How to Choose a Burial Outfit

October 14th, 2014

How To Choose A Burial OutfitEven if an open casket doesn’t figure into your funeral plans, the outfit you decide to bury or cremate a loved one in is an important decision to make. Over time, the clothes will decay or be incinerated in the same way that the body will be, but this loving gesture is one of the last you’ll make regarding the deceased’s physical remains.

Choosing from the Deceased’s Personal Effects

The majority of people choose to have a loved one buried in a favorite outfit or uniform. Military clothes, professional formal wear, Sunday best, or a team jersey are all among the most popular options—and with good reason. Not only will these items already fit the deceased’s body, but they usually carry some kind of personal association. It is often helpful for mourners to think of the deceased moving on in an outfit that brought them joy or comfort during their lifetime. Read the rest of this entry »

Should I Attend a Funeral?

October 10th, 2014


Should I attend a funeral

For many people, there’s no question of whether or not to attend a funeral. If the deceased was a close friend or relative—or if there was a strong emotional connection—your grief will compel you to attend if only so you can get the closure you seek. For some people, however (particularly when the deceased was an acquaintance or connection rather than a true friend), there may be a question of whether or not you want to attend. In addition to needing to take time off work, you may feel uncomfortable or unwelcome without a direct family invitation.

There are a number of different factors that should go in to the decision-making process. Depending on the nature of your relationship with the deceased and the family, here are a few questions you may want to consider. Read the rest of this entry »

Sympathy Gifts for the Loss of a Pet

October 8th, 2014

Sympathy Gifts for the Loss of a PetFor many people, the death of a pet is just as emotionally devastating as the loss of a human friend or relative. Pets often serve as companions for decades at a time, and to lose them suddenly can cause deep feelings of regret and grief.

Because society doesn’t view funeral planning for pets the same way it does the death of a person, it’s often more difficult for people to cope with their loss. Support networks may not be as readily available, and it’s rare to get time off from work or access to other bereavement resources. People may become withdrawn or feel isolated because of the lack of sympathy from the outside.

 Why Send Funeral Gifts for Animals?

Sympathy gifts for dogs, cats, and other animals are a great way to show a loved one that you recognize their loss—even if you don’t quite understand it. By treating the death of a pet as you would the death of a human friend, you are validating their feelings of grief and providing a lasting memento keepsake. (Like sending funeral flowers or a bereavement gift basket, you can also show your support from a long distance.) Read the rest of this entry »

Human Burial in a Pet Cemetery

September 10th, 2014

Beloved dog visiting a cemetery with ownerThere’s good news for pet lovers who want to spend eternity by their beloved animals’ side—according to new regulations in the state of New York, it’s now legal for pet cemeteries operating in the state to accept human remains (in cremated form) to be buried alongside deceased pets.

A dispute about the legality of this practice was brought to light several years ago, when New York state officials refused to let Read the rest of this entry »

Funeral Etiquette: Funerals and Divorce

September 5th, 2014

Ex-spousesFuneral etiquette is complicated even under the most traditional of family circumstances, so when you throw in blended families and issues related to divorce and remarriage, things can quickly become tangled up. Is it acceptable to go to the funeral of an ex-spouse? What about extended family of your ex to whom you remained close? And what happens if you are footing part of the bill for the burial?  Read the rest of this entry »

Kids and Death: Alternatives to a Funeral

September 2nd, 2014

Child's beloved toy set aside in a cornerNot every child is emotionally equipped to attend a funeral, and not every funeral is welcoming to attendees under a certain age. The decision of whether or not to bring kids to a funeral has long been a source of contention within families, and there is no easy answer regarding whether or not it’s acceptable. In almost all cases, it comes down to the child’s age, the child’s relationship to the deceased, and the wishes of the family.

Read the rest of this entry »

Using Technology to Connect with the Dead

August 29th, 2014

Social network of relatives and friendsBefore we had YouTube and home video recorders, prior to social media and voice recordings that could be stored online, there were few ways to connect on a personal level with the deceased. You might be able to look through old photos or visit the cemetery to help you in your grief. Personal belongings might also contain memories and—if it hasn’t been too long—may even retain sensory impressions, like the lingering scent of a favorite cologne.

These sorts of tenuous connections to the past are important in the Read the rest of this entry »

What Will the Funeral of the Future Look Like?

August 26th, 2014

Growing city skylineAlthough the funeral industry is typically slower to change than many other fields, there have been great advances lately regarding burial options, memorial services, and funeral technology. More and more people are turning to online platforms to share their grief and make their advance funeral plans, and the traditions of the past—heavy on the more ornate process of burial in a cemetery—are being set aside for more streamlined funeral options. Read the rest of this entry »

Common Funeral Planning Mistakes

August 20th, 2014

Grief - man with white roses at urn funeralFuneral planning is never an easy task, especially since it’s something few people are trained for (and because it’s something you hopefully don’t have to practice very often). Being caught unaware of the correct protocol is one of the easiest ways to overpay or get taken advantage of, which is why it’s a good idea to become familiar with the biggest funeral planning pitfalls ahead of time.  Read the rest of this entry »

Financial Spring Cleaning

August 5th, 2014

Estate Planning PaperworkSpring is a time of renewal and rebirth, when the melting snow gives way to new life and people start reorganizing their closets for the warm season to come. Financial experts also suggest you use this time to consider pulling out your estate and funeral planning to ensure that everything is in order and up-to-date.

Where to Start?

When we talk about making advance estate and funeral plans, we mean much more than putting money in a 401(k) or taking out a life insurance policy. While both these things are great first steps, they don’t encompass the breadth of options available to you as you organize your end-of-life plans. Read the rest of this entry »

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