Archive for the ‘After Death’ Category

Funeral Planning Questions

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

 

Funeral planning and moving on

Funeral planning and making key decisions.

As you move through the process of planning a funeral and laying your loved one to rest, you’ll be asked quite a few questions about your wishes and the wishes of the deceased. To avoid decision burnout and falling into the trap of paying for more than you need, it’s best to go to the funeral home with a few choices already in place.

That’s why we recommend you sit down with your family and ask yourselves these funeral planning questions before you head into the visit with your funeral director.  Discussion questions for the family meeting include:

What is the budget for the funeral? Know your maximum price tag before you make any other decisions. Your budget will determine what your options are and what kind of choices are available to you. (more…)

Coffin and Casket Furniture

Thursday, April 30th, 2015
Casket and Coffin Furniture

Casket and Coffin Furniture

For some people, using a coffin or coffin-shaped item for anything except burial is disrespectful for the deceased. After all, death is no laughing matter, and to make sport of other people’s grief can be a slap in the face during an already difficult time.

However, for other people, turning caskets and coffins into everyday items is a kind of art form. By normalizing death and the accoutrements of burial, they are not only making a statement, but also helping people to come to terms with the idea that we will all eventually move on.

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What to Do with a Wedding Ring when a Loved One Dies

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

couple sharing wedding vows

Few pieces of jewelry have more meaning than a wedding ring. Although family heirlooms, class rings, sports jewelry, and other items often have sentimental value of their own (not to mention high price tags), it’s the sign of our lasting commitment that carries the most weight.

When a spouse or parent dies, it can be difficult to know how to handle the issue of the wedding ring. Should it be buried with the deceased? Kept aside to be passed down to the next generation? Otherwise memorialized so that everyone can enjoy it? (more…)

Non-Denominational Sympathy Card Messages

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

condolences sympathy card Sending a sympathy card to a family who has just experienced a loss is a kind and low-cost way to show your support. Because too many funeral flowers can be overwhelming—and because many people would rather not receive financial support or gift baskets—sympathy cards allow you to share your regrets without overwhelming the family.

Because of the nature of death and dying, most sympathy cards and the messages for sympathy cards are religious in nature. However, not every family appreciates spiritual sentiments at this time, or you yourself may be agnostic/atheist and don’t wish to send a religious card. (more…)

Funeral Planning Tips: Tasks to Give Friends and Family

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

family help with funeral tasks One of the most difficult thing about mourning the loss of a loved one is the feeling of helplessness that inevitably arises. Immediate family is tasked with the job of planning the funeral, sorting through pictures, preparing for guests, and other funeral-related tasks—which might not be fun, but does have the advantage of keeping individuals busy while they grieve.

For more distant relatives and friends, however, not being able to do more than send flowers or a sympathy card is difficult. They want to feel needed and useful—not just to help the family through their difficulties, but so they can begin their own process of grieving.

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Creative and DIY Memorials to Make from the Deceased Belongings

Sunday, January 25th, 2015

Creative and DIY Memorials to Make from the Deceased BelongingsThrowing away personal effects can be a difficult process for those in mourning over a loved one. Whether you’re clearing a room or an entire house, discarding cherished memories or donating items to charity can feel like saying goodbye all over again.

If you aren’t quite ready to get rid of the entire closet full of clothes, or if you’d rather not sell off furniture that’s been in your family for years, here are a few creative ways to memorialize your loved one.

  • Make a Blanket or Quilt: Old clothes can make an excellent source of fabric for a commemorative quilt. Choose your favorite (and most memorable) items of clothing, and cut squares of fabric to be made into a blanket. If you sew, you can do it yourself, or there are specialty providers who can make it for you. This item can be cherished forever without taking up too much space. (more…)

Notifying Social Security about a Death

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

Notifying Social Security about a DeathManaging the death of a loved one might seem like a highly private and personal affair, but there is actually a complex maze of paperwork, bureaucracy, and government involvement that has to take place before the deceased can be laid to rest. Although most of the initial paperwork will be filled out by city officials and your funeral director, it’s a good idea to know what is being filed where—and why.

Social Security Administration

Just as the Social Security Administration must be notified of a child’s birth, so must they be notified of an individual’s death. This is necessary to stop the deceased’s Social Security Number from being used (either legally or illegally), and to ensure that there is an official record of death with the U.S. Government. (more…)

Disposing of a Loved One’s Personal Effects

Friday, January 16th, 2015

Disposing of a Loved One’s Personal EffectsAfter the funeral plans have been completed and life has settled into what will be your new normal, it’s time to deal with the personal effects a death leaves behind. Although some of the deceased’s belongings might have been divided among descendants according to the will, most people leave closets (and even homes) full of stuff behind. Clothes, furniture, books, pictures, mementos of vacations long gone…all of these things eventually have to be sorted through and taken care of.

For most people, this is a bittersweet time. Painful memories are sure to arise as you sift through the remnants of a loved one’s lifetime, but you may also find that there are positive associations, as well. Although there is no right or wrong way to go about things, here are a few tips for sorting through a loved one’s personal effects after they are gone. (more…)

Using Technology to Connect with the Dead

Friday, 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 (more…)

Managing Grief around the Holidays

Monday, February 24th, 2014

Holiday candlesIf you’ve done any funeral planning this past year or buried a loved one, the holidays are going to be a difficult time. No matter how well you might be handling your grief, there’s something about the holiday season that tends to throw people into a tailspin of bereavement. Memories tend to rise up in a big way, and it can be difficult amid all the hustle and bustle of good cheer to find the support you need to make it through.

Among well-wishers pushing you to “move on,” the general stress that always arises this time of year, and the spirit of a season meant to bring joy (but which often does the exact opposite), it’s important to carve out a place for your grief.

  • Expect a Change in Your Feelings: Maybe you’ve been working through your grief and have come to a kind of acceptance lately. Maybe you’re still incredibly angry and spend part of every day in tears. No matter where you are on your journey, expect there to be a change. Feelings of isolation and loneliness are common this time of year, and it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the warning signs for depression. The important thing is to recognize that ALL feelings are okay, and that the increased intensity of them is only natural around the holidays. (more…)

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