notify any other next of kin or legal representatives of the deceased. Organising the funeral service The focal point of the funeral director’s duties is organising the funeral itself. Here, he or she will organise the chapel to be used, hearse transport for the body, burial/cremation sites, as well as any notifications that need to be placed in the local media. They will also coordinate the funeral service, whether religious or non-religious. Memorial tributes Last but not least, your funeral director can help you create a memorial tribute for the deceased. This will help preserve their memory in a way that they would have wanted. This may include placing memorial articles in the newspapers, creating a memorial website, hosting a memorial event, etc. A funeral director therefore plays a focal role in helping you arrange the last farewell to loved ones, coordinating all the processes and ensuring nothing is overlooked. Consult with a director from a funeral home like Lee Adam Funeral Services if you have specific questions about the funeral planning...

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A Quick Checklist for Preplanning Your Own Funeral Services

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Preplanning your own funeral services can ensure that your wishes are followed and that your family doesn’t need to worry about the planning after you’ve passed away. Paying for a funeral in advance can also help you to spend down your assets, if you need to do this to qualify for certain government aid. When you’re ready to preplan your own funeral, note a quick checklist of things to include and consider with a funeral director from a service like Chapel of the Holy Family. 1. Location of services Do you want services at a particular church or synagogue or other religious building, or do you prefer to have your services in a funeral home? Do you only want a graveside service, or would you want a few words spoken at the grave after the actual funeral service? Note that there may be costs involved even if you plan on using a church or other religious building, so you need to include this direction so your wishes are respected and so you can budget accordingly. 2. Nature of services How do you want your services to be conducted? Do you prefer something very religious and that will include your own religious beliefs, or are you an atheist who wants to avoid having religion mentioned during your funeral talk? Are there certain life events you want mentioned during your services, or do you prefer a short discourse that only mentions highlights of your life? In some cases you may want to write out an outline of the services and then discuss this with a funeral director or your clergyperson, and get their feedback as to how your services will be handled and what they might suggest to include or remove from the discourse.  3. Burial or cremation Do you want to be buried or cremated? If you want to be buried, what type of burial do you prefer? This means the type of casket you want and cemetery you’ve chosen, or if you want a burial at sea or other location. Many today are opting for what is called a natural burial, which includes a grass casket or simple body wrap, as these break down and decay more easily and don’t release toxins into the ground as they do.  If you prefer to be cremated, where will your ashes be stored? Will you release these to a family member or have them stored in a columbarium, which is a type of building that holds such ashes? Do you want your ashes released somewhere in particular? Note all these details in your...

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How to Make the Most of a Memorial Video Tribute

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Using video tributes to honour a lost loved one has become a popular feature of funerals in recent years. It serves as a chance to tell a person’s life story in an intimate and unforgettable way. Using the following tips, you can ensure that your loved one’s tribute video is the best it can be. Ask plenty of questions If you’re aiming to capture the true essence of a loved one through images, you’re not going to do them justice by making do with the photos in your possession. Use this opportunity to find out anything and everything you can about this person from friends and family to create a video that best tells their stories. You could enquire about things like: Their favourite hobbies Proudest achievements Favourite childhood memories Happiest/funniest moments Most cherished items Bring their story alive by sourcing the images or footage that can relate to these moments. If this isn’t possible, try to go beyond photos of the person and instead, scan or take snaps of treasured items and locations that may help tell the story too. The more you ask, the more material you’ll have at your disposal to truly capture their spirit and make the day everything they would have hoped for. Weave the tribute into the eulogy Your loved one deserves far better than a dull, impersonal slideshow, which is why you could consider making the video tribute part and parcel of the eulogy itself. Throughout the eulogy, for example, you could have the vicar or eulogy reader refer to appropriate images or footage as they recount the life story of your loved one. If time allows, relevant photo captions could also be read to pinpoint their best moments and memories. Whether this is done in a random, humorous manner or referenced in chronological order to tell their life from beginning to end, this will enhance the experience and may help provide greater closure for those closest to the deceased. To further extend the tribute, you could also consider creating a companion memory book containing the images and eulogy transcript for family members to take home with them. Experiment with video effects A steady slideshow pace may be appropriate for such a sombre occasion, but there’s no harm in mixing things up when creating your tribute. Playing with different effects can inject personality into your offering and achieve a more positive emotional impact. Ditch the samey, monotonous effects and instead try out varying colours and transition speeds for each photo. For example, use colour in more light-hearted/humorous photos and use clean, crisp greyscale for others. Video clips will also benefit from varying speeds of slow motion and regular to keep the video engaging. Providing this little extra detail can make your tribute more memorable and leave more of a lasting impression on guests. This tribute may well be converted into a DVD to provide a comforting keepsake for family members, so bear this in mind in relation to how much effort is put into it. However you decide to celebrate your loved one’s life through a tribute video, funeral directors like Tony Hollands Funerals can provide further assistance in the timing and organisation of the service—ensuring the end result is perfectly tailored to your lost loved...

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How to Have a Greener Funeral

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Eco-funerals are currently a hot topic among the environmentally aware in society. Opting for a greener send-off to the next life doesn’t mean cheap and nasty; the arrangements can be just as respectful to the deceased as a traditional funeral. Here are some ideas to help you plan a greener final journey. Biodegradable coffins These days, people are much more aware of the impact of unregulated or illegal logging, and the devastating effect it can have on what remains of the earth’s rainforests. Consequently, biodegradable coffins and caskets are in great demand. This has spawned a whole new industry and you now have a wide range of burial furniture to choose from. How about a coffin made from cardboard or wicker, bamboo, straw or banana leaves? Believe it or not, you could even be laid to rest in a coffin fabricated entirely from wool. If you prefer the idea of a more traditional-looking coffin but without using wood taken from rainforest trees, look no further than the new sustainable versions made from FSC certified wood and 80% waste wood product. Even the coffin lining is made from natural cotton fibre. Floral tributes Whilst floral tributes certainly look beautiful atop a coffin en route to the crematorium or church, cut flowers are environmentally very expensive. Often the blooms are ‘forced’ in artificially heated hothouses before being transported hundreds of miles to retail outlets which leaves a huge carbon footprint.  Instead of flowers why not opt for a living tree to be planted in your memory? Choose a variety that is in decline as a way of helping the world to regenerate in the future. Alternatively, request that mourners make a donation to an eco-charity of your choice. Sustainable cremation Whilst it’s true to say that being cremated is not the most sustainable exit option, you can opt to have your ashes made into something of benefit to the planet. How about having your cremated remains transformed into an artificial coral reef? Natural reefs around the world are under threat from the effects of global warming and human-inflicted damage. Artificial reefs provide a habitat for marine life that would otherwise be lost. Bio-urns Another popular option is to have your ashes placed inside a fully biodegradable urn. A tree seed is placed within the ashes and the whole thing is buried. The seed germinates and begins to grow, the urn decomposes providing fertiliser for the tree, and everything eventually returns to the earth from whence it came. If you’re concerned for the environment and would like to leave the planet a little greener for your grandchildren, you may want to opt for an eco-funeral. Have an informal chat with local funeral services to discuss what arrangements they could make for you, and to find out what green or woodland burial sites are available in your...

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Top Tips for Hosting a Modern Wake

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Once a traditional Irish ceremony designed to watch over the body and prepare the deceased for burial, the wake is witnessing a modern non-secular revival. If you are planning on hosting a wake to celebrate the life of a dearly departed friend or family member, consider some of the tips below to guide you during this difficult time of grief. Location Traditionally held in the home of the deceased, a modern wake is best held in a home environment. Many wakes are now held in a large, hired venue or at a local bar- this is not recommended as the atmosphere should be casual, comfortable and focused on celebration, not ‘drowning sorrows’. Keep the occasion relaxed and friendly by hosting the wake in the home of a loved one or close friend. Timing To hold the wake before or after the funeral is a personal choice, best made by the next-of-kin and closest family members. The traditional wake was a gathering prior to burial, however many modern wakes are held post-funeral- hosting a party prior to a funeral could be construed as insensitive. As a viewing of the body is usually hosted at the funeral home and is a rather subdued affair, a wake can be organised as a separate occasion focused on shared commemoration. Guests The next-of-kin should have the final decision on whether to hold the wake. It is important to invite all people who had a strong connection with the deceased, as those who are not invited may feel excluded. Expect some people to not attend, as they may find the practice personally confronting- however by extending the invitation they will feel involved in the collective grieving process. A wake is not usually an occasion fit for children attendance. If there is a group of older children who had a deep connection with the deceased who would like to attend the wake, you may want to set aside a separate area with age-appropriate activities. Food and Beverages Good food and plenty of beverages is the standard for a wake. If you would like to limit the intoxication of guests, serve a plentiful assortment of finger foods throughout the wake to ensure alcoholic beverages are not consumed on an empty stomach. If the deceased was particularly fond of a specific beverage or type of food, you may want to offer this as a form of remembrance- you may even find it becomes a conversation point and evokes fond memories of the deceased. Laughs Most importantly, the modern wake is a time for celebrating life. Recount personal stories and encourage other guests to share their favourite experiences with the deceased. If you are concerned that it may be difficult to break the ice initially, you may want to jot down a few fun memories to have on hand, in case you cannot think of a light-hearted tale in the heat of the moment. If the departed had a comedic nature, the wake is a wonderful opportunity to share jokes- either ones they told you personally, or anecdotes you think they would have enjoyed. Good company, good food, a relaxed atmosphere and a few laughs—the perfect way to commemorate the life of a loved one or dear friend. For more information, contact David W...

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