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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.

The Most Important Person In the Room

There is a difference between power and authority; importance and influence. Being a funeral director is about authority and influence. The best example of this is found in a unique story in the bible, but I want to personalize it.                                                              When we lived in Michigan, we experienced a kind of hospitality ritual. When people came to your house for a meal or social event, they would take off their shoes upon entering the front door. The reason for this is because, during winter, snow and salt are carried on shoes and boots. This consideration carried over year-round. So, when entering someone’s house, you take off your shoes. Now imagine what would happen if at a dinner party in my home, I suddenly excuse myself from the table and begin cleaning off each pair of shoes or boots and placed them on each person’s feet. Think that would get their attention?                                                                                                Jesus is at the height of his popularity and is with his closest followers. He had celebrity status and a lot of people just wanted to be seen with him. They are all together for a religious ceremonial meal, and everything is going as expected. People have removed their first century Nike’s, sandals and flip-flops and are eating and chattering about what they have been binge-reading on Net-Leviticus when Jesus does something strange. He quietly stands up, goes over to a table and pours water into a large bowl and grabs a towel. He walks back to the table and does something only a house servant would do. He bends down and begins to wash people’s dusty, grimy feet!                                                                                                                                          In the moment of the greatest recognition of his authority, Jesus sees the bigger picture of needs for each person in the room. He literally lowers himself in a servant’s posture. At the pinnacle of his power, Jesus sheds his robe, the symbol of his authority as a rabbi, and shows what humility looks like. The Jesus-People are stunned and want to put Jesus back on their pedestal. To them, he has cheapened his reputation by abdicating his power. But Jesus has a message for them, “Everyone will want to be close to you, because you were the ones closest to me. You are going to be extraordinarily influential, but don’t forget this night.”                                                             The meal crowd struggled to grasp Jesus’ teachable moment. These were ordinary people like you and me who had to overcome preconception and fear. But, later on they would refuse to leverage power for their own sake and understood that they were simply given authority and influence to serve other people.                                                    Isn’t that really what being a funeral director is all about? It is perhaps the most unique and challenging of professions, which requires walking a very thin line between vocation and avocation. The director is compassionate, but always professional, compartmentalizing job and ministry. While we think of the word “ministry” as a church colloquialism, it means simply to meet someone’s physical, spiritual and emotional need. Those outside of the funeral industry are often taken by surprise when catching a glimpse of a funeral director’s work and ministry demands.                                                    When meeting with family members for a pre-need or at-need, the Funeral Director is the most authoritative and influential person in the room – but each family member is the most important person in the room. Directors walk them through cost figures and options because of legal requirements to do so. But even in this funeral business, they are looking to the director for more than raw information. They are looking for wisdom and compassion, truth and grace, comfort and strength, all wrapped in professionalism.       We recently facilitated a funeral service for a First Responder. I watched in amazement as our funeral director met the needs of all involved. With grief still fresh, the director met with the family and co-workers for seven hours. The next day, that same director worked with local First Responder units to plan and execute the large and complicated funeral service. During those hours of hurt and grief, family and coworkers had emotionally removed their shoes and were vulnerable. This compassionate director had symbolically washed their feet. The director was the most influential person in the room, but each of those mourners were the most important people in the room. I guess it could be said that it was a “Jesus thing”.

 Greg Webber                                                                                                         Director, Community Care/Aftercare                                                                       Certified Celebrant                                                                                   greg@morrissett.com

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.

I Want You to Say Their Name, Even if it Makes Me Cry

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During a recent conversation with a friend I shared a fond memory of her teenage son who passed away several months ago. There was a catch in her throat as she responded, and for a moment I regretted my words and wondered if I had said the wrong thing.

Later, during a quiet moment, I had the opportunity to ask her about it. I felt comfortable doing so because she had been open about her journey so far. She was gracious enough to give me the space to ask some personal and even painful questions. The truth is, though, that after you lose a child there isn’t much that is not painful. She told me that it was okay that I mentioned her son, and even okay that it made her cry. Actually, she continued, it was good that I said his name and it always makes her happy to know that he is remembered.

She told me that when people say his name she knows that he is remembered, and she feels like it honors his life and his memory. That is comforting to her, even if she might cry. It still isn’t easy to hear his name spoken sometimes, but she never wants to stop hearing it.

I personally have never experienced the loss of a child. Friends of mine have, and I cannot even begin to fathom the depth of their pain. I can, however, listen to them as they share their thoughts and experiences. I can also be there for them when they don’t feel like talking, even if it is by giving them space and letting them know that I am nearby and available should they ever need me.

Two of my friends in particular have been gracious enough share some of their journey with us. I continue to grieve with them for their losses as I stand in awe and appreciation of their strength and courage, honesty and vulnerability.  The rest of these words will be written from their perspective. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Continue reading