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Cremation, like electric cars and cell phones is here to stay. For some people cremation is part of their religious practice. For other people, cremation just feels right for them. The big question is who should help you with your cremation, a society or a funeral director?
Cremation Societies specialize in what is called a direct cremation. Direct cremation means the society will remove the deceased from the place of death and take the body directly to their crematory where the cremation process will take place. Following cremation, the ashes are returned to the family in a bag or box. It’s all pretty quick. The cost is quite low for direct cremation.
But something is missing.
How do we feel when a family member dies? What helps? Death is a loss. It is hard to describe how loss feels, but it is something like a void, a vacuum, or an energy shift. You see something close when you watch victims of the California wild fires or a tornado on television. You see that dazed and stunned look on their faces. That is loss. There they stand looking at a pile of rubble that was their home … and now it is gone. That look is about loss of a building. Loss of a person, someone you love, is so much more. It hurts your heart.
Funeral directors are trained and specialize in taking care of the deceased AND in taking care of the family of the deceased. They know people need more. They are going to encourage you to slow down a little and give the family a little time for the reality of the loss to sink in. Give a little time for the family to consider what they need to do to begin to heal.
Funeral directors specialize in helping families put together a gathering to honor the one who died. They know that being with those you love and who love you helps. They know words, as a part of a religious, spiritual, or life celebration ceremony help. Funerals are the funeral director’s specialty. They have done this many times with many families. Funeral directors are the experts.
Of course, the funeral home will help you with a direct cremation if that is what your family prefers. To be fair, cremation societies will also add on some service options at the family’s request. As you add services the cost increases. It is important to look for value.
The funeral home is staffed by licensed trained funeral directors and serves families from a clean, company ready facility with plenty of parking and is a good value. Do your homework. Where will cremation take place? If your family wants service where will the service take place? If you add service and products what is the difference in price? How important is cost over expertise? Share your budget with the funeral director at your funeral home. Don’t assume you need to sacrifice ceremony for savings.
Mothers come in all shapes, colors, and sizes. There are tall moms, short moms, thin moms, and moms with soft edges. There are single moms, moms with partners and moms with husbands. Moms are an indispensable part of our existence. They literally keep the human species from becoming extinct. Hooray for Moms! Today is their day!
There are different ways to become a mother, but there really is no training program for being a mom. Most moms will tell you they had no idea what they were getting into. The job requires that one learns as one goes. On the job training.
There are a few how to parent books that may be helpful. Then there is always the option of getting advice from another mother or even your own mother. But, when all is said and done, it is the mom who decides. Moms decide what their children eat, what they wear, and when they sleep. Then one day the decision maker dynamics change. This change comes when the child develops a mind of his own. Children typically begin to come into their own mind beginning at about age three and believe themselves to know all by age 12. Then a mother prays.
Moms are always “moming” no matter how old their children become, no matter how many degrees they get or how smart they are, no matter they are moms themselves. Being a mom is a forever job.
Once you have a child you never really sleep soundly again. Oh, and yes, moms do have eyes in the back of their heads. They grow in when their child begins to crawl. They stay fully functional for the life of the mother. Some mothers are able to put blinders on those eyes once a child becomes self-supporting, but other moms just keep watching forever! Moms are wonderful but never perfect, you know.
So, how do you say thank you for all of that? It really doesn’t take a lot. Mothers are notoriously easy to please. A call, a card, dinner out, flowers. It’s pretty easy to please a mom. Don’t forget, May 12 is MOTHER’S DAY. Send her your love!
Are you considering going to a funeral? Will you be a guest or, are you the survivor in charge and deciding if there will even be a funeral? Either way, before you just skip the funeral perhaps you should consider how elephants behave when one of their species dies. Perhaps we have something to learn from Dumbo.
First of all, elephants are very busy mammals. Just like us, they have to work hard to keep life together. An elephant needs to spend nearly 20 hours per day looking for and eating food. However, they do take time to honor their dead. It is rare to see an elephant in the wild stand still. However, when they happen upon the remains of an elephant, they seem to understand they need to stop and take a minute to pay homage.
Elephants have a natural curiosity about death. They seem to understand that somehow death is connected to their own existence. They use their trunks to fondle the bones of the deceased. They are still and strangely quiet. They raise one foot and paw the air, they are gentle, and they shed tears.
Elephants, like humans, have very strong social bonds. They help one another. A funeral is an opportunity for people to gather and be still. It is our opportunity to pay homage to our human existence. It’s a safe place to shed a tear, give a hug, or tell a story. A funeral, in any one of many forms, is an opportunity to reach out to our fellow man and give or receive help and comfort.
There is still a lot of debate regarding whether or not elephants feel emotion. Some think yes and others are equally convinced emotion is exclusive to humans. So maybe we humans should embrace our emotion and just feel it? Having a funeral doesn’t make you sad. You are sad because someone has died. That sad emotion won’t go away just because you skip the funeral. The funeral is actually the first step in the long journey to feeling better.