Sunday, December 23, 2012

After The Death of a Child Comes Grief

I found I had so many questions and so few answers after my toddler died.

In 1989 I was 28 years old, happily married and living in a new home with two beautiful, healthy, young children.Within moments the pain of grief pierced my heart. My toddler was dead, and I experienced the absolute lowest point in my life and had no idea how I was going to survive. I wanted to die too.

It was at this time I was encouraged to keep a journal of my feelings and emotions which I did. Doing this exposed and off loaded my deepest emotions of grief. Little did I know then, that it;was going to be a significant part of my healing process.

It took me two years to forgive myself and others and begin to heal but I did. Slowly my life began to make sense again.

When the wounds of grief after the death of my toddler were raw, I found great peace from expressing my feelings; either through the written word or in conversation. Often conversation was difficult because it triggered tears or there was the absence of a listening ear when I needed it most. It was for this reason I am grateful that I was introduced to and began to use the healing art of journaling.

I once read and have since discovered that it is in the expression of emotions that healing happens. I found that over time, writing things down began to clear my confused mind and helped me to move forward.

I know of parents who have not survived, either in their physical or mental health, in their marriage, or in being able to function as loving parents to their remaining children. I know of parents who have tragically taken their own lives in desperation of never learning how to enjoy life again. The pain of living without healing can become too great for some to cope with.

Everyone grieves in their own personal way and in their own time. No one has the right to change that process for you. Life is constantly throwing choices at you and it is up to you and not anyone else to make the right choice to help you move forward.

Experiencing the death of a child is an indescribable loss that parents carry with them forever. You never get over such a tragedy. You learn to live with its memory and overtime you gain the strength you need to carry the weight of pain.

If you have experienced the death of a loved one you will find yourself going through these stages at some point. They may occur at different levels and at different times but overtime they will generally happen.

I truly wish no one had to experience the despair and emptiness that is felt after the death of a child but if you can embrace your journey and hang on tight for the ride, you will make it to the other side of healing, to lead a whole, happy and productive life again. You will have experienced an indescribable depth of life that only few experience.

My Journal as an eBook.

Jan Murray has been committed to studying and working as a Registered Nurse, Midwife and Child Health Nurse for over 25 years. Jan is a mother of five, (eldest deceased as a toddler), Child Health Consultant who co-founded and directs Settle Petal. Jan provides information and support for parents to develop their knowledge base and confidence. Receive your FREE Routines eBook and feel supported raising babies and toddlers at Unlock a secret to helping babies settle, sleep and grow.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Plan Your Own Funeral Before You Need It

By taking the time to plan your own funeral ahead of time, the agony of making these arrangements is lifted from your loved ones. This can be one of the best things that you can do for those that you love.

The worst part is that most people don't even realize that this planning service is available. We see the Funeral Home as a place that we only go to in our time of need.

Life insurance is broadly advertised, but not funeral planning. Maybe this is because we don't like to think about our own mortality. It is unfortunate that this major benefit to our loved ones is not more publicized.

Knowing which Funeral Home you will use is the key. Simply call the Funeral Home and schedule an appointment. They will set up a time for you when their schedule is quiet.

The staff of Funeral Homes is always knowledgeable and helpful. They will open a file in your name to be used when the time comes. What a great gift to give those that you love!

Making these arrangements includes filling in some details specific to your life. These include such things as the names of your parents, where you were born, and any siblings along with some other information.

One nice thing is that along with the planning, you may even get the option of paying for some or all of the expenses at today's costs. There are a few options that cannot be paid for ahead of time, since the payment for services of others (sometime in the distant future) cannot be accurately predicted. You can, however, put money towards these expenses.

The good part about this payment option is that there is usually no set payment plan. You pay the Funeral Home money towards the services as you can. Once you have enough in your account to pay for any specific item, it is completed and you start paying towards the next item.

When you plan your own funeral, there are several benefits:

    Your ancestral information is correct. This may be important to a child, a grandchild, or even a niece or nephew who is trying to find their "roots".
    There is no push to have you pay for anything that you have chosen. This does not become a monthly bill that adds to the mountain of bills in your daily life.
    Most importantly - your loved ones will be spared the agony of trying to fill out the paperwork and remember the details of your heritage correctly.
    Your loved ones will have the peace of mind of knowing that the services provided are just the way that you wanted them.

Once you have your funeral plans arranged, be sure that your loved ones are aware of whom to call when the time does come.

Although it is not high in our day-to-day thoughts, taking the time to plan your own funeral really is one of the best ways to provide for our loved ones. The last thing that they will need during their time of grief is the agony of making arrangements for the burial.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Humor and Healing - When It's Appropriate to Laugh After Loss

How soon should you laugh after a loss? This is the question that someone asked recently. They asked the question as if there is a concrete answer. There is not such an answer. I will try to offer some encouragement in this article, but it important to remember that the time limit will be different for every situation.

In January of 2012 I lost someone very close to me to death. The loss was sudden and unexpected. It hurt worse than anything I have ever experienced. I remember struggling with this very thought during the days following the loss. Having gone through this experience so recently I feel that I can offer some advice on the topic at hand. I hope you will find some answers to your questions as you read.

When answering this question, there are some questions of my own that I would like to ask in return.

    Do you feel like laughing now?
    Do you think laughter is somehow an indication of healing?
    Do you feel guilty for wanting to laugh?
    Do you feel that laughter is the antithesis of grief?

To answer the question posed in the title of this article I will try to answer each of the my own questions above.

    Do you feel like laughing now? If you feel like laughing the same day as you experience loss, then by all means laugh. This is part of the healing process. I am not recommending that you force yourself to laugh. However, when you have experienced a loss, you will go through an entire gamut of emotions. Laughter may spring from a natural emotion, and if so, those emotions should not be stifled. The Mayo Clinic in a study on laughter concluded that laughter actually helps to reduce stress. Follow a loss, especially the loss of someone very close to you, there will be a substantial amount of stress. Laughter, if naturally occurring, can help in relieving some of that stress.

    Do you think laughter is an indication of healing? I have to ask this in response to the original question because it is important to ascertain why the question was asked in the first place. I can remember having this very discussion with a close friend after my loss. Some family members were very upset that there had been an evening before the funeral when other members of the family had sat around the table laughing and telling stories. Perhaps they felt that laughter indicated that the others were no longer grieving the recently loss. This of course is not true. Laughter is an indication that healing has happened, but that the grieving process is taking place.

    Do you feel guilty for laughing or wanting to laugh? Don't. Laughter is part of the process. It is healthy. If you want to, go for it!

    Do you feel like laughter is the antithesis of grief? Again, that is simply not true. In the days following the loss in my family, we laughed, cried, talked, sat quietly, cried some more, and laughed some more. One minute we laughed, the next minute we were crying. These two emotions were not at odds with each other. They were companions on the road to healing.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Commemorate the Dead With Bronze Plaques

When laying a loved one to rest, the final stage of closure involves the placement of grave markers. These give you one final chance to communicate to the world how important the deceased was to you. Grave markers are the last gift you can give to your lost loved one. As such, there should be more to them than just headstones on their grave.

Designing grave markers during a difficult time can be a distressing task, however. Grief can overwhelm your decision-making or design process, despite your desire to create a lasting and loving marker. When this happens, you can follow these guidelines to have an earnest and thoughtful grave marker.

Gather Details

Gather information about the deceased, including the correct spelling of their name and dates of birth and death. Write it down, then double-check to make sure this important information is accurate.

Choose a Photo

Look through photos of the deceased, if you are planning to put a picture on the memorial plaque. Choose a photo that portrays them in the prime of their life or in happier times, like their childhood. You can also choose a recent photo as a remembrance of their appearance at the time of their death.

Choose an Epitaph

Epitaphs can serve as reflections of a person's existence. They highlight a person's personality traits and accomplishments in life. In some cases, they might also tell the story of the circumstance that brought them to their death.

When choosing an appropriate epitaph, look through a Bible, Torah, Koran or other religious materials for comforting and inspirational quotes, if the deceased had a religious preference. Consider using their favorite passage or scripture. Choose a quote that is not too long or wordy, however.

You can also choose an epitaph detailing the accomplishments of the deceased's life. For instance, you can commemorate the philanthropic works of a loved one known for their charitable works.

You can also look through a copy of the eulogy, if available. Write down some of the tributes given at the memorial service. Choose moving and appropriate quotes that best capture the spirit of the deceased. Whatever subject you choose, make sure the epitaph marks the deceased's existence here on Earth.

Add Embellishments

Decorate the grave marker by adding a simple flourish under the name and dates. Put a single flower or simple religious symbol on the side or at the top, if applicable.

Sketch out the Plaque

Draw an approximate draft of the plaque. Put the name at the top and the dates of birth and death below. Decide where to place the photo and epitaph, if applicable. Sketch out a block for copy or text.

Choose a Design

Grave marker manufacturers have different resources available to help you design. These include templates or ready-made designs, such as single monuments, footstones, and bronze plaques.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Guidelines For Choosing A Headstone

When visiting any stonemasons with regards to purchasing a headstone for a loved one's grave they should be able to talk you through the restrictions and guidelines that apply for the area you wish it to be placed in. However these can change and it is always worth having an idea of the basic guidelines before going to purchase the stone so you know what to expect.

One of the most important steps is to gain permission to have the headstone erected by submitting an application form. This is not something you need to worry about as your stonemasons should take care of this for you, but it is worth mentioning to them just to clarify they will do this.

Over the years the regulations adhered to for memorials has changed, meaning what was permitted 50 years ago may no longer be deemed as suitable now, so don't assume that if the graveyard features a headstone you like it will definitely be allowed now. This is especially true of large memorials. Guidelines state now that a memorial must conform to a certain size which is 107cm tall, 76 cm wide and 102mm in thickness. The stonemasons you choose will be able to inform you of the types of stone that can be used as these must be selected from an approved list, it is also worth asking them about the durability of each type of stone.

Another aspect to consider is the difference between being buried in a churchyard and a cemetery. If being buried in a churchyard it is usual for the headstone to be sympathetic to the church and you have to gain the church's permission to erect a headstone. It is also a requirement that inscriptions are compatible with the christian religion. There are more regulations affecting headstones placed in churchyards, such as the fact they cannot be made from a polished or shiny stone as they must be non-reflective. It is also worth noting that ceramic photo plaques are not permitted on headstones in churchyards, so if this is a particular feature you would like on the headstone then you may wish to consider a cemetery burial. Some of the above regulations still apply within a cemetery however the rules tend to be much more relaxed allowing you to express yourself more with the headstone you choose with regards to size, design and the type of stone used.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Grieving Process - How People Deal With Death and Dying

Every one of us is going to die some day; it is the one thing that is common to every human being. Death is not discussed easily, however, even when it involves a family member, a close friend, even a parent.

We have many euphemisms when we want to say someone has died: he 'passed', he 'passed away', he 'lost his wife', and many others.

Typically in western society, when someone dies friends and family members rally, supporting the bereaved person with letters, flowers, phone calls and visits, until the time of the funeral and for a few weeks after. Then frequently everything goes quiet and the bereaved person is left alone to "get over" the death, on their own. The truth is that in the case of a much loved person, be it partner, spouse, parent, child or grandparent, often the lives of those affected by that death are changed forever. You become a different person as you adjust to living without the one who died.

Our attitude can make it very hard for a bereaved person. Take, for example, a man whose wife dies after a long marriage. There will be many aspects of his life that have been taken care of by his partner - starting with cooking meals. Organising a social life - seeing friends and family for outings, dinners etc -is often handled by women and suddenly a man, left on his own, can struggle. He may want to talk to his family and friends, to keep the memory of his wife alive but may fear breaking down and letting others see him cry. He may not be used to confiding in others and may worry about burdening them with his pain. For a woman whose husband dies the situation is similar, although for her the losses could include financial worries and concern over all the things her husband used to see to when he was alive.

When a parent dies, it is common for young children to be told very little and as a result they are afraid to ask questions. Many children are excluded from the funeral and are not given the opportunity to grieve. When a grandparent dies, others in the family may be prepared for the death, particularly if the person was ill or elderly, while a child may have no understanding that the death was likely. Grandparents occupy a vital role for children at times; young people need to be given the opportunity to grieve.

In our society, suicide is still treated as a taboo topic, rarely discussed. As a counsellor I have worked with several young people whose parent committed suicide. No one ever discussed with them what occurred and as a result they were deeply affected, long-term by the experience. Twenty years later in counselling sessions, a number of clients addressed their wounding.

The loss of a child is always a traumatic event and sometimes leads to the parents' separation, as they struggle with pain and guilt.

As a society we need to learn how to discuss death, openly and with compassion, to help those around us, whoever they are. We need to be brave; simply being there for someone and letting them talk is often all it takes. Death is something we will all experience as part of being human.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Do I Need to Hire a Lawyer When Settling an Estate?

After someone dies should the executor hire a lawyer? The simple answer is... maybe... it depends. I'm sure you just love that answer, don't you?! Let me explain. And, I'll begin by saying I'm not a lawyer, but as an Executor's Agent, I run across many instances where lawyers are not necessary, and some instances where they provide good value.

Firstly, is an executor obligated to hire a lawyer? Does the law say an executor must use a lawyer? No, there is no rule that says an executor must hire a lawyer. In a nutshell, settling an estate is an administrative task, so many people can do everything on their own.

Now the grey area. Should an executor hire a lawyer? Although settling an estate is primarily administrative, there can be some legal components to it. Not every estate, but many estates. For instance, does the will have to be probated? If the answer is 'yes' then legal forms will need to be prepared and filed in court (probate registry). This is clearly a legal task, but you can prepare and file these forms by yourself if you wish, and in many estates these forms are really easy to prepare. An inexpensive kit can be purchased at an office supply store containing the forms and instructions, and the obvious good news is that you'd avoid paying a lawyer to prepare these forms. The bad news, however, is that you cannot go to any other professional for assistance in preparing the forms. In British Columbia, notaries are not permitted to prepare these forms, nor are financial advisors, accountants, trustees or other consultants. It's just you or a lawyer. So, back to the big question: Should you hire a lawyer? It depends on the complexity of the estate, your level of confidence and the value of your time. In my experience most executors find the legal forms pretty easy, but it's the list of assets & liabilities that poses a challenge, but the good news is that anyone can help you prepare that list; you don't need a lawyer for that task.

We recently helped an executor with a simple estate who hired a lawyer to prepare the probate documents. For this person, hiring a lawyer was money well-spent. He had no computer, poor health, and most of the language used regarding probate was foreign to him, so his lawyer was able to provide him with some peace of mind.

Is the will complicated and hard to understand? A lawyer can help you understand it, especially if trusts are involved. Has one of the beneficiaries threatened to sue for a bigger portion of the estate? I consider this matter grey, but only you can decide how serious and capable the beneficiary may be.

If you choose to hire a lawyer, be clear on why you're taking this action. What do you want the lawyer to do for you, specifically? If, however, you're hiring a lawyer simply because you need to be educated on the steps involved in settling an estate, I would suggest there's less expensive ways of learning. An executor's agent, for example, can describe the process to you, ensure tasks are completed in a timely manner, prepare you for deadlines and can advise you on when legal advice may be beneficial.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Custom Urns: What Style Is Right for You?

We understand that it's never fun to face your mortality, which is why so many people choose not to pre plan for their own memorial service, but it's one way that you can save your family from a lot of stress after you pass, plus you get to ensure that you have the memorial service that you want. Another item that you can tackle before you pass away is to look into custom urns and have one made specifically for you.

Custom urns are a great way for you to express your individuality even after you pass on. They can be as creative as you want, ranging from concrete designs to abstract ideas. So what style of custom urn is right for you?

Realistic - This is for those of you that are interested in custom urns that are physical representations of an item. It can be something that depicts your favorite hobby or your lifelong career. This can be anything from an antique sewing machine for the seamstress or a high heeled shoe for the woman with discerning tastes.

Abstract - This is an artistic representation of whatever you like. You can ask the custom urns artist to create his or her vision of the physical representation of words that you think describe you best. It takes a lot of communication between you and your artist to get the look just right, but the result can be something truly unique and beautiful that's an artistic representation of your personality.

Bohemian - You're a carefree person and you want your custom urn to show that. This can be represented through color, style or even materials being used. Work with the artist to have them create something that shows your truly energetic and carefree spirit in form. The two materials that are good for this style are glass and ceramics because of the earthy feel of ceramics and the flowing feel of glass.

All Natural - Ceramics are, of course, a great choice for custom urns that you want to have an all-natural feel to them, but you can talk to the artist and make sure that they use products that are environmentally friendly even if you won't be burying the urn. Ask them to use biodegradable chemicals and paints and if you do want a memorial that will biodegrade ask that they use ceramics that are designed to break down properly.

Monday, October 29, 2012

How to Create a Custom Urn

If you decide that you would like to preplan for your funeral and memorial service, one of the aspects you might want to consider is having a custom urn created for your cremains. When you create a custom urn, you get a completely unique urn designed to your specifications that represents you and honors your life in a lasting memorial. But how do you get started making a custom urn? Where should you begin? We've compiled several helpful steps to ensure that the urn creation process goes smoothly for you.

Fill Out a Request for Estimate. First things first, you have to make a connection with a company that can help you create a custom urn. Many sites have a "request an estimate" button on their site. This will get the ball rolling.

Contact an Artist. In fact, this is probably going to happen vice versa and an artist will contact you. Depending on the medium that you want to use and the type of cremation urn you are interested in having made for you, an artist who specializes in that particular medium (be it stone, metal or ceramics) will contact you to get started on designing your urn.

Receive First Draft of Design Concept. Once you and your artist have talked, they will work on a sketch of their interpretation of your ideas for the perfect memorial urn for you. When you get the initial sketch, it might be exactly what you were hoping for, or it might take a little more feedback before it's perfect. When you work with an artist to create a custom urn, you have to be willing to give honest and constructive feedback on the first few iterations of the design.

Send in Revisions. As stated above, when you send in your revisions, make sure to communicate your changes as clearly as possible so that the artist can make the right changes. They understand that having a urn made, whether it's for you or for a loved one, is an emotional subject and will be very understanding, but it's important to be as communicative as you can be.

Sign off on the Final Design. Typically you are allowed three revisions before the final design needs to be made. This is not because the artists are trying to be difficult, but to prevent your urn from being stuck in the planning stages for months. After the third (or first, if you love it right off the bat) revision, you'll sign off on the design and the artist will begin to create a custom urn just for you.

Receive your Custom Urn. Depending on the intricacy of the design and materials used, your custom urn can take some time to arrive, but once it does, you'll be happy that you decided to create a custom urn for your memorial.

Melody Jamali is the Founder and President of ( Une Belle Vie ), a Colorado company dedicated to bringing choice of cremation to public light. Their company offers the widest selection in decorative urns for cremation and includes a wide collection of resources designed to help families and friends in their time of need. From tool for the grieving to informative articles about planning, support and other uplifting thoughts, Une Belle Vie is a company dedicated to helping your celebrate the life of the one you love - on your terms.

Monday, October 22, 2012

How to Select Burial Urns That Are Eco-Friendly

It's becoming more commonplace for people to request cremation as part of their afterlife wishes. While some people may do this for cost reasons, another reason many people choose cremation is because it is a more eco-friendly option than traditional burial. In keeping with their wishes to be kinder to Mother Earth after they die, you may want to consider looking at biodegradable burial urns to contain their cremains.

Unfortunately, one of the problems with burial urns and finding one that is eco-friendly is that there are companies without scruples that would try and sell you an urn that's not 100% green. So what can you do to make sure that the burial urns you're looking at are 100% biodegradable?

Look for thick paper or ceramic urns. Not every material is biodegradable. Materials like glass, metal and stone will not break down over time and are therefore not suitable biodegradable burial urns (they make lovely memorial urns though). In fact, not all ceramic urns are biodegradable. Make sure that the ceramics used to make the burial urns you're looking at is not too thick and has micro perforations. A thinner shell with minute perforations helps the urn to biodegrade much more quickly. There are also urns that are made from a cardboard-like material that are designed to break down quickly in either soil or sea.

Make sure there are no added chemicals. One of the surest ways to discover whether burial urns are biodegradable is to check the contents of the material used to create the urn. If there are complex chemical names listed, then chances are that the urn is not truly biodegradable.

Check to make sure any glaze used is organic. One facet of burial urns that many people forget to check is the glaze used on the urn. Frequently, little thought is put into the paints used on the urn but they can have a negative effect on the land if the glaze used is not organic. Check to make sure the glazes are made using naturally occurring dyes with vegetable or plants bases.

For burial at sea, look for deep water urns. If you decide to bury your loved one's cremains at sea, you must still use biodegradable burial urns in order to ensure it breaks down in the water and doesn't leave any trace after a day or two. These urns can also be called "deep water urns," and they are designed to break down quickly once they hit the water.

Melody Jamali is the Founder and President of, a Colorado company dedicated to bringing choice of cremation to public light. Their company offers the widest selection in decorative urns for cremation and includes a wide collection of resources designed to help families and friends in their time of need. From tool for the grieving to informative articles about planning, support and other uplifting thoughts, Une Belle Vie is a company dedicated to helping your celebrate the life of the one you love - on your terms.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Things To Consider When Purchasing A Cremation Urn

Cremation is quickly becoming the most common choice when it comes to funeral arrangements and this has given rise to a whole new industry selling cremation products. This includes keepsakes, cremation jewelry and commemorative cremation urns in which to store loved ones' ashes. Funeral homes often supply an urn for you but they are generally mass produced and very basic. This often feels wrong for someone's final resting place. However, it is possible to find a range of beautiful urns for sale online which are much more fitting for your needs.

Think About What You Need

Like so many other products, if you turn to the internet you will find endless resources and a long list of retailers offering cremation urns for sale. This can be somewhat overwhelming, so it is a good idea to think about what you are looking for before you start to look online. Think about what you will do with the urn. Is it to be displayed in your home? If so you will want something in keeping with your home's interior décor and something attractive. It may be the case that you want something that is not instantly recognizable as an urn. Alternatively, you might be thinking about urn burial in which case you need to choose biodegradable materials, or you could be looking for a set of smaller urns to distribute to the family. Establishing exactly what your needs re is the first step to refining your search and could save you hours of research.

Choosing The Right Material

You might already have an idea of the type of material you would like for the urn and this is another way to refine your search. The most common type of cremation urn is a ceramic one and these can be purchased in many colors and designs. However, there are also plenty of alternatives including metal, wood, stone and glass. When choosing the material, and of course the color it is usually a good idea to keep the deceased in mind. It seems inappropriate to store their ashes in a green ceramic urn if you know that they really hated that particular color. Also, choosing a particular color can help evoke happy memories.

A cremation urn is something special and it deserves plenty of care and attention when you are choosing one. This is not a decision to be rushed into. Think carefully about what your needs are and about what the departed loved one would have a preference for as their final resting place.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Choosing An Urn For A Loved Ones Ashes

When someone that you have been close to for your entire life passes away it can be devastating. While you are trying to deal with the grief, you may also be tasked with taking care of their funeral arrangements which may be one of the most difficult task we ever have to face. If your loved one has expressed a desire to be cremated, then you will have to decide what to do with the remains. Some families prefer to scatter the ashes in a special location or in a garden of remembrance, but others prefer to buy a keepsake urn to keep them in.

Choices As Unique As The Individual

Everyone has different personalities and different tastes, there is no 'one size fits all'. You would expect to choose clothing and home décor that fits your own style, so why should the final resting place be any different. When choosing an urn for a loved ones ashes, it is essential that you consider what best reflects the person that they were. You will find a huge variety of styles and colors to choose from, not to mention different materials. Think about the person's sense of style. If they were an outdoors type, then you might prefer a beautiful urn carved from wood, but if they were more of a contemporary person then a metallic design might seem more appropriate.

Choosing An Appropriate Size Of Urn

One of the most common questions regarding urns is what size they should be. The standard recommendation is for 1 cubic inch for every 1 pound of body weight. A standard cremation urn is around 200 cubic inches. However, you can purchase larger or smaller ones as required. It is common sense that an adult will need a larger urn than a child or a pet. There may also be situations where several family members would like a portion of the ashes, in which case smaller ' partial' urns are available. These can sometimes be known as keepsake urns. It is also common for couples to wish to be 'buried' together. This also applies in the case of cremation. If this is the case, then you will need a companion urn which is large enough to hold the remains of both people.

Burying Your Urn

There are a growing number of people who have expressed a wish to be cremated, but have indicated that the remains are to be buried. If you wish to bury an urn then it is best to choose one which is not going to affect the environment. There are plenty of biodegradable options available to you if urn burial is something that interests you.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Interesting Facts About Dying

There are many interesting facts out there surrounding the mystery of death, and stories relating to the deaths of famous people although these are not often spoken about as people can find this a distressing subject. However many of these facts are almost unbelievable, and are at the same time very interesting, so below are some of the facts we have found compiled in a list.

    It is a little known fact that one of the biggest killers in the world to date was actually the common flea. These bugs were guilty of transmitting the germs of the Black Death plague from rodents to humans, which resulted in the death of a quarter of Europe's population in the 14th century.

    It is a well known fact that President Andrew Jackson died in 1845, but what isn't so well known is that this President kept a parrot as a pet, and this parrot was ejected from the funeral for swearing.

    Tibetan buddhist's are strong believers in re-incarnation and believe once a person has died the body is of no use anymore. Their ritual is to cut up the body and then beat it to a pulp to be eaten by vultures.

    Thomas Edison (the inventor of the modern light bulb) was good friends with Henry Ford (the founder of the Ford Motor Company). When Edison died it is thought his last breath was caught in a bottle for Ford to keep and treasure.

    There is now a company in the USA which specialises in burying people in Space. Memorial Space Flights will launch a small portion of your loved ones cremated remains into orbit on a shuttle. You can even choose differently priced packages, the cheapest costing $695, for this the shuttle will be launched, enjoy a brief orbit in space and then return to earth. However the most expensive package costs $12,500 and will see your loved one launched into deep space for eternity.

    It has been confirmed that some humans turn into soap after they die. It is more common among people who had large fat deposits prior to their death, and can happen to both embalmed and non-embalmed bodies. it is not known why this happens exactly but there are many theories out there.

    In Victorian times photography was a relatively new concept and as such was extremely expensive meaning many couldn't afford to have pictures taken. However it was common practice to have a photo taken of the corpse when a loved one died, and these photos would often be sent to relatives.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Choosing A Material For Your Monument

When a loved one has passed away, you want to ensure that the monument you design for their final resting place embodies who they were in life and remembers them in death. An important aspect of designing a monument for your loved one is the material that it is made out of. There are actually a few different materials that you can choose from, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. We have put together this guide to give you a little more information on each.

    Granite: This is one of the most popular materials for use in the creation of monuments, most likely because it is able to achieve an elegant and classic appearance. One thing that you must keep in mind when choosing granite, however, is that it can be a little on the expensive side. Even so, the price is well worth it because the monument will be extremely strong and possess a beauty that is long lasting. It is also available in a variety of colours, allowing you to pick accordingly.

    Marble: Another very popular material for use in monuments, marble is actually quite similar to granite in that it is often chosen because of its elegant appearance. It can also prove to be quite expensive, although its price will all depend on the colour chosen (like granite, marble is available in a few different hues); in some ways, it can be the more affordable option. This stone is very strong and will not easily succumb to the effects of weathering.

    Bronze: This is also an extremely popular material for the creation of monuments today. It can be used in conjunction with either granite or marble, forming more of a plaque, or it can be used by itself. As bronze is relatively heavy, it is an extremely durable metal that will be able to easily withstand the effects of weathering. Many people find that the use of bronze can actually make the monument appear more artistic, which is great when you consider that it is very affordable.

When designing a monument for a loved one who has passed away, the first thing you should do is a set a budget of how much you can afford to spend and the second thing you should do is choose a material that fits into this budget accordingly. Whilst you might love the sleek and elegant look of marble, if this stone isn't really in your budget you will have to choose something more affordable, like bronze. Not matter what material you choose, the monument will be a stunning reminder.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Checking Out the Latest Trends in Funeral Service

There are new trends rising in the funeral service industry and it is definitely worth checking it out. Even though this has always been true - that there are new trends in that industry, just as in others - it has most certainly flown under the radar of most people. It is understandable that people are not really going to check out and show any particular interest in the trends that are hot in the funeral industry. They only get to be aware of it when there is a real reason to be informed about it, which is when a loved one or anyone that's close passes away.

The trends in the funeral service industry are there, however, and it wouldn't hurt to know of each one even though there is no immediate need for it. It would definitely be of benefit to a lot of people if they would know the latest trends in the industry, regardless of what their present situation is. Since those trends are usually driven by the changing tastes and preferences by the very people who are going to use those services in the future, it definitely matters.

Some of the latest trends in the funeral service industry are the following:

    Funerals are becoming more and more personalized. Perhaps this is all due to the fact that the times are changing, and the generation of people who are now aging and are planning for funerals more and more have different set of values and beliefs from those who are of past and older generations. As a result of that, an increased number of funerals are now more personalized than ever. What this means is that the funerals are becoming more and more about the lifestyle, hobbies, beliefs, and preferences of the people who died. It is easily more identifiable that way and the funeral and the person himself would be remembered better.

    There is also now a rise in advanced planning for funerals. It may be that people are just beginning to realize the importance of planning ahead, even when it comes to funerals. Due to planning ahead, things are made so much easier, and there are fewer hassles and more room for adjustments and any problems could be seen in advance and answers could be found more readily. As far as making choices are concerned, those who are in charge of planning for the funeral are also given more time and more opportunities when it comes to the selection of the funeral home and other related services and details about the funeral.

    There is an increased online presence for funeral homes and that will only continue to rise as time goes by. The Internet is such a wonderful platform for all kinds of businesses in order for them to grow and expand, so it is a natural progression on the part of funeral homes and companies to make their presence and their services known to the public that way. They are able to reach an unprecedented number of people and are able to market what they offer like never before.