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Funeral Mistakes to Avoid

Funeral homes in Midlothian, VAMaking arrangements for a loved one who has died can feel overwhelming. The process can take time and it can be stressful when dealing with grief and other emotions. If you want to have the best possible chance of honoring your loved one, there are some common mistakes that you should know about so that you can avoid them. Funeral homes in Midlothian, VA have some suggestions that can help you.

One of the most common mistakes people make is to rush through the process. Choosing a funeral home and planning the arrangements takes time. You should not rush through the decisions you have to make, including things like choosing a casket or an urn, or finding the best funeral home to provide you with the services you require. It is important to compare services and rates, and to ask for a full price list if you want to make sure you are hiring the right company.

The funeral home you choose is one of the most important decisions you make throughout this process, so you do want to do a lot of research about it before opting for it. Most funeral homes these days have websites and online presences that can make finding out about them much easier. Look for years of being in the field and read reviews that people have left about hiring them. People tend to forget this step, since they want to start the planning as soon as possible, but it can be a mistake.

Not having a budget in mind is another common mistake that can end up being costly. By doing a bit of research about the rates of the services you want for your loved one, you will be able to choose the right funeral home and cremation provider. Ask for a full price list to see if the rates are standard. By knowing what the services you want cost, you can plan your budget accordingly, and without surprises.

Ask lots of questions from the funeral home. If you have any concerns or questions about anything, including fees and the process, you should always ask. The right funeral home will be more than happy to answer any questions, so do not hesitate. You want to know exactly what you can expect and many times this can only happen if you ask.

All of these mistakes are very common and easy to avoid. There are great quality funeral homes that go out of their way to ensure you know how the entire process works and how you can have the smoothest time planning the arrangements. Midlothian, VA funeral homes are known for how willing they are to help you navigate the funeral industry. By turning to a company like Morrissett Funeral and Cremation Service, you can get started planning what your loved one wanted. Visit them at 6500 Iron Bridge Rd Richmond, VA 23234 or call them at (804) 275-7828 to learn more about the process and what mistakes to avoid.

Ghosts of Christmas Past

The holidays have passed, a new year has begun and yet I still find myself haunted by the ghosts of Christmas past. Every year as I get older I become increasingly aware of the passing of time and notice how things have changed, but for some reason this year was especially difficult.

I have experienced this feeling before. Grief. Emptiness. Longing for someone or something that wasn’t there. Wondering where the magic was hiding in the midst of all the supposed “sparkle” of the season. The first time was when I was about 5 years old and my parents had just separated. I remember looking around at all the presents, being surrounded by most of my loved ones, and yet feeling nothing. My father was not with us, and even though I wasn’t consciously aware of it I was missing him. I even asked my mother why I wasn’t happy, unable to understand that what I was partially missing was the way my family, and Christmas, used to be. At a very young age I was already experiencing grief.

My children experienced those pangs in a way after they learned that Santa Claus was a myth. Each of them seemed a bit forlorn during their first Christmas without the wonder of believing. They even mentioned that things felt different. To them it was as if they had lost a friend, or someone they loved had died. Not only that, change can be difficult for children and growing up is not always fun. So I tried my best to help them focus on what we did have rather than what was different. We found new ways to celebrate and find joy. Being surrounded by family that loves you and hearing their laughter can be magical, too. It doesn’t have to fly in on a sleigh pulled by reindeer. We are people of faith, so we focused even more on the true meaning of the season.

Change has come for me as well. Many family and friends who were once a central part of my life are central no longer. I grieve for the close relationships I once had with those who have moved far away. I still feel the pangs of hurt over some people who have made a deliberate decision to exclude me from their life. Most of all I desperately miss the loved ones who have passed away. Most years I have coped pretty well and found a balance between allowing myself space to grieve while also being happy. This year, however, the sad feelings caught me by surprise.

It happened while I was busy wrapping gifts and had placed an ornament in a small bag without checking the tag. My husband eventually brought the bag back to me, chuckling, and asked me if I had seen what it said: “To Mimi, Love Mark, Jenny, & Zachary.” He seemed to think the tag was cute, so he was shocked when I burst into tears. Loud, gulping sobs came out of my mouth in between ragged breaths. It was several minutes before I could even speak. I finally responded simply, “We need a different bag.” Then I cried some more, cradling the precious, shiny little gift bag.

That bag had been used during the last Christmas before everything changed for my extended family. I had bought a gift for my grandmother and she had opened it at my house and apparently left the empty bag. I was a new mother that year and yet somehow we had held a huge family gathering at my home. We were surrounded by love and laughter and it was wonderful, despite the fact that it was the first Christmas since my grandfather had died. Somehow that loss brought us closer together, and we clung more tightly to each other that year in the wake of the loss of our patriarch. Not long after that my grandmother died and events occurred that changed many of our relationships. I was left to grieve for not only my grandmother who had passed away, but also for family whom I now had to love from a distance.Family can be complicated sometimes, as can grief.
That grief can become even more difficult to bear when you lose the support of people who used to be an important part of your life.

In the years since, as I continue to age and my circumstances change, I often find myself longing for how things used to be. I also continue to miss those people who, for one reason or another, are gone. I would give anything for one more extended-family Christmas in my grandparents’ den, sitting by their tinsel-adorned tree and listening to “The Little Drummer Boy” on the record player. I never felt safer than when I was in that room. I want to talk to my grandmother and grandfather again, hear their voices tell the stories from when they were young, feel the warmth of their hugs. I want them to know my children.  Some years I find myself alone on the couch in the dark, save for the lights of our Christmas tree, and I cry just as bitterly as I did the year they died. Over ten years have passed and sometimes it doesn’t feel like it has gotten any easier. In many ways it feels like it has become more difficult. I miss it all so much that at times it feels like a physical pain. The feelings can be triggered without warning and by unexpected things, and the little gift bag was proof of that.

I have discovered that when those feelings come it is best not to fight it. I let the feelings and the tears flow, and it provides a bit of a release.  The tricky part is that I don’t dwell too long on the regret. If I spend too much time thinking about what I miss and who is gone I might be blinded from looking at the blessings right in front of me. I have a house full of people I love who love me back, and I still have a close extended family. At Christmas we take time to honor those we have lost and share stories, and we hold them close in our hearts.

Things change. Just because our lives aren’t the same as they used to be doesn’t mean they aren’t good, they’re just different. And yes, sometimes it can be really hard and incredibly sad. So sometimes I try instead to focus on gratitude and reach out to those I care about. That’s when I start to realize that I am truly blessed indeed and have many reasons to celebrate. That the ghosts of Christmas past and the people I have lost don’t have to haunt me. Instead they can be happy memories to decorate the halls of my heart and keep me in joyful company for years to come.

God bless us, everyone. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Jennifer Roberts Bittner
Certified Celebrant/ Life Tribute Specialist for 

Morrissett Funeral and Cremation Service,                                            Serving families in the greater Richmond area since 1870

6500 Iron Bridge Rd.
N. Chesterfield, VA 23234
(804) 275-7828

Arranging a Cremation

Richmond, VA funeral homes

Cremations have become as common as traditional burials these days. There are a lot of reasons for this, including affordability, the speed of the service, and eco-friendliness. If your loved one requested cremation, it is always a good idea to know how to start making the arrangements. Richmond, VA funeral homes recommend following the steps below to start arranging the cremation your loved one deserves.  

The location you choose to provide the cremation services is probably the most important aspect to consider. You will want to take your time choosing, since there are lots of them in the area. You will want to choose a company that has years of experience providing quality funerary arrangements to people in the area, and that can offer the kind of cremation services that your loved one wanted. The right funeral home and cremation provider can make a huge difference, so do not just choose the first one you see.  

If your loved one did not leave instructions about a funeral or memorial service, you will need to decide yourself what the best option is. A funeral service is usually done before the cremation takes place, since the body is usually present. The memorial service, on the other hand, can be done with the urn and ashes present. Depending on personal preference as well as time logistics, one option may be better than the other.  

Get the death certificate next, since you will need it to start making all of the arrangements. Get a lot of copies and be sure that you can access more if you need them. After this, you will have to have the body transported to the funeral home or crematorium. Most funeral homes have services that can make this easy for you, so be sure to ask about rates.  

The cremation paperwork comes next. It is rather long and complex, so be sure that you have important paperwork and information with you. Since cremations cannot be undone, crematoriums and funeral homes are extra careful with the information they require to start the process. If you are not sure what you will be asked to provide, speak with them before you head to do the paperwork so that you can bring everything with you and avoid any delays or complications.  

The next step is to choose the urn or container you will use to transport the cremated remains. If you are planning on scattering the ashes, then you can bring any container, but if you are planning on displaying them, take the time to choose a nice option.  

These steps will help you plan a cremation service with ease so that you can mourn in peace. Ask help from cremation providers and funeral homes in Richmond, VA to ensure that there are no complications. Contact a business like Morrissett Funeral and Cremation Service, located at 6500 Iron Bridge Rd Richmond, VA 23234 to hear about their services and how you can get started planning a cremation. Give them a call at (804) 275-7828. 

Preparing for Unexpected Deaths

Matoaca, VA funeral homes

Preparing for a death is harrowing, but it can many times much more difficult to have an unexpected death in the family. There are ways to prepare for situations like these, even if you hope it never applies to you. Matoaca, VA funeral homes have some recommendations that can help you be ready to face any misfortune and loss that you may experience in the future.  

Life insurance is vital. Your spouse should have it, as should you. It is an added expense every month, but if your spouse dies, you will have the money you need to survive until you can get back on your feet. The same thing applies if you pass away. You definitely want to consider life insurance if you have children.  

Something that many people do not think about until it is too late is the need to know where important pieces of information are. Take the time to gather all of the financial information, social security numbers, bank information, and even passwords for emails, in one location. If something happens to a loved one unexpectedly, you will still have access to everything you need to be able to make arrangements. This is important if your spouse or loved one was the one that paid the bills or took care of the finances in the home.  

Set up a living trust and a will. You should not wait to do this, even if you are young. Wills are vital if the finances are complicated or if there may be disputes in the future with other relatives. If your spouse is incapacitated or is not able to make decisions, you will need to have the power to make them for them. This is a power that a living will can bestow, so be sure to set one up with an attorney. You want them to be legally done so that there are no issues in the future.  

Take the time to speak about funerary arrangements, even if it is a depressing subject. If anything should happen to your loved one, you want to make sure that you know what their wishes are for handling their remains. Be sure to also speak of things like organ donation and other medical concerns. Find out if your loved one has a particular funeral home or cemetery that they want to use or whether they want cremation or a burial. Do not leave these questions until it is too late.  

These steps can help you prepare even for an unexpected death. Take the time to set up a will and to get life insurance. If you do not know how to begin preparing, the best thing you can do is contact a funeral home in Matoaca, VA. They can guide you through the process and can even suggest attorneys and other professionals that you may need. Reach out to a company like Morrissett Funeral and Cremation Service. Visit them at 6500 Iron Bridge Rd Richmond, VA 23234 or give them a call right now at (804) 275-7828. 

What to Know About Burial Insurance

Bon Air, VA funeral home

For people who think ahead and who want to ensure that everything is set when they pass away, one option to consider is getting burial insurance. It is not something that is commonly spoken of, but it can be of great benefit for you and your family. If you are considering this option, funeral homes in Bon Air, VA can tell you all about what this service includes.

The first thing to know is what burial insurance is, since not many people have heard of it. This kind of insurance makes certain that your family and loved ones has the money they need to bury or cremate your remains. This can be especially important if you want to be buried, since the costs can be quite high when you include the cemetery plot, the casket, and other options. This kind of insurance will guarantee that your loved ones will not have to pay out of their own pockets for these services.

You can purchase burial insurance in many different price levels. You can choose a minimum of a grand of insurance, or you can go much higher if you would prefer a more elaborate funeral service. This makes burial insurance different than life insurance or even funeral insurance. Most of these have much higher minimums that you have to choose, which can make it difficult for some people to afford. Another difference that burial insurance offers is that everyone can apply for it, no matter what health issues you may have. This can take away serious stress from people who are ill and who still want to ensure their families are covered.

You need to find a great company to have the kind of burial insurance you want. You want to find a qualified agency that provides burial insurance with low minimums so that you can afford it even if you have a limited budget. Read up on the agency to see if previous clients have been satisfied with the services they offer. There are lots of sites online dedicated to helping people choose the right burial insurance company, so doing a bit of research is very helpful. Also be sure to read up on the kinds of services they offer, since different companies can have different ones.

It is always a good idea to compare rates and services to ensure that you are choosing the right company. Contact a few companies that offer burial insurance to learn about what they can offer. If you are not sure how to do this or where to begin, you should reach out to a Bon Air, VA funeral home. They have the right connections in the area and can point you in the direction your need when searching for burial insurance. Get started by contacting a funeral home like Morrissett Funeral and Cremation Service, located at 6500 Iron Bridge Rd Richmond, VA 23234. Ask them about their burial insurance recommendations by calling them right now at (804) 275-7828.

Questions to Ask When Choosing Cremation Services

Bon Air, VA funeral home and cremations

Although cremations have become more common, there are people who still have concerns about the process or who might feel that it is not the best option for their loved one. If you are not sure whether you want your loved one cremated, asking for help from Bon Air, VA funeral home and cremations providers can be a good way to begin. Ask a few simple questions and you will be able to make the right decision.  

Is a Memorial Service Still a Possibility? 

One of the concerns that people have with cremation services is the fear of not being able to honor their loved one with a service of some kind. In fact, when you choose cremation, you will be able to plan the service much more carefully than you would with traditional burial. With a burial, you will have to rush to get the remains buried, but with a cremation, you can have the service after you have the cremated remains.  

What Options are Available? 

The options for a cremation can be varied. There are regular, or direct, cremations as well as other options like bio cremation. This option uses water instead of heat to break the body down and can be better for the environment. If you are not sure about which one to select, take the time to ask about each choice.  

What Urns are Necessary? 

Urns are not a requirement. A funeral home or cremation provider cannot make you purchase one. If you come to the cremation with any kind of box, that is perfectly fine. If you do decide on an urn, there can be lots of choices. Depending on your budget, the size of the person, the style, and the kind of use you want from it, you will be able to find choices that fit perfectly. There are even keepsake urns that can store bits of the ashes and that you can wear.  

How is Identification Maintained? 

Identification is maintained carefully with cremation. Unlike with a traditional burial, which you can undo if necessary, this is not an option with cremation services. That is why the companies take such careful measures to ensure that identification is done correctly and that all if the paperwork is in order. They are experts at this and they take serious care to avoid any issues.  

All of these questions are important when deciding if cremation is right for a loved one. Anything else that you are concerned about, you will also want to ask. The right funeral home and cremations provider in Bon Air, VA will be more than happy to offer their suggestions and to answer any questions you may have. You can easily get started making enquiries by contacting Morrissett Funeral and Cremation Service. They are located at 6500 Iron Bridge Rd Richmond, VA 23234, where you can visit in person, or you can give them a call at (804) 275-7828 to speak with the director today. 

Unique Funeral Guestbook Ideas

Midlothian, VA funeral home and cremations

Having a beautiful funeral service usually involves giving people the chance to leave messages behind in a guestbook. People tend to think that the guestbook for a funeral service should always be the same, but this is not necessarily the case. There are lots of ways that you can make the guestbook unique and something that people will remember. Midlothian, VA funeral home and cremations providers have suggestions you should consider.

Instead of having a regular guestbook, a great option is to make a memorial quilt where people can write messages in fabric. There are two ways of doing this. The first is to have the finished quilt there at the service already, with pens, and encourage people to sign different squares of fabric. Another way of doing it is to bring the cut squares in a basket and have people sign them so that you can make the quilt later. It can be a beautiful way of honoring a loved one.

Another wonderful option is to have a memorial thumbprint guestbook. These can be simple guestbook options that encourage people to leave their thumbprint along with their name. If you want to make a design of some sort, like a tree of life, you can do so by drawing the branches and telling people to make leaves with their thumbprints. It can be a beautiful option that you can then frame or add to a scrapbook.

A picture frame that has room to write signatures and small messages can also be a beautiful alternative to a guestbook. There are lots of options with these kinds of frames, with chalk options that look like blackboards, as well as more somber ones that can be engraved with the date of death. Depending on your style, one may be better than another.

An option that is made for the age of social media is to create an account online for the service. This allows people to sign in online and add their messages there. This can make it easier for people to leave longer notes or to take their time expressing what they want to say. You can even make it exclusive by offering the password to the account only to the people who attended the service.

By creating a unique guestbook, you can make the service even more meaningful for yourself and your guests. Many funeral homes and cremation providers in Midlothian, VA have options you can choose from at the location, but you should also consider coming up with something completely unique. Everyone is different, so why should your loved one have to have a normal guestbook? With a bit of creativity, you can bring their personality even into this small part of the service. If you are not sure where to begin, reach out to a funeral home like Morrissett Funeral and Cremation Service. Visit them at 6500 Iron Bridge Rd Richmond, VA 23234 or give them a call right now at (804) 275-7828 to learn more.

Helping Yourself Through Grief

Dale City, VA funeral home and cremations

Grief can be debilitating, making everything you do seem impossible. This is why it is so important to take care of yourself as you go through a mourning period. You are vulnerable during this time and you need to give yourself as much help as possible. Dale City, VA funeral home and cremations providers recommend a few simple things that can make a huge difference in how you feel.  

One very important thing you need to do for yourself is get sleep. For many people, the grief of a death can make it very difficult to sleep through the night. If you are experiencing this, you have to take naps during the day. The mind needs time to rest, as does the body, and that can only happen when you sleep. Try not to take sleeping pills, however, since these can further disrupt your system. 

There is a reason why the tradition of bringing people meals began. When someone is grieving, they may not feel hunger or thirst, which means that they will end up skipping meals when the body needs nutrition the most. It can be difficult to get the strength to cook, of course, so take advantage of all of the meals loved ones will provide. Try to stay away from fast foods, as well. They do not provide the kind of nutrition that you need.  

It is vital that you allow yourself to cry if you need to. Everyone grieves a bit differently, but expressing your sadness by crying can really make a difference. Be sure to speak about your feelings with your loved ones. It may seem silly to do so, since it does not change anything, but you do need it to feel less alone.  

Give yourself time, as well. Many people get frustrated when they see that they still feel grief or that they still experience bouts of crying, but it is important to know that the body follows its out timeline. You cannot rush it to heal. By allowing yourself to feel whatever it is you need to feel, you will be giving yourself time to get the closure you so need.  

Along with all of this, you have the right to smile and laugh. Lots of people in mourning think that they have to be somber and sad at all times, but that is not how the human mind works. By giving yourself permission to laugh and smile, you will be helping the healing process.  

It is very important to be kind to yourself after a loss. Funeral homes and cremation providers in Dale City, VA are always ready to offer guidance. They have therapists and counselors you can turn to for help if you need it, so be sure to ask if you think you need extra help. Contact a funeral home like Morrissett Funeral and Cremation Service by visiting them at 6500 Iron Bridge Rd Richmond, VA 23234 or by giving them a call at (804) 275-7828 right now.  

Planning a Pet Funeral

Chester, VA funeral home and cremations

Pets are a large part of many homes and families. If you have recently had one die, then you know how devastating it can be, especially for children. A great way to make this easier on everyone is to get closure by having a funeral service for the animal. There are lots of Chester, VA funeral home and cremations providers that offer services for animals, but you can do a lot of the planning yourself, as well.

One of the first things to decide is whether the body will be cremated or buried. Depending on where you live and what kind of budget you have, cremation will probably be the best choice. There are plots in pet cemeteries you can purchase, as well as caskets that are made for animals, but you should consider that they can be expensive. An urn, on the other hand, is very affordable. There are also pet cemeteries that have options of placing the urn in a niche or in a mausoleum.

Be sure to involve the child in the planning of the funeral. They may have certain ideas that they want to put in the service that can help them heal. Sit down with them and ask them how they would like to honor their pet. They may think that certain music can be played, or certain items can be added to the service. Encourage the child to be creative and to speak about the animal they have lost. You will be allowing the child to come to terms with the loss in a pro-active way.

It may seem silly for some people, but writing a eulogy can also help. You should consider getting everyone involved, perhaps each member of the family providing their own stories or memories of the pet. It can provide closure and can be cathartic for children who are really struggling with the loss.

Plan to have flowers and decorations for the funeral service. You want to make it look like a real service, so you may also consider inviting people who knew the animal. A child’s grief needs to be validated, and this can only happen if people take it seriously enough to attend a funeral service for their pet.

A funeral service for an animal is much more common than many people think. It can be a great way to express grief at the loss of a member of the family, and it can really encourage children to understand the loss and start getting through it. You can hire a funeral home or cremations provider in Chester, VA to help you plan the service. They see this kind of thing every day, so there is no need to feel strange about asking for pet services. Contact a company like Morrissett Funeral and Cremation Service, which you can find at 6500 Iron Bridge Rd Richmond, VA 23234, to learn more about their options. Give them a call at (804) 275-7828 and start planning a pet funeral service.

Dealing with Grief as a Caregiver

Chesterfield, VA funeral home and cremations

Being a caregiver is not easy for anyone, but it can be devastating when the person you cared for passes away. Most people know how to give in to grief, but many Chesterfield, VA funeral home and cremations providers have realized that caregivers have a different kind of grief process. If you have lost a loved one you gave daily care to, you may be finding it very difficult to cope, so here are a few tips that can make it a bit easier.

Caregivers may not feel any grief at first. This can be confusing and frustrating, especially when you see other people really feeling the impact of the loss. Some people even start doubting the affection they had for the person they lost. It is vital that you know that very often caregivers are first in shock over the loss. Grief comes later, after the shock has worn off. The reason why the shock is so strong for a caregiver is that they are used to seeing the person for hours every day. It may seem almost impossible that the person is gone. Once this shock and disbelief wears off, you will be able to start grieving normally.

Another worry that caregivers have is that they may feel relief after the death of their loved one. They may feel guilt over this, too, which can complicate the grieving process. Relief is an appropriate response, especially after caring for someone who was very ill for a long time. It does not mean that you did not care for the person. On the contrary, relief shows that, despite having lost someone you loved, you are glad they are no longer suffering.

Not knowing how to cope with the amount of free time you have now that you do not have to be a caregiver can also be a concern. It is extremely common that caregivers going through grief will devote their time to helping other people deal with the loss instead of focusing on themselves. If you find yourself comforting people and not paying attention to your own emotions and wellbeing, getting through the grieving process will take much longer.

Be sure to get adequate amounts of sleep, even if you have to nap during the day, and to eat food that is nutritious. People tend to not eat or eat fast food because they do not have the energy to cook. Give your body the help it needs to get through these difficult times.

Grief can present itself as anger, relief, sadness, and many other emotions. Mood swings are common, and caregivers can feel as if they no longer have a purpose. Take the time to learn about the process of grieving. If you are not sure how to do this, speak with a funeral home and cremations provider in Chesterfield, VA to get some guidance. You can stop by Morrissett Funeral and Cremation Service at 6500 Iron Bridge Rd Richmond, VA 23234 or give them a call at (804) 275-7828.