Monthly Archives: April 2020

cremation services offered in Clinton Township, MI

Get an Estate Plan Done

Before you need the cremation services offered in Clinton Township, MI, you’ll want to make sure that you have an estate plan done, so all that your affairs are in order. This will make things much easier for your family both in the short-term and in the long-term.

Immediately after you die, your family will be immersed in a flurry of activity as they plan your funeral and deal with all the details and people that swirl in that jam-packed short period of time. When that is over, they will begin to intensely grieve and will need a lot of time to sort through and process their grief as they move toward accepting and healing from your loss and move into that new phase where grief remains, but mostly they’re left with warm and happy members.

During that time immediately after the funeral proceedings, the other thing that your family will need to do is finalize your affairs. Part of this will be handling your estate.

Here’s how you can help them.

The first thing that you need to do is talk to your family about your death. While this may be a very uncomfortable situation for you and then, it is imperative that you be open about the fact that you will die and what you want when you die. This will let you both specify your funeral wishes and it will open the door for you to talk with your family about what you are planning to do with your estate.

One reason this is a good idea is because it eliminates a lot of surprises – that could lead to your family being upset and arguing with each other – when you die because you are there in person telling everyone exactly what your estate plan is.

The next thing you should do is to make sure that you know what the inheritance laws are in Michigan. It’s a mistake to believe that just because you have a will that what you specify will necessarily happen smoothly. State inheritance laws have an impact on estate planning, so you need to make sure that the way you want to settle your estate is in line with Michigan laws.

While many people don’t need to hire an estate attorney, if you do, then hire an attorney who specializes in estate, tax, and probate planning. You’ll want to write down any questions you have. You’ll also need to be prepared to give detailed answers about all your assets, any guardianship decisions, medical preferences, and your end-of-life bequests.

A qualified estate attorney can help you draw up a will or a trust that complies with state inheritance laws while satisfying your wishes for how your estate will be settled.

People often forget to keep beneficiary information current and accurate. Check all insurance policies, annuities, 401(k)s, 403(b)s, and IRAs, as well as retirement plans and investment accounts to make sure that the beneficiaries you have listed are correct.

If they are not, make sure you get all of them updated as quickly as possible. Ask for a confirmation letter of the changes and file it with your important papers as proof of the change. To claim these assets, your executor or trustee will need a certified death certificate.

For information about 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.

funeral homes in Clinton Township, MI

Letting Go Naturally

About half the funerals at funeral homes in Clinton Township, MI are for older people who have lived full lives and have a treasure trove of memories and a perpetual legacy they have left behind for their families.

Some of these loved ones died naturally of old age with basic medical care, while others had surgeries, procedures, and medications that extended their lives for perhaps a few weeks, a few months, or a few years beyond when they would have naturally died.

In a time past, when older people neared the end of their days, they were propped up on a comfortable pillow, in a bed freshly made with clean sheets, near their favorite window where they could watch their grandchildren outside and watch their daughter inside as they went about their daily routines.

Food cooked on the stove was offered and they might take a bite or a sip or they might not. A radio played softly in the background with their favorite tunes. Family members were in and out to quietly talk with them for few minutes, and then they were allowed to drift back off to sleep.

There was no pressure for the older family member to be engaged. There might be a flutter of the eyelids, a smile of recognition, or the light squeeze of a hand. That was enough.

These were how older people who were nearing death died. They were safely ensconced in a familiar house, with familiar smells, and with familiar sounds. They could be in the present or they could be recalling all the memories of their lives. The young child running in the yard. The teenager on their first date. The young adult in college or at their first job working, Marriage, children, grandchildren, and perhaps greatgrandchildren.

They might talk in half-sleep or in the fog of senility about the times they remembered best – the distant past, the significant events in their lives, the people they loved who had preceded them in death.

And when they died, they were surrounded by all of this love, all of these memories, at home.

Very few older people, unless they make their medical wishes clear and have a medical power of attorney appointed who will make sure that they are adhered to, who are nearing the end of their lives die this way today.

As medicine has advanced, doctors feel obliged to do everything they can to intercede and prolong the lives of people who are simply dying because their old and it’s time. Often, this intercession does more harm than good, and while it may give quantity of life, it seldom gives quality of life.

Modern medicine can intervene to breathe for a person, to feed a person, and to handle bodily functions for a person. It can extend life by artificial means without actually enhancing life. When older people are nearing death and are kept alive, it’s often in an unfamiliar place, not filled with the familiar smells of home, but instead with the noxious smells of disinfectants and other sanitizing agents. Instead of the comfortable bed and pillow near a window where they can look at and see their families, they are surrounded by bars in uncomfortable beds, perhaps with a pillowed covering to try to prevent pressure sores, but perhaps not, with uncomfortable pillows, staring at an institutional ceiling or wall.

Dying naturally is, slowly but surely, making a comeback, because the alternative is a much harder way to die.

For information about planning funerals 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 offered in Macomb, MI

End-of-Life Rallies

Before cremations as part of the cremation services offered in Macomb, MI, some people who are dying, sleeping most of the time, and barely responsive when they are awake, may suddenly have a period of time when they are fully awake, fully responsive, crystal clear mentally, possibly eating and drinking, and very energetic.

This can be quite surprising to family members who are gathered around. It can also create a false hope that this is a turnaround for their loved one, and death, seemingly right at the door, has retreated and may, in fact, be further away than it appeared to be.

This phenomenon is called an end-of-life rally. While not all dying people will have one, many do. They may last for a few minutes, a few hours, or even for up to a day or two.

Medical professionals have no rational explanation about why end-of-life rallies happen. However, many theories abound as to why these end-of-life rallies occur in some dying people. One very credible theory is that when organs in the body fail, they can release a steroid-like compound that can potentially jolt the brain awake enough to cause the rally.

An additional theory, which is supported evidentially by the fact that most of these end-of-rallies occur under hospice care and not in hospitals, is that the comforting structure of hospice care provides a stronger invitation for the brain to wake up and engage.

Cold and sterile hospital settings, where there is a lot of noise, bustling, and lights don’t seem to encourage the brain to engage one last time before a person dies.

But in all of these end-of-life rallies there is a common component that goes beyond physiology and setting. That is a spiritual or psychological need by the person who is dying to connect with loved ones one last time before death occurs.

For family members who encounter an end-of-life rally with their dying loved one, it can be difficult to know how to handle it. Sometimes it’s so shocking that it can be confusing and that can cause family members to simply take the rally for what it is and to enjoy it, expressing their love and saying their goodbyes.

So, what should you do if your dying loved one has an end-of-life rally?

First, don’t overwhelm this with too much talking and information. Instead, listen to them to find out what they want or need and what they want to talk about. No matter how odd their request may be – some people want, for example, strange combinations of food or even alcohol to drink – do everything in your power to accommodate their requests.

Some people, in their end-of-life rallies, want music or to talk with their families. Others prefer silently sitting with their family members close by. Whichever your dying loved one wants should be what you do.

Preparing for a quick end-of-rally should be at the top of your family’s list if your dying love one has an end-of-life rally. There may be nothing more than a quick burst of energy and then a dramatic energy depletion (which supports the steroid-like compound being released in organ failure).

No matter how short or long your loved one’s end-of-life rally is, don’t forget how important human touch is. Hold their hand, stroke their forehead or arm, or kiss them. And, once the end-of-life rally ends, talk softly to your loved one. Hearing, it is presumed, is the last sense to go in people who are dying.

For information about cremation services in Macomb, 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.

funeral homes in Macomb, MI

How to Deal with Death on Social Media

Many people learn of funerals at funeral homes in Macomb, MI through social media. Because social media is an easy platform to let many people know about someone’s death and for people to express their sympathy about someone’s death, it has become a go-to forum for announcing the death of loved ones.

However, just because this may be the easiest way to announce deaths and offer condolences, there are some guidelines that should be followed in how this is done.

The first guideline is that family members should never announce the death of a loved one on social media before they have personally contacted other family members and close friends to let them know that a loved one has died.

It’s becoming more common for immediate and extended family members to get the news that their loved one has died before a family member has called them to personally tell them. The result is often shock and anger from these family members that they found out through social media that someone they loved had died.

So, before anything gets posted on social media (be sure to tell the funeral home when you’re creating an online obituary, because sometimes friends will see the obituary and post it without your knowledge, that you want time before they post the obituary on their website so that you can personally contact the people who need to know), make sure that all family members and close friends get a phone call to let them know your loved one has died.

You don’t have to make all these phone calls yourself. Enlist help so that the burden of making the calls is split up among the people who are available to make them.

Some people wonder if texting or emailing family members and close friends about the death of a loved one is appropriate instead of calling them. The answer is that it depends on how you normally communicate with family members and close friends.

If texting or emailing is your normal method of communication, then it is probably okay in most instances to text or email that your loved one has died. However, all immediate family members should be called and personally told the news.

On the converse side of things, what should you do or not do, as far as social media goes, if you know that a friend’s loved one has died?

If you haven’t seen a social media announcement from the family about the death, then don’t post anything about it. It’s not your story to tell, but your friend’s and their family’s.

If news of the death has been posted on social media by the immediate family, be careful about what you post about the death, especially if the information could be disturbing or painful to the family.

Don’t post cryptic messages that, while not directly referring the death, invite questions from all over the place. There have been instances where a loved one is dying, but has not yet died, but someone posted a cryptic message that people interpreted as meaning the loved one had died. Immediate family members who had not been on social media then got shocking phone calls from people expressing their condolences.

For more information about handling social media from funeral homes in Macomb, 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.