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:....
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.
As a funeral director, I am sometimes asked what is the best way to talk with grieving children about death. While every situation is unique, here are some suggestions from Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D., for communicating with your child in most circumstances.
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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:
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 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-