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Posts Tagged ‘funerals’

PRE-PLANNING MY FUNERAL-Is it my responsibility? 

Sitting down with loved ones to plan your funeral may not be high on the priority list, but it is something that should be discussed in order to ensure a ceremony or service that reflects your legacy and provides for your wishes. Otherwise, the “to-do list” could be overwhelming for bereaved family members.  The choice of having a traditional funeral, being buried in a green casket, having ashes dispersed in the ocean, or the decision to donate your body to science are based on an individual’s personal beliefs, religion, and passions.

A retired schoolteacher preplanned her service to include ceremony music, how her body would be returned to the earth, and who was to be invited to the church. While diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, she composed a beautiful letter to be imprinted on the back of the funeral program. She expressed the gratitude and love she had for all the guests, the happiness in her life, and how she enjoyed living life to its fullest. She did it all.

In a sense, purchasing life insurance is pre-planning. It is a guarantee that upon one’s death, a lump sum of money will be available to cover funeral costs and other expenses. Hypothetically, if a 40-year-old bought a $100,000 Whole Life insurance policy and passed at the age of 60, the total cash value would equal $34,400 with a death benefit of $113,600 based on dividends earned – all from a total out-of-pocket investment of $31,400. This money could cover various costs associated with a funeral or memorial service along with the survivors’ unpaid expenses.

Benevolent Funds are collections taken up by churches and are often included within fiscal budgets. These collections provide funds to assist with funeral costs of members who were not successful in purchasing life insurance prior to death. If families are in an impoverished financial state or someone is diagnosed with a terminal illness, a small, modified life insurance policy is an alternative. Some churches may find benevolent funds too much of a burden on budgets; their monies could be used to support those in need who are still living.

Know your options and plan ahead.  Do it as an act of love for those you will leave behind.

This article was written in collaboration with the Family Life Transition Team, assisting families with life changing events such as; the death of a loved one, infant or pregnancy, divorce/separation, disabling event or illness, passing of a pet, physical catastrophes, adoption, or job loss. For more information contact Melody Anderson of Chadwick Insurance Group, LLC, 336. 707.9308. Family Life Transition Team can come to you.

Just a Cloud Away, Inc. ™ Journal

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 Terms to be Familiar with when Preplanning a Funeral

Archival Photographsprinted on high quality paper, fade and water-resistant, ideal for outdoor memory gardens.

Bio-Degradable Urn-non-toxic and will decompose over time without harming the earth

Body Donation-donation of whole body for medical research or education

Body Transport-NC does not require the deceased loved one to be transported by the funeral homes

Budget-what are you willing to pay for the entire funeral or memorial service?

Burial Interment by burial in a grave

Burial Liner Outer burial container for a casket, a minimum requirement by most cemeteries

Body Donation-donation of whole body for medical research or education

Burial Vault Protective outer burial container for a casket

Casket The box-like container the body is placed in

Cemetery/graveyard Private, military or community grounds for burying the dead

Columbarium An arrangement of niches to hold cremation urns, usually fronted by glass, bronze, marble or granite and may be located either indoors or outdoors

Cremated remains Remains recovered following cremation

Cremation The reduction, by direct flame, of the body to its basic elements. Some facilities will provide this free of charge for early pregnancy losses and stillbirths.

Crypt Cubicle designed to contain a casket usually in a mausoleum

Eco-Eternity Forest-are undisturbed forest preservations providing ecologically friendly and peaceful resting places for cremated ashes. Ashes are placed in biodegradable urns and buried at the roots of mature trees. Over time, the roots will absorb the nutrients and create a living memorial

Eco-friendly options-embalming fluids are not used, cremation is not used, respecting nature with little harm like burial at sea

Embalm The preserving and sanitizing of the body. The state of NC does not require this, dried ice is another alternative

Funeral Ceremony A service or rite, religious or non-religious, held at a funeral home, church or elsewhere with the body present

Graveside Ceremony-A service or rite, religious or non-religious, held at the cemetery with casket (interment) or urn present (internment)

Green Burials–  any one of a number of options that doesn’t leave a body in a metal casket in the ground for hundreds of years, with minimal adverse impact on the earth

Green caskets-100% biodegradable caskets handcrafted from pine harvested exclusively from the sustainable forests,contain no metal nor toxins whatsoever

Interred-to place in a tomb or grave

Mausoleum A building consisting of crypts (entombment)

Memorial Artwork Bronze sculpture, or other fine art, designed for the purpose of honoring the memories of a life lived.

 

Memory Garden-any designed outdoor residential space for reflection, with or without ashes of loved one. Memory Gardens can also be developed on Campuses, Churches and other Institutions.

 

Memorial Ceremony A gathering of family and friends (religious or non-religious) held at a funeral home, church or other venue, without the body present. It takes place after burial or cremation

 

Memorial Tree-purchased by family to recognize loved ones past and planting in a residential landscape, church, or in the city (Greensboro Beautiful Memorial Tree Program).

 

Mowable Groundcover-small outdoor, non-invasive, groundcover  plants adding color to cemetery plots/gravesites and withstand mowing without damaging.

 

Niche The space for cremated remains in a columbarium, mausoleum or other structure

Obituary-is a notice or announcement of a person’s death, often with a short account of their life. It is often the first thing many people read in the news each day and may be the last word written about a person’s life. These are then submitted to newspapers, online or Just a Cloud Away, Inc.™ Journal

 

Open Casket An option available for viewing of the deceased.

Organ Donation-registering certain organs to be donated after death

Pre-planning Funerals-discussing end of life arrangements with close family or a chosen funeral director

Remains Usually referring to the body but may include cremated remains.

Urn Vault Outer container for urn or cremated remains, a requirement by some cemeteries. Perfume viles are sometimes used when the loss is early in pregnancy.

Urn The vase or container used for cremated remains

 Viewing/Visitation An option available for viewing the body, either private, family only or public, scheduled prior to services at a funeral home, church or in a home

Our loved ones are just a cloud away…………..

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A Healthly Place has written a wonderful article regarding support for bereaved family members and friends.

Our local resource, Just a Cloud Away, Inc. ™ Journal believes strongly in the power of listening to those suffering great sadness after their losses. Stories are shared within the journal for our community to somewhat walk in their shoes while educating ourselves for similar experiences we may face in the future.

Just a Cloud Away, Inc. ™ Journal is funded by generous advertisers and those wanting to recognize a loved on within the journal, upon the  Quilt of Remembrance page. We are on our 12th month and have not profited and need your help, just to continue printing this resource.  We are more interested in reporting on those wanting to share their stories as part of their healing process, than solicit advertisers. Read past journals online.

How can I help an adult friend or family member deal with the death of a loved one?  Someone you know may be experiencing grief – perhaps the loss of a loved one, perhaps another type of loss – and you want to help. The fear of making things worse may encourage you to do nothing. Yet you do not wish to appear to be uncaring. Remember that it is better to try to do something, inadequate as you may feel, than to do nothing at all. Don’t attempt to sooth or stifle the emotions of the bereaved. Tears and anger are an important part of the healing process. Grief is not a sign of weakness. It is the result of a strong relationship and deserves the honor of strong emotion. When supporting someone in their grief the most important thing is to simply listen. Grief is a very confusing process, expressions of logic are lost on the griever. The question “tell me how you are feeling” followed by a patient and attentive ear will seem like a major blessing to the grief stricken. Be present, reveal your caring, listen. Your desire is to assist your friend down the path of healing. They will find their own way down that path, but they need a helping hand, an assurance that they are not entirely alone on their journey. It does not matter that you do not understand the details, your presence is enough. Risk a visit, it need not be long. The mourner may need time to be alone but will surely appreciate the effort you made to visit. Do some act of kindness. There are always ways to help. Run errands, answer the phone, prepare meals, mow the lawn, care for the children, shop for groceries, meet incoming planes or provide lodging for out of town relatives. The smallest good deed is better than the grandest good intention.
How can I deal with the death of a loved one?

Bereavement is a powerful, life-changing experience that most people find overwhelming the first time. Although grief is a natural process of human life, most of us are not inherently able to manage it alone. At the same time, others are often unable to provide aid or insight because of discomfort with the situation and the desire to avoid making things worse. The following passage explains how some of our “normal” assumptions about grief may make it more difficult to deal with.

Five Assumptions That May Complicate
  1. Life prepares us for loss.
  2. Family and friends will understand.
  3. The bereaved should be finished with their grief within one year or something is wrong.
  4. Along with the end of grief’s pain comes the end of the memories.
  5. The bereaved should grieve alone.Provided courtesy of Jack Redden, CCE, M.A., President; John Redden, M.S., Vice President, Cemetery-Mortuary Consultants Inc., Memphis, Tennessee  More is learned about loss through experience than through preparation. Living may not provide preparation for survival. Handling grief resulting from the death of a loved one is a process that takes hard work. The fortunate experience of a happy life may not have built a complete foundation for handling loss. Healing is built through perseverance, support and understanding. The bereaved need others: Find others who are empathetic. 
     
    How can I help an adult friend or family member deal with the death of a loved one?
     

     

     
     
     

    Someone you know may be experiencing grief – perhaps the loss of a loved one, perhaps another type of loss – and you want to help. The fear of making things worse may encourage you to do nothing. Yet you do not wish to appear to be uncaring. Remember that it is better to try to do something, inadequate as you may feel, than to do nothing at all. Don’t attempt to sooth or stifle the emotions of the griever. Tears and anger are an important part of the healing process. Grief is not a sign of weakness. It is the result of a strong relationship and deserves the honor of strong emotion. When supporting someone in their grief the most important thing is to simply listen. Grief is a very confusing process, expressions of logic are lost on the griever. The question “tell me how you are feeling” followed by a patient and attentive ear will seem like a major blessing to the grief stricken. Be present, reveal your caring, listen. Your desire is to assist your friend down the path of healing. They will find their own way down that path, but they need a helping hand, an assurance that they are not entirely alone on their journey. It does not matter that you do not understand the details, your presence is enough. Risk a visit, it need not be long. The mourner may need time to be alone but will surely appreciate the effort you made to visit. Do some act of kindness. There are always ways to help. Run errands, answer the phone, prepare meals, mow the lawn, care for the children, shop for groceries, meet incoming planes or provide lodging for out of town relatives. The smallest good deed is better than the grandest good intention.

    How can I deal with the death of a loved one?

     

     
     
     
     

    Bereavement is a powerful, life-changing experience that most people find overwhelming the first time. Although grief is a natural process of human life, most of us are not inherently able to manage it alone. At the same time, others are often unable to provide aid or insight because of discomfort with the situation and the desire to avoid making things worse. The following passage explains how some of our “normal” assumptions about grief may make it more difficult to deal with.

    Five Assumptions That May Complicate

     

    Life prepares us for loss.
    After the funeral service is over the bereaved may find themselves alone. They may feel as though they are going crazy, painfully uncertain in their world of thoughts and emotions. The bereaved begin to feel normal again when the experience is shared with others who have lost a loved one. Then, in reaching out, the focus of life becomes forward. The bereaved need others: Find others who are experienced.
      

    Provided courtesy of Jack Redden, CCE, M.A., President; John Redden, M.S., Vice President, Cemetery-Mortuary Consultants Inc., Memphis, Tennessee

     

     
     
     
     

     

    More is learned about loss through experience than through preparation. Living may not provide preparation for survival. Handling grief resulting from the death of a loved one is a process that takes hard work. The fortunate experience of a happy life may not have built a complete foundation for handling loss. Healing is built through perseverance, support and understanding. The bereaved need others: Find others who are empathetic.

    Family and friends will understand.

     

    If a spouse dies children lose a parent, a sibling loses a sibling, a parent loses a child and a friend loses a friend. Only one loses a spouse. Each response is different according to the relationship. Family and friends may not be capable of understanding each other thoroughly. Consider the story of Job’s grief in the Bible. Job’s wife did not understand his grief. His friends did their best work the first week when they just sat and did not speak. It was when they began to share their judgements of Job and his life that they complicated Job’s grief. Allowance must be made so that grief may be experienced and processed over time. The bereaved need others: Find others who are accepting.
     
     

    The bereaved should be finished with their grief within one year or something is wrong.

     

    During the first year the bereaved will experience one of everything for the first time alone: anniversaries, birthdays, occasions, etc. Therefore grief will last for at least one year. The cliche, “the healing hands of time,” does not go far enough to explain what must take place. The key to handling grief is in what work is done over time. It takes time and work to decide what to do and where to go with the new and changed life that is left behind. The bereaved need others: Find others who are patient.
     
     

    Along with the end of grief’s pain comes the end of the memories.

     

    At times, the bereaved may embrace the pain of grief believing it is all they have left. The lingering close bond to the deceased is sometimes thought to maintain the memories while, in fact, just the opposite is true. In learning to let go and live a new and changed life memories tend to come back more clearly. Growth and healing comes in learning to enjoy memories. The bereaved need others: Find new friends and interests.
     
     

    The bereaved should grieve alone.

     

     

After the funeral service is over the bereaved may find themselves alone. They may feel as though they are going crazy, painfully uncertain in their world of thoughts and emotions. The bereaved begin to feel normal again when the experience is shared with others who have lost a loved one. Then, in reaching out, the focus of life becomes forward. The bereaved need others: Find others who are experienced. At times, the bereaved may embrace the pain of grief believing it is all they have left. The lingering close bond to the deceased is sometimes thought to maintain the memories while, in fact, just the opposite is true. In learning to let go and live a new and changed life memories tend to come back more clearly. Growth and healing comes in learning to enjoy memories. The bereaved need others: Find new friends and interests. During the first year the bereaved will experience one of everything for the first time alone: anniversaries, birthdays, angelveraries, occasions, etc. Therefore grief will last for at least one year. The cliche, “the healing hands of time,” does not go far enough to explain what must take place. The key to handling grief is in what work is done over time. It takes time and work to decide what to do and where to go with the new and changed life that is left behind. The bereaved need others: Find others who are patient. If a spouse dies children lose a parent, a sibling loses a sibling, a parent loses a child and a friend loses a friend. Only one loses a spouse. Each response is different according to the relationship. Family and friends may not be capable of understanding each other thoroughly. Consider the story of Job’s grief in the Bible. Job’s wife did not understand his grief. His friends did their best work the first week when they just sat and did not speak. It was when they began to share their judgements of Job and his life that they complicated Job’s grief. Allowance must be made so that grief may be experienced and processed over time. The bereaved need others: Find others who are accepting.

 

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The first “Quilt of Remembrance” for Just a Cloud Away, Inc. ™ Journal has been created. We thank all those who have contributed and supported the publication by remembering or honoring a loved one. The paper addresses human interest stories regarding love, loss, healing, hope, grief and memorials.

Many people upon the quilt are from places other than North Carolinians and will be mailed to family and friends wanting copies.

Angelversaries can also be acknowledged for bereaved parents of pregnancy loss. Miscarriages, stillbirths and babies who have passed of SIDS are very much-loved and remembered.

As a kind gesture, businesses can remember an employees loved one or a beloved pet.

The purchase of a quilt square can also be given as a sympathy gift.

The Quilt of Remembrance will be printed within each monthly issue. Please support your paper by remembering a special person who has touched your life.

Please contact us regarding potential stories, click here.

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I had the pleasure of meeting Anna and William Heroy of Old Photo Specialists while delivering Just a Cloud Away, Inc.™ Journals in Downtown Greensboro, North Carolina. The shop is absolutely beautiful and nostalgic with photos, each with a story gracing their walls.

 As a surprise, William offered to create a forever photograph of our stillborn son. My husband and I often replace Tanner’s photograph in his memory garden due to fading from the sun.

Many people are unaware of the product William offers in his studio. The photographs are reproduced on archival material resistant to fading and water. The photos can even be displayed without inserting into a glass frame. They would make a wonderful sympathy gift.

One of the 12 photographs we have of our little angel is so precious, I choose this one for William to work with. He did not re-touch Tanner’s picture, but now we will always have this picture and never have to reproduce it again.

William also printed a short poem found in Tanner’s scrapbook pages.

Pictures like this are priceless, thank you William.

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Angelversary n. 1. is a word created by a bereaved parent denoting the annual date of a baby’s death, either early in pregnancy, stillbirth, or shortly after. This day is just as important to a bereaved parent as a birthday, and many are marking both birth and death on the same day. While “anniversary” might work, that often seems too celebratory a word for this kind of day. Angelversary is our answer to describing the most difficult day during the year.

 These are suggestions and ideas for Angelversary days.

Release balloons or butterflies

 ♥ In-name-of Gift -You can buy a star named after your child or give a financial contribution to a deserving charity

Visit child’s resting place – You can spend this day visiting your child’s gravesite, memory garden, site where you spread your child’s ashes, or any number of places that hold special meaning to your family and remind you of your child

Take baby someplace new – We believe your baby is with you in some spiritual way.  If you too believe this, you may like the idea of taking your baby someplace new each angelversary.  You can take pictures at that location and compose a scrapbook of all the places you visited in honor of your special angel baby

Send a letter to family and friends – Sharing the memory of your child can be especially important and healing.  One way to do this is to send a letter to your family and friends with special memories and thoughts you have of/for your child

 ♥ Adopt a pet – Pets are great healers and need your love. Perhaps now is the day you want to choose an addition to your family

 ♥ Living object – You can plant something in honor of your beloved child.  The choices of what to plant are quite plentiful and if you don’t have space at home you can plant in a community garden, pot or memorial garden.

 by Basil Augusta

Some information provided by www.alovingjourney.org and www.kotapress.com

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A new, free monthly local paper titled, Just a Cloud Away, Inc. ™ Journal will report on hope. The journal provides an outlet for local bereaved families to share stories of love, loss, healing and unique memorials.

The loss of a loved one, pregnancy or pet is devastating and society as a whole varies greatly on what is acceptable in the mourning process. For many people, loss is a life altering event and may affect our habits, motivation, personal interaction, decision making and other factors. Personal grieving style is a direct reflection of family background, culture, age, and gender. Noting these differences may help the community understand that what is good for one person may not be for another. The journal will provide a platform enabling families to share their personal stories of hope with interactive discussion located at https://justacloud.wordpress.com.

Share your story and help our community, contact Diana at diana@justacloudaway.com. We realize there is no “1” solution for individual pain.

Articles will include local resources for coping mechanisms and support. These situations could be prior, during or after the loss whether miscarriage, euthanasia, AIDS, marriage, cancer or a tragic event. The pain is real and our community can increase awareness as to what actions or words would offer the comfort intended.

The journal has over 300 locations within Greensboro and the surrounding towns including; pet related facilities, coffee shops, salons, florists, churches, schools, medical facilities and funeral homes. It is apolitical and non-religious; however, if during an interview an individual experienced hope and peace through religion, so will be published. Under the Starlight section there will be lists of the monthly awareness causes and special days to remember, such as 9/11.  Gemstones and flowers are also listed for bereaved families suffering early pregnancy loss due to the lack of tangible keepsakes and also aiding with the selection of meaningful sympathy gifts.

Just a Cloud Away, Inc. ™ Journal will host future events for adults, children and pets centering on proactive living encompassing; financial, physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.  Our second event will provide the community with ideas on how to create Love Memorials™. These thoughtful keepsakes can be handmade or created by another using various mediums such as; paper, stone, metal, gemstones or gardens.  

“By spending only 10 minutes reading the articles may educate our community on various subjects before a crisis. Sending a card and food is wonderful, but there is more we can do to comfort. There is no second chance to help our family members or friends in the moment,” said Diana. Emotions are unstable during critical times, where people’s words may be construed as inappropriate. It is typical for feelings to be hurt and actions misunderstood, increasing stress during difficult times.

The journal was founded by Diana Gardner-Williams whose first son Tanner was stillborn in 2003. His stillbirth and the events that followed, led her to create memorials, gardens, and writings about her personal healing and loss found at, www.shivere.wordpress.com and www.justacloudaway.com.

Advertisers within the journal make this information available and they are the pioneers for taking the first step alongside Just a Cloud Away, Inc. ™ Journal. Please support the journal by supporting these businesses. More information regarding advertisers’ found at www.justacloud.wordpress.com.

For more information contact Diana@justacloudaway.com

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