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Facts to Know About Green Funerary Options

After a loved one has died, many people struggle to decide what the best option for their deceased loved one is. There are all manner of choices, and these days, more and more people are opting for “greener” arrangements. It is well known that a traditional burial can place a strain on the environment, especially if the deceased is embalmed and buried in caskets that are not bio-degradable. For people who are worried about this, greener funerary options are available.

Green Burials are Possible

Just because not all casket are not bio-degradable does not mean that burial is not an option for your loved one. There are many companies that create caskets that do not have any metal parts, which will not degrade. These caskets can be made of wicker and other types of wood. To make the burial as environmentally friendly as possible, do not choose embalming for your loved one since it will end up seeping into the ground. Another thing to consider is that green burials are done in shallower graves.


Although regular cremation is better for the environment than traditional burial, it can still take its toll on the earth because of the carbon emissions. This is where bio-cremation can make a difference. Bio-cremation breaks the body down using water instead of fire, which does not release any carbon into the air. It is important to consider that not all companies offer this service, so ask about it when deciding on the right provider. There are a number of Dale City, VA cremations providers that can offer this option.

It Does Not Cost More

One of the concerns that people have with greener funerary options is that they think they are more expensive. This is just not the case. Although some companies can ask more for services that are less common, like bio-cremation, on the whole, environmentally friendly options tend to cost less, not more. A bio-degradable casket or urn is usually much less expensive than a regular one. When deciding on the right option for your loved one, this is something else to keep in mind.

Green Cemeteries Exist

There are entire cemeteries that are dedicated to being green. This can be a great choice for a lot of people, though it is important to keep in mind that usually these cemeteries do not allow for elaborate markings or outer burial containers. If this is not something that you wanted for your loved one, then it will not affect your choice.

Having green arrangements made after a loved one dies can have a huge impact on the environment. By doing a bit of research, you can easily find the best company to provide these options for your loved one. Depending on whether you want a cremation or a burial, some companies will be better than others. To get started making arrangements, contact Morrissett Funeral and Cremation Service, which is located at 6500 Iron Bridge Rd. Richmond, VA 23234. Reach them at 804-275-7828!

Everything You Want to Know About Embalming

One of the processes that is least talked about when it comes to the arrangements necessary after a loved one dies is embalming. Although burials and cremations can be done without this process, if you are planning on having an open casket at the funeral, it is recommended that you choose to embalm the body. But what does this mean? We have everything you want to know about embalming below.

Purpose of Embalming

There are usually two main purposes for the embalming process. These include preservation of the body, for when funerals are open casket or when the arrangements have been delayed. The next purpose is presentation and restoration, which allows the funeral director and embalmer to fix the body up for viewing.

How Long Does it Take?

The embalming process is an elaborate, complex one that can take up to an hour in its barest form. If other services are required, such as dressing, cosmetology, and placing the body in the casket for viewing, the entire thing can take several hours. This is why it is important to speak with a funeral home ahead of time. The right funeral home in Midlothian, VA can help make these arrangements.


The cost of embalming can vary from funeral home to funeral home and it does depend on the different added services you may want for your loved one. On average, it can cost anywhere from $500 to $1300, so keep this in mind when making decisions for your loved one. Be sure, as well, to ask for a price list from the funeral home to know exactly what you are paying for.

Is it Required?

Embalming is not required, though some funeral homes will not allow a public viewing in its location without the body being embalmed. For home viewings, embalming is not necessary. It is important to note, however, that if the body will cross state lines, embalming may be a requirement depending on where you are going. It is also a more practical option if the body will be in transit.

Are there Alternatives?

Although embalming is the most effective option for preserving a body, refrigeration can also be effective. Many funeral homes provide this choice, so be sure to ask about it. Another option is to forgo the preservation altogether and go for direct cremation or for a fast burial. Not only is this less expensive, but it can also be better for the environment.

Embalming is not a requirement. This is important to know so that no funeral home attempts to sell you this service when you do not want it. If you are planning a viewing for your loved one, however, it is definitely an option to keep in mind to ensure that your loved one looks his or her best. Take the time to speak with a funeral director about the options available. Get started by reaching out to Morrissett Funeral and Cremation Service, located at 6500 Iron Bridge Rd. Richmond, VA 23234. Call 804-275-7828!

Choosing the Right Flowers for a Funeral

Having flowers in a funeral can add the kind of beauty and tranquility that people who are grieving need. There are lots of options when it comes to choosing these, so it can be a somewhat complex process to select the right ones for your loved one’s funeral. If you have started making arrangements and have found yourself at a loss as to the flowers you want, then there are a few things to keep in mind to make the process easier.

Have a Budget in Mind

One of the most important things about choosing flowers for a funeral is to know what kind of budget you have to spend on them. There are flower arrangements in many different budget options, so you want to ensure that you know what you can afford. Fancy arrangements can be quite expensive, especially if you are decorating a large venue, but there are lovely, simpler arrangements that can save you money and still look beautiful. You can also ask a Richmond, VA funeral home to help with the selection of flowers.

Loved One’s Favorites

Take the time to consider what your loved one’s favorite flowers were. Using these flowers can be a perfect tribute to your deceased loved one, and can bring those mourning lots of comfort. This is especially true if the flowers are those that are scented. The smell of the flowers will bring to mind the departed and will allow people to feel his or her presence in the room.

Scented or Not

For some people, flowers that have perfume, especially strong ones like roses or gardenias, can become overwhelming. This can be a concern if the space where the funeral will take place is a small one or one that does not have lots of ventilation. There are lots of gorgeous flowers that have no scent, making them a good choice in this respect. Take the time to see if large bouquets of scented flowers are a problem at the location of the funeral.

Make it Personal

Another great option to have a really personal funeral is to ask people to bring their favorite flower arrangements or arrangements that remind them of the deceased. This can not only save you a substantial amount of time and money, but can get people involved in the funeral. Simple things like this can make a huge difference in how personalized a funeral is.

Flowers can turn even a somber affair like a funeral into one that is beautiful and memorable. With the right flower arrangements, you can make a statement as well as commemorate a loved one’s life. There are lots of options, so be sure to look up different styles and budgets of flowers in order to have a good idea of what to expect. Many funeral homes are more than happy to help you with this process, so be sure to enquire. Turn to Morrissett Funeral and Cremation Service at 6500 Iron Bridge Rd Richmond, VA 23234 to learn more. Call 804-275-7828!

Letters to Mr. Goss

This is the story of how scores of students rallied in support of one of their former High School teachers because they wanted to show him just how much they appreciated the positive influence he had on their lives. Turns out it was just in time.


During my Senior year of High School I had the privilege of being in Mr. Goss’s English class. He was one of those amazing teachers that got students excited about learning and about life, despite his occasionally crusty exterior. We appreciated his energy and passion and his unique view of the world. We loved the fact that he could teach with equal levels of earnestness the symbolism of not only Dante’s Inferno but also Dr. Seuss. In his class we examined the literary devices used in the book of Job, and had a spirited debate on how to define “Quality” after reading the book, “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.” He encouraged us to think deeply and think differently, and despite his tendency to crack some truly corny jokes he was a gifted storyteller.

Mr. Goss left a lasting positive impression on me, despite the fact that my constant disorganization frustrated him. When I first started trying to write again, almost twenty years later, he was on my mind a lot. I wanted to reach out to him to say thank you and tell him that he had a huge influence on my writing style and self-confidence. Around that time a number of former classmates began to reconnect on social media and the name Mr. Goss came up often. He was described as, “My favorite teacher,” “The best thing to happen to English,” “My inspiration for becoming a writer/teacher,” and “The only person I felt I could talk to.” Many students stated that he made a huge difference in their lives, and that they still remembered the things he taught them. One student wrote, “He was just one of the coolest teachers I think I’ve ever known. Even when it wasn’t about English or Literature, he was teaching about so many things.” Another said, “We LOVED Mr. Goss!! Who else could discuss how important it is to have your glass of milk so cold it almost hurts? Or read Dr. Seuss’ ‘Are You My Mother?’ to you and put it on your senior English exam?”

All those kind words were said on social media, however. I wondered if Mr. Goss himself knew how important he was to all of us. I had also heard whispers that our former teacher may be ill. I wasn’t sure just HOW ill, nor was I sure if that information was supposed to be public knowledge. It increased the urgency of my desire to contact him, but I did not wish to invade his privacy. I waited a while, but the feeling of urgency and desperation kept growing inside me. What if he was REALLY sick? I was sure that those students who sang his praises on the internet would be devastated to learn that they could no longer tell the man himself what he meant to them. I decided that it would be an utter tragedy for Mr. Goss to die without the possibility of knowing how many students spoke so highly of him; without knowing that he had made such a difference. In general I think everyone deserves the chance to know that their efforts did indeed matter to someone. Everyone deserves to know that they had a positive impact on the world and helped make it a better place, yet far too often we stay silent and don’t speak up and tell people what they mean to us. I didn’t want that to happen in this case.

As Valentine’s Day approached I decided it was a good time to reach out to someone in an act of caring and that I should not wait any longer. I used an old-fashioned thing called the Phone Book and looked up the number for a “Raymond Goss.” I called it, hoping I had the right person. His wife answered and I introduced myself, saying that I was a former student who simply wished to say thank you. Her response was that he was very sick and resting. She went on to explain that he had cancer and even though they were trying to remain optimistic and he had been beating the odds his prognosis was not good.

Her confirmation of his illness gave me the opportunity for which I had been waiting. I frantically began to pray silently while trying to quell the rising emotion in my voice. With a catch in my throat I asked her for permission to share information about Mr. Goss’s situation, and explained that there were many students who would like to show their appreciation for their former teacher. I knew those students would be upset if they did not have a chance to do so. She agreed and gave me their mailing address, admitting that they did not go on the internet much and preferred to not get flooded with phone calls. She then allowed me to speak with her husband, gently reminding me that his strength was limited.

I wish I had a recording of that all too brief conversation. I was thrilled to discover that, even after almost 20 years, Mr. Goss remembered me. He was tired so I did most of the talking, and we discussed my writings and life experiences. I reminded him that when I was in High School, “I didn’t always do my best writing, but when I did…”, and he cut me off, stating simply, “It was REALLY GOOD!”

I will remember that moment for the rest of my life. He, who had read countless papers from countless students, remembered my writing. I thanked him for believing in me, and for being one of the first people to make me feel like a good writer. I also read to him some of the kind things that other students had written about him as they reminisced about High School, and he seemed surprised but happy. I said, “Hopefully you will be receiving letters from these students soon, so they can tell you themselves how much you mean to all of us!”

We then talked briefly about his illness, and he shared that he was doing his best to fight. “I am looking forward to the spring,” was one of the last things he said to me.

That day I made a post on social media about Mr. Goss’s illness and gave his address (again, with permission), asking former students to please consider sending him notes of encouragement. The response was immediate and overwhelming. Even though at the time we were still not sure just how sick he was, somehow the urgency of the request was understood. One person responded, “Mr. Goss was the most influential person, teacher, advice-giver, and friend at a time in my life when I needed someone the most. I am truly heartbroken that he is apparently so ill and I wish I would have known before now.” The information was shared repeatedly, former students rushed to their mailboxes, and by Valentine’s Day the cards began to arrive. Hundreds of them. So many students from so many years, several DECADES worth of students, wanted to reach out to the man they admired to say “thank you.” They strove to encourage him as he continued to fight for life. Many sent pictures, or whole albums of pictures, and even small gifts. His family later shared that he looked forward to the moment when he could ask his wife to check the daily mail, and that “Although his physical strength had left him, his mental strength was just as strong as ever and he LOVED reading the letters each day.” They said that the look of joy on his face as he opened the stack of mail, hearing stories from countless students that he taught over the years, brought happiness and comfort to all of them.

Mr. Goss did not get to see the spring. He died on March 1, 2010. Cards continued to arrive even after his death. A family member later wrote, “I can’t tell you how many letters he received, but I can tell you that I read letters all morning and was still unable to read through the complete stack.” My heart is warmed when I think of the outpouring of love for this great man, and I realize that what was intended as a simple “thank you” became so much more. It was an encouragement during his battle with illness, and a comfort during his final days. The family shared that the countless pieces of correspondence also provided solace for all of them during a sad and painful time, and “a light” in the midst of darkness. Those same letters now also serve as a tangible, lasting reminder for them of the legacy that Mr. Goss has left behind. His family will be able to read them and proudly remember the man that they love. Eight years later one of his grandsons actually wrote an homage to his grandfather in his Senior English portfolio and used the letters in his assignment.

All because a group of students cared enough to respond to their former teacher in his hour of need. It is incredible that such a kind man was able to receive words of thanks and encouragement from so many students before he passed away. The response was overwhelmingly beautiful.

I think of Mr. Goss every spring and it makes me wonder, who else in my life do I need to thank? So many people go through this life not knowing that they made a difference, and not knowing that they changed this world for good. It shouldn’t take an illness or crisis to spur us to reach out to someone in gratitude and support.

Mr. Goss was able to read and hear the words of people that cared about him before his time on this earth was ended. Yet far too often as I help officiate funerals I hear from bereaved individuals who voice regrets about the things they did not say while they had the chance. People are praised and celebrated after their death, yet we seem to forget to share positive affirmation with the people we care about while they are still with us.

Say the words while you have the chance. Encourage someone. Thank someone. Tell them you love and appreciate them. If someone had a positive influence on your life then tell them. Find a way to give something back to a person who deserves it. Even a simple “I appreciate you” or a helping hand in time of need could mean the world to someone. They may need you now more than you realize, and you never know when it might be too late.

This story is shared with the permission of the family of Raymond Goss.


Jennifer Roberts Bittner
Certified Celebrant/ Life Tribute Specialist

Morrissett Funeral and Cremation Service
6500 Iron Bridge Rd.
N. Chesterfield, VA 23234
(804) 275-7828

Why Having a Funeral is Important

Planning a funeral for a loved one can be stressful. This is because you will be dealing with grief as well as making all of the arrangements. Hosting a funeral or memorial service is important, however, since it can bring a sense of closure to everyone who is dealing with the loss. If you are not sure whether or not to have a funeral service after a loved one dies, we have some reasons why you should consider it.

Allows People to Say Goodbye

Not everyone in the family or in the group of acquaintances that wanted to see the deceased for the last time would have been present at the time of death. Funeral services allow these people, who may live in other cities or states, to be able to come together and say their goodbyes. It is amazing how much this simple thing can help in the grieving process and how much more closure it can provide for people who are struggling to come to terms with the death.

Feeling of Community

One of the best things to do when dealing with grief is to mourn together with others who loved the same person. A funeral or memorial service can make this possible. Even if the funeral service is small, it will gather people who feel the same things you are feeling and provide a real sense of community. This can prevent anyone from feeling alone with their grief. A funeral home in Bon Air, VA can tell you more about these benefits to the grieving process.

Helps Children

Another reason why having a funeral service is important is that it can be a good way to allow children to grieve and start the healing process. For many children, a death can seem unreal, but a funeral can ensure they understand what happened. A good way to do this is to involve them in the planning process and even allowing them to say a few words if they’d like.

Effective Distraction

Planning a funeral can make the first few days after a death easier to handle. All of the arrangements will take time to make and will help you and your family begin the grieving process without feeling the full weight of the loss. For some people, this can really make a difference in how quickly they heal from the death.

All of these reasons are important to keep in mind when deciding whether or not to have a funeral or memorial service for a loved one. Although it can seem stressful to make elaborate arrangements after a death, it can be beneficial for everyone who is mourning. The sense of community and of sharing a loss will make people feel less alone and it is more likely that the grief will ease a bit. Take the time to speak with a funeral home like Morrissett Funeral and Cremation Service, located at 6500 Iron Bridge Rd. Richmond, VA 23234. Contact us at 804-275-7828.

The Steps to Choosing the Right Funeral Home in Richmond, VA

After the death of a loved one, one of the best things to do is to start planning and making arrangements. This can aid grief and with obtaining closure, but it is important to choose the right funeral home to help you. Because there are so many funeral home options in Richmond, VA, knowing the steps to follow when choosing one can save you a lot of stress. We have a few things to consider.

Kinds of Services Offered

A very important thing to keep in mind when choosing a funeral home is the kind of services that it can offer. For options like traditional burials, this might not seem like a crucial step, but for less common ones, like bio-cremation, it can be essential to know exactly what the funeral home offers. Ask the funeral home director to provide you with a list of their services and to let you know of any options that they might not be able to provide. This will save you a lot of time and stress.

Ask About Rates

Although there are average rates for funeral services, different companies ask for different fees. Depending on the kind of budget you have in mind, one funeral home may be better than another. Take the time to ask and do a bit of research about the average costs. You do not want to be overcharged, but you also do not want to be under-charged and risk quality in the services, so keep that in mind when choosing a Richmond, VA funeral home.

Speak with the Funeral Home Director

It is important to speak with the funeral home director to get a sense of the person. You want someone who is ready to help and who wants to make things easier for everyone in your family through this difficult moment. If it is too hard getting a hold of the director or if they are not personable, choose someone else.

Visit the Funeral Home

You can learn a lot from a visit to the funeral home. The place should look professional and clean. Tidiness and orderliness is important to ensure that you get quality services. Ask for a tour of the facilities to see if they are the right people to take care of your loved one. If you are looking for a cremation service, ask to see the crematorium, as well.

All of these steps can make it much easier to choose the right funeral home after a loved one dies. By keeping in mind the kind of services your loved one wanted and the rates that each funeral home asks for, you can easily make a decision about the best one. Visit the location and take the time to speak with the director to learn more about the company. A funeral home like Morrissett Funeral Home and Cremation Services, located in 6500 Iron Bridge Rd. Richmond, VA 23234 can be the best option. Call us at 804-275-7828.

Forgiving the Dead

“Forgiving the Dead” 

Much has been written over the years about forgiveness. Pulpits have resounded with the biblical premise of forgiving our enemies. Self help books still occupy shelves at Barnes & Noble. Most of these resources speak of the spiritually and emotionally healthy aspect of forgiving someone who has been the source of pain in our lives; that the dispensation and acceptance of forgiveness can be the key to restoring the relationship. But, how do we forgive someone we will never see again? How are we to forgive a person for dying; especially when the death has been the result of a needless risk, self-absorbed poor judgement or addiction?

The common thread of forgiving the dead as well as the living is that we have been hurt. We seldom want to face the indignation or even outright anger we feel toward the dearly departed. We have been taught somewhere along the way that being angry with the decedent is paramount to sacrilege or bad moogambo! I have encountered wives who wrestle with anger at their husbands who ignored the doctor’s orders to treat their diabetes or whose refusal to diet and exercise resulted in a fatal heart attack. I have all too often counseled those who have lost children and spouses by drug overdose.

I vividly remember being startled awake by a two-thirty a.m. phone call. The voice on the other end jolted me awake, “Mr. Webber, I am sorry to inform you that your brother Philip has been killed in a traffic accident.” My initial response was to pound the pillow with my fist. I was angry at Phil because I knew what led to this tragedy. It was like I knew it was only a matter of time. And I was angry at Phil because he didn’t care enough about us to live!  But forgiveness didn’t come immediately. I want to share what I discovered in this journey.

Why is Forgiveness Necessary?  [Let me give you three practical reasons.]

First: Resentment is Counter-productive

Withholding forgiveness is a form of control that produces bitterness and resentfulness. Resentment is self-inflicted pain and, at best, an irrational waste of energy. When we’ve been hurt, resentment and bitterness will surface eventually. Resentment is committing a slow, emotional suicide.  

Second: I Have Been Forgiven

I choose to forgive because God beat me to it…many times. But, other people have also forgiven me. It seems only fair that I forgive. God doesn’t keep a score card on my life failures and I am so glad that other people don’t keep a running score of my life failures either. I have come to see it this way, I’ll never have to forgive somebody else as much as God has already forgiven me! The awareness of this truth makes it easier for me to dispense forgiveness.


Third: Forgiveness is a Process

Forgiveness is a great concept until I must do it. Some things are easy to forgive. You can forgive with relative ease your neighbor whose dog comes over and soils your lawn. You’ve scheduled a meeting with someone and they’re late or they don’t show – forgiven. But what happens when somebody lies to you or about you… that’s a different ball game! The other aspect of forgiveness is the level of intimacy that’s involved. The closer we are to a person, the greater the emotional intensity. But the need to forgive is still there.

So, How Do I Forgive?

I really wish I could give you a magic wand, works every time formula. Relationships are complicated and so is the process of forgiveness. I’ll share what I have learned, at times, the hard way.

Admit My Hurt 

I’ve got to be honest with me! I can’t get over my hurt until I admit it.  As I said previously, sometimes we don’t like to do that because the person who hurt us is dead. We tend to repress it or ignore it with, “I don’t want to deal with it.”  But that doesn’t work because the unresolved pain tends to emerge in some other form of compulsion. I suggest writing the deceased a letter or visiting their grave site and literally talk to them. It is important to call them by name.

Release Them

This is the essence of forgiveness; to release the offender. It means that we must let them go and stop holding on to the hurt by offering forgiveness. Think of it this way: holding on to resentment gives that person power over me!

Embrace the Truth That “It’s Not About Me”.

This issue here is the inability of the deceased to acknowledge acceptance of our forgiveness. The reality is we don’t need the other person’s response. We can choose to forgive…period. What ultimately helped me move forward in grieving the loss of my brother was the realization that he had done nothing that required my forgiveness. This was all about me; my feelings; my hurt; my resentment of being awakened in the middle of the night; my having to tell the rest of the family. I had to look in the mirror and face a self-centered person who simply could not control events. I came to terms with the truth that I was using forgiveness against someone instead of with them. Forgiveness in the proper context is a gift of God for the living and the dead.


Greg Webber

Director, Community Care/Aftercare

Certified Celebrant

6500 Iron Bridge Rd.

Chesterfield, VA 23234

804-275-7828 (office)

804-873-0441 (cell)


The Many Kinds of Urns Options

When deciding on cremation, whether preplanning your own or arranging for a loved one after their death, one of the things to consider is the kind of urn that you would like to purchase. There are all manner of options to choose from with different price ranges involved so there is always something for every budget. Take the time to learn a bit about the urns available to know which one is the best choice for yourself or a loved one.


Decorative Urns

These are very popular with people who want to display the ashes in their home. They can be made from many different materials, including stainless steel and even porcelain. For people who want to place the ashes in a prominent position in their homes, choosing a decorative urn can be the best choice. Whether you want a more modern style or one that has lots of carvings and ornaments, you can always find something perfect when you look for decorative urns.

Keepsake Urns

These urns are for people who want to share the ashes of a loved one among the family. The urns are smaller and many times have an image of the loved one. Some of the most popular ones look like picture frames, but have a small compartment where you can place some of the ashes. This allows people to have a part of a loved one, no matter where they live.

Companion Urns

For people who want to have their ashes placed with someone else’s, these are the right urns. These urns can have double compartments or single compartment. A single compartment allows for the ashes to be mixed together, while the double compartment allows the ashes to be stored separately, but in the same container. If this is something that you would like for yourself or a loved one, contact a cremation provider in Colonial Heights, VA, to learn more.

Biodegradable Urns

These urns are perfect for people who want to have a water burial or who want a normal burial but do not want to leave metals or other non degradable materials in the ground. Biodegradable urns tend to be made of materials like clay, wicker, and even salt. This ensures that the environment is not negatively impacted, which can be exactly what someone who is environmentally conscious might want.

These are some of the most common options when it comes to cremation urns. It can be tough to know which one to choose after a loved one dies, but by going to see some in person and taking time to learn about the costs and benefits of each type, you will be able to make the right choice. There are experts in the cremation field who will be able to help you if you are not sure about what to purchase. You can get started by reaching out to Morrissett Funeral and Cremation Service at 6500 Iron Bridge Rd. Richmond, VA 23234. Call 804-275-7828!

The Benefits of Choosing Cremation

If a loved one passes without leaving behind the kind of arrangements that they would prefer for their remains, it will fall to the family to make the right choices. One of the first things to consider is whether to turn to traditional burial or cremation. Both are good options, of course, which is why it can be difficult to decide which one is right for your loved one. These days, more and more people are turning to cremation. There are number of reasons why this is becoming a popular option.

Less Expensive

Traditional burial can be very expensive. It requires purchasing a casket as well as paying fees for embalming, and buying a plot of land for the actual burial. For cremation, the costs are much less. Cremation does not require embalming or a casket, with the only expenses coming from the process itself and the purchase of an urn, if this is something you want. Most containers will do when it comes to transporting ashes, and no funeral home or crematorium can force you to purchase an urn from them.

Better for the Environment

Another thing to consider when deciding between cremation or burial is the impact on the environment. A burial can mean purchasing a casket that has metal parts in it, which will not degrade, leaving remnants in the earth. The embalming fluid also seeps into the ground, which can be harmful to the environment. For people who are concerned with this, cremation is the right choice. There is even bio-cremation, which allows for the breakdown of the body using water instead of fire. Ask a Dale City, VA cremation expert about this option.

Allows for More Planning Freedom

Another benefit that cremation can provide is that it allows you to plan the service that you want. People always rush when it comes to traditional burial because there is a need to get the body in the ground, but with cremation, this is not an issue. Most people have the body cremated first and then plan the funeral service without having to rush. This can allow you to provide exactly what your loved one would have wanted. You can bring the ashes right into the service and have a special memorial just as you would with a casket. For people who are already stressed, this option can relieve some of the worst of it after a death.

By keeping these things in mind, you can make the right choice between burial and cremation by doing as much research as you can about the processes. Take into consideration cost as well as what is best for the environment if this is a concern for you or your family. Cremation can really be a great option and arranging a memorial service after the cremation can be easier for the family when dealing with grief. To get started, contact Morrissett Funeral and Cremation Service at 6500 Iron Bridge Rd. Richmond, VA 23234. Call 804-275-7828 for more information.

When Grief is Complicated

Losing someone we love at the end of their life is an incredibly difficult and painful experience. When someone dies those closest to them are faced with a flurry of emotions and even logistics to sort through. But what if that grief was even MORE complicated by additional circumstances? What can survivors do to get through such an overwhelming time?


There are many reasons why the process of grieving may have extra layers of emotion attached. Sometimes people experience a protracted battle with illness. There may come a point when they and their loved ones just wish for the suffering to be over. When that eventually happens the survivors often feel a sense of relief, and then sometimes feel guilty for such emotions. One individual who has had such an experience shared this reassurance: “It’s only natural to want someone you love to not suffer anymore. It doesn’t mean you love them any less. It actually means you love them so much that you care more about them than you do your own loss.” We can miss someone and also be glad that they are no longer in pain.

We may have had to watch our loved one slip away, little by little, from something like dementia. We can face grief over the loss of the person that they used to be long before they actually leave us. When the time does come it is possible to experience a fresh wave of grief. Some find that surprising because they might have thought that they had already grieved. Or they may be surprised that they feel nothing at all. No one should not feel guilty about what they do or do not feel. Each person’s feelings are their own and are valid and they don’t have to justify those emotions to anyone.

Some of us may find that grieving a person after they have died is complicated because sadness is not the only emotion we feel. Sometimes there is regret. Regret over things that were done or said, or regret over missed opportunities. Those can be difficult thoughts to face during an already difficult time. While those feelings are valid I have also come to realize that regret distorts reality. If we spend too long focusing on the negative or on what we did NOT have we may miss the positive. We may forget all the blessings. Perspective is a powerful thing. While we definitely need to address our regrets it is not healthy to dwell in them for too long. We can also recall all the happy moments and allow them to fill our hearts with gratitude.

We may feel angry at someone who has died. It is possible to love someone and mourn their loss while also being upset with them. At times we also might even find ourselves mourning the death of someone with whom we had a negative relationship. Whatever the cause, we may need to find a safe and appropriate way to work through or express that anger. Standing up at a podium in front of a crowd of people during a memorial service may not be the best time to discuss certain subjects, yet you might be surprised at how often it happens. It is possible to diplomatically acknowledge that relationships and people can be complicated and even difficult without going into too much detail. All of us and the stories we write with our lives are a mixture of dark and light, strengths and struggles. We don’t have to pretend someone was a saint in order to honor their life.

It can also be especially complicated when someone’s life ends as the result of choices that they made. Anger is just one of the countless emotions that survivors could experience along with shock, confusion, and despair. There are no easy answers to be found during the aftermath of a death by suicide or as the result of addiction. Some families find that talking about it is healing and helpful. It reduces the stigma associated with mental illness, and can help others with similar struggles.  It also can help to remember that, even if we do not understand why someone we love made the choices that they did, a life is not to be judged by the final page in the story. Instead we must look at the entirety, and remember that nothing can change all the positive things they accomplished and the beautiful moments they shared with the ones they love.

Ultimately the reason we grieve is because we love. It is a sign that someone was important to us and left an imprint on our lives.  Each person’s journey is their own, and whatever you feel there is no proper way to grieve or experience loss. Be kind to yourselves and others, and allow each other the time and space to heal in the way that is best for each of you. Talk about it. Support one another. What matters is that we navigate that path with love. Even when there are many other complicated emotions, always hold on to the love. Love is what will be remembered, and love is what can help us heal.

Jennifer Roberts Bittner

Certified Celebrant/ Life Tribute Specialist

Morrissett Funeral and Cremation Service
6500 Iron Bridge Rd.
N. Chesterfield, VA 23234
(804) 275-7828