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Mobile Phone Etiquette At Funerals
Nov 26, 2019   09:29 AM
by Karen

Today many of us are so attached to our mobile phones that we carry them around every moment of every day. These devices have more or less become an extension of us. However, as attached as we may be, there are some places and instances where it is disrespectful and impolite to use our phones. One such example is a funeral.

A funeral is a personal and sacred event where loved ones pay their respects and say their goodbyes to someone who has passed. As such, certain etiquettes need to be followed, even when it comes to mobile use. We discuss these etiquettes below.

 

Don’t use unless absolutely necessary

Generally, cell phone use should be limited at funerals. If you are always texting, scrolling through social media or taking phone calls, it is considered extremely disrespectful to the family of the deceased and the memory of the departed as well. Put simply, don’t use your phone unless it is crucial. If you do have to take or make urgent calls or send texts, make sure to excuse yourself and step outside politely.

Keep your phone on silent mode

Always keep your phone on silent mode when you are at a funeral. Sounds coming from your phone such as ringing sounds, notification sounds, etc. can be very disruptive and distracting at solemn events such as funerals. Remember to keep it on silent, and not vibrate, as the vibrating sound can still be audible.

Avoid taking pictures/selfies

Taking pictures or selfies, whether it is of you, you and your friends, of others, the casket, etc., should be avoided at funerals. This can be considered an invasion of privacy, unless you have permission from the family to click snapshots with your phone. Also, if you have permission to take photographs, be quick and don’t distract the other guests. And don’t forget to silence the sounds. 

 

Thanks for reading,

Karen

How To Decide Who To Put In Charge Of Your Funeral
Oct 29, 2019   09:22 AM
by Karen

A funeral is an important ceremony that allows people to say their final good-byes to a loved one who has passed away. As such, there are many significant decisions that need to be made while planning the funeral.

Some of the most significant decisions regarding funerals include whether the body should be buried or cremated, where to bury, where to scatter ashes, whether a certain religious tradition should be followed, etc.

These decisions make up your funeral, and if you haven’t already left instructions or decided on who should make choices on your behalf, it’s time you consider it. If you have made your wishes known, then it is a statutory obligation for your survivors to honor those wishes. 

There are various ways a person can make their funeral preferences known, including who will make the decisions. Some of these include a Living Will, a Last Will and Testament, as well as other legal documents such as Disposition Authorization Affidavit, Authorization for Final Disposition, or Appointment of Agent to Control Disposition of Remains.

 

Keep in mind--If there are no instructions left by the deceased

If you do not leave behind any instructions or preferences regarding your own funeral, then the responsibility to make these decisions fall upon your nearest relative. This could be your husband, wife, children, parents, sister, brother, etc.

To qualify as a relative who can make decisions regarding a funeral, a person must be over 18 years old. First, the spouse or domestic partner is considered, after which the children are prioritized. If neither of these is present or available, then parents, siblings, authorized guardian, grandchildren, aunts and uncles, and even cousins can qualify as next of kin and make decisions regarding a funeral. 

In some situations, a very close friend of the deceased can even be considered as next of kin if blood relatives are not available.

 

Thanks for reading,

Karen

What To Do If Someone Dies In A Different Country
Oct 15, 2019   09:06 AM
by Karen

When a loved one dies in a foreign country, it can be easy to worry and feel helpless. What do you do to get the remains back? Who do you have to contact for help?

Depending on the country of death, local protocols can be very different. However, there are three main steps that you have to follow if a loved one dies in a different country.

 

  • Contact your embassy or consulate in the country of death

The first thing you can do is contact your embassy or consulate in the country where the death occurred. They will help you get in touch with the foreign offices so you can get the remains back safely and as quickly as possible. They will also provide you with instructions on how to send the funds required to cover the costs.

Apart from making arrangements for the return of the remains, they will also issue a Consular Report of Death Abroad, a legal document with important details of the passing.

 

  • Find out if you have to travel to the country

In addition to the Consular Report of Death Abroad, there are many documents that you need to get the remains back home. These may include a Foreign Funeral Affidavit, a Consular Mortuary Certificate, a Transit Permit, etc.

Depending on the country of death, the rules may be different regarding who can claim the body and sign the required paperwork. So, make sure to work out these details with your consulate or embassy so you can decide if you need to go abroad.

 

  • Find a trusted funeral home in the US to help you

While the foreign side of the process will be taken care of the consulate or embassy, a trusted funeral home in the US can help you with arrangements back home. Always make sure that the funeral home you choose is willing to accommodate the time differences.

 

Thanks for reading,

Karen

What To Do With Social Media Accounts After Death
Aug 27, 2019   09:35 AM
by Karen

When someone dies, their loved ones handle their important financial and legal works. But one thing that many people tend to forget, although everyone has them, are social media accounts. In today’s 21st century digitized world we live, what do you do with someone’s social media accounts after they die?

  • Google

Google has what is known as Inactive Account Manager, which enables the account holder to set a time period, after which the account will be automatically deleted or designated to someone else if it is inactive for that selected time period. This can be three, six, nine, or twelve months. But if the account holder has not used this option, you can directly contact Google to manage the account of the deceased. Although the company won’t give out passwords, it does entertain requests to close accounts.

  • Facebook

The Facebook account of someone who has died can either be memorialized or deleted.  Memorialization is a common option, as it keeps all the posts from the account visible, and friends can post on the timeline depending on the settings. The word “Remembering” is placed next to the name. Memorialization requests can be made in the Help Center page of Facebook.

Another option is to delete the account, which would require you to provide documents to prove that you are either an immediate family or estate executor of the deceased. You can then send a request to Facebook to delete the account.

  • Twitter

The Twitter account of someone who has died can be permanently deleted. However, you need to prove you are an immediate family or the executor of the estate of the deceased. You will have to submit documents like a death certificate and your own ID.

  • Instagram

Like Facebook, an Instagram account can either be deleted or memorialized.  However, deletion can be requested only by immediate family members, for which you will have to provide proof

 

Thanks for reading,

Karen

Giving Away a Lost One's Clothes to Charity - Things to Know
Aug 06, 2019   10:07 AM
by Karen

Donation in any form is a generous act. There are many people who are in dire need of food and clothing who can benefit from it. When you lose a loved one, it is difficult to part from their belongings. Most of us cling to them in our mourning their death. What if they can be honored by helping those in need? Why not give away a lost one’s clothes and some belongings to charity?

Before you donate to charity, keep the following points in mind:

  • Find a charitable organization to donate the items. Call or visit them to know what is accepted as a charity. Find an organization that is willing to accept the clothes of the deceased.
  • Wash or dry clean every clothing item to be donated and make sure that they are not contaminated with mold or anything that can cause health problems.
  • Treat any stains, tear, rip, or damage before you donate them as these clothes are reused by people in need, and charitable organizations cannot do it.
  • Check all pockets and folds for personal belongings. Many times charities have found cash, jewelry, cards, and other valuable items in the donated items.
  • Try to donate seasonal clothes as most charitable organizations do not have ample storage space. If you have winter clothes to donate during summer, hold on to it and donate at the right time.
  • Consider separating all clothing items before you put them in a box. Label each box. This will help the volunteers in the charitable organization send those items quickly where it is needed.
  • Children’s clothing can be donated directly to any orphanages that are willing to take it.
  • Towels and sheets with a tear, rip, or huge stains can be donated to an animal shelter as they can be used there.

 

Remember, when you donate your loved one’s clothes to charity, you honor them by helping someone in need.

 

Thanks for reading,

Karen

Everyone You Need to Notify After Someone Dies
May 09, 2019   12:12 PM
by Karen

Everyone You Need to Notify After Someone Dies

After someone dies, it is important that the right people are notified of the death. Apart from friends and family, there are several agencies and institutions that must be contacted and informed of this occurrence.

If the death was unexpected, make sure you call 911 immediately. If not, then call your medical practitioner. This should be done immediately after the death.

In the following few days, you will have to contact more people, informing them of the situation. These include:

  • Financial institutions

It is necessary to get in touch with all financial institutions that your loved one had an account and notify them of the death. So make sure you call any bank that your loved one had a savings account in, or through which he/she held credit cards, mortgages, insurance policies, etc. so that the accounts can be frozen. However, before you do so, make sure you have a death certificate as well as letters of administration.

  • Utilities and service providers

Next up, utilities and service providers that provide electricity, gas, water, internet, phone, TV, or other monthly or yearly subscriptions need to be contacted as well so that their services can be cancelled.

  • Government agencies

The Social Security Administration must also be notified of the death if your loved one was a recipient of social security benefits. Moreover, you may able to receive survivor benefits from the government if you qualify. For example, if the deceased was a veteran, informing the Department of Veterans Affairs may be able to get you survivor benefits.

  • Mail Services

You will also need to redirect your loved one’s mail to your house if you did not live together.

While losing a loved one is never easy, contacting these people in a timely manner will help you avoid problems in the future. 

 

Thanks for reading,

Karen

The Best Way to Honor Your Loved One
Apr 04, 2019   11:20 AM
by Karen

Loss is a natural part of life. That being said, losing a loved one is the most devastating experience in life. A parent, a sibling, a child, a friend, or a lover-once lost-is lost forever. Coping with this loss can prove to be challenging. You should know that it is hard to overcome this loss, but not impossible. Everyone reacts differently to death. But most people find different ways to honor the ones they have lost and keep their memory living forever. The coping mechanism differs from one person to another. People do different things to honor the ones they have lost. The most significant are those which make a difference.

Donate for a cause: Donation is something that has its way of helping someone in need. It brings a feeling of pleasure, a feeling of fulfillment that someone, somewhere is saved. It is the best way to honor a lost one as it gives life to another.

  • Organ donation: Donating the organs of a loved one can give life to someone else’s loved one.
  • Financial Aid: Helping someone in need of finances is as good as saving them from regrets of unfulfilled life.
  • Time donation: Donating time by spending it with children in orphanage, or with the aged in a nursing home brings joy to them and makes you feel fulfilled

Go Green initiative: There is always a need to protect our environment. Honoring the lost one by planting a flowering plant, a tree or a patch of grass, makes all the difference.

Reach out to others: There are several others who have lost their loved ones. Reaching out to them and helping them cope with the loss is a way to honor the lost.

Be anonymous: Honoring someone can even be made possible by anonymously helping someone or something in need. Pay for someone’s education, send food to an orphanage or nursing home, feed the poor, pay for someone’s treatment, pay for an animal’s life, rescue an animal from a shelter. The list goes on and on.

Coping with the loss of a loved one is difficult. But honoring them makes a lot of difference.

 

Thanks for reading,

Karen

 

How to Write Your Own Epitaph
Mar 26, 2019   04:12 PM
by Karen

 

Epitaphs are among the oldest forms of writing in the world. They are a way to commemorate the dead and celebrate the lives they’ve lived. They can be poetry or verse and are usually inscribed onto a gravestone or memorial plaque at a burial to honor the memory of the deceased. A memorable epitaph is short and heartfelt. The feeling that it conveys is generally a reflection of the deceased person’s personality. It can be tragic if the person’s death was sacrificial or humorous if the person liked to laugh things off when alive. It may also be ironic. A good epitaph is not overly sentimental. It is a summation of the life that the individual lived.

If you're writing your own epitaph, you already have the voice figured out. Now, all you have to do is determine who the epitaph will be addressed to. It could be a general address to the common public, a passerby or a beloved. As discussed above, you could inject a little bit of your personality into it. So if you're religious, you could include scripture from a sacred text.

The reason epitaphs are generally asked to be kept short is because the gravestone affords very little space for lengthy text unless you want to spend lavishly on your tombstone, in which case you can write yourself a long one. However, it is best to keep it short. You could list a couple of your achievements on your epitaph if you'd like to be remembered for them. You could leave a few comforting words for those surviving you to offer solace. If you're confused about how to write an epitaph, you could do some research. Once you’ve written one down, you could show it to your friends and family and ask for their opinion.

You could leave your family or friends to write your epitaph for you when you're gone. However, if you choose to write your epitaph for you – there's nothing wrong with that either.

 

Thanks for reading,

Karen

How Long Do You Have to Wait Before You Can Place a Memorial on a Grave?
Mar 01, 2019   08:33 AM
by Karen

 

Those who have lost a loved one often ask how long they have to wait before they can erect a memorial or a headstone on a grave. There is no direct answer to this. Mostly, it depends on the cemetery. While some cemeteries may need you to wait for a set period of time before you can erect memorials, some do not have such rules. Instead, they may encourage you to make plans to order your headstone any time you want.

Many cemeteries suggest that families wait at least six weeks before placing a flat grass marker. But the waiting period is longer if you wish to erect an upright monument. Often, you have to wait for about three to six months to make sure that by the time you do place the memorials, any dirt around the grave would have settled. This is because a new grave takes time to settle and can move around, especially when there is a lot of rainfall. While the ground below is settling, the earth and dirt above are also subject to moving.

In some cemeteries, this issue is addressed by using a special tampering machine that can level the grave. This helps the fresh dirt above to be concentrated right above the grave instead of moving about. As such, families don’t have to wait for a long time to place memorials for their lost loved ones.

Since the ground often needs time to settle, it is advised that you wait about six months before you erect any kind of memorial. Otherwise, if you decide to go ahead with this too soon rather than waiting for the recommended time period, you are highly likely to find yourself ordering replacement memorials soon.

 

Thanks for reading,

Karen

How To Choose A Headstone Inscription
Feb 14, 2019   09:22 AM
by Karen

 

Headstone inscriptions are a special way to remember your loved ones who have passed away. Many people want to inscribe something that truly reflects the kind of person the deceased was, while some may choose favorite quotes or sayings. 

Some people even let their family know the inscription of their choice before their time comes, but if this isn’t the case, it will be up to you, as a loved one, to choose the headstone inscriptions. Here are some tips to help you out.

  • Don’t rush or make decisions in haste

Remember to take your time and don’t rush into anything. Keep in mind that a headstone inscription is something that will remain for a long time, if not forever. Allow yourself and whoever is involved enough time to carefully consider all available options regarding words, design, etc.

  •  Avoid using words unnecessarily

Don’t clutter the headstone with unnecessary words. Simple, short, yet meaningful, wordings are a good choice. For example, don’t clutter with common wordings like “In loving memory of”. Instead, choose words that have an impact on a personal level. 

  • Choose designs and fonts that are timeless

You don’t have to conform to trends that everyone else is following. Choose designs and fonts that you really like, and will stand the test of time. Besides, the designs and fonts chosen can really make a difference on the entire look and feel of the headstone so choose carefully. 

  • Consider quotes from poems, books, or songs

While some people like to put words like “Beloved brother, father and grandfather” or something similar, it may be a good idea to use quotes from poems, books or songs that the deceased really liked, or what you think would accurately capture the feeling of loss, love, or grief.

 

Thanks for reading,

Karen

Everything You Need To Know About Funeral Food
Jan 16, 2019   10:26 AM
by Karen

 

Many people like to serve food at funeral services or memorial services. Even though this is not necessarily an obligation, it has become some sort of a tradition. If you and your family are unable to provide food to your guests for any reason at all, you don’t have to. People understand that you are grieving and busy, that you have a lot on your plate, and they don’t expect anything from you.

However, if you do decide to serve some food for guests at a funeral service or a memorial service, it’s going to take some planning. To help you out, here are some things that you must keep in mind:

  • How many people do you expect to attend?

If you only expect close friends and relatives to attend and the crowd is small, you have a wide variety of options to choose from when it comes to funeral food. However, if you expect a huge number of people to show up, it’s better to go for food items that can be prepared in bulk.

  • What kind of food will you serve?

The kind of food that you serve completely depends on your personal choice and/or your culture. However, to give you some ideas, here are some common funeral foods – Mac and Cheese, fruit and vegetable tray, salad with dressing on the side, cookies and brownies, dinner rolls, lemonade, coffee, etc.

  • Who will be preparing the food?

Oftentimes, it is up to you and your family to prepare the foods. Do not hesitate to ask for help from friends, and they will be more than willing to help you out. Your community can even take care of the food if you are really close. Check with your church community as they may have a special ministry just for this purpose. Some well-wishers may even bring sympathy dishes for you. If your budget allows, consider catering.

 

Thanks for reading,

Karen

Tips on Planning a Graveside Service
Jan 04, 2019   03:36 PM
by Karen


When a loved one dies you can choose to have a graveside service, which is simply a funeral service held at the grave, the site of burial. You can either have a graveside service as a stand-alone ceremony, or it can be conducted after a traditional funeral service held at home, church or a funeral home.

If you are planning a graveside service, here are some important tips to keep in mind:

      Make sure you let people know if it's a private ceremony

If you are having a graveside ceremony, make sure you let people know clearly whether it is open to all, or only meant for close friends and family members to attend especially if you are having a graveside service after a traditional service. People will assume that it's open to all if you don't make your announcement. They will understand if you prefer to keep the graveside service a private event.

Know how a graveside service differs from a traditional funeral service 

Planning a graveside service isn't the same as planning a normal funeral ceremony. For instance, you won't require pallbearers, and by the time attendees have arrived the casket is usually already in place. In most cases, viewings are not allowed, or if allowed, it is only for a brief period. Only one eulogy is delivered in most graveside services, and live music isn't necessary but can be arranged. Flower arrangements are also minimal or not present at all.

 Graveside funeral services are highly cost-effective

If budget is an issue then you can benefit greatly from having just a graveside funeral alone without having a traditional funeral service. For instance, you can cut costs by not having to rent a funeral home or hire catering. You also don't have to pay money for renting limousines, hiring musicians, etc. as these won't be necessary.

 

Thanks for reading,

Karen

 

5 Tips on Writing a Condolence Message
Dec 07, 2018   05:24 PM
by Karen


Loss is a profound, personal experience that is never easy no matter the circumstances, which is why writing a heartfelt and genuine condolence message can be so difficult. You are afraid that you will say the wrong words and make the loss even worse, instead of offering them consolation. You may be afraid that your message might not sound genuine.

We understand how daunting such a simple task can be, so here are a few tips to help you write a condolence message.


      Address them by their names

First, start the message by addressing the bereaved with their names. For instance, Dear, so and so. If youre writing to a family, make sure to include each members name.

Start by offering your condolence

The body of the message should begin with you offering your condolences. You must acknowledge their loss and let them know that you are truly sorry for their loss. For instance, Im sorry to hear about your loss is a simple yet effective choice of words.

 Share positive, personal experiences with the person

It always helps if you can include positive, personal experiences with the person. For example, if the deceased ever helped you or you both had a good laugh, then include that. Families love to hear uplifting stories about their loved ones. You can also include qualities the deceased had that you admire.

 Let them know you are ready to help

The next step is to let the family know that you are ready and willing to help them out in any way that you can. Let them know you are there for them in any way that you can. The important thing is that they receive support from those who matter.

 Sign off with care

Finally, end the message with an appropriate sign off like With my love or Our sympathies, and so on.

 

Thanks for reading,

Karen

 

What to Look For When Hiring a Funeral Director
Oct 04, 2018   11:45 AM
by Karen

 

Losing a loved one is difficult, and having to oversee everything for their funeral makes the experience even harder. You’ll be so preoccupied with getting everything organized that you won’t even have time to mourn and say your last goodbyes. This is where a funeral director comes in.

A funeral director and his or her team takes care of embalming and preparing the body, planning every detail of the service--from handling paperwork to choosing which flowers will be displayed. They are people who can take a huge burden off your back during a difficult time. It is important to find a funeral director that you can trust and depend on. So before you hire one, make sure he/she has these qualities:

  • Should be a good listener

A good funeral director should be able to lend an ear patiently to all their clients with the understanding that each of them is likely to have different requirements. They should be able to listen to your concerns, requests and questions and put you at ease.

  • Should have empathy and great communication skills

A good funeral director should be patient and understanding of the fact that you have just lost an important person in your life. While communicating with you they should be very clear, concise and effective without being rude or disregarding.

  • Should be respectful and should never pressure you

If you ever feel like your funeral director is pressuring you into something you don’t want, like going for a higher-priced product or service, understand that this is not professional behavior. A good funeral director should never take advantage of their clients during a time when they are most vulnerable.

  • Should be transparent with their prices

A good funeral director should have no hidden costs and should openly share their prices with their clients. They should also have fair market pricing.

 

Thanks for reading,

Karen

Remote Funeral Planning: How to Plan a Funeral When You Are Out of Town
Sep 04, 2018   11:35 AM
by Karen

 

Planning the funeral of a loved one is no doubt a painful and difficult experience, but it can even be more stressful when you have to do it from a distance. Today, many families live apart from each other. So, when someone passes away, a family member who lives in a different city or country may have to plan the funeral remotely before they can come home.

Whatever the case may be, planning a funeral from afar poses many challenges, but it is not an impossible task. Here, we will discuss challenges remote funeral planning impose and important points to keep in mind that will make it easier and less stressful for you.

Challenges to remote funeral planning

If you haven’t lived in the area for a long time or haven’t lived there at all, it is highly likely that you may not know the local funeral homes and directors and which ones are the most trustworthy. When you are not the familiar with the area, it becomes more difficult to get things done from far away.

Another thing is that once you get to the area, you may not have time or energy to make all the necessary arrangements for the funeral, which is why it is best to take care of everything as early as possible.

Important tips to keep in mind

  • Thanks to the internet, you can search for local funeral homes in the area, look up their reviews and decide on the best one. It is important that the funeral home of your choice is technology-friendly and has a functioning website from where you can make the arrangements.
  • Another option is to contact them by phone. This is faster, easier and more efficient than inquiring through e-mail.
  • If possible, ask relatives and close friends living in the area for help.

 

Thanks for reading,

Karen

Tips On Writing A Condolence Message
Jul 06, 2018   09:34 AM
by Karen

 

A condolence message, also known as a sympathy note, is a thoughtful and meaningful way to let the bereaved know that you realize what they are going through, that you are thinking of them and are there for them. They provide support to those who are grieving since even the tiniest amount of support is precious during such difficult times.

If you know anyone who has lost a loved one, make sure to send them a condolence message. If you’re not sure how to go about writing it, here are some tips to help you out.

It doesn’t have to be long

Keep in mind that a condolence does not have to be long and made up of complex words. It’s best when it is short and simple as it is easier to process at a time of grief. What matters most is that it is honest and comes from your heart.

Make sure to acknowledge their loss but don’t compare

At the start, express your sadness over their loss using phrases like "I was sad to hear" or "I am thinking of you and your family at this time." This establishes that you acknowledge their loss. However, make sure that you don't compare their loss to yours, even if you have experienced something similar. This is about them, not you.

Share a heart-warming memory you have of the deceased

If you knew the deceased in person, make sure to write a few lines on a positive memory you have about them. This makes the bereaved feel better since they now know that their loved one brought happiness to other people.

Avoid saying things to explain the death

In your condolence message, never try to explain the death. So avoid phrases like "This is for the best" or "This is a part of God's plan." These are not the most pleasant things to hear when someone is grieving.

 

Thanks for reading,

Karen

How To Talk To Someone Who Is Dying
Jun 28, 2018   09:26 AM
by Karen

 

The expectation of the death of a loved one, whatever the reason may be, is not a good feeling at all. Knowing that you will have to say goodbye to them can make your conversations with them extremely uncomfortable or heart-breaking. However, it is important to remember that what matters most is to make your last moments with them count. So, even though it may be difficult, here are a few things to keep in mind when talking to a loved one who is dying.

  • Listen closely and let them guide the conversation

When talking to a person who does not have much time left, the most important thing is to listen closely to what they have to say. From the words they use and the tone of their voice you will be able to know how they want the conversation to be. Remember that it is about them. Be open to talk about what they want to talk about.

  • Make sure to let them know you have nothing but love for them

If there is something you need to forgive them for, make sure you let them know clearly. And if you are the one who has to ask for forgiveness, put away your ego and do so. Also, remember to thank them for all they mean to you. Hearing such things from people who matter help them go in peace.

  • You don’t have to keep it so serious

You may think it insensitive talking to people who are dying about everyday, mundane topics such as what happened at work, or a TV show that you both like to watch. However, this is not always the case. He/she is still the same person and still likes the same things. Besides, discussing such topics will remind them that they are still alive even though they may not have much time left.

 

Thanks for reading,

Karen

Tips On Writing A Eulogy
Jun 07, 2018   02:49 PM
by Karen

 

When writing a eulogy, you should always remember that you are not writing a book about the deceased. So keep it short and sweet, and make your words count. If possible, write a eulogy you can deliver in no more than five minutes. 

To help you out, we have listed some useful tips to help you write a beautiful, meaningful eulogy that everyone can appreciate:

Make sure you choose a positive tone

Focus on the positive qualities of the deceased. If he/she lived a difficult or troubled life, you don’t have to talk about that. The audience probably already knows it, and it will only make mourning that much more difficult. So choose to focus on their positive traits.

Keep it personal by sharing anecdotes and stories

Remember to include humorous or heart-warming stories and anecdotes about the deceased, maybe something that both of you experienced. You can use these stories to support a point that you are trying to make, like how they possessed a positive quality. For example, if you want to share that he/she was someone who was giving and generous, you can share a story to support that.

Don’t talk about yourself for too long 

Always keep in mind that even though you are the one delivering the eulogy, it is not about you. Just give a brief introduction, stating your name and how you are related to or know the deceased. Avoid using too many first person pronouns like “I” and “me”.

Close it with comforting words and say your last goodbye 

Finally, make sure to close your eulogy with words that lend peace and comfort. You can talk about valuable life lessons the deceased taught you, or something similar. Then, end it with one, last goodbye. 

 

Thanks for reading,

Karen

Top Questions You Should Ask Before Choosing A Funeral Home
May 14, 2018   11:46 AM
by Karen

 

Funeral planning is not an easy experience. You have to make necessary arrangements and do what you must despite having lost a loved one. This is why, understandably, most bereaved often do not think straight or make rational decisions with a clear head.

At National Memorial Planning, we understand this ordeal that many people go through. So to make the experience easier for you, here are the top five questions you should always ask before deciding on a funeral home.

  1. How many years have you been in business?

With experience comes expertise. So, don’t forget to ask the funeral home how long they have been in business. Enquire if it is family-owned because usually family-owned funeral homes are passed down from generation, meaning that they have years of experience.

  1. How many people can fit in your chapel?

Knowing how big the chapel is and how many people can fit in will help you plan the funeral in an organized and systematic manner. If possible, visit the funeral home yourself to see how well it can accommodate your plans.

  1. Am I free to choose any service despite my faith/personal beliefs?

All kinds of services like cremation, embalming, viewing and burial should be provided to you regardless of your faith or personal beliefs. It should be noted that embalming is not legally required.

  1. What are your funeral packages like?

Remember to ask what kind of offers or packages they offer so you can get the best deal possible. Funeral homes should have packages ranging from basic to all-inclusive.

  1. What are the payment options available to me?

Funerals can be expensive. Make sure to ask what payment options are available to you. For instance, the funeral home may be open to working with an insurance company or arranging for financial assistance.

 

Thanks for reading,

Karen

How To Choose The Perfect Funeral Song
Apr 13, 2018   11:00 AM
by Karen

 

We all know that picking out music for any occasion is no simple task. The songs or pieces we choose will set the mood and tone of the entire occasion, whatever it may be. But, it’s even more difficult to choose a song for a funeral, whether we are planning our own funeral in advance or it’s for the funeral of a loved one.

As difficult as it may be, the music played at someone’s funeral is an important and memorable part of the entire service, and often what people will remember most. So, if you want a meaningful song that people will remember you with, or you want someone you have lost to be remembered with a particular song, here are some tips on how to choose the perfect funeral song:

  1. Choose something personal and meaningful

The most important factor to consider is that the song or music you choose should be meaningful. And for that, it has to be personal. It doesn’t matter if it does not sound like your usual funeral music. What matters is that it has meaning, and the deceased will be remembered with that music.

  1. Think of how you want people to feel at the funeral

It is well-known that music has the power to make us feel a certain way. The kind of music we listen to can effectively influence our mood. Before choosing a song, consider how the song will make people feel at the funeral. Will it make them feel the way you want them to?

  1. Carefully go through the lyrics first

Before you settle with a song, make sure to go through the lyrics first and understand the meaning. Lyrics are as important as the tune. For example, the words of a song may not be ideal for the kind of funeral you want, or the ideas presented in the song may not match yours or the deceased.

 

Thanks for reading,

Karen

 

How To Cherish Your Loved Ones' Memories During The Holidays
Apr 02, 2018   10:35 AM
by Karen

 

Holidays are a joyous and wonderful time of the year when close friends and families come together in celebration. However, if you have experienced the loss of a loved one, you probably know that holidays, as happy as they are, can be a rather difficult time. The space a loved one left – whether a mother, father, sister, brother, child or anyone – is felt even more deeply during the holiday season.

However, it is possible to remember your loved ones and cherish their memories during these times without having to grieve and miss out on the holiday fun and cheer. Below, we share the different ways you can honor a loved one’s memories during the holidays:

  1. Set a place for them at the table

While this may sound simple, it is deeply meaningful for many families and friends. It signifies that although our loved ones may be physically gone, there will always be place for them and they will live on in our hearts.

  1. Make a donation in their name

A good idea is to donate money or their old clothes, basically anything that could help a special cause. It is even more special if you donate to a cause that your loved one would have strongly supported.

  1. Light a special candle for them

You can keep a beautiful, scented candle lit and place it where you can easily see it, like on the dining table or in the living room. You can light it up throughout the holiday season, but make sure to never leave the candle unattended.

  1. Make a memory blanket

A sweet gesture is to make a memory blanket. Cut out pieces of your loved one’s old clothes and make a quilted blanket out of the pieces. This helps to make you feel like they are still with you.

 

Thanks for reading,

Karen

 

How To Personalize Funeral Services In Honor Of Your Loved Ones
Mar 26, 2018   10:30 AM
by Karen

 

Funeral services are an important ritual that not only helps us to let go of our loved ones, but also remember them and honor their memory in the presence of all who knew them. As such, many people may like to organize a funeral that truly reflects the kind of person the deceased was and the kind of life they lived.

 

If you, too, would like to hold a funeral service that will honor the memory of a loved one in a special and unique way, here are some creative tips on how to personalize a funeral service.

 

Customize their casket or urn

You can have the casket or urn customized in such a way that it truly reflects the deceased. For example, you can decorate it with their favorite possession, or items that are representative of who they were as a person – like their career, passion or hobby. 

Use their passion as an inspiration

Think about what made your loved one most happy. What were they passionate about? In what did they invest most of their time and energy? Use this passion of theirs as a theme for the funeral. For example, if they loved volunteering and charity work, you can invite guests to make donations for a cause that was close to their heart.

Get creative with photo displays

Gather old photos that best reflect the kind of person they were, and tell their life story through these pictures. You can make a collage, hand pictures all over the service location, make wreaths out of such photos, etc.

Ask guests to share their favorite memory

A unique and sweet way to remember your loved one is to ask all the guests to write down their favorite memory with them, along with their names. This is a creative replacement for a registry as well.

 

Thanks for reading,

Karen

How To Let Your Funeral Wishes Known To Your Loved Ones
Mar 05, 2018   10:43 AM
by Karen

 

Talking about death is not the most uplifting and pleasant conversation to have, especially regarding your own death. However, when your time comes, if you would like your funeral conducted in a certain way, or have other funeral wishes you want fulfilled, it is necessary that you speak to your loved ones – often your family – about it in an open manner.

So, to make this process easier for you, here are some useful tips we would like to offer:

  • Have them all together, and be direct and open in communicating your wishes

Firstly, you have to gather everyone you want to impart your wishes to – parents, siblings, partner, children, etc – in a single room. Make sure you choose a quiet, peaceful and private room where you and the people closest to you can discuss the topic openly. When you tell them your wishes, be direct. Tell them clearly if you want to be buried or cremated, whom you want the pallbearers to be, whom you want to give the eulogy, etc.

 

  • Remember to reassure them that your aim is to help, not to upset

Granted this will be an emotional conversation, especially if you are in poor health and death is imminent. So make sure to reassure your loved ones that the point of having this conversation and imparting your last wishes to them is so that they can be relieved of at least some amount of stress during a rough time, and that your intention is not to upset them.

 

  • Include your funeral wishes in your will as well as a separate file

Without legal documentation, your family or whoever plans your funeral is not legally obliged to carry out your wishes. Remember to include your funeral wishes in your last will. If possible, write down, in a detailed manner, your funeral wishes in a separate form for more clarity.

 

Thanks for reading,

Karen