The death of a loved one is almost always a traumatic experience, but when death was caused by an infectious disease, it can become even more upsetting. Any time you are talking about an illness that has the potential to spread to other people (even after death occurs), you are probably going to have to deal with fear and revulsion from the community – and sometimes, even from funeral providers. (more…)
Archive for the ‘After Death’ Category
When a parent or loved one dies, their home is often one of the first items to be put on the market. Because a house is considered part of their estate, the sale of the house can be used to help pay for the funeral, settle debts, and serve as an inheritance for the family left behind. (more…)
After the funeral has come to an end and all the out-of-town guests have departed, you may find yourself facing an abundance of leftovers. From too many cakes and casseroles to vases full of funeral flowers, there tends to be quite a bit of overflow after the death of a loved one. (more…)
When a death occurs in your family, you may be required to notify your place of business or school that you will need a leave of absence for bereavement purposes. Although many companies have policies in place for bereavement leave, not all of them do, and you may or may not be granted the time off depending on how you craft your request. (more…)
One of the primary benefits of cremation is that you don’t have to hold a memorial service right away. With cremated remains, you can take days, weeks, months, or even years to get everyone together to hold a scattering ceremony. This kind of flexibility is important in our modern society, when families are spread out over the globe and can’t always rearrange their plans to travel to a funeral. (more…)
So much of planning a funeral has to do with the making burial preparations, reaching out to friends and family members, and finding ways to cope with your recent loss. And like many major life events and holidays, there is a kind of anticipation that goes into this planning process. Even though you may be feeling completely brokenhearted right now, the need to make decisions and put affairs in order provide a kind of foundation for getting through each day. (more…)
A funeral or memorial service is just the start of your bereavement process. Losing a loved one isn’t something you just “get over” or “recover from.” It’s a lifelong journey of finding ways to cope and enjoying the positive things that remain.
Funerals are a great way to kick start this grieving process, but they often leave a sense of emptiness behind. Once the funeral planning is done and the guests have departed, it’s time to begin finding your new path through life—often with only yourself to rely on.
For many, creating a memorial space at home is an ideal way to begin this journey of healing. In addition to allowing you a physical space to mourn (that’s not as far away as a cemetery), you may find comfort from having memories of the deceased so close by.
- Dedicate a space for the memorial. A mantelpiece is the most common location, but any niche or corner (or even a shelf on the bookcase) will do. A coffee table, a desk, or even an entire room you don’t use may also apply.
- Place an urn or photo in the space. If you had the deceased cremated, you can keep an urn of the ashes in the memorial space. If not, you can place a photograph or beloved item (shoes, a stuffed animal, a favorite hat, a trophy, an award medal, a wedding ring) in the center location. Anything that reminds you of the deceased and brings you joy will work.
- Consider flowers, decorations, and other commemorative items. There’s no rule about how many things you need to put in a memorial space, so feel free to include anything you feel is relevant to your relationship with your loved one. Some people also like to put up seasonal items (in much the same way you might place seasonal decorations at a grave site).
- Burn candles or make offerings. Depending on your spiritual beliefs, you may want to light special candles or burn incense. Aromatherapy candles can provide a double benefit if you choose soothing, healing scents that bring you personal comfort or remind you of the deceased. (Make sure you never leave anything on fire unattended.)
- Keep it up as long as you need. The great thing about a memorial space in your home is that you can keep it up year-round, and with the exception of an occasional dusting, you don’t need to do anything to maintain it.
The need for having a safe, physical space to mourn is why we have cemeteries and memorials in the first place. So much about death is intangible, and making a physical connection with those we have lost is difficult. A personal shrine or memorial space not only gives you more flexibility in your grief, but it allows you to personalize the process so that you can always feel connected.
Once you’ve decided that you’d like to purchase a burial or funeral insurance policy as part of your final plans, the real challenge comes into play. There are countless burial insurance providers out there (which range from funeral homes to traditional insurance companies), and you have options when it comes to choosing the right one. (more…)