Topic: Uncategorized

How to Spend the Anniversary Day of Your Loved One’s Death 0

The anniversary of the passing of a loved one is a challenging day for many. Whether your loved one passed several years ago or you are approaching the first anniversary it can be a tough time. There are a few actions you can take to make this day easier on you.

Accept That This Day Is Different

The first thing to ease the process is to accept that this will be a day that brings up emotions. Trying to push down feelings and deny yourself permission to have these feelings can make the day much harder to get through.

Avoid the temptation to tell yourself that you should be “over things by now.” We all process grief in our own way and taking a day to remember your loved one and experience these feelings is part of a normal healthy grieving process.

Create Your Own Ritual That’s Right for You

Many find themselves struggling to honor the anniversary of a loved one’s passing the “right way.” The only right way is the way that brings comfort to you. An important way to do this can be to create your own ritual or event to help you mark this date each year.

Many feel obligated to visit a gravesite with flowers, but there are many other ways to honor your loved one on this day. Many now choose cremation and there may not be a gravesite to visit or a final resting place may be too far away to visit.

Here are a few ideas to help you create a ritual that is right for you:

    • Release butterflies: For many, butterflies symbolize hope, renewal and remembrance.
    • Write them a letter: This can help you communicate any complicated feelings and unresolved issues.
    • Play a favorite song or movie: You may have a memory associated with a song or a movie that you experienced together. Replaying this can bring up fond memories and help you find positive emotions on a trying day.
    • Create a memorial in their name: If your loved one was active in a cause or club, see if there are opportunities to dedicate a bench or even a brick to honor their memory.
    • Create an online tribute: If you or your loved one was active on social media, you can post on the date and ask friends and family to post their favorite memories of your loved one.

Experience the Anniversary of Your Loved One’s Passing In Your Own Way

Remember that this day is a challenging day. There is not one way to deal with whatever emotions you feel. Allow yourself permission to feel and experience whatever emotions this day brings. We all work through the passing of a loved one in our own way.

Can You Still Have a Funeral When Your Loved One is Cremated? 0

Person taking flowers to a loved one's grave

With the rise in popularity of cremation, many folks have questions. One of the most common questions people ask us is, “Can you still have a funeral when your loved one is cremated?” The simple answer is yes.

Most funeral and memorial customs are easily adaptable to the inclusion of cremation. You or your loved one’s final wishes can still be honored and respected. Additionally, most religious traditions now accommodate cremation as well. Cremation does not eliminate:

    • Viewing, either public or private
    • Traditional graveside ceremonies, especially for our veterans
    • Performance of religious ceremonies

In addition, traditional funeral homes are not the only choice. Many people choose to have funerals and/or memorial services in the comfort of their home.

Respect for Tradition

Many fear that cremation means that their survivors will not have an opportunity to pay their respects and say their final goodbyes. Here are some of the elements that many funeral homes offer to help honor your loved one and give the family opportunities to pay their respects:

      • Private or Public Viewing, using our private chapel
      • Casket rental
      • Graveside services, especially comforting for our veterans
      • Hand delivery of remains to a cemetery or other location
      • Personalized registry books and memorial cards

Including traditional funeral elements with your cremation plan can offer closure to you and your loved ones. Cremation does not eliminate most religious ceremonies. Veterans can still receive a full graveside service with full military honors.

Practical Concerns

You should never feel alone in your time of loss. At Heritage Cremation, we’re here to help get you through this difficult time. Cremation services such as ours include and handle the following at no added expense:

        • Confirmation of identity
        • Preparation and delivery of the death certificate to your physician of record for signing
        • Hand delivery and filing of death certificate with Health Department
        • Acquisition of certified copies of death certificate (only additional cost is for the number of copies you require)
        • Official notification to the Social Security Administration and the Department of Veterans Affairs
        • Obituary listing online

Many families find that these adaptations work very well because they provide the comfort and closure they need. Only you can decide what is right for you or your loved one. Our staff is pleased to work with you to ensure that what happens reflects your loved one’s final wishes.

Helping Your Children Deal with the Loss of a Loved One 0

Sad little girl with teddy bear

The death of a loved one is never easy. It can be especially difficult when a child deals with a loss of this nature. We all experience grief in our own way. However, children process the death of a loved one differently than adults.

Key Things to Remember When Comforting a Child

Patience and understanding go a long way when trying to sort things out during this challenging time. This is often the first time a child deals with death and a loved one dying first hand. Helping children deal with loss is an issue that leaves most parents confused. They don’t know what to do or say. This is compounded when the parent is also grieving and at a vulnerable point. Keeping a few things in mind can help both you and your child in the process.

Listen

Children will ask lots of questions, sometimes the same one, over and over. Taking the time to listen can be hard when you are grieving as well. Giving a child a chance to voice their thoughts will allow them to get their feelings out. Children aren’t as mature as adults and often verbalize their feelings out loud, rather than process them internally.

Answer

Respond to a child’s questions with direct answers. Avoid using phrases that can be confusing to a young child. Telling them that a loved one passed away or went to sleep can cause insecurities and fear. Depending on the age of the child, they may not have fully formed the idea that death is permanent. Answer directly to help your child understand what death means.

Understand

No matter what a child does in response to the sad news, let them know that it is going to be okay and that you are there for them. Children may swing from one end of the emotional spectrum to the other, crying inconsolably and resuming play with friends or toys a few minutes later. Understand that children are different from adults and are incapable of realizing that some emotions may seem inappropriate at this time.

Comfort

Above all things, comfort your child. Reassure him or her that you are available for them no matter what they say. The death of a close family member can cause children to feel insecure. It is important to help them overcome these fears and insecurities.

Also, they may demand more of your attention than usual. This can cause stress and frustration while you process your own emotions. It’s okay to let your child know that you are sad too.

Should Children Attend Viewings, Funerals, or Memorials?

Many families are unsure of whether it is appropriate to bring a child to these types of events and ceremonies. While it’s never a good idea to force a child to attend, many children find that it helps them understand the finality and eases them along in the grieving process.

There is not a specific age that children are ready for such things. Every child is different and matures at different rates. You are the best judge of what is right for your children, and you should not feel pressured into anything that feels uncomfortable to you as a parent.

We’ve been here, through this emotional time for many families, and welcome any questions or concerns you may have.

Scattering Your Loved One’s Ashes 0

Scattering ashes of a loved one

Scattering your loved one’s ashes could be just what you need set them free and memorialize them in a special way. Perhaps your loved one left you instructions on how they wanted to be remembered, like having their ashes spread on the beach or in the mountains. Or maybe you’re planning your own way to honor your loved one and making it a special trip with the family. Before spreading the ashes, there are a couple things you need to keep in mind, and we’ve collected those here to help make your experience a smooth one.

Location

When it comes to where to scatter your loved one’s ashes, the possibilities are pretty much endless. Whether you want to stay within your state or the U.S., or you want to take a special trip to somewhere exotic, that’s up to you. Some people find it comforting to spread small amounts of the ashes in multiple places around the country or globe, especially if their loved one enjoyed traveling. Others prefer to spread all of the ashes at one time in one location. Whatever you choose is entirely up to you. Here are a few ideas to get you thinking about where you’d like to spread your loved one’s ashes:

  • At your loved one’s home
  • At your loved one’s favorite beach
  • In a nearby lake, river or ocean
  • In your loved one’s favorite vacation spot
  • From cliffside or mountaintop
  • In a national park (with permission)

Method

When you think of scattering ashes, you’re likely thinking about casting, the act of releasing ashes into the wind. But there are a few other methods to spreading ashes that you could consider.

  • Trenching – This is the act of digging a small trench in which you place the ashes and then sand or dirt is placed on top of them. Often times people will stand in a circle around the trench as a special ceremony.
  • Ringing – This is the act of scattering the ashes around an object, oftentimes a tree or statue.
  • Green Burial – Some people choose to place the ashes in a biodegradable urn that will eventually dissolve into the soil. Sometimes people even include a plant or seeds along with the urn so that something grows in the place of the burial as a nice way to keep their loved one’s memory alive.

Legal Concerns

In many cases it is perfectly legal to scatter ashes, but laws differ for every state, so it’s important to read up on regulations for your particular city and/or state in the planning stages.

Heritage Cremation Society is here for you in your time of need. Contact us today and we’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Dealing with the Loss of a Loved One Around the Holidays 0

sad woman in front of christmas tree

The holidays are special days to spend with friends and family, so after the loss of a loved one, you might find yourself overwhelmed with memories on those days. Not just on the big holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving, but on Valentine’s Day, Independence Day, your loved one’s birthday or any other holiday that’s filled with special traditions and memories.

We’re sharing a few tips on getting through the holidays while dealing with loss in hopes that you can find some peace and comfort.

Decide Which Traditions You Want to Keep or Change

Whether it’s setting up the Christmas tree while watching Christmas movies, or exchanging cards on Valentine’s Day, holiday traditions are often special things you shared with your loved one that may be hard to carry on now that they’re gone.

Remember, just because it’s something you’ve always done doesn’t mean you have to continue if it causes you too much pain. But carrying on some traditions can be a special way to honor your loved one and keep their legacy alive. But it’s ultimately up to you what you do and not do to celebrate the holidays.

Decide Where You Want to Spend the Holidays

If you’ve always hosted a holiday gathering and you’re just not feeling up for it, let your family or friends know! No one will expect you to host while going through such a difficult time. Or if you’ve always gone to the same place with your loved one and that will be too hard, consider asking your family if someone else would be up for hosting this year. This ties in with one of our later tips about being honest about you need.

Don’t Be Afraid to Share Memories

When you’re at a family function for a holiday after losing a loved one, it may feel like you’re not allowed to bring up that person in fear that you or someone else at the function will get upset. But just remember—it’s okay to show your emotions! It’s okay to share memories! In fact, talking about your loved one openly can help you get to a better place in your grieving process.

You could even consider making it a new family tradition to all share your favorite memory of your loved one. That’s a great way to honor that person and keep their memory alive.

Be Honest About What You Need

During the grieving process, some days are going to be harder than other, and that’s okay! A holiday may be one of those harder days when all you want to do is be alone. It’s normal to feel pressured to do something special for the holidays, but you should be honest with those around you about what you need to get through.

See a Grief Counselor

If you haven’t already, the holidays may be a good time to talk to someone. Sometimes the best way to grieve is to get out your thoughts and emotions, and it can be beneficial to talk to a professional rather than a friend or family member who is more involved in the situation.

Heritage Cremation Society is here for you in your time of need. Contact us today and we’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.