Monthly Archives: April 2019

Shelby Charter Township, MI funeral homes

Helping Someone Who’s Lost a Loved One to Suicide

Shelby Charter Township, MI funeral homes are capable and experienced in handling our loved ones who, for whatever reasons (and those may never be known or known completely), take their own lives. Deaths that occur because of suicide are perhaps the hardest for the family that survives to understand, to cope with, and to move forward from.

Men – middle-aged white men have the highest rate of suicide in the United States – are almost four times more likely to take their own lives than women are. Over 50% of American suicides are committed using firearms. Every death by suicide leaves approximately six or more “suicide survivors” behind.

To help someone who’s lost a loved one to suicide, we need to first dispel much of the stigma and the conventional wisdom that surrounds suicide. The first thing to understand about a person who has committed suicide is that they were in excruciating pain, mentally and emotionally.

While some may have hid it well – “I never saw it coming” – the pain permeated every part of their lives. It became so overwhelming that they couldn’t see anything else, including reasons to continue to live, the people who would be devastated when they were gone, and the value they had and they provided to others.

Suicide, no matter how carefully planned it may appear to be, is never a rational act. It is an outgrowth of deep inner turmoil where all other options first get obscured and then disappear altogether.

Suicide is not selfish, cowardly, or weak. People who kill themselves are literally not thinking clearly. They don’t see a place in life for themselves anymore. The agony of the mental and emotional pain gets too intense to bear and making that pain stop becomes the focus, not depriving other people of someone they love.

None of us walks in anyone else’s shoes. All the things that coalesce to cause someone to take their own life will never be known to anyone but them. So, it’s important not to pass judgment or condemn what we don’t know and don’t understand.

Someone who has lost a loved one to suicide needs empathy, compassion, understanding, and love. From the top, we have to understand that we won’t have the answers that they are seeking about why their loved one committed suicide. And because of that, we need to be careful about causing more pain by offering platitudes (“They’re at peace now” or “I know how you feel” or “It’s for the best”).

Listen and be silent, because it’s impossible to adequately address the grief a suicide brings or to any of the questions being asked. Be aware that this is very emotional time and emotions may swing from anger to confusion, to guilt, to blame. That’s normal when someone is grieving intensely Be generous with hugs, with hand-holding, with sharing the tears of someone who’s lost a loved one to suicide.

If you don’t know how the deceased took their life, don’t ask. By asking, you force the grieving person to relive the moment they found their loved one. That’s already a scene that will be etched in their memories forever. They don’t need to be reminded inadvertently.

Get actively involved in helping by providing meals, picking up groceries, helping clean the house, or doing the lawn. Get a group together to make sure the grieving have the support they need to get through one of the most difficult things to endure.

Be sure to stay in touch for the long haul. The hardest part of death comes when everybody has returned to their normal routines and life. But grief and heartache for the person who has lost someone they love doesn’t end there. Be there for them.

If you’d like more guidance from Shelby Charter Township, MI funeral homes about helping someone who’s lost a loved one to suicide, our compassionate and experienced staff at Lee-Ellena Funeral Home can help. You can come by our funeral home at 46530 Romeo Plank Rd., Macomb, MI, 48044 or you can contact us today at (586) 412-8999.

Warren, MI cremations

What are Direct Cremations?

Warren, MI cremations now account for almost half of final disposition plans. Cremations are environmentally-friendly and they allow remains (called cremains) to be easily moved, either back to a hometown or to be scattered. There are also many creative ways to use cremains to keep a loved one’s memory alive.

Direct cremations are cremations that take place without any kind of service beforehand. When direct cremations take place, the funeral home will transport the body of the deceased from the place of death to the funeral home.

A death certificate, which is completed in conjunction with medical personnel (cause of death and time and date of death) will be filed. A cremation permit be obtained.

The deceased will be bathed and dressed. Since there is no service before the cremation, the body will not be embalmed, since direct cremation normally takes place within 24-48 hours after death. The deceased will then be placed in a fully-combustible container and taken to the crematorium.

The cremation process is very thorough. A designated family member of the deceased will be required to fill out paperwork authorizing the cremation. This paperwork will also contain information about who will pick up the cremains and what type of storage container the cremains should be placed in.

The body of the deceased will be identified at the crematorium by a current photo or by a family member. A non-destructible tag will be placed inside the cremation container and it will stay with the deceased throughout the cremation process.

If the deceased has any kind of electrical implants, such as pacemakers, or metal prosthetics, such as artificial limbs, they will be removed prior to cremation. The crematorium will either give these a recycling facility where they are refurbished and provided to people who may not be able to afford them any other way or they will melt them down.

All jewelry, glasses, and hearing aids will be removed and stored to return to the family with the cremains. Glasses and hearing aids can be donated to organizations that will refurbish them and use them to help people in need with the gift of sight and hearing.

The body is then put into a cremation chamber, which is large enough to hold a single body. Cremation, which is automated, occurs through the application of fire, intense heat, and evaporation. The process normally takes two to three hours.

After cremation, the cremains are cooled down. They will be inspected for any remaining pieces of metal, such as titanium pins, screws, or plates. These will be removed either by hand or with a magnet and sent to a metal recycler.

What is left then is bone fragments. These are gathered up and ground to a very fine consistency, which can appear to be ashes, which is why they’re often called “ashes.”

If the family purchased an urn for the cremains, they will be placed in a plastic bag and put inside the urn and the family will be notified that they are ready to be picked up. If the family has not chosen an urn yet, the cremains will be put in a plastic bag and placed in a temporary container and given to the family.

For additional information about Warren, MI cremations, our caring and knowledgeable staff at Lee-Ellena Funeral Home is here to assist you. You can visit our funeral home at 46530 Romeo Plank Rd., Macomb, MI 48044, or you can call us today at (586) 412-8999.

funeral homes in Clinton Charter Township, MI

The Advantages of Funeral Preplanning

Preplanning funerals at funeral homes in Clinton Charter Township, MI is one of the best and most caring gifts people can leave with their families when they die. At least 125 decisions must be made when a person dies, and the time to make those decisions is compressed into a very short space of time.

Your family will be in shock – even if your death was expected – and grieving when you die. They will be on emotional overload, which will impact their ability to function normally just to get through the day. Having to plan a funeral from start to finish on top of what they’re already dealing with will increase the stress your family is already under.

The best gift that you can leave with your family is to preplan your own funeral. Document everything and make sure your family is aware of your funeral plans.

Start preplanning your funeral by making an appointment with the funeral home. The funeral director will help guide you through the process of making sure that all 125-plus decisions are covered.

There are some broad areas that need to be addressed up front. One area is whether you want to be cremated or buried. If you have decided to be cremated, you’ll need to decide whether you want to be cremated with no service (your family can arrange for a memorial service after the cremation) or to have a funeral service before you’re cremated.

Next, you’ll need to decide what you want done with your remains (cremains) after cremation. They can be returned to the family, buried, or stored in a columbarium (a specially-designed structure that has slots where urns can be stored and that are marked with gravestone).

If you want a burial, you’ll need to choose a cemetery and purchase a plot. If you have a spouse, you may want to go ahead get two plots side by side. If you and your spouse will be buried side by side, you can purchase a double headstone and have both names engraved with birth dates. You can also have the headstone placed on the cemetery plots in advanced. The dates of death will be engraved when they occur for a nominal cost.

Next, you’ll need to choose the type of casket you want to be buried in. Most cemeteries require that the caskets be placed in vaults, so that the grounds of the cemetery don’t cave as heavy equipment moves over them. The funeral director can assist you with determining whether a vault is required.

If you want a funeral service before cremation or burial, the funeral director can help you plan out the service, including what type of service you want and where you want it to be held. If you’d like a reception after the funeral service, the funeral home can help with catering ideas from a full meal to light snacks and beverages like coffee, tea, juice, and water.

Another part of funeral preplanning is to provide the funeral home with all your vital information, such as your date of birth, your city of birth, your occupation, etc. The funeral home will keep this on file and use it to complete the death certificate.

A final part of funeral preplanning is to prepare a contact list. These are the people who should be notified of your death. Include full names, relationship to you, phone numbers, and email addresses. Don’t forget to include a contact person at your place of employment.

If you want to learn more about preplanning funerals at funeral homes in Clinton Charter Township, MI, our compassionate and experienced staff at Lee-Ellena Funeral Home can help. You can come by our funeral home at 46530 Romeo Plank Rd., Macomb, MI, 48044 or you can contact us today at (586) 412-8999.

cremation services offered in Clinton Township, MI

Eulogy Themes and Styles

Arranging funeral services is one of the cremation services offered in Clinton Township, MI. An integral part of many funeral services is the delivery of eulogies by family members or close friends of the person who died.

If you’ve been asked to deliver a eulogy for a close friend who has died, it means that the family considers you to be a reliable and credible witness to the life and character of their loved one. It is a high honor to be asked to give a eulogy, and even though you may be a little anxious about speaking in public or saying the right things, if you will focus on a theme and a style that your eulogy should fit within, it will make developing it much easier.

Before anything else, it’s important to remember that a eulogy comes from the heart. You cared deeply for someone who has died and you’ve shared many important moments throughout your relationship with each other. That should come through in whatever theme and style you choose for your eulogy.

There are three avenues down which you can choose to take your eulogy. You can focus on a biographical theme, a specialized theme, or a personal theme.

A biographical eulogy theme goes through the deceased’s life in chronological order and highlights well-known and little-known aspects of each phase of the deceased’s life. Be sure to include major events, such as the deceased’s birth, graduation from college, military service, marriage, children, grandchildren (if applicable), career accomplishments, service accomplishments, and other events that have positively impacted the lives of others.

A specialized eulogy theme focuses on one particular thing that was important to the deceased (a passion) or that everyone at the service can relate to (great sense of humor). If the deceased was committed to a cause that they devoted time and energy to for their entire lives, that would be the focus of a specialized theme. Or if the deceased was known for having a great sense of humor or an optimistic disposition, those would be specialized themes that you can build your eulogy around.

A personal eulogy theme focuses not only on the memories you have of the deceased, but also the memories that other have of them. This kind of theme seeks to define the legacy the deceased left and how their lives affected the lives they crossed paths with throughout their lives. Family members are often featured in personal-themed eulogies because they are first and foremost where the deceased had the most effect. But the wider circle around the deceased is also included because they had an effect on everybody they met and it was for the better.

Once you’ve decided on a theme for your eulogy, you need to decide what style you are going use to deliver it. There are three general stylistic approaches that you can take.

The first style is simply to deliver the eulogy in a simple and straightforward manner. If you don’t do a lot of public speaking, this may be the most comfortable style for you to use to deliver your eulogy.

If you’re comfortable with public speaking and you’re good at weaving a story, the storytelling style might be the best style for you to use to deliver your eulogy.

Finally, if you have a way of being gently and lovingly humorous, you might select the humorous style for delivering your eulogy.

For more information about eulogies and cremation services in Clinton Township, MI, our caring and knowledgeable staff at Lee-Ellena Funeral Home is here to assist you. You can visit our funeral home at 46530 Romeo Plank Rd., Macomb, MI 48044, or you can call us today at (586) 412-8999.