Archive for February, 2012

Obituaries and Identity Theft

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Obituaries and Identity TheftFor most people, obituaries are a way to pay a tribute to a loved one and to advertise the time and place of a memorial service. Great time and care is taken to write the obituary in a way that honors the deceased, and a picture is lovingly selected to go along with it.

Unfortunately, not even death keeps predators away. The recently deceased are a target for identity theft, and one way in which people gather information on their victims is to search the obituary page for leads. The damages caused by this kind of crime can be catastrophic—especially for the grieving family. For example, if the spouse or partner of the deceased is still living, he or she may be held financially liable for the theft of monies or credit. It can also be a huge hassle to go through the police and credit agencies to prove that a theft occurred.

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Pet Memorial Gift Ideas

Monday, February 27th, 2012

Pet Memorial Gift IdeasMemorial gifts are a common way of demonstrating your grief and supporting a family member or friend as they move through their grief. The practice of offering a memorial gift (such as funeral flowers or an engraved memento) is one that has been increasing in popularity—and for more than just our human friends.

Losing a Pet

The loss of a pet can be as devastating as the loss of a human being, especially if someone has had their feline or canine companion for decades. For some people, moving on is as simple as finding a new four-legged friend; for others, it may be impossible to ever get over the death of a pet.

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Placing Mementos into a Loved One’s Casket

Friday, February 24th, 2012

Placing Mementos into a Loved One’s CasketToday’s funeral caskets have the option to come equipped with specialty drawers that allow you to incorporate a uniquely personal touch. Located on the lid or side panels, these memorial drawers are similar to ones you might find in a jewelry chest—small, elegant, and perfect for holding mementos that signify a lifetime of happiness.

The practice of placing memorial keepsakes with a body being prepared for burial is nothing new. In fact, it’s one of the oldest funeral traditions, as evident by the great tombs of Egypt and the remains of early humans found buried with their weapons, ceremonial jewelry, and cooking items. Although many civilizations did this because they believed the items would accompany the deceased through the underworld (or because they needed to be able to “pay” for the journey), others did it simply because it helps the healing process. There is something truly moving about knowing those we love will be near the things that mattered to them for all of eternity.

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What to Do if You Can’t Afford a Funeral

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

What to Do if You Can’t Afford a FuneralFor all the benefits of advance funeral planning, burial insurance, and the affordability of options like direct cremation, death is still a very costly affair. In fact, for some families, it’s too costly—and that’s when funeral planning can become a real problem. Although it isn’t something people like to think about (either in relation to their own life or in others), there are occasions in which it simply isn’t possible to pay for a funeral.

While this situation isn’t ideal, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have options. Government and church organizations exist to provide support, and you may be able to find a financing option that suits your lifestyle. If you are getting ready to plan a funeral and don’t have the available funds to cover it all, here are a few of the choices you face:

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Burial Alternatives: Mausoleums

Monday, February 20th, 2012

Burial Alternatives: Mausoleums Mausoleums are an alternative to earth burial that places the body to rest in an above-ground crypt. Most often associated with New Orleans, where the moist ground makes it impossible to bury human remains underground for any length of time, mausoleums are usually small house-like structures that are organized in a cemetery alongside other interment options. While beautiful and stately, mausoleums do have a tendency to be more expensive, and may even come with stipulations like sharing the space with other families.

All About Mausoleums

Mausoleums are one of the oldest types of formal burial in the world—in fact, the ancient pyramids of Egypt and the Taj Mahal in India are both examples of some of the more elaborate mausoleums in human history. The term is used to describe any outbuilding in which caskets are entombed, whether it is just one casket or several crypts in which various bodies can be laid to rest.

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Funeral Procession Etiquette

Friday, February 17th, 2012

Funeral Procession EtiquetteOne of the most time-honored funeral traditions is the procession. Once a time when carriages, people, and sometimes even hired mourners made a slow journey from the home of the deceased to the cemetery, funeral processions have long been a way to exhibit honor and grief at the passing of a loved one.

While few people make the trip on foot these days, the funeral procession is still a large part of many memorial services. In it, the line of mourners (usually with each family in their own vehicle) makes its way to the cemetery, following behind the hearse, limo, or even a police escort.

Because so many funeral homes are located some distance from the cemetery, it’s not uncommon for a procession to travel for a few miles. In these instances, it’s important to follow a few key funeral procession etiquette guidelines.

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Mourning Whitney Houston and Other Public Figures

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

When the news of Whitney Houston’s death became public on February 11, 2012, people of the world came together to share their shock and grief. Thanks to the prevalence of social media and how quickly information can be spread, the death of a high profile celebrity like Houston quickly takes the highlight as far as news goes, and the results can be seen in the outpouring of support for Houston’s family members, friends, and the millions of fans whose lives she touched.
Whitney Houston will always be remembered as a great singer.
But in our digital age, what is the funeral etiquette for this kind of situation? Many of us want to participate in the celebration of Houston’s life, but because Houston’s family has made her funeral a private affair, it’s impossible to show physical support. Even more importantly, we don’t want to be a burden on a family already going through the worst situation.

How to Mourn Celebrities

In almost all cases, celebrity funerals are private affairs open only to close family members and friends. This isn’t to keep the grieving public away, but rather to protect the family. For every truly compassionate person mourning a celebrity, there is usually another individual who wants to capitalize on the death or to make some kind of political statement.

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Choosing the Right Bereavement Counselor

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Choosing the Right Bereavement CounselorAfter the funeral planning is done and you’ve said your goodbyes, the real work of bereavement begins. For many people, it takes a lifetime of hard work to learn to cope with the loss of a loved one—and getting support right from the start is an important step in doing this.

Bereavement counselors are mental health professionals trained to work with people facing the loss of a friend, family member, or even a public or heroic figure. Grief hits everyone in a different way, and there is no right or wrong way to have feelings and process this grief. That’s why it is so important to find a bereavement counselor who is right for you. As is the case with any medical professional, there needs to be a foundation of trust and understanding before you can make the commitment to begin healing.

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The Three Most Common Times to Start Planning a Funeral

Monday, February 13th, 2012

The Three Most Common Times to Start Planning a FuneralMost people assume that funeral planning is something that happens once death occurs—which is part of the reason it gets such a bad reputation. There are few things worse than being forced to choose a casket, select a burial plot, and talk about ways to pay for a funeral while you’re still reeling from a sudden loss.

While the most common reason people plan a funeral is because a loved one has passed away, it’s not the only time for this task to get done. Here are the three top times for funeral planning and what each situation entails.

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Express Your Love with a Custom Cremation Urn

Friday, February 10th, 2012

Express Your Love with a Custom Cremation UrnBy Melody Jamali, CEO of Une Belle Vie Memorial Urns

Oftentimes, when a loved one passes away and they are cremated, you may feel pressured to make a selection quickly so that the cremation urn will be delivered as soon as possible. Sometimes this results in urn selections that are not the right fit for the deceased. The fact of the matter is you do not have a deadline to select or create your loved one’s urn. Take all the time you need to make a selection that feels right. In fact, for a way to perfectly honor your family member’s life, why not commission a custom cremation urn? They may take longer to receive, but in the end, you’ll have a lasting memorial created just for your loved one.

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