Monthly Archives: September 2019

funeral homes in Mount Sterling Heights, MI

What Happens During a Funeral?

When planning funerals at funeral homes in Mount Sterling Heights, MI, the funeral director will be very helpful in guiding you through the process and making the many decisions you will need to make about what will be included in the funeral service.

Most funeral services are preceded by a visitation. A visitation generally happens just before the funeral service takes place and it is an opportunity to pay respects to the deceased and to offer condolences to the grieving family. Visitations are typically two hours (after work hours) and offer enough time for people to stop by the funeral home to see the deceased and to talk with the family.

Some people will come for the visitation only and not stay for the funeral. However, many people will attend both the visitation and the funeral. Once mourners go through the visitation line, they will take a seat in the back of the funeral chapel and sit quietly until the funeral service begins. Proper funeral etiquette is to take a seat as far back as possible, and as far inside the row away from the aisle as possible. This keeps people who arrive later to the visitation, or who just come for the funeral, from having to crawl over people to find a seat.

The funeral itself usually has several parts. While these are not mandatory, they are traditional in American culture.

One of the decisions that will need to be made as you’re planning the funeral is who will oversee it. Usually, if the deceased was affiliated with a church, a clergy member from that church will oversee the funeral service. However, anyone can oversee the funeral service. This could be the funeral director, a close family friend, or even a family member.

The parts of the funeral service usually go in this order: a welcome by the person overseeing the service, readings, eulogies (if any), spiritual guidance, music, and a closing prayer,

In the welcome part of a funeral service, mourners are thanked for coming to the service and the obituary of the deceased person is read. Included in this welcome may be date, location, and time of graveside services.

During the readings part of a funeral service, passages are read that were either important to the deceased, favorites of the deceased, or that were selected by the family to describe the deceased. These might include poems, prose, or Bible scriptures. These will usually be read by family members.

If a funeral service includes eulogies, these will be given by close friends and/or immediate family members. Eulogies are special tributes that highlight the character of the deceased, the tell stories about their impact during their lifetime, and say why they will be missed.

Most funeral services include a part dedicated to spiritual guidance. This includes comfort for the family about their loved one’s death and admonitions for those who are still living.

While music may be played at intervals during a funeral service, typically a couple of selections are played after the message of spiritual guidance. The music can be anything, from favorites of the deceased, to traditional hymns or gospel music, to songs that the family chose to express their love for the person who died.

The funeral service will then close with a prayer, in most cases. After this, the funeral director will announce the date, the time, and the location of graveside services. They will also provide a time that people who want to go to the gravesite from the funeral home should be there to be part of the funeral procession.

For more information about funerals at funeral homes in Mount Sterling Heights, 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 in Clinton Township, MI

Cremation Basics

Cremation is among the cremation services in Clinton Township, MI. Cremations have increased dramatically in the United States in the last 30 years for a lot of different reasons. Cremations offer some distinct advantages that burials do not. These include ease of transporting cremains from one place to another, whether cremation remains are going to be buried, scattered in a place that was significant to the deceased, or used in some other creative way some place other than where the deceased died. Cremations have a lower ecological impact on the earth than burials do. And there are many things that can be done with cremains (what’s left after the cremation process) after cremations.

Cremations after death have been a part of the human story almost from the beginning. In many Eastern cultures, it is the primary way that bodies are disposed of after people die. In many ancient cultures, cremations were common during wars, both on the battlefield and to celebrate military heroes.

However, cremations fell out of favor when the Roman Empire adopted Christianity as the state religion. Because non-Christians (pagans) practiced cremation and Christians did not want to be associated with pagan practices, so Christians generally began to be buried underground.

Now, as Baby Boomers have aged and begun to die, cremation has resurfaced as a convenient funeral plan. There’s some practicality behind this decision. Baby Boomers were the first generation to, on a widespread basis, move away from where they grew up and settle all over the world. Many Baby Boomers, however, in an odd traditional nod for this generation, want to go home when they die. Being cremated makes that a lot easier.

Cremations are highly-regulated and funeral homes are very rigorous to ensure that the person being cremated is treated with dignity and respect. Many steps are taking before a person is cremated to ensure that they are identified properly (usually with a current photo or by a family member), identified with a tag that is non-combustible and will stay with the remains all the way through the cremation process, and the correct cremains are given to family members.

Pacemakers are removed before cremation takes place, because lithium batteries explode under intense heat and can cause significant damage to a cremation chamber.

Jewelry, hearing aids, and glasses will be returned to the family. There are many organizations that take hearing aids and glasses and refurbish them to provide at low to no cost to people who would otherwise not be able to afford them.

The cremation process itself takes just two to three hours. The body is put into a cremation chamber, where it is exposed to evaporation caused by very intense heat. When the cremation is finished, any metal objects in the body, such as screws, hinges, and plates, are removed using a heavy magnet.

All that’s left of the body then are bone fragments. These are allowed to cool, and then are finely ground to the consistency of sand, creating cremains (commonly called ashes). Cremains are put in a plastic bag and placed in either an urn that the family purchased or a temporary container and they are returned to the deceased’s family. The family then has many options on how to store or use the cremains to honor their loved one.

For more information about cremation and cremation services in Clinton Township, MI, our caring and knowledgeable staff at Lee-Ellena Funeral 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 Township, MI

What to Wear to a Funeral

For funerals at funeral homes in Clinton Township, MI, one of our main considerations as mourners is to make sure that we are showing respect and honor not only to the person who has died, but also to the bereaved family. What we wear to a funeral is part of that.

In a time when dressing down is the norm, even in corporate workplaces and places of worship (two venues where people once dressed more formally for), it may seem as if it is acceptable to dress down for a funeral. However, funerals are somber occasions that mark not only the passing of a life, but also a huge life transition for the family the deceased has left behind. Funerals are fraught with emotional heaviness, and what we wear can add more angst to the grieving family or it can show our support, comfort, and encouragement to them.

The focus of funerals is the deceased and the bereaved family, not the mourners who are attending. Therefore, what we wear should not draw attention to ourselves.

Conservatively dressing is the best protocol for what to wear to a funeral. While black is traditionally worn by mourners, dark brown, gray, and navy are also considerate appropriate colors for funerals in America. No printed patterns or bright colors should be worn.

Women should choose simple and modest attire, avoiding blouses and dresses that are sleeveless, low-cut, and form-fitting. Skirts that are short and that fit tightly should not be worn. Business pantsuits are acceptable as long as they fit well, but don’t conform to every curve and contour of the body.

Any accessories that women wear to a funeral should be modest. In general, jewelry should not be worn unless it’s subtle and necessary (a small watch, wedding and engagement rings, studded earrings). No high heels, sandals, or flip-flops should be worn. Instead wear simple flat dress shoes.

Men should not wear jeans, t-shirts, baseball caps, tennis shoes or sandals. Men can wear black, gray, brown or navy suits with a dress shirt and tie, but a sports coat, a dress shirt open at the collar, and dress pants with dress shoes is also appropriate for men to wear to a funeral.

There are a few specific exceptions to the basic guidelines for what to wear to a funeral. For example, if a funeral is for a military member or veteran, military personnel will wear their dress uniforms to the service (the same goes for fire fighters, police officers, and state patrol officers). There are also some faiths that require a particular type of dress at funerals, so honor the deceased person by following the proscribed dress codes.

If you don’t know if what you want to wear to a funeral service is appropriate, here are some guidelines on what not to wear. Don’t wear your sexiest outfit or something that you would wear out to a club. Don’t wear something that exposes too much skin. Don’t wear something that everyone ooh’s and aah’s over each time you wear it. Don’t wear anything that you wouldn’t wear to a professional job interview. Don’t wear a sleeveless dress without a sweater or jacket over it. Don’t wear anything that makes noise.

Avoid use cologne or perfume when attending a funeral service. Some people are allergic to the chemicals these products contain and they can have anywhere from mild to very severe reactions to them.

For more guidance on funeral attire at funeral homes in Clinton 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 in Clinton Township, MI

Understanding Grief

Cremation services in Clinton Township, MI include grief support and grief resources. The term bereavement describes the grief that we feel when somebody we love dies. No two people grief the same way. Some people grieve inwardly, never talking about it. Other people grieve outwardly, and that’s all they talk about for a while. There is no right or wrong way to grieve, so we can’t compare our grief to somebody else’s grief, nor can they compare their grief with our grief. Grieving is not a competition.

To understand grief, we have to understand that it’s more than just sadness. There are many other emotions and feelings that make up grief. These may include guilt, anger, regret, and a longing for the person who is died. In the initial stages of grief, these emotions will likely be very strong. However, for some people the emotional intensity doesn’t hit them until they are well into the grieving process.

Emotions of grief can fluctuate. The fluctuation can be confusing. For example, if a loved one died after suffering a long illness, such as cancer or dementia, there will be sadness and pain for the loss. However, there also may be relief that they’re not suffering anymore. And that cannot feel right.

Thought processes in grief can bounce all over the place. This is a necessary part of processing the death of a loved one. There may be good memories that come right alongside troubling or sad memories. As the mind sorts through these during the grieving process, it organizes them in a hierarchy of pros and cons get consolidated into our overall perception of our loved one’s life.

In the balance, generally what emerges from this are very warm, comforting, and loving memories of our loved one. The grief never goes away, but it changes. It can still be sparked out of the blue by the oddest and seemingly trivial things. It can be a whiff of cologne or perfume. It can be a song we hear in the grocery store or at the dentist’s office. It can be anything, but it can be overwhelming and bring that intensity of grief back to the forefront momentarily.

Grief can be handled in two basic ways.

One way, which is known as instrumental grieving, puts all the emotional and mental energy on problem-solving tasks and minimizing emotional reactions. This type of grieving can appear to be cold and indifferent to other people, but it’s what the person who’s doing it is most comfortable with.

The other way in which people can handle grief is known as intuitive grieving. This involves an heightened emotional experience, which leads to sharing feelings, deeply excavating the lost relationship, and considering their own mortality. This type of grieving can also make other people uncomfortable, especially with the prospect of mortality always on the table for the person who is grieving this way.

However people grieve, they still have to get the same point where grief is an ever present constant that is dormant most of the time. This means getting on with life but it doesn’t mean that we ever forget the loved ones that we’ve lost. However, it may take some people longer to get to this point than it does others. And for those people, we need to be empathetic, patient, kind, and gentle, understanding that they’re doing the best they can and will get there eventually.

For more information grief resources as part of cremation services in Clinton Township, MI, our caring and knowledgeable staff at Lee-Ellena Funeral 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.