If your death occurred today, would your loved one know how to arrange your funeral wishes and how you would like to be celebrated?
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Someone you love has died and you are now faced with the difficult, but important, need to mourn. According to Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D, Director of the Center for Loss and Life Transition “Mourning is the open expression of your thoughts and feelings regarding the death and the person who has died. It is an essential part of healing.”
Scientists have proven petting animals can reduce stress, lower blood pressure and even create a hormonal response that raises serotonin levels and helps fight depression. For many years, therapy dogs have been on the scene where natural disasters or traumatic events have occurred. According to the American Kennel Club, a therapy dog goes with its owners to volunteer in settings such as schools, hospitals and nursing homes. From working with a child who is learning to read to visiting a senior in....
At one point in time or another, you will likely be involved with planning a funeral or Life Celebration. While this is a daunting task that no one looks forward to doing, if done in advance your efforts will be very beneficial to your family and friends when it is time to say goodbye to your loved one. If you are the family member or friend who is responsible for planning a funeral at the time of need, don’t worry, your funeral director will walk you through every decision and help you every step of the way.
Anyone who has experienced a death of a loved one may find the holidays difficult. The season can become filled with feelings of sadness, loss and emptiness. “Society encourages you to join in the holiday spirit, but all around you the sounds, sights and smells trigger memories of the one you love who has died,” said Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D, Director of the Center for Loss and Life Transition “During the holidays it is important to remember to be tolerant and compassionate with yourself.”
It’s a new year! For many people that means life starts over. It’s a time to try to live better, be more organized, and complete tasks that perhaps were overlooked during the previous year. As you are making your resolutions and lists of all the things you want to do to make your life better in 2018, have you considered discussing having the Talk of a Lifetime with your loved ones? What is the Talk of a Lifetime you might be asking. Having the Talk of a Lifetime means sharing your story....
If you have attended a funeral service recently, you may have noticed that it was a little more upbeat and celebratory than the services you attended when you were a young adult or child. With the baby boom population being 75 million strong, it’s no surprise that today’s funeral services have become “Life Celebrations” instead of a room full of friends and family wearing black attire and sad faces.
Although it took a little longer for the cold, icy and grey weather to roll into Central Kentucky this year, Winter seems like an eternity for those of us who like the more moderate Spring temperatures living just south of the Mason Dixon line gifts to us. For many people though, the bone chilling weather bring with it sickness, depression and grief. These illnesses can be caused by something as simple as being vulnerable to sickness to suffering from seasonal affective disorder to coping.....
Regardless of your age, there is a good chance that you have attended at least one or two funerals. For those people reading this article, there is a greater chance that you’ve possibly attended many more funerals than just two. Unfortunately, over the past year, I personally have attended more funerals than normal. With each funeral I attend, my belief that funerals are an important ritual to help the living acknowledge loss and begin the grief process grows even stronger. Funerals do matter.
Whether you’re a boomer or the child of a boomer, you may have started talking about the next 10, 20 or even 30 years and planning for the retirement years. If you have already had the retirement conversation and started planning, congratulations – you are doing yourself and your family a favor by considering and possibly making decisions about the many choices you have available to you. If you haven’t, don’t worry, you aren’t alone.
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Have you ever considered how much your family has experienced during your lifetime together? From the birth of your children to the first and last days of school to weddings and all the vacations, ballgames and performances in between, you probably have many stories to share with friends and families. Along the way, I’m pretty certain you have probably taken hundreds if not thousands of photos and videos of your family and friends to help document your journey.
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Anyone who has experienced a death of a loved one may find the holidays difficult. The season can become filled with feelings of sadness, loss and emptiness.
“Society encourages you to join in the holiday spirit, but all around you the sounds, sights and smells trigger memories of the one you love who has died,” said Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D, Director of the Center for Loss and Life Transition “During the holidays it is important to remember to be tolerant and compassionate with yourself.”
While there are no set guidelines for coping with the hurt during the holiday’s, Dr. Wolfelt offers several suggestions to help grieving people continue their healing journey during the holiday season.
Talk About Your Grief
Don't be afraid to express your feelings of grief. Ignoring your grief won't make the pain go away and talking about it openly often makes you feel better. Identify friends and relatives who understand that the holiday season can increase your sense of loss and allow you to talk openly about your feelings.
Be tolerant of Your Physical and Psychological Limits
Feelings of loss will probably leave you fatigued. Lower your own
expectations about being at your peak physically and mentally during the holiday season.
Eliminate Unnecessary Stress
You may already feel stressed, so don't overextend yourself. Avoid isolating yourself, but be sure to recognize the need to have special time for yourself. Realize also that merely "keeping busy" won't distract you from your grief, but may actually increase your level of stress.
Talk About the Person Who Has Died
Include the person's name in your holiday conversation. If you are able to talk candidly, other people are more likely to recognize your need to remember that special person who was an important part of your life.
Do What Is Right for You During the Holidays
Plan Ahead for Family Gatherings
Decide which family traditions you want to continue and which new ones you would like to begin. Plan out the activities you want to do so you don’t get caught off guard. This can create feelings of panic, fear and anxiety when your feelings of grief are already heightened. Leave room to change your plans if you feel it is appropriate.
Embrace Your Treasure of Memories
Memories are one of the best legacies that exist after the death of someone loved. And holidays always make you think about times past. Instead of ignoring these memories, share them with your family and friends. Keep in mind that memories are tinged with both happiness and sadness.
Express Your Faith
During the holidays, you may find a renewed sense of faith or discover a new set of beliefs. Associate with people who understand and respect your need to talk about these beliefs. You may want to attend a holiday service or special religious ceremony.
Attend Holiday Hope
You may wish to participate in Holiday Hope, a program designed to help people cope with their loss during the holidays. Holiday Hope is being held at Milward Funeral Directors, 1509 Trent Boulevard, Lexington, on Monday, November 13 at 6pm. Co-
Kim Wade has been a marketing consultant for more than 20 years specializing in the funeral industry. Currently, she is the Community Relations Director for Milward Funeral Directors, the 37th-