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How to Select Pallbearers

Colonial Heights, VA funeral home

The carrying of the casket to the hearse that will take it to the burial location after the funeral service is done by people called pallbearers. These can be provided by the funeral home or you can choose them. For most people, choosing pallbearers allows them to give loved ones the opportunity to honor the deceased. Of course, careful consideration must be given to who will be a pallbearer. If you are starting the process of making these kinds of decisions, Colonial Heights, VA funeral home directors have suggestions that can help.  

Physical strength is definitely one of the first things you need to consider. Although there are usually six pallbearers, they each have to be able to do some of the lifting. People who are ill or who are not naturally strong are not the best option. This does not mean, however, that only men should be considered. Lots of families have all-female pallbearers. If you would still like to have a particular person who you know is not strong enough to do the job, you can make them honorary pallbearers.  

Another consideration is whether the person you are considering can make it through the ceremony in an emotional state that allows them to do the lifting. People who are going through a very rough grieving period might not be able to hold it together for long enough to help. Choose people who feel the loss but who you are certain will not break down during the service. If you have any doubts about this with anyone you choose, the best thing to do is to choose someone else. You do not want to put extra worries or stress on the person who is suffering so badly.  

You want to choose people who are reliable. The last thing you need when going through such a difficult and stressful moment is to have to worry about people not getting to the service on time. Do not choose people who are constantly late or who do not show up at all.  

The pallbearers do not necessarily have to be relatives to the deceased. Many times, friends were closer to the person than family, and it makes more sense to give them the honor. If your loved one did not leave a list of their preferred pallbearers, you will want to make a careful list of the people he or she was closest with.  

Selecting pallbearers is not something that should be done in a hurry. It is an important decision and it requires careful thought. If you still have worries or are not sure about the tasks a pallbearer will have to perform during the service, speak with an expert at a funeral home in Colonial Heights, VA. By reaching out to a company like Morrissett Funeral and Cremation Service, you can get the guidance that you need. Visit them at 6500 Iron Bridge Rd Richmond, VA 23234 or schedule an appointment right now by calling (804) 275-7828. 

Memorial Service Ideas

The memorial service that you have for your loved one should be as unique as they were. People tend to think that services have to be done in one particular way but this is not the case. You can be creative and put together a memorial that will bring your loved one’s personality forward and allow guests to say their goodbyes. If you are not sure where to begin when considering ideas for a memorial service, Midlothian, VA funeral homes have some suggestions.  

Midlothian, VA funeral homes

If your loved one was someone who enjoyed music and encouraging local artists, a great way to celebrate them and to add personality to their memorial service can be to hire local musicians to play. These days, many people choose to put together playlists, or have recordings, but having live musicians can be a wonderful tribute to the person you have lost.  

A good way to make a memorial service unique is to consider where you will have it. If you want to have it at the funeral home of your choice, then you have to think of decorating in a way that brings your loved one’s personality to the forefront. For people who prefer to have it somewhere else, take the time to think of what your loved one enjoyed doing. Did they like being outdoors? Did they like the beach? This can help you choose the right location.  

Instead of a regular memorial service, you may want to host a celebration of life. For people who were always happy and always ready for a party, it can feel strange to memorialize them by having a somber event. Instead, a celebration of life can allow people to honor their life without sadness. More and more often, people are choosing this option. If you do decide on this, be sure to let all of your guests know that is the plan so that no one is taken by surprise.  

During the service and instead of having one professional portrait of the person you have lost, you can have a slideshow of images. You can even ask people to provide images they may have of your loved one so that everyone gets to participate. It can be a really moving tribute that is wholly unique.  

All of these ideas can help you put together a memorial service that is beautiful and that offers the kind of comfort that people want. It is always important to consider your loved one’s personality and what they enjoyed doing, since this can provide clues as to what kind of service can really honor them. Take the time to speak with the funeral home in Midlothian, VA that you are hiring, since they will often have excellent suggestions that can make the planning process a bit easier. Turn to a company like Morrissett Funeral and Cremation Service for more information. You can reach them by visiting 6500 Iron Bridge Rd Richmond, VA 23234 or by giving them a call at (804) 275-7828 today.  

The Holidays after a Loss

The holidays can bring back a lot of memories of someone you loved who is no longer with you. This can make it a debilitating time of the year, making people relive their grief or experience what they are already feeling even more strongly. Getting through the celebrations can be difficult, but it is possible to do. Because Dale City, VA funeral home directors see this kind of issue regularly, they have some suggestions that can make a difference.  

Dale City, VA funeral home

The first thing you need to do is to acknowledge what you are feeling. Many people try to push aside the grief or pretend it is not happening, but this is detrimental and can actually make the grief worse. Accept that you will be sad and that you will grieve for the person you have lost. It is also common to feel some anger or frustration at other people, who will seem like they are celebrating without you or who you may think have forgotten about your loss. This is normal and you should also embrace the emotion.  

A very important thing to do is to also try to remove as much stress from the holidays as you can. The holidays are usually stressful because of the need for preparations and gifts, but there are ways you can reduce this. If you dislike crowds, for example, do some of your holiday shopping online. If you usually host a party or event but you do not feel up to it this year, do not force yourself to do it. Ask someone else to do it or cancel the event. Simple things like not accepting every invitation you receive for parties or other celebrations can be of great help.  

Reveling in small enjoyments can allow you to celebrate the holidays in an emotionally safe manner. Instead of trying to be happy and enthusiastic all of the time, and feeling disappointed when you cannot muster up that kind of cheer, take it slowly and celebrate the moments when you do feel happy. This can be as simple and quiet a moment as enjoying a mug of tea.  

You should also consider adding your loved one into the celebrations. Lots of people choose to purchase an ornament engraved with their name or anything else that feels meaningful. It can be a lovely way to remember your loved one while still celebrating the holidays.  

Do not expect the first holiday after a loss to be easy. All of your traditions will bring to mind your loved one and with the memories, sadness. These suggestions can help, however, so that you can get through the celebrations. If you find that you are still struggling, funeral homes in Dale City, VA always have excellent counseling contacts in the area. Reach out to Morrissett Funeral and Cremation Service, which you can find at 6500 Iron Bridge Rd Richmond, VA 23234, or give them a call right now at (804) 275-7828 to hear about available assistance. 

How to Handle Death Anniversaries

funeral homes in Matoaca, VA

Each year when the anniversary of a death comes around, it can be tough to get through the day. Many people feel the overwhelming grief they felt when the person first died, making them dread the arrival of that day every year. There are ways, however, to make it easier on you. Many funeral homes in Matoaca, VA even offer suggestions to go about this, since they see this issue so often. Here are some of the suggestions they have.  

It is important to be prepared for the day. If you find your grief crippling, it may be impossible to do everyday things like laundry or errand runs. If this is the case, the best thing you can do is to do all of those tasks ahead of time. That way, you will not have the weight of a to-do list added to your grief. Another thing to keep in mind is that you may want to have people around you so that you do not face the day alone. Plan in advance so that you have someone with you.  

It can be a great idea to do something that your loved one would have liked. This can mean getting out of your home and doing something fun without feeling any kind of guilt, which is common. Some people try to do something completely new, while others choose a simple activity that would have meant something to the deceased.  

During the anniversary of a death, you may not feel hungry, but not nourishing your body is a mistake. To balance out your moods, your body needs fuel. Try to stick to your regular meal schedule and make sure you stay hydrated. Simple things like this can have a huge impact on how you handle the day, so do not ignore them.  

Do not be afraid to decide on your own method of getting through the day. Some people find that having their family nearby is not as beneficial as they would want, since they can remind them of the loss. Not everything works for everyone, so if you find that you are getting more upset instead of less, try to change your tactic. Everyone grieves a bit differently and you should give yourself the freedom to do as you need to do.  

All of these tips can help you prepare for a death anniversary. It is important to know that not feeling sad is also perfectly fine. Some people feel guilty if they do not experience a bit of grief, but every mind and person processes things differently and at different time schedules. Give yourself permission to deal with the day in the way that best suits you, not in the way that other people expect. If you find yourself needing some help, contact a Matoaca, VA funeral home for information on local grief counselors. Reach out to a company like Morrissett Funeral and Cremation Service. You can visit them at 6500 Iron Bridge Rd Richmond, VA 23234 or call them at (804) 275-7828. 

What a Funeral Home Should be Able to Provide

Colonial Heights, VA funeral home

After experiencing a loss, you will need to have experts on your side, helping you make the necessary arrangements. This is where a funeral home and its services come into play. To make such a difficult moment just a bit easier, there are some things that you should expect from the funeral home you choose. When you begin your search for a Colonial Heights, VA funeral home, these things are what you need to keep in mind.  

A funeral home has to be able to provide you with the exact services you need. If your loved one asked for fairly common options, like direct cremation or a traditional burial, this will not be so difficult. If, however, your loved one wanted something a bit less common, like bio cremation, you will want to take your time choosing the funeral home. Never choose one without first seeing all of the services that they can provide.  

You need to be sure that the funeral home has a great director who will be by your side throughout the entire process. A funeral home director is an essential part of arranging services, since they will be able to do a lot of the work and preparation for you. A funeral director will take care of the paperwork and will ensure that everything is ready for the day of the service. The funeral home you choose needs to be able to provide a qualified person to help you throughout the entire process.  

A funeral home should also be able to provide contact information for people in the funerary industry. If you are looking for floral arrangements, grave markers, urns, sympathy gifts, or anything else, there are always great local vendors that can provide them. A funeral home should have contacts with all of these. This is one of the reasons why it is important to choose a company that has been working in the industry for a substantial amount of time.  

One very important thing that a funeral home should offer and which not many people realize is vital, is understanding and sympathy. Going through a loss is a harrowing experience. It can leave you confused and distraught, but having people on your side who are understanding and who offer guidance can be a way to make everything a bit easier. Take your time speaking with the funeral home director and all of the employees to see if you feel that support from them.  

The funeral home you decide on needs to be able to provide all of these things. From the services you might require to the kind of emotional guidance necessary, you need to be able to count on the funeral home and its employees. When choosing a funeral home in Colonial Heights, VA, keep all of this in mind. You can turn to a company like Morrissett Funeral and Cremation Service, located at 6500 Iron Bridge Rd Richmond, VA 23234 for help. Give them a call at (804) 275-7828. 

Qualities a Funeral Home Director Should Possess

Winterpock, VA funeral homesAfter a death, you will require the help of a variety of people but one of the most crucial will be the funeral home director. A funeral home director will help with all of the arrangements that you need for your loved one, ensuring that everything is done correctly and following your guidance. This is why it is crucial to have the right person helping you. Winterpock, VA funeral homes recommend looking for a few important qualities in the funeral home director.  

The funeral home director that helps you has to have years of experience providing funerary arrangements, preferably in the area. You need someone who will know how to deal with any issues that arise and that can only happen if the person has been doing this kind of work for a long time. You can usually find the information about how long someone has been in the industry by looking online.  

Another quality to look for is personality. You want someone who will be respectful and understanding and who will be able to guide you through the process of burying or cremating a loved one. If you do not feel comfortable working with a particular person, for any reason, the best thing you can do is find another funeral home. You do not want to be frustrated with the funeral home director when you are already grieving.  

You also want someone who is dedicated to providing quality services. If the person has been working in the area for years, you know that they are dedicated to the community and its residents. This is something that you want, since it will ensure that you are treated with respect and that you are offered excellent services. Many times, this can also mean choosing a funeral home that is family-owned and not a corporate branch, since this can mean that they have too many clients and will not be able to offer you individualized attention.  

The person that you hire has to be someone who is happy to answer questions and to put you at ease if you have concerns. Dealing with a death and making funerary arrangements is tough and it can be even more difficult if you do not have someone on your side who is willing to help. No matter what kind of question you have or how minor a concern, the funeral home director has to be ready to help.  

These qualities are all important when you start searching for the right funeral home director. You want a person who will be there to guide you through the worst of this already difficult time, so choose someone with experience, with the right temperament, and with the desire to help. There are great funeral homes in Winterpock, VA that can be the perfect solution. Start by reaching out to a funeral home like Morrissett Funeral and Cremation Service, which is located at 6500 Iron Bridge Rd Richmond, VA 23234. Turn to them by giving them a call right now at (804) 275-7828. 

Helping a Child Through Grief

funeral homes in Dale City, VA If you know a child who has lost someone that they love, even a pet, it can be tough to see them struggling with grief. Like adults, children go through a mourning process that can take time. For family members, it can feel like a daunting task to help them, which is why it can be a great idea to learn a bit about the process and how you can offer your help. To do this, funeral homes in Dale City, VA have a few suggestions.

It can be tempting to speak to the child about your own experiences with grief. Some children welcome this and can benefit from hearing your experiences, but not all of them do. You do not want to overwhelm a child, so the best thing you can do is listen attentively. Try not to comment or judge what the child says so that they feel comfortable speaking to you. It is also important not to force a child to speak. Everyone is a bit different, so it might take some children more time to bring themselves to express themselves and this is completely normal.

A child who is grieving might display mood swings. It can be frightening for some people to see this, but they are part of the process. Bouts of crying can be followed by tantrums and hyperactivity. This happens in adults, too, but it is more disconcerting when you see it in a child. Of course, if the mood swings are very violent or they do not resolve themselves in a few days, you may want to consider speaking with a children’s counselor.

Children can sometimes be afraid of speaking about the person they have lost because they do not want to make the adults upset. You can help them by speaking about the person yourself. This can make them much more comfortable to bring up the person and to speak about what they are feeling. It may not seem like a huge thing, but it can actually help a child to face the grief and heal more quickly.

Allow a child to have choices. Not all children want to be part of the funerary arrangements, while some do. By allowing a child to decide whether or not to attend the memorial or funeral, you are letting them know that their feelings and experiences matter. Forcing a child to attend a service can be detrimental to the grieving process, so keep that in mind.

If you are concerned about a child going through a mourning process, you need to be there ready to listen to them. This may not happen immediately but you have to put the child at ease that you will be there to help them the moment they want to express themselves. A Dale City, VA funeral home like Morrissett Funeral and Cremation Service can make this process a bit easier. Visit them at 6500 Iron Bridge Rd Richmond, VA 23234 or call (804) 275-7828 to ask for more information about helping a child through grief.

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.