Death and Dying Blog

Memorial Service Basics: Honoring the Deceased, Comforting the Bereaved No Comments

After my daughter and father-in-law died the same weekend, my husband and I were in such shock we could hardly think. Family members agreed that we could not hold two services at this time. We would have a service for our daughter and have a memorial for my father-in-law at a later date. Planning our daughter’s memorial service was a challenge because we did not belong to her church. All we could do was rely on our instincts and focus on memorial service basics. What are these basics?…

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Learn Before You Burn – What I Like About Cremation No Comments

So you have decided you want to be burned up when you die. Cremation is a “hot” topic!. There are a couple of things I like about cremation, so let me give you some fuel for your fire. My father died some years ago at the age of 70—heart failure. He knew he was dying and leaned on my mother throughout the ordeal. My Mother is of German descent and a very strong, independent woman. She did not cry at my father’s funeral and seemed to be a “tower of strength”. At one point, she came to me and said…

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Learn Before You Burn – What I Dislike About Cremation No Comments

Still undecided about burning your body up after you die? Well, it is like a friend said to me last week, “doc, I guess it comes down to burn me up or slit my throat.” I think the latter reference was to embalming, but in the “end” you will not feel a thing–at least that is what the medical profession tells us. Anyway there are two reasons I do not like cremation. You might think a 72 year old daughter would have very little grief over a mother who dies at age 92, but that was not the case with Mary…

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So Many Funeral Directors Do Not Get It. But One Does! No Comments

There are so many funeral directors who do not care about the families they serve. They should choose another profession! They don’t get it! Serving families in their greatest time of hurt requires empathy and compassion and too many funeral directors are in it for the money. They do not want to take time with the family. They do not want to guide the family through the funeral process, and they certainly do not consider themselves–nor want to be– the “death care expert”. Yet, that is exactly what they should be…

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Why Would Anyone Want To Be Cremated? No Comments

So you want to be cremated! Burned up! You really think that is the best way to go? Let’s see, that is 1200 degrees plus Fahrenheit and since you are 80-90 percent water that means–going , going, gone–very quickly. The entire procedure (burning up muscle and organs) takes about 2 hours. And remember, the bones are rarely reduced to ashes. The cremation administrator has to put you through a grinding machine (like a blender) to get everything to be like ash with the same consistency throughout…

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Having trouble thinking about death? Go pick out a casket! No Comments

Are you having trouble thinking and talking about death? I have an idea, go pick out a casket! You don’t have to pay for it, and any funeral director will be happy to show you the selection of options. Some funeral homes will have the full casket and some will have just corners and the inside material. Keep in mind the inside material is important—that is what everyone will see and you will feel. Oops, dead people do not feel. Anyway, if this is freaking you out you can call your local funeral home and just go into the office…

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