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Which Flower Should You Keep on Your Loved Ones Grave?

Putting flowers on the grave of a loved one is a common practice that many people follow. Especially during the holidays, you may wish to honor your lost loved one, the person they were and the relationship you shared with them. Placing flowers on their grave is the perfect way to do this.

Flowers carry a lot of meaning and symbolism. They come in all shapes, colors and sizes, and each flower represents something different. While there is no set rule you have to follow when choosing which colors to place on the grave of a loved one, it definitely helps to know what the different flowers symbolize.

Below, we discuss different types of flowers, what they represent and what makes them a great choice for remembering your loved one and decorate the final resting place:

  • Red rose: Red rose commonly symbolizes a romantic, passionate love, which makes it ideal for a spouse or someone you were in a relationship with.
  • White rose: White rose represents purity. It shows that the person you have lost was a gentle and pure soul who was kind and loving.
  • Pink rose: Pink rose represents friendship, which makes it the perfect flower if you have lost a close friend.
  • Lily: Usually, lily is ideal for the grave of a husband or wife as the flower represents marriage.
  • Daisy: A daisy stands for innocence. This means that the flower can be placed on the grave of a child, or anyone who you believe was kind-hearted and innocent.
  • Peony: Peonies symbolize healing, making them perfect if you are moving on while still remembering your loved one and what they meant to you.
  • Sunflower: Sunflowers represent adoration. This means its a great choice for almost every occasion and for anyone at all.
  • Pink carnation: This flower symbolizes gratitude. If you are grateful for the time you spent with a loved one and the life lessons they taught you, this is a great choice.

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Tips on Planning a Graveside Service

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 its 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 its open to all if you dont make your announcement. People 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 isnt the same as planning a normal funeral ceremony. For instance, you wont 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 isnt necessary. 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 dont have to pay money for renting limousines, musicians, etc. as these wont be necessary.

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What You Should Know About Pallbearers

Pallbearers are those people who carry or escort the casket at the funeral of a loved one. Usually, pallbearers are close friends or family members of the deceased, and they can be either men or women.

Being a pallbearer is a great honor and signifies that the pallbearer had a very special relationship with the deceased. Usually, there are about six to eight pallbearers in a funeral as there are eight handles three on each side, and one each at the front and back in a casket. Depending on the design of the casket, sometimes, there may only be the handles on the sides.

The responsibility of a pallbearer is to carry the casket from the venue of the funeral to the hearse or funeral coach. Then, if there is a cemetery burial after the funeral service, the pallbearers must carry the casket from the hearse to the site of burial. Moreover, if the funeral service is closed casket, the pallbearers usually bring in the casket at the start of the ceremony. However, for an open casket funeral, the casket will already be placed at the venue by the staff of the funeral home you have hired.

How to choose a pallbearer

While choosing a pallbearer, it is important to keep in mind that this is a very special and honorable responsibility which should be filled in only by the people who were extremely close to the deceased. Whether it is a father, mother, son, daughter, uncle, aunt, cousin, husband, wife, or best friend, it is crucial that a pallbearer is emotionally, mentally and physical capable of carrying out the task.

If any person is unfit mentally, emotionally or physically, then they can serve as an honorary pallbearer. This means that they can walk alongside the actual pallbearers without having to carry the casket.

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5 Tips on Writing a Condolence Message

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.

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Who Can Conduct Funeral Ceremonies?

Most people believe that funeral ceremonies can be officiated only by religious leaders such as priests. However, the truth is that there are no rules that say that only religious leaders can conduct a funeral service. In fact, unlike many ceremonies such as a wedding, the person officiating a funeral does not need to have power vested in them by a higher authority.

What this means is that basically anyone can conduct a funeral ceremony. What matters is that the service is in tune with the deceaseds beliefs or what the family sees as most fitting. With that in mind, here are your options when it comes to conducting a funeral service:

  • Religious leaders

Religious leaders are the most common conductors of funeral services as most funerals are conducted following a set of religious orders. For instance, a prayer or reading may be a part of the step, which is usually carried out by a priest or a vicar. This is most suitable if your loved one was religious or spiritual. You can ask the religious leader to conduct the funeral in a place of worship, and he/she may ask questions regarding your loved one or if there are any specific requirements.

  • Celebrants

Very few are aware of celebrants. You probably know them and what they do, but dont know what they are called. Celebrants are simply people who conduct a funeral ceremony. They are not associated with any religion or belief system. They are professionals who know the right way to officiate funeral ceremonies as per the wishes of the deceased or the family, and this includes religious and non-religious ceremonies.

  • Family members and close friends

As mentioned before, anyone can conduct a funeral service since one does not need to have a certain power or authority to do so. This means that even friends and family members can conduct a funeral service if they wish to do so.

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Tips on Going Back to Work After the Loss of a Loved One

Going back to work after having lost a loved one may seem like the most daunting task. You are probably still grieving, and it is likely that you find it difficult to focus on anything at all. Besides, not everyone at work will understand what you are going through, and this can only make the transition more difficult.

Its true that returning to work after losing a loved one is no easy task, but there are some ways that can help you out.

  • Think of returning to work as something positive

Going back to work may be the last thing you want to do while grieving, but you can look at it in a much more positive way. When you return to work, you are surrounded by other people, you get back into a routine, and your mind has other things to focus on. This keeps you distracted from focusing only on your loss.

  • Dont take on more than you can handle

While focusing on your work can be a good distraction, you must make sure not to take on too much work. You may think that overloading your responsibilities will keep you distracted even more, but it can only make things harder for you. It will be easier to get stressed and burnout.

  • Stay in touch with your manager or HR

For a few weeks after your return to work, make sure you communicate with HR or your manager. Let them know how you are coping, and dont be ashamed to ask for help if you need anything. Even if they do not regularly check up with you, dont hesitate to reach out first.

These are some of the best ways you can make sure returning to work after losing a loved one is not too much for you to take. If these dont help, then you should consider giving yourself more time to grieve.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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