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What Is Embalming And Why Is It Done?

Many funeral homes offer a service performed on the body of a loved one who has passed away, known as embalming. Embalming is the process of preserving a body after death so as to delay decomposition. It also involves disinfecting the body and making it visually appealing for visitation by applying make-up.

For many years, humans have been practicing embalming in various forms. Thousands of years ago, the Egyptians practiced it, and we still continue this today in different cultures and religion, although the forms may vary.

There are two main types of embalming, both differing in process. The first is called arterial embalming, where the blood in the body is replaced with certain embalming fluids or solutions. Blood will be removed through the veins, while the embalming solutions enter the body through the arteries. These solutions are usually a mixture of formaldehyde, ethanol, glutaraldehyde, phenol, ethanol, and water.

The other type of embalming is known as cavity embalming. Here, a small incision is made through which the natural fluids found in the abdomen and chest are drained. The embalming solution replaces the natural fluids, thus preventing early decomposition of the body.

Before the embalming process starts in both cavity and arterial embalming, the body is thoroughly washed with a disinfectant solution. To prevent any stiffness of muscles and joints, the body is also massaged.

Why is embalming done?

There are three main reasons why embalming is done:

  • Preservation

The first reason for embalming is to preserve the body of the deceased so that it can be displayed longer for visitation, or if the burial is several days away.

  • Restoration

Embalming restores the body of the deceased, making it more visually appealing.

  • General hygiene

Embalming is done so as to protect anyone coming in contact with the body, as well as to prevent any odor before burial.

Thanks for reading,

Karen

Most Popular Hymns For Funeral Ceremonies

Hymns are perhaps the most popular choice of music in funeral ceremonies. After all, it is easy to find peace and comfort in singing a beautiful, melodious religious song while you say your last goodbyes to your departed loved one. Below, we list out the most popular hymns often sung at funeral services:

  • In the Sweet By and By

This hymn conjures up images of peace and serenity, reminding us though we may say our goodbyes now, we will meet our loved ones again in heaven. A song that is so strong in faith and hopeful is always a good choice when we need to hear these words the most.

  • Amazing Grace

Even though the lyrics of this hymn may have nothing to do with losing a loved one, it is a timeless Christian song that is ideal in any religious event. The song lets us know that we have all been saved by God and helps us give thanks to His “amazing grace.”

  • Great is Thy Faithfulness

This hymn provides a sense of comfort to those who have suffered a great loss. It reminds them that even though things may change and we may lose our loved ones, Gods love and compassion for us will always remain the same.

  • It is Well with My Soul

This hymn reminds us that whatever happens, no matter what tragedy strikes us, if we have God, we learn to accept these experiences and instead of letting them tear us down, we learn from them and become wiser and stronger.

  • Old Rugged Cross

The lyrics of this song are very powerful, yet soothing to those who have lost a friend or a family member. It reminds us that even if our loved one has left this earth, they are now in a better place with God, just like how Jesus died on the “old rugged cross” and went to be with His Father.

Thanks for reading!

Karen

Remain Immortal Through End-Of-Life Applications

It is tough – yet, one of the most important tasks for a family member is to plan their end of life. After the demise of a loved one, they can still be immortal through end-of-life planning. It may be sharing stories and life experiences, discussing things previously unspoken, and spending their last days in comfort and dignity. Also, proper planning for the end-of-life may include preparing wills, funerals, advance care directives, and even just helping them consider their legacy.

Mobile applications allow easy and authorized access to your data after death. Here are some reliable end-of-life applications:

  • Cake: Cake allows you to share your end-of-life wishes. Based on the answers to the questionnaire each user profile may be categorized as legacy, legal/financial, health, and funeral. Each category is accompanied by action steps to carry out those wishes.
  • MyDirectives: You can digitize your voice and thoughts in a legal advance care plan, including your health information and end-of-life plans. The information is secure in the cloud and accessible 24/7 anytime anywhere. This allows the doctors to access the patients vital information right from his iPhone lock screen.
  • Everplans: It is a digital vault for your loved ones, an archive of everything they will need after your death. You can securely store wills, passwords, funeral wishes and more in the sharable vault. Share what you have done, complete your personalized to-do list, upload everything to the vault, and share your plan with your family.
  • SafeBeyond: This app is a legacy management service. You can store your life stories in the form of meaningful digital content and deliver it in the form of personalized messages accessible by your loved ones in the future.

Mobile apps like these may be great complements to the end-of-life hospice care resources that can be found through Crossroads. Plan your end-of-life with these apps and live forever with your loved ones.

Thanks for reading,
Karen

How To Grieve In a Healthy Manner

When you lose someone that is close to you, the thought of living life after their death can be a terrifying one, especially if you lived under the same roof with them. However, the truth is that life goes on and we should be able to cope with our grief in a healthy manner so that we can get on with our lives without them. Its okay and normal to grieve in your own way, as long as it is not detrimental for your well-being and those around you. Here are some tips on how to grieve in a healthy manner.

  • Understand that grieving doesn’t mean you’re weak

First and foremost, you should understand that grieving is normal and completely okay. You shouldn’t feel guilty for how you feel. Instead, allow yourself to feel your emotions and embrace them completely. It’s the only way you will get through it.

  • Create a safe space where you can honor your loved ones memory

Whether it is a small corner in the house where their picture hangs or a bench in the park dedicated to them, you can create some sort of a memorial for your loved one. This safe space can help you feel closer to them.

  • Don’t be afraid to reach out to friends and family

When you are grieving, it is easy to pull yourself away from everyone and suffer on your own. However, this is not healthy and could only lead to other issues. Instead, make sure you reach out to your close friends and family for support, discuss how you feel and allow others to lend a shoulder.

  • Find a creative outlet for your grief

A healthy way to cope with the loss of a loved one is to channel your grief into creative expression. Whether its writing, painting, sketching, music or any other art form, finding a creative outlet can really help.

Thanks for reading,

Karen

Remote Funeral Planning: How To Plan A Funeral When You Are Out Of Town

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 afar. 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 impossible. 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 havent lived in the area for a long time or havent 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 afar.

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

What To Look For When Hiring a Funeral Director

Losing a loved one is difficult, and having to oversee everything for their funeral makes the experience even harder. Youd be so preoccupied with getting everything organized that you wont even have time to mourn and say your last goodbyes. This is where a funeral director comes in.

A funeral director takes care of embalming and preparing the body, planning every detail of the service from handling paperwork to choosing which flowers will be displayed. He/she is someone 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 are 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 dont 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

Why Funerals Are Significant For The Living

Funerals are an important ritual when a loved one has passed away. Many argue that there is no point in holding such elaborate rituals when someone is already dead, but what these people do not understand is that funerals are for the living, not for the dead. It is necessary that we have a positive reception of funerals so we can learn to respect and appreciate the role they play in our understanding of life and death.

Below, we discuss a few points to help establish why funerals are for the living.

  • Funerals provide us with a physical point of departure

Funerals provide us with the proper time and space to say goodbye to our loved ones who have passed. This is one of the most important reasons why we have funerals they serve as a ritual that helps us acknowledge that someone is no longer with us.

  • Funerals help us move on with our lives

Since funerals provide us with a chance to say goodbye to those people we have lost, they also allow us to move on with our lives without them. Once we acknowledge our loss, it becomes easier to move on and start our lives without them.

  • Funerals allow us to reach out to family and friends

Another important role of funerals is that they serve as a time and place for family, relatives, and friends to lend their support to each other, to those who are grieving. Since a lot of people from the community come together, it becomes easier to feel strengthened even amidst loss.

  • Funerals allow us time and space for reflection

As living beings who go on with our daily lives, we hardly think of profound topics such as life and death. However, it is important to reflect on these, so we know just how precious life is, and funerals allow us this time for reflection.

Thanks for reading!

Karen

Offering Support To Children During Times Of Grief

Children are sensitive beings who express emotions differently compared to adults. When they lose a loved one, children show grief in different ways depending on their age, circumstances, and how close they were to the person who passed away.

If your child has lost a loved one, it is important for you to stay by their side and offer support in any way possible. Here are some ways to help a child cope during times of grief.

  1. Talk to your child about death and explain things using simple words and terms. Approach the subject rationally but show your little one you care. If you are breaking the bad news to them, be direct but give them time to analyze what you just said.
  2. Different children react differently to the news of a loved one passing away. Some children cry while others are curious and ask questions. Stay by your child’s side and watch how they react. Offer reassurance, hold them, and answer any questions they may have. If your child does not react at all, do not force them to say something. Let them be but stay by their side.
  3. In most cases, the death of a close family member means that there could be changes your child should expect, such as not being able to visit Grandma again. Explain the situation to him or her and tell them of the changes they will start noticing shortly.
  4. Speak to your child about last rites and funerals. Allow them to participate in memorial services. It is wise to inform them that a funeral will take place and explain what happens during one. Explain some details of cremation or burial if necessary.

As days pass following the loved ones death, encourage your child to talk about that person and make sure he or she remembers them. Do not shy away from discussing the person who passed away. While taking care of your little one, also make sure that you have enough time and space to allow yourself to grieve.

Thanks for reading!

Karen

Uncommon Funeral Practices in Different Cultures

Every culture has their own way of dealing with death and how to honor the dead. While being cremated and buried are fairly common practices, there are numerous cultures that have a different, even unusual funeral practice. Read on to find out more:

  • South Koreas burial beads

In South Korea, a common practice allows you to wear your dead relatives as jewelry. Yes, after cremation, many opt to transform the ashes into beads of various colors like pink, blue-green and black instead of burying them.

  • Swedens late burial

In Sweden, even though the country is mostly, there are still some unique funeral rituals which have survived through the ages. One such ritual involves burying or cremating the body only about one or three weeks after death. During these weeks, the body is rested in a special place.

  • South Africas ash-smeared windows

In South Africa, death and funeral practices are important parts of their culture, and their deceased ancestors are viewed with respect and fear. When someone dies, ash is smeared on the windows of the house where they died, and all the beds are taken out from the room to make space for the mourners. Animal scarification may also occur. And after the funeral, before entering the house again, everyone needs to wash off any dirt they may have gotten from the graveyard. They believe this removes bad luck.

  • Ghanas unique coffins

A common funeral practice in Ghana is being buried in unique coffins. They want to be buried in a coffin that represents who they are and what their life was like. So, for instance, if a pilot dies, then his coffin may take the shape of a plane. The whole idea is to customize the coffin, so it speaks about the person’s life in the best way possible.

Thanks for reading!

Karen

Moving Houses After The Loss Of A Loved One: What You Should Know

Losing someone you love is heart-breaking, even more so if you shared a house with them. It can be extremely difficult to relocate houses while you are grieving. You are leaving a home that is filled with so many happy memories of your loved one memories you want to cherish forever. It is completely natural to experience feelings of sadness, guilt and even anger during such times.

However, you should acknowledge that no matter how difficult it may be, it must be done, and here are a few things you should know that may make the experience easier for you.

  • Dont be too hard on yourself

Everyone grieves and gets back to the world on their own terms, at their own pace. Dont push yourself too hard even if it takes you longer than most. Nor should you feel guilty if it takes you a shorter period of time. Take your own time.

  • See the new home as a fresh start or bring in their belongings: Its up to you

If you are relocating and you wish to use this opportunity to finally move on, thats alright. Its a great idea and you should be happy with yourself for having the courage. And if you feel that you are not ready yet and you want to bring in things that remind you of your loved one, then thats okay too. Bereavement is a personal experience and you shouldnt care about what others think.

  • If you are moving to help cope with your grief, make sure its your own rational decision

If you have decided to move as a way to help you cope with your loss and grief and not because you have to, then always make sure no one friends or family is influencing your decision. It is a huge change and you should be the one to decide.

Thanks for reading,

Karen