Nothing is as final as death. Unfortunately, however, grieving family members and friends often struggle to come to grips with the finality of their loved one’s passing. Left to pick up the pieces and find the strength to move on, many fail to face the permanent nature of their loss. Denial is, after all, the first of the five stages of grief.
We help families manage this emotion is by offering to provide closure in several different forms:
1. Open Caskets and ID Viewings
As we discussed in last week’s post, survivors often take comfort in seeing their deceased loved ones before burial. For this reason, we strive to reconstruct to the best of our abilities, even in the face of overwhelming odds – such as if the deceased’s death was physically traumatic. Oftentimes, family ask to see the remains prior to cremation. In this case, we work hours to reverse anatomical anomalies, simply to comfort the living. Even in less traumatic deaths, repair and restoration is part of our job. We provide this because it offers closure and aids the healing process.
2. Funerals, Memorials and Life Celebrations
The difference between a funeral and memorial refers to whether the body is present during the service (for a funeral) or not (in a memorial). If funeral directors bury the decedent’s body prior to the service, the associated event is a memorial. After crematorium workers process a body, the associated ceremony is called a memorial, even if the ashes remain on scene. Life celebrations can be held with or without the body. In fact, some people attend their own such events, as is the case when the honoree is on hospice or otherwise knows the end is near.
In any case, all such services are designed to provide closure for people left behind. We recommend that everyone holds some type of event to honor the life that was lived. In the depth of early grief, you might think that it would be ‘easier’ to take care of things as simply – and as quickly – as possible. But easier (especially in this circumstance) and more simply isn’t always better. Holding a service sets the stage for the future by giving family and friends the opportunity to start to heal.
3. Online Tributes
Despite the fact it sometimes gets a bad rap, technology offers some great benefits to out-of-town loved ones who may not be able to attend in-person services.One example of this is streaming services, which are growing in popularity.While we are not currently streaming, we are open to pursuing the avenue. Our first priority is to meet every family member wherever they are, with regard to grief as well as digital communication (and anything else). Our online tributes offer a less controversial yet unconventional method for remembering the deceased.
In many cases, people take great comfort in keepsakes designed to mark the life of someone they have lost. From personalized blankets to trees to statues to jewelry to windchimes, these objects provide comfort because they are physical symbols of the love and memories that remain.
5. Annual Holiday Remembrance Ceremony
We hold an annual remembrance celebration for all of our families. Celebrated each December, the event is designed to mark the shared grief of everyone in the Foothill family. Although each individual who was lost was unique, their survivors share a sense of shared loss and grief. And, on many occasions, they encourage each other to heal.
About Foothill Funeral & Cremation Services in Glendora, California
When the time comes, if you so desire, we would love to offer closure to you and your family. And, until then, we would value the opportunity to help you select the perfect urn for yourself or a family member or friend or to help arrange a memorable life celebration. Feel free to contact us now to pre-plan your own memorial or at your time of need (626) 335-0615. Our relationship with United Methodist Church and Sacred Heart provide great places for mourners to host funerals and memorials. You’ll love the grandiose yet intimate settings in both locations.