How Real-Life Funerals Differ from the Movies

February 1st, 2014

Ornate black hearse carriage

Images of funerals in the movies and on TV often give a skewed vision of what mourning looks like. In many of the on-screen depictions of burial or ash-scattering ceremonies, families appear collected and dignified in their grief. Everyone is dressed in a well-tailored suit of black and holds an umbrella to keep the rain away. Limos and other dark sedans transport everyone to and from the funeral home. Families travel from hundreds of miles away and meet again after years apart.

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What to Wear to a Wake

January 27th, 2014

Formal funeral clothingWhat to wear to a funeral and what to wear to a wake are similar but not necessarily the same thing. These two services, both conducted to honor the life and death of the deceased, serve different purposes in the act of bereavement.

A wake (usually held prior to the funeral) is an informal gathering either at the home of the deceased or at alternate location. While the historical traditions of a wake have their roots in physically watching over the body of the deceased in the days leading up to burial, it is now more of a time to get together and eat, talk about loved ones, and remember a life well lived.

A funeral is a more formal ceremony. Taking place either at a church or a funeral home, it is overseen by a religious or community officiant and follows a prescribed format. Prayers, readings, music, and processions all play a key role in a funeral.

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How to Manage a Loved One’s Affairs After They are Gone

January 21st, 2014

From time to time, those of us at iMortuary find great resources from within the industry we are delighted to share. Une Belle Vie Memorial Urns, is a company we admire for their commitment to customer service and quality to the consumers they serve online and over the phone.   They empathize with their customers’ challenges in managing estate finances and administration; to help families facing these tasks, they have developed a free downloadable guide to managing a loved one’s finances after they’re gone.

When a loved one passes, the family’s first and most pertinent task is to organize the funeral and/or memorial, which can be daunting during this time of mourning.  After the funeral, families often struggle with what to do next regarding their loved one’s possessions, property and, most importantly, their finances.

Managing Finances After They Are GoneUne Belle Vie Memorial Urns, a company that offers unique and custom cremation urns, offers a free downloadable step-by-step guide to managing a loved one’s finances after they are gone. The guide includes how to contact the appropriate government and financial agencies, how to close or transfer accounts, and how to claim death benefits.

Especially during a time of mourning, everyone can use some guidance and direction.

The free guide is available for download at http://decorative-urns.com/cremation-blog/estate-planning/free-download-une-belle-vie-guide-to-managing-a-loved-ones-finances/.

 

 


Is it Okay to Bring a Pet to a Funeral?

January 11th, 2014

Beloved pets at a funeral Some of the most touching funeral stories in the media are the ones about dogs who mourn their owners long after they’re gone. The beloved pet who sprawls in grief at the base of the coffin, who sits tirelessly by the burial site for weeks or even months after death occurs—these stories pull our heartstrings and make us believe in a deep human-pet bond that goes beyond the grave.

It seems only natural, then, that allowing pets at a funeral is an acceptable thing. After all, if these creatures feel some kind of grief—if they understand, on some level, what loss means—then why shouldn’t they be invited to participate in the ritual of saying goodbye?

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Safety and Good Businesses Practices When Purchasing Caskets Online

January 8th, 2014

Casket with beautiful funeral flower arrangement One of the most common pieces of advice on how to save money on a funeral is to buy a casket online. Funeral homes mark up items like caskets, urns, and other burial effects by hundreds or even thousands of dollars—an amount of money that can seem insurmountable when you’re already facing such a devastating loss. Because the FTC’s Funeral Rule requires that funeral homes accept these items from a third-party vendor, you can shop around for caskets online.

However, buying anything online comes with a risk. Because you’re talking about an item that comes with a hefty price tag (and requires immediate shipping), it’s important to get things right. If you’re hesitant to buy a casket online because of the dangers of internet shopping, here are a few tips to ensure a safe transaction.

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I Want to Plan My Own Funeral, Where do I Start?

January 6th, 2014

Traditional Memorial Candle of RemembranceAlthough it might sound preemptive and a bit macabre to plan your own funeral, this kind of advance arrangement is becoming more and more common. Not only does pre-planning a funeral allow you to have more control over what happens to your remains after you pass, but it can also save your family quite a bit of grief and money.

Planning your own funeral can be as simple as making a list of your wishes and ensuring your family knows where it is, or as complex as paying for everything in advance (even going so far as to purchase the casket or arrange every detail with the funeral home). There is no wrong way to go about it, but here are a few suggestions for getting started.

 Choose Your Final Interment Plan

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Funeral Luncheon Etiquette and Advice

December 15th, 2013

Funeral Luncheon Etiquette and AdviceAfter the funeral planning has come to an end and the family gathers to say goodbye to the deceased, it’s time for the funeral luncheon to start. Because most funerals take place during the morning (or in the early afternoon), it’s common for the deceased’s family to hold an informal luncheon afterward, in which guests can enjoy a light repast and share their grief.

Although this type of after-funeral memorial party isn’t a required tradition, it’s a good idea to brush up on your funeral lunch etiquette before you arrive.

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Are Funeral Expenses Deductible on My Taxes?

December 12th, 2013

Are Funeral Expenses Deductible on My Taxes?The unexpected funeral costs that arise after a death often put a strain on family finances. With a total price tag anywhere from a few thousand dollars to over ten thousand dollars, paying for a funeral out of pocket is like asking a family to buy a new car. This is a cost few families can cover outright, which is why it’s no wonder that the question of whether or not you can make funeral expenses deductible on your taxes is one that regularly pops up.

The easy answer is no. For the majority of families, the costs they must lay out for a funeral are like any other major purchase (along the lines of a car or new furniture). Funeral expenses are your responsibility, and the government won’t give you any tax breaks come April 15.

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What Does a Cremation Oven Look Like?

December 9th, 2013

What Does a Cremation Oven Look Like?The cremation process is difficult for many people to picture happening to their loved one’s remains. Unlike burial, which gives a feeling of calm quiet and eternal rest, cremation is hot, messy, and oftentimes frightening. You might be afraid that the body won’t be treated with respect, or that the incredibly high temperatures required to break a body down are uncontrolled and dangerous.

While historical cremation practices might hold this to be true, modern-day cremation and cremation ovens are quite safe, sanitary, and practical. The cremation process is regulated so that it becomes more of a scientific breakdown of bodily remains than a blazing inferno, with the result that it is actually more decorous than the slow decay of a body underground.

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From Pink Caskets to Camouflage Casket Liners: Customizing a Loved One’s Burial

November 27th, 2013

From Pink Caskets to Camouflage Casket Liners: Customizing a Loved One’s BurialWhen most people plan a traditional burial during funeral plans, they do it because there is comfort to be found in the familiar. The act of saying goodbye to a loved one is something that everyone goes through at some time or another, spanning generations and cultures and even socioeconomic status. No matter what the circumstances of your loss, knowing others have gone through the same funeral planning steps you have is a good way to put your grief into perspective.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t personalize a funeral. Some of the best traditions are the ones we make ourselves, and customizing burial is easier than ever before thanks to retailers offering more options in casket colors, materials, and details. For example, pink caskets are growing in popularity among female burials (or may even be purchased as part of the breast cancer awareness campaign). Offered in everything from a delicate shell to a more vibrant shade of pink, caskets like these allow you to add a touch of color and whimsy to an otherwise bleak day.

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