Category Archives: Funeral Home

funeral homes in Chesterfield Township, MI

Questions to Ask About Death

After attending funerals at funeral homes in Chesterfield Township, MI, you may find yourself suddenly thinking about death. Death is not something we think about unless we have to, and it’s certainly not something we want to talk about in relationship to ourselves or to our loved ones.

Talking about death, for Americans, is something that’s considered to be morbid. It is not considered to be good dinner conversation or something we talk about in our casual conversations with friends and family members. Because of this, most of us are unprepared or not as prepared as we should be when death comes.

For the few people in the United States who want to prepare for their deaths, they are often met with resistance by other family members. For example, you may want to come to the funeral home to get information about funeral options, general costs, and other funeral related matters. However, your family members may not want to discuss it or even know anything about it.

Many Americans are simply in denial about the fact that they will die. The irony is that we go to great lengths to plan for every other major event in our lives – births, graduations, weddings, home purchases, car purchases, and career decisions – except for death.

It is usually only when someone close to us dies that we actually start thinking about death, even though we may not want to. We become aware of our mortality in the mortality of those we love. It is at that point that there are questions that we must ask and answer for ourselves and for our loved ones.

One of the questions that we should ask is what our end-of-life care should look like. While some people die suddenly due to tragic accidents or catastrophic medical event, the majority of people either grow old and die due to age or they develop an illness that leads to death.

Defining the kind of care we want at the end of our lives will be of benefit and a blessing to our families. Involved in this decision-making are certain legal documents.

At the very minimum, we should have a medical power of attorney, a living will, and a will or trust. A medical power of attorney which you appoint someone to make medical decisions for you and to be your medical advocate if you are unable to do so yourself.

A living will specifies what you want done medically if you are dying. A will or trust that you appoint someone to take care of your affairs after you die, including paying off your debts and distributing your assets and personal property.

Another aspect of end-of-life care that we need to consider is where and how we want to die. With options for assisted living or living with family members, we need to determine the best course for everyone (along with the costs). We also need to specify whether we want to die at home under hospice care or would want to die in a hospital.

A second question we need to ask is what kind of funeral we want. Do we want to be cremated or buried? If we want to be cremated, do we want a service? If we want to service, what should be included?

If we want to be buried, where do we want to be buried? Do we want to service, and if so, what should be included in that service?

funeral homes in Chesterfield Township, MI

Once we’ve answered these questions about death, then we need to document our answers and discuss them with their family members so that everyone is informed and on the same page with our wishes, even if they might not do things exactly the same way.

For more guidance on discussing death from funeral homes in Chesterfield Township, MI, our compassionate and experienced staff at Lee-Ellena Funeral Home can help.

funeral homes in Clinton Township, MI

How to Host a Funeral Reception

If you’d like to host a funeral reception at funeral homes in Clinton Township, MI, here are some tips on how to plan and execute the reception flawlessly.

Funeral receptions are usually held just after the funeral service or the graveside service. They are designed to provide the comfort of food and drink, along with a more informal atmosphere in where mourners and the grieving family can talk, share support, and share encouragement after the death of a loved one.

If you’re not a member of the immediate family and you are hosting a funeral reception, you should always keep in mind that you don’t need an elaborate amount of planning, but you want to create a relaxed environment where friends and family can eat and share stories and memories of the deceased.

Perhaps the simplest way to host a funeral reception is to have everyone but the bereaved family bring food for a potluck-style meal. They should also bring family-friendly drinks like juice, tea, water, and soda. Make sure you also have a coffee maker and coffee.

If you use paper and plastic ware, then cleaning up after the funeral reception will be easy. Make sure there are one or two large, lined garbage cans where people can throw out their trash, and most of the extent of cleaning up is throwing garbage bags away.

Why should you think about hosting a funeral reception? There are several reasons.

One reason is to support a family who has lost a loved one. Another reason is that it gives everyone who knew the deceased a chance to remember them and share warm and gently humorous stories about them. A third reason is that it gives friends and family of the deceased an opportunity to spend quality time together in a supportive atmosphere.

A funeral reception can be hosted almost anywhere. Since most funeral homes now allow food and drinks to be served in their facilities, it may be easiest to host a funeral reception at the funeral home. Other popular venues for hosting funeral receptions are church fellowship halls, private homes, and restaurants.

funeral home food

You can decide whether the funeral reception you host will be public or private (be sure to get the grieving family’s input as to what they would like). If the funeral reception is public, the funeral director will announce that everyone is welcome at the reception at the end of the funeral or graveside service. If the funeral reception is private, then invitations will made directly to the people who are invited.

Food and drinks served at a funeral reception should be tailored to fit all dietary needs. If you’re hosting a meal (refreshments and drinks are okay as well), include dishes like salads and vegetable casseroles, so that if some attendees are vegetarians, there will be something they can eat. If the meal is a potluck, give a basic menu of items to those who will be bringing food so that you have a variety of choices. Using disposal containers for food will facilitate fast cleanup and leave everyone with plenty of time to socialize.

In most cases, it’s best to avoid serving alcohol at a funeral reception unless it’s a small private friend-and-family or family-only gathering. Even in these settings, however, it’s best to set a limit on alcohol consumption. With public funeral receptions, you’ll want to make sure there is a large variety of non-alcoholic drink choices, such as coffee, hot and cold tea, sodas, juices, and water.

For more information about hosting funeral receptions at funeral homes in Clinton Township, MI, our compassionate and experienced staff at Lee-Ellena Funeral Home can help.

funeral homes in Macomb, MI

Be Respectful at Funerals

When you are attending visitations and funerals at funeral homes in Macomb, MI, there are many long-standing rituals and customs that you are expected to know and follow.

With all the ways we are able to gain knowledge in today’s world, the amount of information concerning proper behavior at visitations and funerals may seem overwhelming. In addition, the different kinds of memorial services that are available today can often add to the confusion when you want to pay your respect to someone who has died.

What you need to remember most is that losing a loved one is one of the most stressful times in their family’s life, so having guidelines to what is accepted behavior for visitations and funeral services can be helpful when you’re planning to attend.

The first guideline is that you need to understand the type of visitation and service you will be attending. The funeral home that is making the arrangements for the family will include this information in the deceased’s obituary. You will be able to see what services are being held, where they are being held, and the dates and times they are being held.

One thing that you’ll want to pay close attention to is whether all of the services are public (anyone can attend), some of them are public and some are private (people attend by invitation only), or they are all private. You need to show respect for what the grieving family wants and not, for example, go to any service that is private unless you are specifically asked by the bereaved family to attend.

Visitation and funeral service arrangements will vary (depending on the family’s wishes, the location of services, the faith of the deceased, etc.) from person to person, but the funeral home will always publish the pertinent details of the arrangements on their website and in the obituary or funeral notice.

Once you know the time, location, and type of service, then the most important rule of thumb is to practice kindness and courtesy. This means you should respect the wishes of the family, that you should observe the hours that have been set, and that you should dress appropriately.

If the family has made specific requests about attire (i.e. no black, casual, etc.), it will be noted in the deceased’s obituary.

However, there are a few other guidelines that you need to be aware of when you’re attending a funeral.

If there is a visitation before the funeral, you can pay your respect to the deceased and offer the grieving family your sympathy. Visitations are usually held at the funeral home, and the time and duration of the visitation is posted in the deceased’s obituary.

cremation services offered in Clinton Township, MI

As soon as you get the visitation, be sure to sign the guest register and speak with the bereaved family first. If this is the first time you’re meeting them, introduce yourself and tell them how you’re associated with their loved one.

Otherwise, greet them quietly and offer them your condolences. If the visitation or funeral service includes a viewing, you are free to decide whether you are comfortable viewing the deceased (no one will judge you if you’re not).

With the funeral service itself, be sure to give yourself adequate time so that you will be seated before the service begins. Bear in mind that the first few rows are typically reserved for the immediate family of the deceased. If the service is held graveside, the chairs that are set up are for the immediate family as well.

For more information about funeral etiquette at funeral homes in Macomb, MI, our compassionate and experienced staff at Lee-Ellena Funeral Home can help.

funeral homes in Sterling Heights, MI

How to Explain Funerals to Children

Before funerals at funeral homes in Sterling Heights, MI, children who are old enough to comprehend – children under five years of age are probably too young – the death and loss of a loved one should know what has happened, know what is going to happen, and be included in the entire process that accompanies the death of someone we love.

While children don’t have the emotional maturity or the complexity of emotions that adults may experience when someone they love has died, it’s important to know that children can still grieve the loss more intensely than you might expect, especially if they were very close to the person who has died.

First, you should explain to your children that death is part of life and that the grief that comes with death is normal. You should also explain to your children that grief varies from person to person, even within the same immediate family, so they know to expect that grief will have different faces. By explaining how grief works, you can help your children know that how they grieve and express that grief is normal and nothing to be ashamed of.

Next, you should explain the funeral process to your children. Be sure to be specific. Let them know what to expect at the visitation. It can be very shocking – and perhaps even scary – for children to see someone they love lying in a casket, motionless, with their eyes closed, and their hands folded over each other, and almost looking like the person did when they were alive. It can also be surprising for children to touch their loved one’s body and discover that it is very cold.

You should explain visitation protocol to your children. Explain to them that they’ll be up front in the funeral home beside you and the rest of the family and people will come by and express their condolences. You need to make sure that you also prepare your children for the kinds of grief they might see, because they will likely see a range of emotions they have not experienced before.

Then, you should explain the funeral service to your children. Often, older children in the immediate family of the loved one who died may be asked to do readings as part of the funeral service.

grief supportGo through the order of the funeral service with your children so they know what to expect and so that they understand the purpose of each part of the service, both as a matter of tribute to your deceased love one, and as a source of comfort for everyone who is mourning their loss.

Finally, you should explain the graveside service to your children. Tell them what its purpose is and how it’s different from the funeral service. Let them know that the casket will be sitting above the cemetery plot where your loved one will be buried, because they’ll see the dirt that has been dug out around it.

The first few days between the death of a loved one and their burial are often so busy that they’re a blur and the reality of them being permanently gone doesn’t fully sink in. However, once the funeral process is over, the real grieving often begins. Discuss the grief process openly with your children and encourage them to talk about how they’re feeling with you. Watch for signs of withdrawal and depression and consider grief counseling if these become protracted.

For more information about grief resources at funeral homes in Sterling Heights, MI, our compassionate and experienced staff at Lee-Ellena Funeral Home can help.

funeral homes in Clinton Township, MI

Not Expressing Grief is Unhealthy

Because, in the midst of COVID-19, funerals at funeral homes in Clinton Township, MI are anything but traditional, being limited to 10 or less people, which makes them more private and offers less in-person comfort and support, you may discover that you’re having difficulty expressing grief for the loss of your loved one.

In some cases, it is normal to temporarily suppress grief after the death of a loved one. There are many things that need to be done when someone dies, and that means pulling your emotional act together enough to get them taken care of in a timely manner.

You may also temporarily suppress your grief because it’s too overwhelming in the moment and you need a brief respite from its effects.

Both of these types of grief suppression are normal and healthy ways to handle intense grief because they involve recognition that you need to take care of yourself at that moment in time.

However, making a habit of not expressing grief each time it surfaces is unhealthy, and can result in health problems, emotional problems, and mental problems like depression and anxiety.

When grief is suppressed instead of experienced, no matter how painful that may be, it becomes incomplete grief. There are several signs of incomplete grief.

One sign is irritability or anger that gets worse with time and can erupt into an explosion or violence. When you habitually don’t express grief, things build up inside with no outlet or expression.

Your body, mind, and soul has limits to how long you can do this until it becomes too big and too much to handle or keep suppressed. Usually the trigger that lets it all out is insignificant, and often observers will wonder why the reaction is so extreme in comparison to the trigger.

Another sign of incomplete grief is long-term obsession with missing your loved one.

It is normal in the first few weeks or months to think a lot about the death of your loved one and for their loss to hurt deeply. Your will find yourself repeatedly reviewing your relationship with and death of your loved one in great detail during these first weeks and months as your process your loss.

However, if you get stuck in a repetitive reviewing loop, you will not be able to move forward in the grief process, and you may find yourself shutting down when you hit certain points in the review where you feel guilt or regrets and it’s too late to fix them.

Hyperalertness and fear of loss is also a sign of incomplete grief. They are characterized by continuous anxiety and the pervasive feeling that nothing’s safe, everything’s fragile, and everyone is vulnerable. As a result, you become hypersensitive to everything and develop an obsessive need to always be prepared for the worst possible outcome.

Apathy, numbness, and low-grade depression are additional signs of incomplete grief. Apathy becomes apparent when you no longer take pleasure in or enjoy doing things that you once enjoyed. In fact, you may feel as though you really don’t care about anything anymore.

Numbness is a blunted emotional reaction that makes it hard to imagine feeling anything at all, no matter whether it’s happy or sad.

grief support

Low-grade depression is characterized by a lack of energy, a sense of hopelessness, and dark thoughts that you find persist over an extended period of time.

Utilizing grief resources such as counseling and therapy are an excellent way to resolve incomplete grief.

For more information about grief resources at funeral homes in Clinton Township, MI, our compassionate and experienced staff at Lee-Ellena Funeral Home can help.

funeral homes in Macomb, MI

Preplanning a Funeral

Preplanning funerals at funeral homes in Macomb, MI is not something most people want to think or talk about or even do. Facing mortality is hard, but we’re all going to die at some point.

Planning your funeral before you die takes a lot of additional stress off your loved ones as they are already coping with the emotional stress of a loss, an absence, and a void that will never be filled again. There can be as many as 125 things that must be done between the time that someone dies and the time of their final disposition.

Your family won’t have a lot of time to make funeral arrangements, and it will be much harder for them if they don’t know what kind of funeral service wanted. They’ll have to answer a lot of questions when they meet with the funeral director after you die.

Did you want cremation or burial? Did you want a visitation and funeral service, no visitation and funeral service, or no visitation and no funeral service? Are you a military veteran? Did you want a military honors funeral with burial in a national cemetery?

If they think you may have wanted a service, would you have wanted a funeral service or a memorial service? Who would you want to oversee the service? What would you want read or said and by whom? What music would you want to have played?

These are just a few of the kinds of questions that your family must answer so they can make arrangements for your cremation or burial if you don’t preplan your funeral. This is why preplanning your funeral takes such a tremendous burden off the loved ones you leave behind.

While preplanning your funeral doesn’t necessarily mean prepaying for your funeral, it can mean that you have purchased burial insurance so that your final expenses are covered. This insurance policy will be used by the funeral home to cover funeral costs, so that your family doesn’t have to worry about financial obligations. If you have a life insurance policy, a portion of it can be used to pay your funeral costs as well.

When preplanning your funeral, sit down with your closest family members and talk about what you want in detail. Be sure to have a written copy of these detailed instructions that you keep with your important papers, whether that’s in a home safe or a bank safety deposit box.

Make sure that your spouse or the executor of your will (or even your attorney) knows where your important papers are and that they have access to them.

Decide whether you want to be cremated or buried. If you want to be cremated, decide whether you want a funeral service before cremation or a memorial service after cremation. For burials, if you’re a military veteran, you are entitled to certain VA funeral benefits, including burial in a national cemetery. Otherwise, you’ll need to pick a burial location.

funeral home

If you want a funeral service, decide who should oversee it. Decide what format you want for the service. If there are certain readings you want, list them. If you want eulogies given, designate who should give them. Decide what songs you want included in the service.

If you choose burial, decide if you want a graveside service. Choose the type of gravestone or maker that you would like to have (spouses often get double gravestones and buy two cemetery plots together, so they’re buried together – the engraver will update the gravestone when the remaining spouse dies) and what you want to include on it.

For more information about preplanning funerals at funeral homes in Macomb, MI, our compassionate and experienced staff at Lee-Ellena Funeral Home can help.

funeral homes in Sterling Heights, MI

Funeral Homes and Millennials

When dealing with Millennials at funeral homes in Sterling Heights, MI, funeral directors will undoubtedly have to be prepared to make adjustments for and adapt to them. Millennials (born between 1983 and 2000) are a generation that perplexes every other generation before and after them.

Produced by overprotective parents and an educational/social system that lavished praise on them for just existing and made sure that the road was smooth, with no failures and no bumps, every step of the way, Millennials can be challenging to deal with in just about every area of life.

Funeral homes are now dealing with that challenge. To meet that challenge, funeral home directors need to know what makes Millennials tick.

Millennials have grown up in a world surrounded by technology. Before they were teething, they were playing computer and video games. Technology is at the core of how they defined themselves.

Because of technology being a part of their lives from the beginning, Millennials are going to demand that funeral homes have the technology to handle modern funerals. This means having the ability to livestream funerals, the ability to handle social media, advanced image manipulation, and to make it all smartphone or tablet-friendly.

Funeral homes need to be prepared for Millennials to tell them how to use technology and how Millennials can do it faster, better, and more efficiently. Millennials see most things – and traditions – as being outdated and old school, and they will not be afraid to tell you that.

It may come across as offensive, but funeral homes need to wade through what is actually offensive (Millennials, in general, tend to treat anyone older than they are with disdain, and as ignorant relics who couldn’t possibly know anything) to listen for what is relevant.

There are many ways that technology can benefit funeral homes and enable them to provide even more services to bereaved families who are planning the funerals of their loved ones. Incorporating these can mean that families can share their loved ones’ services with people throughout the world and they can create a virtual experience to remember.

Some Millennials are more environmentally conscience and they will want final disposition options that embrace that. They are more likely to opt for green burials and non-fossil fuel cremations.

While traditional burials usually include embalming, caskets, and casket vaults, green burials are designed to let the body decompose naturally, reducing the environment impact on the Earth. Millennials who favor green burials may want biodegradable burial containers and burial in “green” cemeteries.

Instead of traditional cremations, which uses heat to cremate the body, Millennials may choose an alternate form of cremation like alkaline hydrolysis (also known as water cremation). Although alkaline hydrolysis is a process that has been patented since 1888, it has not emerged as a preferred choice for final disposition until the last decade or so.

online researchWith alkaline hydrolysis, the deceased’s body is decomposed using a mixture of water (95%) and sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide (5%). While the time to break down the body takes longer, the carbon footprint of the process is about 1/10 of that of regular cremation, which makes it attractive to some Millennials.

Millennials will also want more personalization with their funerals. This generation is used to be able to customize everything because their lives have been customized from the beginning. Funeral homes will need to be able to meet their customization demands – which may often change on a dime – to give them the funerals they desire.

For more information about Millennial expectations at funeral homes in Sterling Heights, MI, our compassionate and experienced staff at Lee-Ellena Funeral Home can help.

funeral homes in Macomb, MI

Communicating Sympathy

When you know people who are having funerals at funeral homes in Macomb, MI, one of the things that you need to do is communicate sympathy to them. Acknowledging someone else’s loss of a loved one is one of the kindest and most empathetic things we can do after someone dies.

However, many people may feel sympathetic, but they don’t find tangible ways to express it to the bereaved family. You would be surprised how few people take the time to explicitly give their condolences to grieving families as they deal with the death of their loved one.

That lack can often lead the bereaved family to feel very alone, to feel as if nobody cared about their loved one, and nobody cares about them. While feelings may not reflect reality, they certainly can form lasting impressions in the minds of the people who are experiencing them.

That’s why, no matter how inadequately you may feel about communicating your sympathy to them, you should make an effort to do it anyway.

You don’t have to get prosaic or elegant. A simple “I’m sorry for your loss” is more than enough. If you know the grieving family well or you knew their deceased loved one well, then a good way to communicate your sympathy to them is to include a fond memory or a comforting story with your message.

However, there are some things that you should absolutely not say when you are communicating sympathy. They include:

  • “They’re better off.”
  • “I know how you feel.”
  • “At least they’re not suffering anymore.”
  • “Now you can get back to your life.”
  • “You should be happy they are not sick anymore.”
  • “I’m surprised they made it this long.”
  • “It’s all for the best.”

These things indicate a lack of sensitivity about the bereaved family’s loss and a lack of understanding about death in general. It’s important to remember that you will never know exactly how anyone else really feels when someone they love dies. While you may have experienced a similar loss – a child, a parent, or a sibling – you reacted in your own unique way to that loss and the grieving family members will each react in their own unique ways to their loss.

If you want to empathize, two of the best phrases to use are “I can’t imagine how you must be feeling…” or “I can’t imagine what you’re going through…” because these acknowledge the uniqueness of loss and grieving from individual to individual.

What ways can you use to communicate sympathy?

If you’re a person who likes to talk on the phone, your first instinct when you hear the news of someone’s death is to pick up the phone to call one of their family members. Don’t. That last thing anyone who has just lost a loved one wants to do is talk on the phone.

Instead, you can sit down and write them a short note of sympathy (you do not have to go out and buy a card – if you wait, you may forget) and get it in the mail as quickly as possible.

You can also send flowers or plants with a short sympathy note attached to the family home. Plants are often a more thoughtful gift because they can be transplanted by the family, who will remember your kindness after their loss.

You can also communicate your sympathy by a short visit. Be sure to bring a little food and keep your visit short. Other people may be visiting at the same time, or there may be a steady stream of visitors in and out, which, while appreciated, can be very tiring.

For more information about communicating sympathy at funeral homes in Macomb, MI, our compassionate and experienced staff at Lee-Ellena Funeral Home can help.

funeral homes in Sterling Heights, MI

One Decision You Should Make Before You Die

One day your funeral will be among the funerals conducted at funeral homes in Sterling Heights, MI. You may not want to think about your death now but avoiding thinking about it doesn’t mean it won’t happen eventually. When you do die, what do you want to happen?

Planning for your death now lets you put all the details about your funeral in place so that your wishes are known and so that your loved ones are not burdened with having trying to figure out what you would have wanted while they are in the beginning phases of accepting and processing your death.

In planning for your death now, there are several things you need to consider about what happens after you die.

One thing you need to consider is whether you want to be buried underground or you want to be cremated. If you want to be buried underground, what cemetery or graveyard do you want to be buried in? Do you already have a funeral plot? Will you purchase or secure (family and church funeral plots are usually free, if there’s space, to members) one before you die or will your family have to do that after you die?

What kind of casket do you want to be buried in? The funeral home has many styles to choose from and the funeral director will be happy to go over the choices they have available. It’s important to remember, as well, that most cemeteries and graveyards now require vaults for casket burials. The burial vaults help stabilize the cemetery or graveyard grounds to withstand the weight of the heavy equipment required for digging graves and doing maintenance.

Do you want a funeral service or a graveside service? If you want a funeral service, what do you want included in it? Are there certain people that you want to participate in the service? Do you have a certain clergy member that you would like to officiate the service? Are there certain readings, scriptures, and songs that you would like played at your funeral service?

If you want a graveside service, what do you want it to include? Who should perform it?

If you’re a military veteran, do you want military honors at your funeral? The funeral home will coordinate this, but you should have your DD-214 included with your important papers because the funeral home will need a copy of that in order to coordinate military honors.

What kind of grave marker do you want? If you’re entitled to military honors, they will provide a gravestone or a grave market, but your family will be responsible for having it set at your grave.

If you want to be cremated, do you want a direct cremation (no services before you’re cremated) or an indirect cremations (services are held before you are cremated)?

If you want a funeral service before or a memorial service after your cremation, you should think about the details of the kind of service that you want.

What do you want done with your cremation remains? Many people would like to have a portion of their cremation remains scattered in a place that’s special or sentimental to them. The remaining cremation remains may be placed in an urn (the funeral home has many different styles to choose from) and either kept by your family or inurned in a columbarium niche that has a grave market or gravestone placed in front of it that identifies you.

For more information about planning funerals at funeral homes in Mount Sterling Heights,, MI, our compassionate and experienced staff at Lee-Ellena Funeral Home can help.

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.