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Posts Tagged ‘legacy’

Memory Lane Portraits by Rhonda Lester is partnering with Just a Cloud Away, Inc.™ Journal, 50% of pet portrait session fees will be donated to the publication. The journal provides our community a platform to share stories of hope, healing, loss and memorials of a loved one, pregnancy or pet.

Memory Lane Portraits by Rhonda Lester creates beautiful artistic portraits of pets and their families. They welcome well-loved animals of all types and ages and love capturing the unique personality of each.

Rhonda is partnering with Just a Cloud Away, Inc. ™ Journal by donating 50% of all pet session fees booked through mentioning this ad. Rhonda has over 25 years experience in photography, and compassion for capturing the love between owner and companion.

Rhonda’s first pet session was for a dog with terminal cancer, named Chester. His owner, Sheila, wanted something special to remember her beautiful and beloved Chester, as he had been part of the family for so many years. When they arrived at the studio, Sheila wasn’t sure Chester would cooperate, as he usually disliked being photographed. Knowing this, and how important the portraits were, Rhonda was a little nervous about how the session was going to progress. She was used to being patient and playful with reluctant children to capture the best pictures, and decided to apply those same skills. Staying calm, Rhonda not only got Chester’s cooperation, but a variety of heart warming images­. The result was a priceless portrait of a very much-loved companion, Chester……

“End of Life Photography” was provided for the pet owners of Monty, adopted 15 years ago from a shelter. He is a very special part of the family, being the first of 7 dogs to enter the household.

It is said, 78% of owners consider pets a full-fledged part of the family and rightly so.

 View additional pictures

Consider having a professional portrait of your loyal 4-legged friends with Rhonda Lester (336.474.6867), she has a heart of gold and also a volunteer photographer for a national non-profit,  Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, photographing deceased babies for bereaved parents. These photographs provide families with keepsakes to begin their healing journey.

Thank you for partnering with Just a Cloud Away, Inc. ™Journal and we appreciate all you do Rhonda.

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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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Join us for a free papercrafting workshop.

Supplies, papers and tools are provided free of charge. Please RSVP, diana@justacloudaway.com by January 19th (Wednesday). The monthly workshops can accomodate groups by relocating to your church or organization. Please email in advance to book the thrid Friday of the month.

Food will be provided at a cost of $10.00

Emerald Event Center

2000 East Wendover Ave

January 21st 2011

Friday Night 5-11PM

Just bring  pictures/photographs, cards you received last year, 2 dimensional papers, for example, journal entries, poems, seed packets, and newspaper clippings. Fabrics sentimental in meaning can also be incorporated into your scrapbooks, remembering a loved one. Personalize awareness ribbons. Bring anything to help tell your story within your books.

Let’s share ideas on how to recycle what we have, into beautiful works of art.

 

  

Come and enjoy a mom’s night out! No need to be an avid papercrafter!

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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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Workshop for Families-Creating Love Memorials™ in Greensboro, N.C.

Are pictures sitting in a box with journals, recipes, or other handwritten memorabilia of loved ones passed? Bring your keepsakes to create beautiful works of art with your own hands, where no experience is necessary and all supplies are complementary.

 Just a Cloud Away, Inc. ™ Journal and other local organizations are sponsoring the first Creating Love Memorials™ Workshop for families. Feel free to bring any 2 dimensional papers, fabric or tags to incorporate, whether from a loved one or beloved pet. Professionals will be on site in the craft area to assist children in creating paper keepsakes.

Adults will have the opportunity to design an awareness ribbon for the cause of their choice. Below is a ribbon for a Grandmother with Alzheimer’s Disease.

A Love Memorial™ is a keepsake or sympathy gift, going beyond the typical cards, flowers or food. It is a thoughtful creation showing compassion for each specific situation. Many samples will be provided, including; pressed flowers, metal, jewelry, scrapbooking, woodwork, decoupage, gardens, stone, glass, photography and photo montages. Community resources will provide literature on babysitting classes, support forums, alternative funeral options and more. Also joining us are local animal rescue groups with adoptable pets. Our fire and police departments will share safety tips.  After school food and beverages will be served. Energy work sessions will be offered, and music performed by Jennifer Cockman during the workshop.

Thursday September 23rd

2000 East Wendover Ave. from 3-6pm

 Bring and share your own memorial keepsakes. These may be an inspiration to someone else.

Come and meet our resources (click for more information)

More resources include

  • Ameriprise Financial- planning for the future
  • Colonial Life- employee benefits counselor
  • New York Life- life insurance protecting families
  • GDR Credit Solutions- affordable help for those in need of improving credit scores

It is never too late to remember……………..

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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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If this subject doesn’t affect you, you are blessed. If a friend or family member looses a baby and you are aware of supportive resources, you may be their angel when most needed. No one ever dreams of loosing a baby, however, 1 out of 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage and 26,000 stillbirths occur in the USA every year.

If the parents have not named the baby, you may want to suggest thinking about this. Even if the loss was an early miscarriage, naming the baby will give them an identity and validation.

What do I do to help a friend who has lost a baby regarding the funeral or memorial service?

If you have not lost a child yourself, it may be very difficult to find the words to comfort them. There is a list found here to help  support your friend. Another list is available regarding, what not to say to bereaved parents.

Some funeral homes offer free memorial service for stillborn babies and give discounts for a funeral. Help them by making these necessary phones calls.

When the parents of the deceased baby have decided to have a funeral or memorial service, they may need additional help from you with the logistics. It is important to involve both parents as much as possible in the decision making. Even though this is a very sad time, this event will be remembered for a lifetime.

Areas of the funeral:

  • Notifying people of the service
  • Location
  • Music
  • Readings, Poems or Stories
  • If a priest or pastor will be present
  • Does the baby need to be baptised
  • Cremation or Burial (small caskets for later miscarried babies are available at Heaven’s Gain)
  • Burial Clothes
  • Container or urn for ashes
  • Headstone or marker
  • Obituary in paper
  • Would the family like flowers or encourage donations
  • Helping to assemble the altar with keepsakes and other memorabilia
  • Contacting Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep if  parents want professional pictures of the funeral and baby after declining at the hospital
  • Choosing an outfit for the baby
  • Donating organs

Remember that the scents of the season, colors, music on the radio, the landscape, the ambiance of the month will all attribute to the memories etched into the minds of the  parents, later triggering thoughts of  their baby.

Usually about the time of the service or funeral (2-5 days after the baby’s death) the mother’s milk will come in if she was further along in the pregnancy. The milk can be donated to save another child’s life. The program is The Breast Milk Project.

Wedding gowns can be donated to the Mary Madeline Project or Heavenly Angels in Need  to make burial gowns for babies that have died. Sewers are also in great need.

Some of the smallest burial gowns were made for 18-22 week old babies.

Here is the Triad, Busy Bee Crafters, a non-profit, volunteer their time sewing, knitting and crocheting. This group, led by Sandra Vernon and has been in place for over 20 years. Some of the garments created are: bereavement pocket or bereavement dress and blanket, and prayer shawls in pastel colors. 

These are some of the logistics family and friends can help organize for the bereaved parents of pregnancy loss or infant death. Having this knowledge could someday be the gift providing a grieving family direction and assistance in a time of devastating grief.

Please feel free to leave additional suggestions and comments.

Peace Love and Hugs

Diana

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Her Bleak Future Lasted 15 Years

It felt as though she could jump out from behind the glossy image to give me a big wet kiss. This beautiful creature gave more to her owner than unconditional love. Kayla was the underdog of a litter with a number of unseen health problems.

Terry Rader is the proud owner of Kayla, an Australian Shepherd, aka “Blue Gypsy Spirit” who was set free August 27th 2009 after 15 years of companionship. Letting Kayla transition to the other side was Terry’s final gift to her beloved pet. Kayla was a soul mate to Terry and fueled her passion to continue to help others with pet loss and grief, beyond her life. Terry has been helping dogs holistically for almost a decade, based on her experiences with Kayla.

At six months of age, Kayla had been diagnosed with CISD (Chronic Immune System Disease), and allergic to everything. At 7 years old, Kayla’s kidneys started to fail and were accompanied by other aliments; arthritis, heart murmur and hip dyspolasia. Terry knew there had to be another alternative to cortisone shots and other medications to help Kayla and found her first solutions in a book by Dianne Stein called, “Natural Healing for Dogs & Cats”. Terry also worked with Dr. Charles Loops, DVM who practices homeopathy on animals. “Choosing to take care of an animal holistically was not an easy task, since many vets were not open to alternative options back then,” stated Terry.

 

The last year of Kayla’s life involved constant care and communication by using hand signals and telepathy after Kayla lost her hearing. Terry reassured her that everything would be OK and needed to explain to Kayla that she could not occupy to her old body after being cremated as her spirit was now set free. The upside-down squirrel on the screen window during our interview was one way that Kayla showed me how she returns to visit Terry. Nature is the medium for their communication where Terry composes beautiful poetry and stories embracing eternal love.

 

Terry also believes in the philosophy of the Mayan’s regarding crying. By releasing tears for a loved one, we are filling up the river carrying the canoe to the other side.

“Give your pets and yourself the most natural diet and holistic healthcare you can find. Don’t pretend a treatment is okay if it doesn’t feel right to you, but realize that Western medicine does some good things too. Be as loyal to your four-legged companions as they are to you. Every step we take to live more naturally brings us more in line with living in harmony with the Earth.” from Earth Harmony: Loving Our Pets- Holistically and Unconditionally by Terry Rader as published in AWB Summer 2007 issue, read full story at http://www.doedreamers.com/EHstories.html#6.

Thank you for sharing your story of Kayla with the community.

Peace Love and Hugs

Diana

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