Funeral Home and Grief Resources

A resource page for funeral home topics
 

Protecting Your Deceased Loved One From The Risk of Identity Theft

The grief of losing a loved one is a very tumultuous and heartbreaking experience for everyone involved. Unfortunately, in the world that we live in, some people disregard this pain entirely and are willing to capitalize on the identity of the deceased. Frequently, individuals engage in such behaviour because they are trying to escape past convictions or outstanding debts. Even after your loved one dies, it is imperative to keep his or her identity safe to avoid the possibility of identity theft. Here are a few steps you can take to secure the identity of your loved one:

Never Disclose Sensitive Information

Thieves can be very crafty in how they conduct their crime and often use publicly known information from social media accounts to gain access to private knowledge. Contact the social media platforms and inform them that a user on their platform has passed away, and that should effectively lock their account or remove it.

Advise Financial Organizations / Government Organizations

The chances are that your loved one has ties with multiple corporations involving financial interactions, which can include banks, credit unions, insurance companies or investment companies, and they all must be notified about the passing of your loved one. Begin with giving them a phone call and make sure you send them proof of death. Ensure that you are keeping documentation about which organizations you’ve reached out to, the date on which you contacted them, and the representative with whom you were in contact. Other relevant documents such as drivers licenses, passports, or social insurance numbers should be handled with extreme caution. Inform government institutions about the death of your relative, and they should effectively make all existing documents null and void.

Routinely Check On Your Loved One’s Credit/ Bank Statements.

Often, identity theft of a deceased person can go unnoticed because there is nobody routinely checking his or her banking and credit statements. This form of theft, often referred to as “ghosting,” can occur for a year or longer before any indication of robbery has taken place. Therefore, it is imperative to check these statements for months after your loved one has passed, and report any suspicious activity to the police.

Stealing the identity of a dead person is a lucrative idea for thieves because they predict that not everyone has taken the necessary precaution to protect their identity from future attacks. When a loved one passes away, family members will try their best to secure all critical certificates and documents from falling into the wrong hands, but cannot guarantee that security. It is important to concern yourself with the protection of yourand your family's private information immediately to save you from dealing with this heinous crime.

How to Cope Following the Death of a Loved One

When someone very close to you passes away, your initial reaction will very likely be disbelief, sadness and anger. You may feel the need to get in contact with other friends & family to console one another & begin the healing process together. For you, there is no set timetable for how long it should take for you to come to terms with the situation; in fact, placing a timetable on your recovery can make it harder for you to reflect on your relationship fully and emotional connection with your deceased loved one. However, it is imperative to monitor your physical and mental health and take care of yourself. Here are three ways to help you manage yourself following the death of a loved one:

Enlist the Services of a Support Worker

Enlisting the assistance of a support worker, such as a therapist or social worker, to speak about the feelings and emotions that are bothering you can be an important first step in the healing process. Many people refuse to seek out help because they don’t want to rehash their thoughts which tend to irritate and sadden them. Speaking to a therapist or social support worker can help you see new perspectives and connect with methods of coping that you didn’t know previously. Therapists are excellent for individuals dealing with invasive thoughts as well as anxiety disorders & depression.

Start Focusing on Your Hobbies and Interests

Forcing yourself to feel better is a near improbability as healing takes an indefinite amount of time. Truthfully, one of the more elegant ways to encourage yourself to feel better is to focus on yourself and the things that you like doing. Hobbies and interests help distract you and take your mind off unfortunate circumstances. Use your hobbies and interests as a creative outlet; focus your energy, emotions and true thoughts on artistic or inventive enterprises. Take some time off your regularly scheduled life, including work or school, and sincerely focus on you; exercise, eat healthily, read a book, do something that will help you ease your mind.

Connect with Friends and Family

At this time, you need to be with the people that mean the most to you and your loved one that recently passed. Just being there for physical support or being a listening ear, can help your friends & family heal as well. Being able to recall memories and good times has been known to promote serotonin levels in individuals in distress. Losing someone you love dearly can make you see everything in tunnel vision which could cause you to ignore everyone else’s emotions. Take care of your friends and family and begin the healing process together.

Memorial Service Ideas for Veterans

The rush of emotions you feel while organizing a memorial service can be quite overwhelming, it can be difficult to think clearly and ensure you’re hitting all your bases. Overall, the end goal is for you to correctly honour the life and work of your deceased loved one and convey your admiration for them during the funeral procession. If your deceased loved one was a Canadian military veteran it is especially important for you to honour their commitment, dedication and bravery in a way that would make them proud. Here are some memorial service ideas for your deceased loved one:
Visual Tributes
A common way to recognize the sacrifices that your military loved one made is to honour them through a visual tribute. If video footage exists of them in their military fatigues, you can put together a memorial video of them when they were young, as well as them in their older years with their grandchildren. A wonderful idea is to find fellow soldiers that served alongside your loved one and interview them to find out compelling stories & tales that you may not have heard before. Another symbolic honour would be to invite a Canadian military ceremonial guard to gift the closest relative with a Canadian flag. 
Extend Their Legacy Through Donations/Scholarships
Making the commitment to serve this amazing country is not a commitment that should fall to the waist-side- they’ve cemented a legacy of heroism and courage that has made all of us thankful to live in a free country. If you are presented with the means to do so, a great idea to honour your loved one’s life is to donate money to a charitable cause or bestow a scholarship reserve to a deserving individual each year. The parameters of the scholarship are ultimately up to the next-of-kin, but many that we’ve seen include honouring an individual that has gone above and beyond in their community. 
Send Care Packages to Canadian Soldier Overseas
Speaking about carrying on their legacy, one way to help transcend their legacy would be to contribute to the cause that they so graciously dedicated their life too. Traditionally, attendees of a funeral memorial service will bring consolation cards and flowers to the loved ones of the deceased, but there are other things that attendees can do that may mean more to the family than flowers or cards. One thing you should know about military families is that they have a deep admiration and respect for other service members & their families; ask the individuals attending the memorial service to prepare a care package for Canadian troops, to honour their service to this country and its citizens.
Your loved one served honourably and heroically, asking for nothing but a safe and happy country. Their memorial service should surpass the procession itself and leave a lasting impression on all that attend. Prepare a visual tribute with videos and music, extend their legacy with a scholarship or charitable donation, or ask funeral home attendees to prepare a care package to honour the life of your deceased loved one.

Should I Crowdfund My Loved One’s Funeral?

 When a loved one passes away, the disbelief and an overwhelming sense of grief are often the first things that come to mind. Taking care of one’s mental and physical health follows next in the grieving process. What is often underthought of in the aftermath of a loved one’s death is planning funeral arrangements and corralling the finances to pay for the service.  Being held financially responsible for your loved one’s funeral can add stress to your already conflicting situation, should money be an issue, let us discuss the possibilities of a crowdfunded funeral procession.

 Defining What Crowdfunding Is

Crowdfunding, commonly referred to as crowdsourcing, is a method in which everyday people can raise money from friends, acquaintances and strangers to financially support their cause or assist them in times of need. A crowdfunding campaign relies on small contributions made by several individuals to fulfill a large total. Although many popular websites, including GoFundMe.com, have made it easy to host a campaign online, it can also be done offline.

How Crowdfunding Relates to Funerals

Crowdfunding for a funeral can be set up differently than traditional crowdfunding efforts, as there is typically not one thing that the deceased’s family needs. Crowdfunding funeral efforts are especially prominent in familial situations where the deceased didn’t have a lot of money to their name, and therefore, are unable to access substantial funds needed to cover funeral and burial costs. Crowdfunding for funerals helps to cover the funeral procession, casket purchase, cremation services, and other costly expenditures.

If you do plan on hosting an online campaign, you will be required to create an account. From there, you can post the story behind the crowdfunding campaign, provide a time frame in which donations or gifts will be accepted, and offer banking information so you can retrieve your donations at the end of the campaign.

Should I Crowdfund My Loved One’s Funeral

 Crowdfunding is not typically the ideal solution - but sometimes unexpected events and a lack of savings can make it difficult for expenses to be paid for. Social media has made it easy to share your personal story, and because many people are kind-hearted, they will often find a way to lend $5, $10 or $15 to assist you in your time of need. If money is an issue, we highly recommend you attempt a crowdfunding campaign, as you have nothing to lose. Keep in mind, posting photos of yourself and your deceased loved one, as well as writing a coherent and readable story to go along with your campaign, are the best ways to raise contributions for your loved one’s funeral expenses.