Planting a Memorial Garden

June 26th, 2011

The purpose of a Memorial Garden is to keep memories of a loved on close by. It’s a tribute in honor and remembrance of someone you have lost.Creating a Memorial Garden

Setting aside a place in your backyard dedicated to your loved one’s memory, gives you a place that is relaxing, serene, and calming. A place to speak to your loved one in the privacy and comfort of your own home. A memorial garden is also a wonderful healing tool for children who are grieving the loss of a parent or sibling. Letting the child help create the memorial, including objects or flowers that are important to them can help ease the pain.

Starting Your Memorial Garden

Create a rock garden by outlining a quiet, secluded area of your yard with stones. Stones you can find in nature or buy from a nursery. Plant flowers or a small tree in the center. Adding decorative, solar lights to your memorial garden will keep the memory of your loved one shining bright.

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How to Create a Meaningful Eulogy

June 22nd, 2011

What is a Eulogy?

A eulogy is a heartfelt, good-bye tribute to honor and celebrate the life of the deceased. This tribute addresses not only to the person who has died, but to the friends and family that have gathered at the service.

Man Giving A Eulogy At A Military FuneralA Eulogy Includes:

  • An introduction to the person’s life
  • Details, such as family, friends, interests, passions, likes and dislikes
  • Significant memories and achievements of the deceased
  • Scriptures, poetry and favorite stories written or enjoyed by the deceased are commonly read

It does not have to be perfect, the most touching and meaningful eulogies come from the heart. Eulogies are not a biography, rather a loving and heartfelt speech that expresses the feelings and experiences shared between the person giving it and the deceased. Remember, whatever you write and deliver in the eulogy will be appreciated by the people in attendance.

How To Write A Eulogy

1.) Recall memories: Think about the relationship you shared, where you met, what you did together, humorous or touching memories and what you will miss the most.

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Coping with Grief

June 20th, 2011

Losing a loved one can be one of the most difficult experiences in our lives. The loss of a loved one can throw you into a place of uncertainty. Allowing the time to grieve, reminisce, reflect and accept will help heal your emotional state. We heal by taking time to focus on the loss, and how it will affect us.

Grief differs from one person to another, and is a normal response to loss. The journey from initial shock and disbelief, to acceptance and emotional stability takes time. The amount of time it actually takes depends on the person. The grieving period can last from several weeks, to months and possibly years.

What is Grief?

Grief, in its simplest terms, is a reaction to loss. It affects us spiritually, behaviorally, physically and cognitively. Our response is affected by our culture, religion, gender and circumstances surrounding the loss. Bereavement is the way we process grief.

When coping with grief you might feel:

  • Strong emotions, such as sadness, anger, helplessness and loneliness.
  • Funeral Director and Grieving CoupleNumbness, or a sense that the situation isn’t real.
  • Physical reactions, such as insomnia or waves of nausea.
  • Spiritual reactions to a death. Some people find themselves questioning their beliefs and feeling disappointed in religion, while others find that they feel more strongly than ever about their faith.
  • Separation from family members and friends.
  • A loss of interest in hobbies and melancholy.
  • Memory loss, shortened attention span or difficulty communicating with others.
  • Guilt.

Other physical symptoms related to grief are:

  • Weight loss or weight gain
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches, chest pain or high heart rate
  • Digestive problems
  • Hair loss
  • Night sweats

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Children & Grief: Coping With A Death

December 27th, 2010

Honesty is the Best Policy When Addressing Death with Children

The death of a loved one can be a painful experience for anyone, but for a child, it can be especially difficult. It’s important that adults provide an environment that promotes healing. The National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) offers suggestions on how to help children cope with loss.

Father and Grieving ChildrenIt may be difficult to inform a child about the death of a loved one, but honesty is the best policy. Avoid using euphemisms, such as “Grandma is sleeping” or “Uncle John went on a long trip.” For young children, be straightforward and use simple phrases, such as “…the person’s body has stopped working and won’t work anymore.” For older children, more details may be appropriate.

Many often wonder whether children should attend funerals. Experts agree that it is healthy for children to attend the funerals of their loved ones. Prior to the funeral, parents should discuss with their child what will happen at the visitation, funeral or memorial service. Be honest and clear – children take things literally, so avoid being vague in your descriptions.

If a child feels comfortable, they may wish to play a role in the funeral service. Let them read a poem or letter, or sing or play a song during the service. Funeral directors can find ways for the child to participate in the service.

Just like adults, death is something a child will not just “get over.” In addition to having a confidant who provides continuous love and assurance, there are other ways adults can help children cope with grief.

Be a role model: Children often imitate what they see. They will look to their parents or other significant adults for cues about grieving. It’s important for children to know it’s okay to express their emotions following the death of a loved one.

More Tips For Helping Children Deal With Grief:

Find peer support: For many people, identifying with peers who are going through a similar experience can be uplifting. The camaraderie of a grief support group can be a powerful healing tool.

Incorporate ritual: Whether it’s lighting a candle, helping scatter cremated remains or taking part in an activity that was special to the deceased, rituals can help a child focus on the memory of their loved one.

Use the arts: It may be difficult for children to verbalize their feelings; the arts can be an outlet for expressing grief. Writing, painting, poetry, music and crafts can help children express what they are experiencing.

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Merry Griefmas! Working Through Grief During The Holidays

December 1st, 2010

The holidays are fast approaching. While Thanksgiving and Christmas for most are anticipated with joy and cheer, for some, it is dreaded. Their loved one has died and they just aren’t sure how everything is going to work this year, or if they even want it to work.

My father died suddenly the morning after Thanksgiving. The thought of Christmas was just mind numbing to say the least. I had young nieces and nephews so we knew we had to do something somewhat normal, even though there was nothing normal about it. Let me give you some advice about how we coped that Christmas.

CRY IF YOU NEED TOO! It is okay to let others know you are going through something so difficult and, by being free with your emotions, encourages your family that it is okay to openly grieve. The day will be tough, be upfront about that. You just might find out that they are experiencing some of the same feelings. Let them know that you don’t expect the perfect holiday. Just because you and your loved ones have always done the same thing for Christmas, Hanukkah, or Thanksgiving doesn’t mean you have to keep doing it that way. Just do what you feel comfortable doing.

For example, we used to celebrate with both sets of my grandparents separately. We chose just to have one Christmas celebration at one house. It actually made it much easier on my mother and on everyone else. With that being said, keep the traditions that are most dear to your heart. You may experience some comfort and have fond memories. My family always goes to Mass on Christmas Eve. It is always a magical experience for me. And even though I was raw with emotion, I could feel my father’s spirit surrounding me at that service. However, if you don’t feel like you can attend services this year, then don’t.

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Memorializing A Loved One With Cremation Jewelry

August 12th, 2010

Keeping a Loved One Near With a Keepsake

keepsake cremation jewelryPeople have always had the desire to memorialize loved ones and find ways to keep their memory alive. The tradition of keepsakes originated centuries ago, when a lock of a deceased loved one’s hair was encased in gold or silver. Memorial jewelry is again becoming a very popular way to honor the memory of a loved one and truly have them by your side for eternity.

Personal Style

From rings to lockets, or even sentimental pieces in the shape of a cross or butterfly, keepsake cremation jewelry comes in many designs and styles to create a very personal memorial. It can make a statement as unique as the person it memorializes.

Lokcet KeepsakeCremation jewelry comes in a variety of forms and styles including key chains, bracelets and other small items in which a portion of the cremated ashes can be kept. Very custom designs are also available today including a baseball, fish or cowboy boot that will serve as a very fond and personal memory of someone with a great passion for a particular hobby.

Lockets and pendants make beautiful memorials that can be worn daily like a stylish personal accessory. These small keepsake cremation urns can hold a small amount of ashes, dried flowers from a funeral arrangement or even soil from a sacred ground. Cremation jewelry can create a family heirloom for generations to come. They also allow for a small memento to be cherished and saved in a jewelry box or displayed.

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