Monthly Archives: June 2019

Sterling Heights, MI funeral homes

Preparing a Death Checklist

A death checklist can make funerals at Sterling Heights, MI funeral homes much easier for families who are already under tremendous stress from the deaths of their loved ones. When a loved one dies, whether the death is unexpected or expected, the family members go into shock, get numb, and experience a dramatic increase in anxiety and stress.

Shock and numbness are automatic responses that the body has to handle great emotional distress. However, your family will still experience stress from grieving your death and adjusting to the new reality that doesn’t have you in it.

Having a death checklist already prepared for your family can take a huge emotional and mental burden off of them in the early days after you die. What should a death checklist include?

The first item on the death checklist should indicate whether you want to be cremated or buried. If you want to be cremated, you need to let your family know whether you want to be cremated without a service beforehand (direct cremation) or whether you want a visitation and a funeral service before you are cremated.

Next, if you want a funeral service or memorial service, your death checklist should have specific instructions about the service. If you want readings, speakers, spiritual content, or music, give explicit details about what should be read and by whom, who should speak, what type of spiritual content you want, and the music that you want played. List the elements of the service in the order that you want them to be done.

The next item on your death checklist should be your obituary. You can write your own and attach it or you can outline what your family (or the funeral home) should include. Indicate whether you want just an online obituary (on the funeral home’s website) or you want both an online obituary and an obituary published in newspapers (indicate which newspapers it should appear in).

How your remains will be handled should be discussed next on your death checklist. If you’re going to be cremated, let your family know whether your cremation remains should be buried (give the name of the cemetery) or scattered. If you’re going to be buried, specify the type of casket you want, what cemetery you should be buried in, and what the format of the graveside service, if you want one, should be.

If you have dependent children and/or pets, they should be included on your death checklist with instructions about who should care for them after you have died, if you don’t have a spouse or other legal guardian already designated (this requires an attorney and should be taken care of in advance).

Your death checklist should also include documents that will help your family wrap up your affairs after you die. These should include a list of who needs to be notified of your death, who the executor of your will is and how to contact them (if it’s not an immediate family member), information about safety deposit boxes (either the executor or another family member should be listed with the bank to access the safety deposit box) and post office boxes, a list all physical property, information for bank, investment, and retirement accounts, credit cards, and insurance policies, and information for any services, such as internet, utilities, and cellphones, that need to be cancelled after you die.

For guidance on preparing a death checklist for Sterling Heights, MI funeral homes, 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.

funeral services in Warren, MI

Current Trends in Funeral Planning

Staying current with trends for funeral services in Warren, MI helps make funeral planning for loved ones who have died more expansive and with more options that can make the funeral process easier on the family and other mourners. Thank Baby Boomers for the changes that are modernizing the way funerals are planned and executed, because they are still leading the way in overturning traditions, even though most of them settled into traditional lives from their 30’s until now, and changing the world.

One current trend in funeral planning is preplanning funerals. Baby Boomers, more so than their parents, are now making sure that their final wishes are carried out for their end-of-life care, their final wishes, and their funerals.

Another current trend in funeral planning is the dramatic increase in the number of people who are choosing cremation over burial. Cremations now account for approximately half the funeral plans in America. The rise in the popularity of cremation is due to several factors, including the lack of space in many cemeteries, its eco-friendliness, and its accommodation for mobility (as people have moved around a lot for careers, they may die in one place, but they want their cremated remains scattered or buried in another place that is special or where the rest of their family is).

Funeral services are trending away from somber, quiet memorial services to upbeat and lively celebrations of life. While traditional funeral services are focused on paying respect to and recognizing death and loss of a loved one, celebrations of life take the focus off the death and put it onto the life the loved one lived. These celebrations of life can be very personalized and funeral homes can accommodate just about any type of celebration of life that can be planned.

A fourth current trend in funeral planning is the creation of online obituaries (by the family of the deceased), online memorials, and sharing information about the funeral via social media. This enables friends and family from all over the world to share in the mourning and offer condolences, comfort, support, and encouragement to the family.

Livestreaming funeral or memorial services rather than recording them is another current trend in funeral planning. With many livestream services like YouTube, FaceTime, Skype, and Google Hangout, to choose from, capturing funeral and memorial services live so that faraway family and friends can view the services in real time has never been easier.

A fifth current funeral planning trend is crowdfunding to help with funeral expenses and requesting charitable donations instead of flowers for people who’d like to pay their respects to the deceased.

Many community memorial gardens are being created in another new funeral planning trend. These are beautifully-landscaped areas where plants that are nourished in part by some of the deceased’s cremains can be planted or memorial plaques, stones, benches, or chairs that have the name of deceased can be placed, so that friends and family have a place to go to remember their loved one.

A final current trend in funeral planning is online grief support (there are even smartphone apps that let people who are grieving share their stories and help each other). Most funeral homes offer in-person grief counseling and support that, in the early stages of the grieving process, may be more helpful because you’re interacting with real people in person who are experiencing many of the same things you are. Online grief support, however, may be more helpful as you’re further along in the grief process.

For more current trends in funeral services in Warren, 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.

Mount Clemens, MI funeral services

What Services Does a Funeral Home Offer?

Mount Clemens, MI funeral services make sure that the funeral planning, funeral process, and funeral execution is as easy and as stress-free as possible for families who have lost a loved one. There are many things that need to be done and that happen in the background when someone dies and a funeral is being planned.

Funeral homes are run by funeral directors and staff who are specifically trained in providing funeral services. Each one of them is dedicated to helping families as they navigate through the process of death. In general, you’ll find a lot of empathy, a lot of support, a lot of kindness, and a lot of gentleness among funeral home personnel. They know you’re hurting and they know you need help, and they respond to that admirably.

Some of the funeral services that are provided by funeral homes happen as the funeral home works with the family to make funeral arrangements. Usually the first contact with a funeral home is the meeting to make funeral plans.

However, if your loved one has preplanned their funeral, you can meet with the funeral home before they die to ensure that their plan is in place (for example, if your loved one has a burial insurance policy that they’ve given to the funeral home in advance to cover their funeral expense, you and your loved one can verify that). If you’re on a verification visit with your loved one, you can also talk to the funeral home staff about the steps you need to take after your loved one dies and they will guide you through that process. There is no question a funeral home won’t answer and they will take the time to treat you and your loved one with dignity and respect.

If your loved one didn’t preplan their funeral, then in the funeral planning meeting, the funeral director will guide you through several decisions that need to be made. Be sure to have this information for your loved one: full name, date of birth and date of death, and occupation (they include this on the death certificate which is done in conjunction with medical personnel who affirm cause of death and time of death).

The first decision will be whether your loved one will be cremated or buried. If cremation is chosen, then the funeral director will ask if you want a visitation and service before the cremation or a memorial service after the cremation. If burial is chosen, then the funeral director will ask where it should take place (they will make all arrangements with the cemetery).

The next decision, if you decided to have a funeral service or memorial service, what you want to include the service and who will participate in the service. You can also request, at this point, a recording of the funeral service, if you want that.

If your loved one is being buried, the next decision will be choosing a casket (or an urn, if you are burying cremated remains). Most cemeteries require vaults for both caskets and urns and the funeral home will supply that as well.

The funeral home does all the work from here, including getting death certificates, making all the arrangements and doing all the setup for services, cremations, and burials. All the family has to do is be there and that is a relief in a time of loss and grief.

For more information about Mount Clemens, MI funeral services, 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.

Sterling Heights, MI cremations

Feed Families Who are Grieving

Before and after Sterling Heights, MI cremations, one of the most thoughtful gifts you can provide for a family who has lost a loved one is to make sure they’re fed well. While this is the first thing friends and neighbors do in some parts of the country, such as the South, it may not occur to us that the need may be on-going for a few weeks while the family is wrapping up the affairs of their loved one.

The time after death is a flurry of activity for the family. Quite frankly, preparing food and sitting down to a meal is not even on the radar. They may opt for sugary foods and drinks, as well as a lot of caffeine to sustain them, but it won’t keep them healthy for long.

There are several things to remember when providing food for a family who has experienced a death. One of those things is to enlist a group of people, whether it’s neighbors, friends, or church members, to share the duties. These are called “meal trains,” and the responsibility rotates around through each of the members so that all the cost and work doesn’t fall on one person.

Before actually taking food over, call or text someone to let them know food is on the way. Set up a receiving area outside the house with a box to store food and a cooler, kept filled with ice, to store drinks. That way food and drinks can be dropped off without disturbing the family.

The ideal meals for families who are grieving are those that are easy to eat (cooked, stored in microwavable containers, and little to no prep work involved), easy to transport, hold well, and freeze well. Focus on main meals, with entrees (casseroles, stews, savory pies, and sauced meals feed a lot of people), sides, salads, and bread, but don’t forget to include meal items for breakfast and lunch.

For breakfast, cereal, milk, fruit, yogurt, bread (for toast), and juice are good selections. For good measure, throw in box of sugar packets, powdered creamer, a can of coffee and a large box of K-cup coffee as well as tea bags and a couple of boxes of K-cup tea.

Lunch time will be the busiest parts of the first few days with people coming and going, as family members arrive, trips have to be made to the funeral home and to other places, and some of the end-of-life things that need to be done get started. Focus on portable food. Deli trays with meats and cheese, assorted fruits, and assorted vegetables are an excellent choice. Include a variety of loaf breads, crackers, nuts, healthy dips for the fruits and vegetables (that little one on the trays will not go far), and jars of peanut butter and jelly (you’ll be surprised how many adults will take that over all the other food choices). Don’t forget to add bottled water, naturally-flavored sparkling waters (avoid the ones with artificial sweeteners), juices, and bottled iced tea.

Don’t forget that you’re providing food for a crowd as family members gather from the four corners of the earth to honor and mourn a loved one. Be generous with all the provisions so that everyone will have enough to eat and to fuel themselves healthily to offset the stress as they grieve and say goodbye to someone they love.

For more tips helping bereaved families before and after Sterling Heights, 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.