Travel Tips for the Newly Bereaved

June 22nd, 2015

travel tips for newly bereavedTraveling for the sole purpose of attending a funeral is never fun. In addition to the overwhelming feelings of sadness you may be dealing with, there are last-minute flights to arrange, rental cars to organize, hotels to book, and the actual flight to undergo. Although nothing can take away the pain of your loss, you can at least find ways to ease the burden of travel with these helpful tips.

  1. Contact Individual Airlines. Not every airline offers bereavement rates, but many of them do have built-in specials if you recently lost an immediate member of your family (spouse, parent, child, sibling). You may have to show proof of death (a death certificate) in order to qualify, but you can also get squeezed onto a last-minute flight this way with up to 20% off the price of your ticket. Read the rest of this entry »

Funeral Keepsakes

May 29th, 2015
funeral keepsakes

Funeral keepsakes often involve jewelry.

It can often be difficult to come to terms with the death of a loved one, especially if the deceased was particularly young or their death was unexpected. Although things like viewing the body or having an open casket can help with the process of saying goodbye, it can sometimes take more than that one final goodbye in order to truly let go.

Funeral keepsakes—ones that provide a physical reminder of the deceased—offer a way to link the past and the present, and to start moving through grief. This type of memento may not be for everyone, but if you’d like to have a more tangible memory, talk with your funeral director to learn more about the following options.

  • Thumbprints, Handprints, Footprints: For infants and very small children, a keepsake handprint or footprint can be turned into artwork for the home. Because it’s a fairly Read the rest of this entry »

Cemetery Etiquette and You

May 16th, 2015
Cemetery Etiquette

Peaceful cemeteries help loved ones heal.

Most people know how to behave at a funeral or a memorial service, when respect and reverence are called for in equal proportions, but cemeteries provide a trickier funeral etiquette question. After all, cemeteries are public places open to the entire community—not only as a place to mourn, but to visit relatives, research local history, enjoy the ambiance, and even go for a jog.

Most cemeteries have their formal rules posted near the gates, and you should always take a moment to read them for specific information about where you can go and when. It’s also a good idea to follow these general cemetery guidelines. Read the rest of this entry »

Top Movies about Funerals

May 7th, 2015
Top Movies About Funerals

Top Movies about Funerals

If you look at the proportion of movies about weddings compared to the proportion of movies about funerals, you’ll find that people are much more interested in watching the celebration of love rather than the celebration of death. While this isn’t really surprising (traditionally, the sad movies we love to watch focus more on the character’s journey than the aftermath of loss), it is interesting to note that funeral-oriented movies are on the rise.

Whether you’re in the mood for a funeral-related movie with humor to pick you up, or if you need something to remind you that everyone goes Read the rest of this entry »

Funeral Planning Questions

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. Read the rest of this entry »

Coffin and Casket Furniture

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

What is the Difference between a Casket and a Coffin?

February 28th, 2015

burial in a casket or coffinOutside the funeral industry, the terms “casket” and “coffin” are often used interchangeably to describe the vessel in which the deceased is placed before being buried in the ground. Most people recognize both words, and are comfortable using both in situations related to death and burial.

In reality, a casket and a coffin are not the same things. A coffin (a term that has been around since the 1500s) is the traditional burial box we associate with death. Shaped to fit the human body (with six or eight sides, wider at the top for the arms and torso), a coffin is designed to be built fairly cheaply and with a minimum amount ofmaterials. Because many people in history built their own coffins, or hired a coffin maker to do it, the emphasis was on practical burial that didn’t put a strain on family finances. Coffins are almost always made of wood instead of more valuable metals.

Read the rest of this entry »

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

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? Read the rest of this entry »

Non-Denominational Sympathy Card Messages

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. Read the rest of this entry »

Funeral Planning Tips: Tasks to Give Friends and Family

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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