PRE-PLANNING ONE'S FINAL WISHES SPARES LOVED ONES FROM EMOTIONAL AND FINANCIAL BURDENS

If your death occurred today, would your loved one know how to arrange your funeral wishes and how you would like to be celebrated?

When death occurs there are numerous things that all need to be done quickly, such as:....


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SUPPORT GROUPS HELP FAMILIES HEAL WHEN SOMEONE DIES

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.”

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GRIEF THERAPY DOGS HELP REDUCE STRESS AND COMFORT HUMANS

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....

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FUNERALS, MEMORIALS SERVICES AND MONUMENTS MATTER

I understand discussing or pre-arranging a funeral is not a welcome subject for most people. Some even question if funerals or life celebrations are really necessary.


But there are compelling reasons why funerals and life celebrations matter. Whether you choose a traditional funeral or life celebration, it provides a profound experience that ultimately aids in the grieving process.


These are the seven key reasons funerals and life celebrations matter:


  1. They bring together friends and family whose support and compassion give us comfort and perspective.
  2. They help us express our grief in a safe setting.
  3. They let us share memories, tributes and appreciation for the life of the deceased.
  4. They help us acknowledge the reality of death.
  5. They allow for the expression of faith.
  6. They provide us with a sense of continuity — that life goes on.
  7. They encourage our acceptance of loss and help us heal.


Virtually everyone who comforts family and friends at a visitation and attends a funeral or life celebration experiences a profound sense of their importance and helpfulness.  

More than endings, funerals and life celebrations are bridges of transition. As time passes and grief subsides, we appreciate more fully the relationship that endures. We see that the words spoken and feelings experienced during the visitation and funeral help us reach a place of fond memory and deep appreciation for the person whose life is celebrated.


As a funeral director, I believe conducting funerals is a sacred trust that allows me to help families transition from what can sometimes be a devastating moment to a time of peace, knowing their loved one is no longer hurting or sick.


In recent years, the rate of cremation has grown as much as 29 percent in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and as high as 77 percent in states such as Washington. A number of people think with cremation, little needs to be done but to have the remains scattered. What people may not understand is cremation is simply a type of final disposition just as burial is a type of final disposition.


For the people left behind, a visitation and service as part of the grieving process for someone who has been cremated is every bit as profound and helpful as a

traditional funeral and burial. This ritual still matters for the same reasons a visitation matters when traditional burial is chosen.


The important point is we need ritual and ceremony to help us comprehend major life changes. When words are inadequate, we use ritual. It is no different than the experiences we have at baptisms and weddings.


As the years go by, having a place of permanent memorialization allows family and friends a tangible area to visit — a sacred spot where you can engage in quiet reflection and rekindle treasured memories of the deceased.


You can choose from a number of possibilities: scattering gardens with permanent markers, urn gardens, traditional urn burial or niches in mausoleums or special areas on cemetery grounds. Some people prefer to keep the urns in their homes and others prefer having their ashes scattered at a remote spot, but I recommend having a special permanent marker placed at a cemetery.

JOEY TUCKER

Joey Tucker has been serving the Lexington community as a funeral director for Milward Funeral Directors since 2007 and has been a licensed funeral director since 2002. Milward is the 37th- oldest continuously operated family business in the United States which operates three locations in Lexington. Joey can be reached at 859-252-3411.

more articles by Joey Tucker