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cemeteries in Huntersville, NC

Celebrations of Life

Many people choose to hold a celebration of life in order to celebrate their lost loved one’s life rather than mourn their loss. Therefore, many cemeteries in Huntersville, NC offer celebration of life services. Funerals are somber events, leaving many people feeling worse afterwards instead of better. Celebrations of life, on the other hand, are happier occasions in which people celebrate life. A celebration of life, as the name denotes a celebration, so guests should expect a joyful event.

These services are often more like parties than funerals, commemorating the deceased’s life. Funerals are generally more subdued events at which people speak in hushed tones and have subdued manners. Celebrations of life are usually more casual with the emphasis on the positives of the person’s life rather than the sadness of their passing.

Think of a celebration of life as a more upbeat memorial service. The choice to have a celebration of life instead of a funeral is usually at the behest of the deceased but can also be based on the bereaved’s personality. If you’re looking for inspiration for a celebration of life, you can:

  • ask friends and family to share their happy memories
  • have people bring photos and mementos
  • make a memory box or book and ask guests to write comments, memories, or leave mementos
  • make a playlist of the deceased’s favorite music or songs to play at the event
  • display some of the deceased’s prized possessions like collections, photos, or even clothing
  • encourage guests to share funny and happy memories as well as poignant ones.
  • play a video or slide show of photos and video clips of the deceased

Celebrations of life are most commonly held at someone’s home, a garden, park, or a rented venue, unlike funerals that are held at funeral homes and churches. However, many funeral homes are starting to offer celebration of life services. Similar to memorial services, these events are held after the cremation or burial, while some choose to hold them a year after the death as an anniversary commemoration. There really are no hard and fast rules about what celebrations of life should be.

cemeteries in Huntersville, NCThey can be whatever the bereaved and the deceased want them to be. Since celebrations of life are unlike funerals, they require different attire other than funerals. Generally, the bereaved ask celebration of life guests to wear more casual, bright or upbeat clothing to mark the happier tone of the occasion. Guests can also send flowers to bring color and life to the event, or to honor an aspect of the deceased’s life such as colors of a favorite sports team or an alma mater.

Gethsemane Cemetery and Memorial Garden is a Huntersville, NC cemetery with a range of services. We can help you plan a service for your lost loved one. Call or visit us today to learn more. No matter what you plan for your lost loved one’s celebration of life it should be positive and a chance to remember the best of the deceased’s life

cemetery in Charlotte, NC

Tips for Dividing Possessions

Beyond planning services at a cemetery in Charlotte, NC the bereaved are also responsible for coming up with a plan for the deceased’s possessions. Despite what many people may think, it isn’t the most valuable items that cause the most problems. It’s usually the smaller, more sentimental items that can lead to arguments and pain.

Organizing, going through, and dividing possessions is very difficult. It can be made easier when there is a clear will or an executor, but a lot of times there isn’t, and the family is left to do it all on their own. This can lead to a lot of tension. These tips can help you divide your loved one’s possessions with as little pain and tension as possible.

  1. Compromise – Remember, this is your family, and everyone is hurting after the loss. Try to act with empathy and come to compromises whenever possible.
  2. Get Appraisals – Some items might have significant monetary value, such as coins, jewelry, antiques, and other valuable things. Take the guesswork out and get a professional appraiser to determine the exact value of every item. Once the values are established, divide everything as evenly as possible making sure each person ends up with about the same monetary value amount. If there are items that no one wants, sell them, and divide the proceeds.
  3. Use Stickers – Give each family member stickers of a certain color and have them place stickers on items they want. Items with only one sticker can go to that person, but items with more than one sticker will have to be divided another way, like taking turns.
  4. Think Before You Donate – While donating unwanted items is generous and helpful, be careful not to donate too quickly. Really take your time and think about each item. While it might not be wanted now, it might end up being very important down the line.
  5. Take Turns – Take turns picking items and draw straws or use another method to determine the order. Think of it like a sports draft. It’s a fair way to make sure everyone gets a chance to choose something meaningful to them. It’s also an interesting and sort of special way to see which items mean the most to which people. You might have never known how much your sister valued Grandma’s cookie jar otherwise.cemetery in Charlotte, NC
  6. Make Copies – There are some items that can be shared thanks to modern technology. Make digital copies of old family photos, movies, and tapes and then distribute the files so everyone has their own copy. Digitizing these old memories is a good idea beyond dividing them evenly as it protects them for future generations to enjoy.
  7. Don’t Leave Anyone Out – Try to think of anyone that would appreciate a piece of the deceased’s life and memory. From aunts and uncles to long lost cousins, caregivers, friends, and neighbors, you’d be surprised at who would greatly appreciate a token to remember the deceased by.

Gethsemane Cemetery and Memorial Garden is here to help if you want more help or information about Charlotte, NC cemeteries or other death related tips.

cemetery in Matthews, NC

Sending Your Condolences After Cemetery Services

 

As many people want to reach out with condolences for friends, coworkers, or family members after hearing the news about them losing someone they love or after attending a service at a cemetery in Matthews, NC, condolence calls and sympathy cards are very important.

But it can be hard to know what to say to someone that is going through the loss of a loved one, especially when trying to craft a sentiment that both acknowledges the loss and provides comfort to the bereaved. These tips are here to help.

You can try sending a sympathy card in the mail. Sympathy cards are the most traditional method of communicating these sentiments to the bereaved in their time of grief, but it can be tricky to accurately convey feelings and ideas. You can try to offer help. Offering help to the bereaved is always well intentioned, especially since it can be hard for people to ask for help when they need it.

To make it easier for the bereaved to get the help that is specific for their needs, try not to write statements like, “Call me if you need anything.” Instead, trying to say “I’m going to go grocery shopping on ____, send me your list and I will be happy to get it for you” or “Here is a gift certificate. Please use this to____.”

You can also express empathy. You might have lost someone, too. And while comparing your loss to the bereaved’s might seem like a good idea, it may come across as you trying to make it about you. Instead of writing, “I know how you feel” or “I’ve lost a ___ too”, try writing, “I’m grieving with you” or “I miss ___ too”. Sometimes you can’t make the service and want to apologize. Listing the various reasons why you couldn’t make a funeral or service may just look like you’re making excuses. Rather than writing, “I didn’t make the funeral because ___” try focusing on how you will support them in the future by saying something like, “I’m so sorry I couldn’t make it. I’m bringing lunch for you on ___ if that works for you.”cemetery in Matthews, NC

You can try to give the bereaved a call to express your emotions and support for them in their time of loss. Expressing condolences can be a tricky thing, as it can be hard to know what to say. If you’re at a loss for words, you can try saying things like, “My thoughts are with you during this difficult time.”, “I’ll always remember how [name] would [insert story or characteristic here].”, “There are no words. Just know that I love you and will also miss [name].”, “[Name] was a great person. My sympathies to you and your family.”, “We are so sorry for your loss.”, or “No one can ever replace the remarkable person that your ____ was.”

Call or visit Gethsemane Cemetery and Memorial Garden today for more information on sympathy cards or if you would like to learn more about our Matthews, NC cemeteries.

cemetery tradition in Huntersville, NC

Death Scams to Avoid

Unfortunately, beyond planning a lost loved one’s service at a cemetery in Huntersville, NC the bereaved also have to be on the lookout for scams as there are plenty of unscrupulous people ready to take advantage pf the bereaved in their vulnerable state of grieving.

When you’re facing a loss, you need to be extra careful and alert for scams such as these. There are many death-related scams, but there are some that are more common than others. For example, there are IRS scams. Some scammers will call the bereaved claiming to be the IRS and stating that the deceased owed money on taxes. Sometimes the scammer will threaten the bereaved with legal action if they don’t pay. This scam can be avoided because the IRS will never demand payment or threaten legal action over the phone.

The IRS only communicates via written statements through the mail. You can follow up with the IRS to determine a call’s legitimacy. Sadly, scammers take advantage of the bereaved by claiming to be collection agencies after a debt that the deceased owed for a credit card or other kind of outstanding balance. The scammers will contact the bereaved by phone and will sometimes even take the time to send fake invoices addressed to the deceased indicating an overdue balance.

Always seek legal advice before paying an outstanding debt or balance as the bereaved might not be responsible for paying it after the death of a loved one. Sometimes the bereaved will receive a phone call or email saying that the deceased had a life insurance policy but he or she was behind on payments. The scammer will say that in order for the bereaved to get the insurance payout they will have to pay the overdue premium payments, and then the scammer will provide a wire transfer account or prepaid debit card for the bereaved to pay the “premium payments”.

You can avoid this scam as a real insurance company will never ask you to give payments or personal information over the phone. Some scammers will email or call the bereaved to say that the deceased’s Medicare insurance card needs to be updated and will ask the bereaved to provide the deceased’s birth date and social security number with the hope of stealing the deceased’s identity. But it’s important to keep in mind that the federal government will never attempt to get personal information over the phone, so any phone call asking about this info is a scam.cemetery in Huntersville, NC

It is important to remember that, in general, if anyone ever contacts you over the phone claiming that you or the deceased owes money always ask for the person’s name, firm, contact number, and address. If they are legitimate, they will be willing and able to provide this information. If not, they will usually hang up.

Gethsemane Cemetery and Memorial Garden is here to help with more information on avoiding these scams and Huntersville, NC cemeteries. Call or visit us today as you have to be ready for scammers after the death of a loved one

cemeteries in Charlotte, NC

Go Green with Burials

Lots of people are looking to make better choices when it comes to protecting the environment, and that’s why many cemeteries in Charlotte, NC offer green burials that aim to have less negative impact. But what is a green burial?

A green burial, sometimes referred to as a natural burial, is a kind of burial that seeks to have as little negative impact on the environment as possible. By choosing a green burial you are choosing to lessen your personal environmental impact, or carbon footprint. Other people might choose to do a green burial because they view it as a return to the traditional way of body disposition from back before the commercialization of the funeral industry. Still others choose green burials because they follow certain religious traditions. Judaism, for example, requires burial traditions that are in line with green burial practices. There are others that are beginning to worry about the impact humanity is having on the planet and are therefore looking into ways they can do their part to protect the environment

In order for a burial to be labeled green a burial must take the following into consideration: conservation of natural resources, protection of industry workers’ health, preservation of the environment. They help protect the environment, industry workers, and natural resources with things like green cemeteries. There are green cemeteries, sometimes called natural burial grounds, that require all bodies be buried in green caskets or burial shrouds. They have these policies in place to help maintain the surrounding natural habitat and landscape, protect local groundwater, and maintain a safe environment for local plants and animals.

Conventional cemeteries, on the other hand, often use herbicides to maintain the landscaping, outer burial containers that prevent natural decomposition, and allow embalmed bodies to be buried. Green burials also don’t have embalming. Embalming is when a body is partially preserved using harsh chemicals. Embalming is harmful for both the planet and industry workers. Embalming fluid contains known carcinogens, making it unsafe for the industry workers that are frequently exposed to it. These chemicals can also harm fragile ecosystems when buried in the ground. Green caskets, unlike conventional caskets, are made from sustainably sourced materials used in sustainable production methods. Also, green caskets are completely biodegradable, meaning that they will decompose fully and won’t add toxins to the surrounding soil as they decompose. Conventional caskets, on the other hand, usually take a very long time to decompose if they decompose at all.cemeteries in Charlotte, NC

Plus, many are made with potentially toxic materials and chemicals that can hard the surrounding soil. There are also green casket companies that are considered “fair trade”, meaning the people making the caskets are employed in safe environments and receive a fair wage for their work.

Gethsemane Cemetery and Memorial Garden is a Charlotte, NC cemetery with the experience to help you in your bereavement. Stop by or visit us today to learn more about green burials and what we can do for you in your time of loss.

cemetery in Matthews, NC

Who Do I Call After a Death?

There is a lot to do after someone dies, including planning a funeral at a cemetery in Matthews, NC. This to-do list also includes notifying organizations, people and businesses of the death, as credit cards, utilities, government programs and other institutions needs to know when someone dies. Use this list to help make sure you don’t miss any important institutions or people when notifying after a death:

  • Employer – Contact the deceased’s employer to notify them of the death and to learn about any applicable death benefits, retirement funds, or life insurance. Have a copy of the death certificate ready when you call.
  • Taxes – Death doesn’t mean the deceased doesn’t have to pay taxes for that year. A survivor will have to file the deceased’s taxes or will have to hire an accountant to do it for them.
  • Credit Reporting Agencies – These agencies are usually notified of a death by the estate executor or the Social Security Administration. It’s important that credit reporting agencies are notified so they can put a lock on the deceased’s credit report file in order to prevent someone from using it fraudulently.
  • Insurance – Notify all the insurance companies with which the deceased had policies. Each company will have specific steps you will need to follow.
  • Loans and Credit Cards – The Credit Card Act of 2009 mandates that all credit card companies respond to final bill requests in a timely manner and prohibits them from charging late fees during the processing time. Pay back loans from the deceased’s estate.
  • Retirement Fund or Pension – Be ready with the deceased’s Social Security number, identification number, date of birth and date of death, along with a death certificate when you call to notify the fund. Don’t forget to ask if a surviving spouse is eligible for continued benefits.
  • Medicare and Medicaid – Similar to the SSA, these organizations will be notified automatically.
  • Social Security Administration – Luckily, Social Security will be notified automatically when you file the death certificate.
  • Banks – Most banks will need a copy of the death certificate to close accounts. However, it takes a lot longer than you would think to close bank accounts after a death, so don’t rely on money from a closed account to pay for a funeral or cremation.cemetery in Matthews, NC
  • Utilities and Bills – Don’t forget to cancel all utilities and bills. Cancel or change the name on all utility accounts, depending on if the deceased lived alone or not. Call the electricity, gas, telephone, and internet providers to make the necessary account changes. You will need a death certificate as proof. Be sure to cancel subscriptions like gym, magazines, clubs, online content, and others as well. This is especially true if the subscription payments are paid automatically every month as you don’t want the deceased’s bank account to be overdrawn.

Gethsemane Cemetery and Memorial Garden can offer more information on our Matthews, NC cemetery services and more. Call today to learn more about what we can do for you.

cemetery in Huntersville, NC

Getting Through the Death of a Child

The death of a child is traumatic and life changing. How are you supposed to get through your daily activities, much less plan a service at a cemetery in Huntersville, NC after losing a child?

These tips are practical suggestions that can help you through your time of loss after the passing of your child.

  • Gather Keepsakes for Memories – Physical keepsakes are some of the best ways to remember a child after he or she passes. Gather keepsakes like blankets, toys, clothing, footprint or handprint sets, and hospital bracelets. You don’t have to hold them or display them if it’s too painful right away but do put them away in a box so you can have them later on when the pain of loss isn’t as fresh.
  • Plan Rituals – Rituals like cremations, memorials and funerals go a long way toward helping you say goodbye in a healthy way. They also help you express your grief in a healthy way. Don’t shy away from planning and hosting a service for your lost child, but also don’t feel rushed into planning one right away. You can always hold a memorial after some time has passed and you’re more settled.
  • Seeing and Holding Your Child – Many parents that lose a child via miscarriage or stillbirth are given the option to see and hold their baby before he or she is prepared for burial or cremation. This is completely up to you. Many people find it a good way to say goodbye and have a bit of closure, while others find it simply too painful. If you decide to see and hold your baby, spend as much time as you need with your baby. If you decide not to see your child, that’s perfectly OK.
  • Allow Mourning – No matter what the circumstances of your child’s death, you will need to share in your grief with someone else. Whether you share with a spouse, family member or friend, you need to take time to mourn and grieve in your own way with the help of a loved one.
  • Expect the Unexpected – Any loss can have a large effect on your mind and body alike, so be prepared for a wide range of physical and emotional responses after the loss of a child. You might feel confused, afraid, guilty, disorganized, and angry, even all at the same time. Don’t be surprised if you suddenly experience surges of grief, even at the most unexpected times. This is all normal and healthy after a loss.cemetery in Huntersville, NC
  • Take Your Time with Big Decisions – Take your time making any big decisions or choices as your grief might lead to you make choices you normally wouldn’t or might cause additional confusion and stress. If you have to make some big choices, like planning a cremation or dealing with something at work, try and talk over your options and decision with a trusted friend, family member or your spouse.

Hopefully these six tips can provide some relief in the face of your tremendous loss. Gethsemane Cemetery and Memorial Garden is here for you if you want to learn more about loss or Huntersville, NC cemeteries.

cemeteries in Charlotte, NC

What Do You Do After Losing a Spouse?

When you get married, you’re signing on for a partner for life. But sadly, death often gets in the way of this plan making the death of a spouse traumatic and stressful. From dealing with the emotional fallout to planning a service at a funeral home in Charlotte, NC, the stress of losing your spouse can have a severe impact on your emotional and physical health.

That’s where these tips come in. They can help you deal with the loss of a spouse in a healthy and healing-driving manner:

  1. Memorialize – Remembering and memorializing a lost loved one, and especially a spouse, can go a long way towards healing as it allows you to reflect on the good memories, love and happiness in a healthy way. You can make a memorial with a cremation urn, photographs, or custom art.
  2. Avoid Major Decisions – Grief can cloud judgement or lead you to rash decisions. Try to avoid making major decisions after losing a spouse as you might not be thinking clearly after the loss. Put off decisions regarding moving or quitting a job till later, as any decision you make will be clouded by the loss of your spouse and might not be the best choice in the long run.
  3. Take Care of Yourself – Grief can have both physical and psychological symptoms. You may feel exhausted or in pain after losing a spouse or may find it difficult to think clearly or process your emotions. Many people try to numb themselves to deal with the pain of loss by turning to drugs or alcohol. This is unhealthy in the long run. Instead, take care of yourself by eating right, exercising, sleeping, and talking to a therapist if you so choose.
  4. Acknowledge the Loss – It’s easy to allow yourself to get lost in the planning and details of a death, like planning a cremation service, and not allow yourself to feel your emotions. However, it’s important to take time to acknowledge the loss and let yourself begin to process it. Letting yourself mourn and deal with the fact that your life has changed is the healthiest way to proceed.Charlotte, NC cemeteries
  5. Make a Plan for Personal Belongings – Take as much time as you need before taking this step but do make a plan for your spouse’s personal belongings at some point in your grieving process. It’s important to move on in the way that’s right for you, so do whatever feels right to you, whether it’s putting the items into storage, donating them to a charity, selling them, or leaving them where they are.

Dealing with the death of a spouse will never be easy, but these tips may help ease your process in small ways. Gethsemane Cemetery and Memorial Garden is here to help with or range of services. We are here to help if you would like to learn more about dealing with a loss or your options for Charlotte, NC cemeteries. Stop by and visit us today or give us a call for more information.

cemetery in Matthews, NC

Tips for Talking to Your Kids About Death

Losing a loved one is never easy, and everyone handles these losses in different ways including children. Its particularly difficult to know how a child will handle a death and a visit to a cemetery in Matthews, NC.

Many parents and guardians struggle with what to say and how to speak to children about death. These tips are here to help. To begin, you have to keep in mind that every child is different and will deal with grief in a different way. Be prepared that just because one kid was more open to communicate another kid may not be the same, and keep these tips in mind:

  1. Talk About the Future – The child will most likely have questions about how this loss will affect the future. Be reassuring but honest about changes, like how holidays will be a bit different but still fun.
  2. Prepare for the Funeral or Service – Be sure to spend time discussing what the funeral service will be like. Your child might have questions about the burial or cremation, so be prepared to answer them. You should also discuss funeral etiquette and the exact plan for the day of the service.
  3. Be Honest – Kids are smarter than they seem, especially when it comes to emotions. Be honest with the child about how you’re feeling and let him know that he can express his feelings honesty, too.
  4. Be Prepared for a Variety of Reactions – Every kid reacts differently to loss and death, so be prepared for a variety of reactions. This is especially true if this is the first time the child will have lost someone close to him. Let the child deal with the loss in his own way and be prepared to support him however he needs.
  5. Focus on Understanding – Focus the conversation on what death and loss means to make sure the child understands what has happened. Let him know what death is so that he is not left confused or with questions.
  6. Grieve Together – Don’t be afraid to express your emotions in front of the child. Crying together is a good way to move forward and heal.

You can also help your child manage and understand his grief through various activities. There are lots of activities to try, from one to get him talking about his feelings or one to have him create something to keep memories of the deceased.

cemetery in Matthews, NCFor example, you can try creating a memory box. Help the child make a special box in which he can keep keepsakes that remind him of the deceased. For younger children you can build the box and help them decorate it, while older children might be able to build the box themselves. You can also try a feeling matching game in which the child connects his feelings with positive actions in order to help him work through what he’s feeling.

Gethsemane Cemetery and Memorial Garden is here to help if you want to learn more about dealing with loss or Matthews, NC cemeteries. Stop by and visit us or give us a call today for more information on what we can do for you in your time of loss.

Huntersville, NC cemeteries

Caskets and Coffins for Cemeteries

Many people researching cemeteries in Huntersville, NC want to know the differences, if any, between caskets and coffins. If you’ve watched a movie or a TV show, you’ve probably heard the term “coffin.” But what about “caskets”?

What is a coffin? What is a casket? Are there any differences between the two? If you’re asking these questions, you’re not alone. The main differences begin in the details. Both coffins and caskets are burial containers used to hold remains of a deceased person for a funeral, wake, visitation and final disposition.

In the United States most people use the more modern casket, but the choice between the two is ultimately the family’s or the deceased’s depending on final wishes and plans. Coffins also do not have hinged lids. Instead, they have removable lids that must be fully lifted. Unlike caskets, coffins have six sides and are wider on the top than on the bottom. This tapered design was chosen to match the shape of the body as shoulders are wider than feet.

The vast majority of coffins are made out of wood and are also finished with cloth interior linings, but they do not have exterior handles for carrying. In fact, any additional decoration or handles are not considered part of the coffin but are instead called “coffin furniture.” Traditionally coffin furniture is used to display the deceased’s wealth or status. The other big difference between caskets and coffins is price. Caskets are generally more expensive as they have more decoration and use more elaborate materials.

Coffins, on the other hand, require less material as the tapered shape uses less wood and thus lowers the overall price. A casket is a special box made to hold the remains of a deceased person. These boxes are made in rectangular shapes with four sides and hinged lids. Caskets also usually have handles that make them easier to life and move and can be used for both cremations and burials depending on the material. Caskets can be made from a variety of materials, but the two most common are wood and metal. The average metal casket is made from stainless steel and the average wood from mahogany or oak. Most caskets are finished with soft interior linings to give the deceased a comfortable place to rest. It is important to note that it may be hard to find a coffin manufacturer as they are not in style and not as popular.  

At the end of the day, the differences between caskets and coffins don’t matter even though they are very similar.

Gethsemane Cemetery and Memorial Garden is a Huntersville, NC cemetery with the experience necessary to offer you additional information on caskets, coffins and other funeral services to help you plan a service that will honor and remember your lost loved one. Call today to learn more about what we can do for you in your time of loss. We are proud to be able to help you in any way we can.