“For Everything There is a Season…” Exploring Grief

For the next few weeks we will be exploring grief.  We will be writing in generalities.  Because we are all unique, we all react in our own personal way to a loss of a loved one.  No one can really understand what a person is going through even though they may have experienced a similar loss.

Just as the severity of grief does not denote the depth of our affection, neither does the length of grief.  It simply means we all have our own unique timetable.  It will take some a long time and others just a short time.  Most will be somewhere in between.

Psychiatrists have found many survivors experience similar stages of grief.  Some worry that something is wrong with them for feeling the way they do at times.  Survivors need to know they are not losing their minds.  In the coming weeks we will be exploring the stages of grief so that survivors will know their feelings are normal and what they might expect.

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“For Everything There is a Season…” Burial Traditions

We are a nation of traditions and we thought you might be interested in some of the burial traditions of this area.  In most cemeteries, the remains of the deceased are buried facing the rising sun (the foot of the grave to the east and the head to the west).  The custom stems from the religious belief that signifies we will rise again.

In cemeteries such as Highland in Ottawa, where the roads curve and run in semi-circles, traditionally the remains are buried with the head of the grave closest to the road.  You will also discover not all headstones are at the head and not all foot-stones are at the foot.  Sound confusing?  Sometimes common sense is the best solution when dealing with traditions that somehow just don’t seem to fit the situation.

Another tradition is the husband is usually buried on the right side of his wife because the bridegroom stood on the right side of his wife when they married.

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“For Everything There is a Season…” Memorial Contributions

Many people find a deep, personal satisfaction in making memorial contributions to a charitable organization, to serve the living and to pay tribute to the memory of a relative, friend or associate.  Many times, the family will suggest a particular charity that was close to the heart of their loved one or to an organization that they believe makes the world a better place.

Memorial contributions left in our care are turned over to the intended organization shortly after the funeral service.  We compile a list of donors with the amount and give it to the family.  Many times, the recipient of a memorial gift will also acknowledge and send a thank you note to the donor.

We want to aid the family and the organizations that are sending thank you notes by giving them the complete address of the donor.  If you would include your full address, we would appreciate it and so would the family.

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Why Send Flowers?

Why send flowers to someone after they are gone?

Just as the funeral service is for the living, so is the gift of flowers.  Sometimes friends do not know how to express their feelings and sending flowers is a way for them to let the family know they care.

Flowers present at funerals celebrate man’s everlasting life, his triumph over death.  The full bloom reminds us of the promise of the immortality of life.  The withering blossom reminds us of how short life is and the flower bud renews our hope of the future.

When you think about it every celebration in life’s journey is made more special when flowers are included.  Birthday parties, anniversaries and weddings all are celebrated with beautiful flowers.  The funeral is no exception, it is a celebration of life and it feels natural and good to have flowers present.  Families always seem to appreciate the thoughtfulness of friends sending flowers.

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“For Everything There is a Season…” Making It Personal

We are pleased to offer the families we serve many ways to personalize a funeral service.  Photographs certainly add to the celebration by bringing personal memories to life.  We offer two ways to display photographs.  One is high tech and one is old fashioned.

So that everyone can enjoy seeing pictures at the funeral or visitation, we have large television screens in various places to show videotapes of photographs.  The family can put together their own video or we can arrange to have a videotape made for you with the pictures you provide.  We can provide background music for the video.

We also have a very convenient and attractive way to display snapshots and photos.  It consists of a large frame and easel with a board to easily position photos and a system to hold them in place.  Four sets are available so even the largest collections of photographs can be displayed.

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“For Everything There is a Season: Making It Personal…”

We are pleased to offer the families we serve many ways to personalize a funeral service.  Photographs certainly add to the celebration by bringing personal memories to life.  We offer two ways to display photographs.  One is high tech and one is old fashioned.

So that everyone can enjoy seeing pictures at the funeral or visitation, we have large television screens in various places to show videotapes of photographs.  The family can put together their own video or we can arrange to have a videotape made for you with the pictures you provide.  We can provide background music for the video.

We also have a very convenient and attractive way to display snapshots and photos.  It consists of a large frame and easel with a board to easily position photos and a system to hold them in place.  Four sets are available so even the largest collections of photographs can be displayed.

“For Everything There is a Season: The Funeral…”

A funeral can be as unique as the person being remembered.  We are respectful of tradition, but we understand today’s families also want the funeral service to reflect personal values, interest and experiences that together made their loved one’s life special.

When you incorporate your loved one’s personality through eulogies, special music and other special touches you are telling the story of a life worth celebrating.  We encourage families to bring in pictures and memorabilia that tell the story of a loved one who changed history by being a unique person who impacted the lives of friends and family.

A meaningful service is also an essential element in the healing process.  The funeral provides closure to family and friends.  It marks a point in the life of survivors when one chapter closes and another one begins.  We need that moment defined so that the healing process can begin.

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