Grief Resources

Learn more about stopping identity theft of someone who has recently passed.
 

Funeral Home & Cemetery Resources

Protecting Your Deceased Loved One From The Risk of Identity Theft

Important Tips to Keep in Mind About Funeral Home and Visitation Etiquette

Methods to Help You Cope Following A Loved One’s Death

Important Reasons to Compose A Will

Heartwarming Memorials You Can Prepare for Your Deceased Loved One

How to Speak to Your Relative About Their Resting Wishes

Common Myths Regarding Funeral Pre-Planning

How to Fulfill the Role as an Executor

How to Help a Loved One who is Grieving

Tips to Establish Funeral Home Etiquette

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.

Important Tips to Keep in Mind About Funeral Home and Visitation Etiquette

Visiting a funeral home to say goodbye to a dear loved one, family or friend, is an amazingly powerful way to say goodbye, in concert, with everyone who was lucky enough to be a part the deceased’s life. Visitations, wakes and memorial services are all moving ways not only to acknowledge the life of the deceased but a way to help ingrain them into your memory forever. Before you visit your deceased loved ones at a wake or a memorial, it is important to remember this is a time of solace, grief and remembrance for someone you held close to your heart; proper etiquette while visiting is of extreme importance. Here are a few etiquette tips to keep in mind while attending a funeral home:

Attending A Wake:

A wake often referred to as a “viewing,” is an event that generally occurs before the actual funeral procession takes place. They are typically hosted at funeral homes or depending on the request of the deceased, in a protected venue where they preferred their funeral be hosted. Although wakes are primarily open to all people that were close to the deceased, if it is not directly specified, you should be honourable and refrain from visiting. Many families prefer to not display their loved ones for anyone outside of their direct family, so be sure that you do not overstep your boundaries and visit uninvited. For wakes, where those that were close to the deceased are welcome to appear, prepare to be emotional. Seeing someone you loved for the last time can be an emotional moment, so you should emotionally prepare yourself. Lastly, no one will make you view the body, proceed with what makes you feel comfortable.

Attending a Visitation:

Many people who attend a visitation are not necessarily close with the deceased but have close ties with the surviving members of the family. It is generally a gesture of good faith to attend a visitation of a close friend, a co-worker or a neighbour that you care deeply about. Depending on how well you know the deceased family’s member, you may stay to offer your condolences, but it is best practice not to stay too long so that everyone visiting has an opportunity to speak to the surviving loved ones.

Memorial Services:

Memorial services are typically events arranged to commemorate the life of the deceased, which can include a few speeches, a slideshow or a musical performance. It is essential to arrive early for the service, as to not interrupt it when it has already started and stay until the very end to show your respect. Dress in mellow or dull colours as to not stand out in the crowd, it is a service for the deceased, and all attention should be on them. Turn off your cell phones and other devices that could make noises throughout the procession.

We understand the importance to commemorate the life of your loved ones and do so with the utmost respect and compassion. For more information for hosting a wake, visitation or memorial service, contact Valley View Funeral Home & Cemetery today.

Methods to Help You Cope Following A Loved One’s Death

Although death is a part of life, losing someone you deeply loved and cared for can be the hardest thing to manage. The pain associated with a deceased loved one can affect family members and friends emotionally and physically, and there is no timetable for when days will begin looking bright again. For those dealing with chronic sadness or depression symptoms, it is important you take time to grieve, but if the grieving seems endless and extreme, it may be wise to try and switch up your daily routine. Here are some helpful methods you can utilize when the grief is just too much:

Arrange Sessions with A Social Worker/ Therapist

Speaking about your feelings and emotions with a social worker or therapist may seem counter-productive as you try and take your mind off the situation, but in many cases, speaking about the things that are troubling you the most may shed new light on the situation. They can introduce you to new coping methods, help you deal with anxieties or intrusive thoughts, and sympathize and empathize with you if you feel your emotions aren’t being taken seriously. They may not be able to cure your sadness, but they will encourage you to think critically about your thoughts and lead you down a path to recovery.

Engage in Activities and Hobbies You Enjoy

The hardest thing to do following the passing of a loved one is taking your mind off them. It is imperative for those suffering from chronic sadness or depression, to take up hobbies and activities that they have a vested interest in. Many people in moments of grief end up abandoning their hobbies to mourn alongside their friends and family, or simply because they’ve recently been preoccupied with everyday responsibilities such as school or work. It is essential to take time for yourself in difficult moments like these and try to remember that life can still be fun and enjoyable after your loved ones have passed. For those with an interest in physical health, go to the gym, go for a run, swim, or bike. For artistic individuals, it can be a good time for you to express your true feelings and emotions in the form of a poem, song, painting and drawing, story or film.

Reach Out as a Comforter to Your Friends & Family

Throughout the mourning process, it can be hard to imagine comforting somebody else when you are suffering just as hard. However, being there as a shoulder to lean on, and ear to listen to, can help you process your grief in a constructive manner, which is to provide solace and comfort to those around you. Discussing with others about how much your deceased loved ones meant to you, sharing stories, and even crying together can help instill feelings of acceptance and happiness as opposed to overwhelming anguish. Reaching out to your family can operate as a coping mechanism for not just yourself, but your family and friends, who will play a significant role in helping alleviate any of your stress or pain.

Important Reasons to Compose A Will

If you’re like most people in the world, the thought of writing a will to distribute your finances and personal valuables to a specific person in the event of your death only crosses your mind when watching a TV show or book. It may not be the most appealing thing to do during your spare time or day off but composing your very own will comes with several benefits that can help ensure that the money and resources that you’ve worked tirelessly for is safely allocated to a family member, loved one or a good friend.

 What Is the Purpose of a Will?

One explanation for people being reluctant to acknowledge, let alone, write a will is that many do not like to consider that one day they will pass away. However, a will has very little to do with you; instead, it concerns itself with ensuring that your family is taken proper care of in the case of your death. A life insurance policy ensures that your family receives necessary funds to keep them financially stable upon your passing. A will, on the other hand, makes sure that all your interests are kept in mind when divvying your assets, in case you would like to share your assets with a charitable organization or someone unrelated to you. It will be up to you to determine which person will be responsible for ensuring the demands in your will are met because without doing so it will be left to the courts to determine the allocation of your assets.

Determines Who Receives What:

A primary function of a will is to ensure that your money and property end up in the right hands. Without a will, your intentions are opaque, and it can create unnecessary tension between members of your family attempting to split your possessions equally. Conflicts can arise when more sentimental possessions are being determined, and a will ensures that your most precious belongings are going to the person you wish to have it most.

For the Protection of Your Children:

For parents with little children, it is especially important to compose a will for the sake of children’s safety and future. Along with outlining how much money your children will inherit after you pass away, if you suddenly passed away you would be able to outline the future of your children and who will be handed with guardianship responsibilities. In many cases, a parent that passed away suddenly without specifying who they wish to look after their children may leave the fate of their child’s guardian up to the courts.

Makes It Easier on Surviving Family Members:

Your family will already be dealing with the grief and sadness of losing you, which can result in skew reasoning and understanding amongst family members. When money and belongings are brought into the discussion so quickly after one’s death, people begin to act irrationally, and tension can begin to spread. Make it easier on your family and be specific in the wishes for your estate and whom you wish to leave your things to.

 

Heartwarming Memorials You Can Prepare for Your Deceased Loved One

When your loved one passes there will be moments of great sadness & grief, it’s a natural reaction to assist your body and mind in recovering, and you should take as much time as possible to heal. When you’ve had time to collect your thoughts and emotions, remembering how much your loved one’s life touched your heart & soul will help you find closure and ensure that their legacy never fades. There are so many ways for you to honour the life of your loved one and depending on their interests, you can create something special. Here are a few things you can do to honour your loved one.

Park Bench Memorial

 This idea is particularly endearing for an individual that loved to be outside, enjoying all the bounty’s nature has to offer. Park bench memorials are commonly found in public parks, along walkways, under tall & beautiful trees. Park bench memorials are implanted into the ground with the understanding that family & friends will have the opportunity to congregate and reminisce and the vivid memories that keep them positive & smiling. Additionally, a park bench memorial will promote strangers to sit down & engage in conversation with their loved ones. 

 Memorial Tree or Shrub

The consciousness of your loved one is everlasting for family and friends; it’s something that is carried with them for the rest of their lives and onwards. A tremendous symbolization of your loved one’s ever-present spirit is to plant a commemorative tree in their honour. Of course, planting a tree is beneficial to the ecosystem and the continuing circle of life, but it also stands as an indication that their love is still very present. Ensure that you document the growth and progression of the tree as it matures; take a few leaves off the tree occasionally and keep them preserved with glycerin- this makes for a wonderful scrapbook idea.

 Write A Piece for A Newspaper or Blog

Sometimes it may feel there is nothing that you can do to help you get a grasp on the fact that your loved one is no longer here in the physical world. It can also be troubling if none of the activities or hobbies that you enjoy are helping ease your discomfort. Therefore, one thing you can do is write an op-ed for a local newspaper or a blog for your website. At first, it may be difficult to express how you truly feel, but once you get on a roll, the thought, feelings and passion that had been overwhelming your senses will begin to unwind and you’ll find solace in your words. 

How to Speak to Your Relative About Their Resting Wishes

It’s important for you to be prepared for anything that life hands you, and unfortunately, that means having tough discussions with your loved ones about the handling of their future. Difficult conversations that include how your loved one wishes to receive care when they get significantly older, where they want to spend the rest of their life, and how they plan to divvy their will are, understandably, tough subjects to bring up. Knowing how and when to bring up these topics will help make any end-of-life preparations easier. Here are some tips to help you speak to your relative about their wishes after death:

Do A Trial Run with Your Friend

It can be incredibly awkward to simply initiate these conversations with an elderly loved one about their wishes following their death. Therefore, having mock conversations with another family member or friend is one way for you to practice conversation and gauge common responses. Doing this a few times should make it easier to get past the stress & uneasiness of initiating these conversations.

Initiate Conversation at A Comfortable Time

These conversations can be stressful and tense, as one should expect. Consider when you plan on bringing up conversations about their will and hypothetical scenarios regarding their health and ableness. It all comes down to picking a time and place where tension will be reduced, and open and honest discussion can take place. Occasions like Christmas may not   Whether it’s taking a walk down by the river, or going to get ice cream, make the discussion as guilt-free and relaxed as possible.

Be Patient and Listen Intently

End-of-life discussions may be overwhelming when it’s first brought up; nobody really expects their loved ones to discuss their death with them. Yet, these conversations must happen to make everyone’s life easier, less stressful and to prevent family relationships from being strained. Therefore, when the conversation is brought up, give them time to process the information before they give you a response. Honestly, they may not have put in enough time to consider their possibilities. Listen to your elderly loved one- this can be a very emotional decision-making process for them, so be sure to lend an ear and offer your support for whatever they decide to do.

Invite Important Family Members to The Conversation

To connect with our point on establishing a comfort level with your elderly loved one, it may make the process much easier for all parties. Establishing a group of family members that all deeply care for and love each other can make these conversations feel less tense and spark honest, thought-provoking conversation. Having everyone involved will also reduce the risk of miscommunication or blurred lines when the time comes to sort out all the affairs after a loved one passes away.

These talks are never easy, but sometimes we need to have them in order to look out for their best wishes and to prevent complications in the future. For more information regarding the importance of final wishes, contact Valley View Memorial Gardens today.

Common Myths Regarding Funeral Pre-Planning

After a loved one passes away, one thing that is of crucial importance is to begin organizing the funeral service. Unfortunately, because many only consider after-life plans when it’s too late, many deceased individuals end up receiving a rushed and unprepared memorial service. Pre-planning a funeral service is not only beneficial from a financial standpoint, but it’s great to be completely organized to avoid confusion and arguments regarding the will. Pre-planning for a funeral is sometimes misconceived as purposeless, and we don’t know why. Here are some myths and clarity behind those misconceptions:

Funeral Pre-Planning is Too Hard to Discuss

Death, for many people, is a difficult or uncomfortable thing to talk about. It can be particularly difficult when you’re discussing plans for your funeral. Sometimes, it’s necessary to separate emotions from reality, and pre-planning your funeral will make it easier for your family and friends in the long run. Death and funerals are commonly considered a taboo talking point, and funeral pre-planning can work to remove that taboo label.

Pre-Planning Is Only for Wealthy Families and Individuals

Pre-planning for a funeral is not meant for financially privileged families or individuals only. Pre-planning is an important idea to consider, regardless of your current financial situation. When your family knows exactly what you want to take place after you pass away, they can make conscious monetary decisions to ensure your final wishes are met.

Why Pre-Plan If You’ve Already Told A Family Member Your Intentions

Intentions can get misconstrued when you don’t have them solidified in a non-negotiable document. When someone passes away, it’s very common for close relatives to insist that they know what the deceased wanted and had planned for their funeral. Unfortunately, this can create rifts and displeasure between family and friends, which is the last thing you want to happen after you pass away. At different stages in your life, you may discuss your wishes to close family members, so pre-planning your funeral will remove all ambiguity.

Pre-Planning Is Pointless Because You Need to Know Where You’ll Pass Away

This misconception is commonly pointed out when trying to argue the relevancy of pre-planning for a funeral and, in fairness, it’s easy to see why. Pre-planning for a funeral typically includes the funeral home in which you plan on having your memorial service. If you were to move, it would make sense that the pre-planning would change; however, it’s untrue. Most funeral homes are more than willing to accommodate to your pre-planned requests.

Funeral pre-planning will make it easier for your family when the time comes. It’s important to have these discussions now, which will save your family money and time in moments of grief. For more information, read about Valley View Funeral Home & Cemetery planning tools.

How to Fulfill the Role as An Executor

Being the executor for a loved one’s estate can be an overwhelming task when sudden death occurs. The role of an executor should be undertaken by a responsible and accountable individual that can relieve tension and emotional turmoil on behalf of the deceased’s family by organizing all post-death affairs. Due to the sadness and mourning that immediate family will be dealing with, an executor’s role is to remain headstrong, ensuring that all outstanding tasks are met with professionalism and integrity. Here is how to fulfill the role of an executor in Canada. 

Quick Overview of Executor’s Role

Here are a few of the responsibilities that a designated executor is accountable for accomplishing:

  • Protecting the belongings that the deceased has left behind
  • Providing funds for the funeral preparations
  • Uncover assets previously owned by the deceased - commonly referred to assets of the estate
  • Providing funds for any outstanding debts or taxes that the deceased was responsible for
  • Disbursing the remnants of the estate for people listed in the will of the deceased.

Protecting the Will

Executors are directly responsible for protecting and ensuring the intentions designated in the will are followed through. Other crucial documents that relate to the deceased’s estate, including their marriage certificates and insurance plans, should be stored safely in a safety deposit box or lockbox. The executor should also photocopy important documents that will prevent unauthorized access to personal information relating to the deceased.

Disbursement of The Deceased’s Goods

As previously stated, tensions and anxieties may be high following the death of a loved one, which is why the duties of an executor must fall on the shoulders of someone who can manage those hardships. One such tension that may arise would be the fair distribution of the deceased’s properties - especially goods with high monetary worth. Executors must be able to assemble a document that consists of the deceased’s possessions and ensure they are handed out fairly to the rightful recipients. 

Ensure Their Online Presence Is Managed

When someone is deceased, their online accounts are most likely still open and active. Therefore, an executor must be able to ensure their profiles are closed, especially if they have personal information such as credit card info or social insurance numbers. The identity of a deceased individual is still vulnerable to potential hacks and data breaches, which could leave their family in added turmoil. 

The role of an executor is an incredibly important job, and it should be undertaken with the utmost conviction and professionalism. It is also important to remain empathetic and neutral throughout the mourning process.  Read more on our blog.

How to Help A Loved One Who Is Grieving

When death affects you, it can feel as though the world is coming to an end. Losing a loved one can present a flurry of emotions, including anger, confusion and immense sadness. People that experience grief and sorrow are also more susceptible to feelings of depression, anxiety and extreme fatigue. If you are close with someone that has recently lost a family member or a friend, now is the time to be there for them and support them. The following article will provide you with a few suggestions when offering to a grieving person.

Reach Out to Them and Offer Support

Offering your condolences to a grieving individual is a tremendous gesture of goodwill; reaching out via phone call or text message to check up on them and ask them if they need anything can be helpful during the grieving process. During your conversation, if it is going well, don’t be afraid to share your favourite memories with the deceased, if you have any. Relaying memories and stories can help the grieving person understand just how many lives the deceased touched.

Don’t Tell Them How to Feel.

There is no definitive timeline for how long the grieving process lasts - it’s unique to everyone. Therefore, it would be unwise to assume how they’re feeling and tell them to feel a certain way. Refrain from using expressions like “cheer up,” “being sad, accomplishes nothing,” and even “always look on the bright side of life.” Grieving is a natural biological reaction to a major loss, and it’s important to validate the emotions of a grieving person and provide a sense of love and support.

Ask Them How You Can Help

When you tell a grieving person to let you know if you can do anything for them in their time of need, they’ll often thank you but never take you up on your offer. Even in grieving, many people don’t want to burden others with their sadness. Be proactive; ask your grieving loved one for direct ways that you can help. Whether it’s running errands for them (i.e. picking up their groceries, dry cleaning, etc.), cooking dinner for them occasionally, offering to watch their kids as they’re busy dealing with end-of-life arrangements. All these offerings allow us to provide beneficial services for them. It also encourages them to be around other people, which is incredibly important for anyone dealing with loss. 

Providing physical and emotional support to a grieving person is a noble and thoughtful thing to do. Be sure to reach out to them and support and validate their feelings. Being there for them and helping them with everyday necessities are great ways to support in times of mourning. For more information, read our blog section about grief.

Tips to Establish Funeral Home Etiquette

Funeral homes are unlike any other gathering place in the world; they operate with a level of reverence, dignity and class, which is requested by all attendees out of respect for the deceased. Celebrations of life and memorial services help the families and friends of the deceased find closure and acceptance in their passing. If you’re attending a funeral home for a close friend or a loved one, or you’ve been invited to offer your condolences, it’s important to ensure you practice proper etiquette. Here are some things to remember before you attend a funeral home service.

Clothing

Ceremonies of life and memorial services are hosted in the memory and legacy of the deceased person. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to dress in neutral colours, like black, white or grey, to prevent attention being drawn onto your attire. The family may ask you to wear sports attire or something to remember the person who passed. Ensure that any accessories you wear, whether it be a necklace, bracelet or earrings are subtle and don’t jingle when you move.

Arriving Early

Arriving at a funeral home service is not like attending a party or any other kind of celebration; showing up early or well on-time is imperative in establishing proper etiquette. Arriving early or on-time will allow you to communicate with other funeral home attendees and offer your deepest sympathies to the immediate family. Arriving before the procession begins will also give you a chance to find a seat before the silence is observed. If you arrive late for the service, be sure to mute your cell phone, silently enter the service and pick the nearest available seat in your location.

What to Say

For many people, offering deepest sympathies and condolences is easy. Many funeral home guests feel like it’s their duty to offer words of support to accelerate the healing process, but it rarely ever works like that. Instead, it might be more beneficial to keep it simple when offering words of support. Using short phrases like “We’re here for you during these difficult times.” or “You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers” is short, sweet and to the point. Furthermore, if you feel more comfortable offering them help if they need anything during these times, it would be an incredibly kind gesture that would go a long way.

Establishing proper etiquette at a funeral home is a sign of respect for the life and legacy of a deceased individual. For more information on funeral home etiquette or any other inquiries, contact Valley View Funeral Home and Cemetery today.

Wonderful Tributes to Help Keep Your Loved One’s Spirit Alive

Losing a loved one is amongst the worst experiences that you can live through in your lifetime, yet, loving someone that is no longer with us means carrying on their legacy and living every day to make them proud. Although grief and sadness are natural reactions, a therapeutic and remedial practice to help comfort you is to tribute your deceased loved one in a symbolic manner. Depending on the deceased’s wishes and interests, there are various ways you can help keep their spirit alive. Consider one of the following tributes to help remember your loved one:

Commemorative Bench:

Commemorative benches are an ideal way to remember your loved one. Benches are typically located in a beautiful area such as a park or a garden, with a scenic background. The idea for these benches is to have a seat, talk and reminisce about old times shared with your loved one, and promote strangers to sit down and share conversation. Whether you invest in a bench or simply a plaque to engrave on a bench, these memorials will last if the bench is around and can inspire you to come and “visit” your loved one on a hard day.

 Plant a Tree:

Losing a loved one is world crushing, and sometimes it feels like life won’t go on without them. Planting a memorial tree is a tribute to a loved one that lasts multiple decades and helps to improve the quality of our environment and ecosystem. Besides being beneficial to the planet, planting a tree is symbolic of the everlasting love your loved one provided while on Earth. As it grows over time, break off a couple of branches and bring them into your home as a reminder that their love for you continues to grow, just in a different form.

Wear A Commemorative Piece:

Most of us have a favourite article of clothing that we wear on a routine basis; it could be a family heirloom (i.e. wristwatch, necklace, etc.), an old hat or a cardigan sweater, something closely associated to us all. You can tribute your loved one by carrying on the legacy of that article of clothing and continuing its journey on Earth. This is also a therapeutic method to help you feel closer to your loved one while comforting you and helping you grow to accept their passing.

Name a Star After Them:

It’s common to look up into the night sky and think about where your loved one is and how they’re doing. You can take it one step forward and name a star in their honour so that every time you look up at the nighttime sky, you’ll know they’re up there looking over you and guiding you through the trials and tribulations of life.

There are many ways to help carry on the legacy of your loved ones, and the suggestions mentioned above are just some of the ways you can help yourself cope with loss and sadness.

How to Help A Child After They’ve Lost A Parent

Many children experience death first-hand, whether it be a family pet, a neighbour, a friend, or a grandparent, and while we hope no child must suffer that, some things are out of our control. For a child that loses a parent, the grief and anguish are indescribable. As a surviving parent, grandparent, or legal guardian, you may be unable to provide the answers, but you can be there for the child as they come to grips with this unfortunate situation. Here are a few things to keep in mind when trying to comfort and console a child who has lost their parent:

Talk to Them

A child’s brain is constantly evolving, and an occasion such as a parent passing away could have underlying effects on their physical and mental wellbeing. When they feel comfortable enough to engage in conversation, embrace it and ask them about their feelings and any stories they wish to tell; just let them talk about whatever they want.

 Be an Emotional Cushion

Children require physical affection in the form of hugs and snuggles, especially after losing the person that provided them with tenderness and warmth for so long. When a child loses a parent, they may have a difficult time understanding where they fit in, in life, and who will fill the void that now exists. Be there for the child and give them love and affection when they need it. They may have difficulties when trying to sleep, so be there with them until they fall asleep, read a book, sing them soothing lullabies, and anything to help soothe them.

 Demonstrate How to Carry On

Emotional distress can make it difficult to think clearly and therefore can affect all aspects of everyday life. A grieving child may not want to attend school, extracurricular activities or hang out with friends or family. Understandably, the first couple of days or weeks after a parent passes away is extremely confusing and heartbreaking, but when the time comes to re-establish a routine, it's up to you as an adult, to show the child how to do it. Show them how to be strong by leading by example.

  Make Photographs and Other Mementos Available

 Keep pleasant memories close, including photographs and home videos for the child to view whenever they need them. They may need to feel their connection to their deceased parent and keeping happy moments in arm's length can help them during the healing process.

 Seek Professional Help if Necessary

If the child in your care is having a complicated time mourning and doesn’t know how to process what happened, you may need to investigate connecting them with professional help.  Signs that may indicate they need to seek therapeutic help include physical or verbal aggression, constant migraine headaches, insomnia, a lack of appetite, or disassociation from social gatherings.

The most important thing to do after a child loses a parent is to be there for them and sympathize and show compassion for their feelings.

Musical Suggestions for A Funeral

Music brings people together; regardless of your age, sex, religion, sexual orientation, or nationality, music can evoke a variety of unique feelings. It’s difficult to explain the power that music has over us; a simple hook, the organization of chords & notes, or a boisterous chorus can make us feel sadness or happiness and maybe a little of both.

When choosing music for a funeral procession for a relative, loved one or friend it is important to be extremely conscientious that the music reflects the ideology, message and personality of the deceased. Music is so entangled into our psyche that hearing a song that reminds you of your deceased loved one can help you recall the most pleasant, enjoyable and heartwarming memories. Music can bring you back to a place in time where you were worry-free or living life to the fullest, with the people who mean the most to you.

Choosing the proper music can be difficult for family and friends of a deceased loved one because they want to encapsulate the life of their loved one without sacrificing a solemn and quaint ceremony. If the deceased loved one was into heavy metal, it might be fitting to play heavy metal at his or her funeral, but it may not be appropriate given the circumstances. Traditional songs that are extremely popular amongst different cultures include:

• Time to Say Goodbye by Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bochelli
• Four Seasons by Vivaldi
• Nessun Dorma sang by Pavarotti or instrumental
• Canon in D Major by Pachelbel

For individuals that loved popular music, here are some songs that may fit perfectly at their funeral:

• In the Arms of an Angel by Sarah McLaughlin
• Tears in Heaven by Eric Clapton
• In My Life by The Beatles
• Wind Beneath My Wings by Bette Midler

Some individuals before they pass will make it be known that they do not want people to mourn over them after they pass. They understand that the musical choices will play an instrumental role in the mood and feeling at their ceremony of life. Happy songs or upbeat songs are perfectly acceptable to be played at a funeral ceremony and are becoming an increasingly popular decision on behalf of the family/friend of the deceased as they choose not to be sad but remembering how amazing and lucky, they were to have been a part of his or her life. Here are a few popular upbeat songs that are frequently played at a funeral with underlying themes of acceptance and moving on with life:

• Always Look on The Bright Side of Life by Eric Idle (Monty Python: Life of Brian)
• Don’t Worry, Be Happy by Bobby McFerrin
• Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) by Green Day
• See You Again by Wiz Khalifa ft. Charlie Puth
• Thank You for Being A Friend by Andrew Gold

In the end, the musical decisions you choose for your deceased friend or family member ultimately comes down to, how do you want to remember him or her best. Make it a choice they would be proud of, and you’ll never make a bad choice.

Helpful Information to Assist You in The Funeral Arrangement Process

Losing a close friend or a relative is devastating. The entire situation is not made any easier when you're the one responsible for organizing and arranging the funeral procession. We understand the circumstances can be overwhelming, so here are a few helpful bits of information to assist you while organizing the funeral arrangement process.

Call the Necessary Authorities:

There are a few parties that you need to call when you lose a loved one:

1. Police: The first institution that should be notified when an individual unexpectedly passes away is your local police department.
2. Medical Examiner: If the death was expected (i.e. home death arrangement), the medical examiner must be called to confirm the death.
3. Members of the Family: Immediate family members of the deceased should be called and notified.
4. Funeral Home: When a loved one passes away, reach out to a local funeral home, and they can provide you with information so you can transport the body safely and efficiently.

Discover Any Pre-set Funeral Arrangements

In some cases, the deceased will already have their funeral plans determined, which typically details their preferred funeral home and which cemetery they wish to be laid to rest.

Talk to A Funeral Director

Ensure that you have a conversation with the funeral director that will be overseeing the funeral process. They will discuss with you the options available for the ceremony, how they will be taking care of the deceased and will make sure that you have a burial plot picked out or if you're going with cremation. If your deceased loved one does not already have a cemetery plot picked out, the funeral director may be able to assist you and make these preparations on your behalf.

Common Questions Following the Death of a Loved One:

"What Can I Do If I'm Unsure of the Steps to Take After Somebody Dies?"

The entire funeral/cemetery process can be confusing, and it is completely understandable that you may be too tired/overwhelmed to know which steps to take. Contact a funeral home director, and they will ensure that you are taking the steps needed to finalize this process.

"I'm Unsure If the Deceased Would Have Wanted Cremation, What Should I Do?"

Cremation is an increasingly popular option for many individuals who do not wish to be buried. However, it's a unique decision that individuals must make on their own. If you are unaware of what the deceased's preferences were, ensure you ask other members of their family for their opinions. Read here for more detailed information.

We're so sorry that you, your family, and your friends are currently experiencing loss. We understand the entire situation can feel hazy, so we're here to help. For more information regarding the funeral process, ensure that you contact your local funeral home and they will be able to provide you with a more in-depth analysis of your current situation and the best possible options for you and your family.

Reasons You Might Hire A Photographer for Your Loved One’s Funeral

Attending a funeral is not like attending a wedding, there won't be an abundance of happy smiles or gleeful emotions, but it's important to recognize all emotions as beautiful moments. Hiring a photographer for a funeral may seem unconventional. However, there are a few good reasons why you should consider doing so:

Reminds You of Who Came Out to Support You

Losing a loved one can feel as though a part of your life has been ripped away from you. One of the more efficient healers while mourning is the love and support that you receive from your family and friends. Most funeral homes provide guest books where visitors are encouraged to write down their name and confirm they showed up; however, it's quite nice to be able to visualize who came out to show their love and affection.

Remember the Emotion

Over time, emotions will subside, and the pain and anguish you once felt won't be as intense. However, it's important to keep those emotions with you, even as you begin to feel better. Photographs capturing the emotion of a funeral procession aren't designed to make you feel sad or distraught; instead, they should be used as reminders for how important your loved one was to you. When you see the look on the faces of your friends and family, remember how your loved one made you feel and how it makes you appreciate everyone else in your life.

It's A Memory of How You Chose to Remember Your Loved One

Your loved one was individualistic and unique and the way you chose to honour them at their funeral procession more than likely encapsulated their personality and interests. Everything is important in the funeral procession, including capturing the moments when close family or friends read eulogies or performed musical numbers. Capturing moments on camera or film is a testament to their influence while they were alive and how their legacy lives on through you.

It Helps You Heal

It can be so difficult to even think of a loved one that you lost; the memory of their face, their smile, their voice and their hugs can evoke emotions, grief or sorrow. For those that your loved one left behind, photographs may eventually help them find closure and acceptance with their passing and use it as a device to help them move on.

It is critical to remember that taking photos at a funeral procession is something that must be pre-approved of by immediate family. Photography for a funeral should be something set-up by the deceased loved one's direct family and should be meant to capture the ambience of the occasion instead of forcing posed photos. All of life is precious, and if we choose only to remember the gleeful times, we'll forget those occasions that remind us how fortunate & lucky we are to be here with loving friends and a supportive family.

4 Ways to Deal with the Death of a Loved One

Life isn’t the easiest thing to deal with, and sometimes it throws curveballs at you that you must deal with. The death of a loved one is one of the worst things you could have to deal with. Grief is an inevitable stage of death, and nothing can change that. The best thing you can do is to face these feelings you have head-on. Here are 4 ways to help you deal with the death of a loved one:

Talk about it

Talking is one of the best ways to get your feelings out into the open and off your chest. If you feel like you are stuck in a neutral depressive state, try to talk about your feelings to family, friends or a medical professional. Talking your emotions out may help you feel less alone and more supported.

Take up a Hobby or Start Working Out 

Being physically active can be a great help for you in this situation. Physical activity will do two things: get your mind off all the negative things in your life and promote an influx of endorphins in your brain. Endorphins help reduce stress and make you feel better. If you have a pet, take them for lots of walks; if you have a child, play chase with them or teach them how to throw a baseball. These activities don’t have to be physical; however, any activity that brings you happiness is beneficial for you while mourning. Activities can range from writing to building ships in bottles; the sky's the limit.  

Get into a Routine 

Having responsibilities is helpful when you’re grieving because it gets you into a routine. Continuing to go to work, attending a class or volunteering at a local animal or homeless shelter will not only benefit you by taking your mind off of the situation, but it will also give you a sense of satisfaction for helping someone else, even in your time of sadness. Sit down and try to come up with a setlist of things to do during your day to keep yourself busy and moving. This kind of busywork will encourage positive energy and give you some sort of schedule to cling to during these trying times.
 

Be Creative

Creativity is one of the finest forms of expressions, and some of the finest creative ideas come during moments of sadness and solitude. The array of different emotions and feelings you’ll feel in moments of grief and mourning are unique and irreplicable. There are certain things in life that cannot be changed but that doesn’t mean you can’t adapt and grow from these moments. Put your wonderful ideas and images out there; write a song, paint a picture, perform a poem. Do something to honour your loved one and keep their memory alive.

Losing a loved one is devastating and can re-shape your entire life. To help with your mourning talk about your feelings to family and friends, take up a hobby or start working out, get yourself into a routine, and undertake creative projects to help you deal with losing a loved one.

Heartwarming Memorials You Can Prepare for Your Deceased Loved One

When your loved one passes there will be moments of great sadness & grief, it’s a natural reaction to assist your body and mind in recovering, and you should take as much time as possible to heal. When you’ve had time to collect your thoughts and emotions, remembering how much your loved one’s life touched your heart & soul will help you find closure and ensure that their legacy never fades. There are so many ways for you to honour the life of your loved one and depending on their interests, you can create something special. Here are a few things you can do to honour your loved one.

Park Bench Memorial

This idea is particularly endearing for an individual that loved to be outside, enjoying all the bounty’s nature has to offer. Park bench memorials are commonly found in public parks, along walkways, under tall & beautiful trees. Park bench memorials are implanted into the ground with the understanding that family & friends will have the opportunity to congregate and reminisce and the vivid memories that keep them positive & smiling. Additionally, a park bench memorial will promote strangers to sit down & engage in conversation with their loved ones.

Memorial Tree or Shrub

The consciousness of your loved one is everlasting for family and friends; it’s something that is carried with them for the rest of their lives and onwards. A tremendous symbolization of your loved one’s ever-present spirit is to plant a commemorative tree in their honour. Of course, planting a tree is beneficial to the ecosystem and the continuing circle of life, but it also stands as an indication that their love is still very present. Ensure that you document the growth and progression of the tree as it matures; take a few leaves off the tree occasionally and keep them preserved with glycerin- this makes for a wonderful scrapbook idea.

Write A Piece for A Newspaper or Blog

Sometimes it may feel there is nothing that you can do to help you get a grasp on the fact that your loved one is no longer here in the physical world. It can also be troubling if none of the activities or hobbies that you enjoy are helping ease your discomfort. Therefore, one thing you can do is write an op-ed for a local newspaper or a blog for your website. At first, it may be difficult to express how you truly feel, but once you get on a roll, the thought, feelings and passion that had been overwhelming your senses will begin to unwind and you’ll find solace in your words.