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cemeteries in Matthews, NC

Should You Bring Children to Services at Cemeteries?

Every parent’s first instinct is to keep their children from harm, which often means keeping children out of services at cemeteries in Matthews, NC. Even adults don’t want to deal with death, so protecting your child from death seems to make a lot of sense! However, in many cases, keeping a kid from attending a funeral could actually do more harm than good.

The memorialization process is very important for mourning and dealing with grief in a healthy and constructive way. This is true for kids just as it is true for adults. Children who don’t get the chance to say goodbye to a loved one at a funeral might feel resentment that they missed out, might not get the closure they need to heal and grieve in a healthy way, and might even develop untrue and scary scenarios in their minds about death because they weren’t exposed to the truth. In fact, experts say that children should have a say in the matter of whether or not they should attend a funeral.

Go into as much detail as you feel necessary, especially when it comes to the step-by-step description of the event to dispel any anxiety or untrue ideas your child may have about memorial services, funerals, and death. If he has questions, do your best to answer thoroughly but simply, sticking to the basics and remaining honest. If your child chooses to go to the memorial service or funeral, take care to explain that he isn’t expected to feel any certain way. Some people at the event might be crying or very sad, and that’s OK. He can cry or be sad, or express however he’s feeling in a respectful way. Also, be sure to avoid using euphemisms about death. “Grandpa passed away” or “Grandpa is sleeping” are very confusing and untrue. Make it clear that death is permanent, but it doesn’t have to be scary.

cemeteries in Matthews, NCAsk your child if he wants to go to the memorial service and make every effort to respect his choice. In order to make sure his choice is informed, give him plenty of information about what he will see and experience at the event. Talk about memorial or funeral details like who will be there; what will happen throughout the day and the funeral itself, from eating and drinking to sitting still during the service; where the funeral will take place, and even why memorial services happen in the first place.

Finally, let your child participate as much or as little as he wants, whether that means sitting quietly during the service, choosing photos for a memorial collage, coloring a picture to put up as decoration, or lighting a candle during the service. Don’t forget to follow-up with your child after the funeral or memorial service to see if he has any questions.

Gethsemane Cemetery and Memorial Garden is here to help if you want to learn more about Matthews, NC cemeteries or getting through a time of loss. Call or visit us today.

cemeteries in Matthews, NC

Planning Services at Cemeteries

Traditions surrounding death, grieving, and cemeteries in Matthews, NC are changing. This change is good as it allows for ultimate personalization for celebrating the life of the deceased.

These days, there are almost no rules when it comes to planning a memorial or funeral services. This lack of guidelines, while good for personalization, can make planning tough. Where do you start? Begin with location. The traditional funeral home or church isn’t necessary the only choice for a memorial anymore. You can also choose to have a service in a park, on a beach, at a home, in a museum, or almost any other place that holds significance to you, the deceased, and the rest of the bereaved.

You can also personalize parts, if not all, of a lost loved one’s memorial. You can really have fun with this part of the planning. Readings, poems, prayers and even music can be easily combined with a service, as can any other aspect of the deceased’s life and personality. For example, if the deceased loved jazz music, you can hire a jazz band to play at the reception or play jazz music during the service. Don’t forget to also include personal memorabilia like photos, videos, and beloved objects. Also think about the master of ceremonies. Sometimes families don’t want a religious service led by a pastor or clergy member. In these cases, they may want to hire a celebrant.

Celebrants are licensed masters of ceremony that work with the bereaved to customize memorial services in fresh and unique ways. Most funeral homes and cremation providers can offer lists of recommended local celebrants. What about final disposition? Burials used to be the default, but not anymore. There are tons of options these days from cremation services and body donation to entombment and more. Another new trend is asking for people to send donations “in lieu of flowers”. You can ask guests to make contributions to a cause the deceased believed in as a good way to carry on his or her memory. Flowers are a traditional part of memorials and funerals, and probably aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

cemeteries in Matthews, NCThey can transform any room into a comforting and welcoming space perfect for grieving a loss and celebrating a life. Consider getting personalized floral displays or arrangements for even more flair. There is a new tradition of giving small gifts, like party favors, to memorial guests. These gifts are a nice way to help them keep the deceased in their minds and hearts long after the service is over. Feel free to get creative, like making recipe cards with the deceased’s favorite dishes.

Planning a funeral or memorial service is very personal, so these ideas are just to get you started. If you want more ideas or help planning a funeral or service at a Matthews, NC cemetery, Gethsemane Cemetery and Memorial Garden is here to help.

Huntersville, NC cemeteries

Pre-Need and At-Need Planning

You might have heard the phrases, “at-need services” and “pre-need services” when discussing funerals, cremations, and cemeteries in Huntersville, NC. However, there is a good chance that, like many others, you don’t really know what they mean. Keep reading to find out.

To begin, both “at-need” and “pre-need” describe when services are offered. At-need funeral or cremation services are offered to families “at the time of need.” In other words, at-need services are for after a death has already occurred. Pre-need funeral or cremation services are offered to individuals who are planning ahead or are making funeral or cremation planning decisions prior to their passing.

At-need funeral services are used in two situations: in the event of a sudden, unexpected death or when a family or individual has decided to wait until the time of death to make funeral plans. In both situations the deceased and the bereaved have not made plans in advance of the death. At-need services are also not selected by the deceased, but instead by the surviving next of kin or family members of the deceased. Pre-need services are selected by an individual before their time of death. Sometimes people choose to preplan far in advance when they are making plans for their will or estate, but in other cases people can preplan closer to their time of death.

While both at-needs and pre-needs cremation services can have benefits and negatives, and sometimes at-needs services are unavoidable if the death was unexpected, many argue that pre-needs services are much better. There are many reasons why pre-need planning is good, such as helping you uphold your self-reliance.

Taking charge of your funeral or memorial service allows you to maintain control and independence when you might otherwise lose them. This is good for your mental health at the end of your life and gives you more self-reliance. Funeral and memorial services are an important part of the grieving process, but your loved ones might miss out on the important benefits if they are too busy planning the event. Preplan so they don’t have to. Make sure you get the exact funeral or cremation you want by taking care of the details and clearly laying them out for your friends and family.

cemeteries in Huntersville, NCThis way they won’t be able to argue or disagree. You can also plan for how to cover the funeral or cremation costs in advance to make it easier for your family’s bank accounts and stress levels. Look into cremation insurance or funeral trusts to help ensure financial ease. Finally, they help with lessening your family’s load. Let your family know exactly what you want for your cremation so they don’t have to guess what to do after you’re gone, or spend time making painful decisions when they should be grieving with loved ones.

If you want to learn more about Huntersville, NC cemeteries or at-need and pre-need planning, just get in touch with Gethsemane Cemetery and Memorial Garden. Please stop by and visit us or give us a call today.

cemeteries in Charlotte, NC

All About Body Donation Before a Burial

Organ and tissue donation give the gift of life, sight, and health every single day, and make excellent precursors to burials at cemeteries in Charlotte, NC. According to national statistics, about 115,000 people in the United States are waiting for a life-saving transplant right now, and about 20 people die every day while waiting for an organ. Plus, there are countless other diseases, infections and conditions that kill because we don’t know enough about how to treat or cure them.

Depending on your preferences, needs and specific circumstances, you can choose to donate your whole body or your organs and tissues, as body donations can be used for both science and life-giving organ donations. Organ and tissue donation focus on recovering specific tissues and organs for the purpose of gifting them to people waiting on transplant lists. One organ donor can save up to eight people and one tissue donor can save up to 50 people.

Organ and tissue donation don’t prevent the bereaved from having a cremation or funeral after the donation, though the exact cause and circumstances of the death and organ donation might impact the timing of any funeral or cremation service arrangements. The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) is in charge of organizing and distributing organs and tissues across the United States. Donated tissues and organs are removed from the original body by surgeons and then given to the new body.

If you would like to register as an organ and/or tissue donor you need to contact your state UNOS outpost or associated institution online or by the phone. Many registries require the donation of many kinds of organs from eyes and tissues to hearts, lungs and more. You can choose to be both an organ and tissue donor and a whole-body donor. If you choose this route, any needed organs and tissues will be removed and then the body will be sent to a chosen institution.

Whole body donation is when the entire body is donated to be used in medical training, scientific research, or mortuary science training. While not as outwardly glamorous or heroic as donating organs or tissue to a dying person, whole body donation still saves likes as it helps medical students learn more about anatomy and disease and provides researchers with the opportunity to explore medical conditions and diseases.

Both of these can lead to thousands of saved lives in the future as they help educate the future leaders of medicine and determine how diseases and conditions can be treated or cured.

Charlotte, NC cemeteriesIt’s important to make arrangements with an institute in advance in order to donate your whole body to medical or mortuary science. There are barely any out-of-pocket costs associated with whole body donation, and, oftentimes, your remains will be returned to our family once they are no longer needed. Generally, the remains are cremated at the institution and then the ashes are sent back to the family for final disposition.

Gethsemane Cemetery and Memorial Garden is here to help if you want to learn more about donation or Charlotte, NC cemeteries.

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

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.

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.

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.

cemeteries in Charlotte, NC

Who Will Arrange Your Service at a Cemetery?

Everyone has a right to choose their final wishes for once they’re gone, and these choices include who gets to plan and make important decisions. According to tradition, it is the next of kin that makes arrangements for services at cemeteries in Charlotte, NC. However, sometimes people wish to designate other people besides their next of kin to be in charge of their funeral planning after they’re gone, and that’s OK. Whether you want to designate a close friend, an estate executor, or even one of your children, it is possible to choose who arranges your funeral service.

But how do you designate other people besides the next of kin? According to state law, all instructions for last wishes must meet certain requirements in order for them to considered legal and binding. These requirements include:

  • Signature of the decedent
  • Acknowledgement of the decedent signature, meaning getting the document notarized
  • Signature of the agent or successor agreeing to act as the decedent’s agent after death

Any modifications to a document must be in writing and also notarized in to make them valid. While these requirements seem like a lot, its actually easier than you think to meet them as many states have specific forms for people to leave final instructions and to designate someone other than their next of kind to make final arrangements. However, it’s important to remember that these forms do not trump or replace a Power of Attorney or a legal will, as they are only there to provide end of life instructions. Again, any and all written instructions, from a Power of Attorney to an end-of-life form, must be signed by both parties before the death.

There are a few other important next of kin topics. Start with these tips, and follow up with an attorney for more information and guidance:

  1. Make and Distribute Copies – Don’t just fill out the forms and forget about them. Make and give out copies to important people like those named in the document or caregivers.
  2. Be Specific – Be specific in your end-of-life instructions. Include information such as the type of disposition you want as clearly as possible.
  3. Do Your Own Research – Understanding how your state handles end of life arrangements and associated legal matters is very important. Do some research of your own to make sure you understand.
  4. Non-Traditional Relationships – Nontraditional relationships, like common law marriages, same sex relationships, or even families with lots of children often require additional steps and paperwork. Do research if you think this applies to your situation to make sure you’re covered.Charlotte, NC cemeteries

Finally, it’s always a good idea to consult an attorney before making any official plans as they can best advise you on how to proceed.

You have every right to designate whomever you want to arrange your funeral service, but be sure to do it correctly to make sure your wishes are followed. Gethsemane Cemetery and Memorial Garden is here to help if you want more information on end-of-life arrangements or Charlotte, NC cemeteries. You can stop by and visit us or call us today to learn more about what we can do for you in your time of loss.

cemetery in Matthews, NC

Body Identification After Cremation

Whether they bury the remains at a cemetery in Matthews, NC or keep them in an urn, one of the main concerns the bereaved have with cremation is how their loved one’s remains will be identified throughout the cremation process. These concerns are understandable, as it is a very sensitive subject with a lot of tension.

Also, many people hear false horror stories of families being returned the wrong cremains, or just being given bags of wood ash or even of sand. These rumors lead to a lot of concern over the cremation identification process. However, there is no reason for these concerns as all licensed cremation providers have thorough and effective identification procedures in place to ensure accuracy and dignity.

Most licensed cremation providers are more than happy to walk clients through their individual identification process. Don’t be ashamed to ask for these details, as most cremation businesses understand these concerns and are happy to help alleviate them. It’s important for you to be 100% comfortable with your provider and their practices. It can be difficult to ask questions surrounding such delicate and potentially painful topics. If you’re unsure of what to ask surrounding identification during the cremation process, try these questions such as “How are the deceased identified?”, “How does this process change if I am not there when he or she passes?” or “How can I be sure my loved one is the one you are cremating?” You can also ask, “How can I be sure of this if I choose a cremation without a viewing?” or “In what ways do you certify that the ashes I am returned are those of my loved one?”

If the cremation provider is unable or unwilling to answer questions such as these, consider taking your business elsewhere. It’s vital that you feel comfortable with the cremation process. The majority of crematories are obligated by law to carry out two different identification processes to ensure the deceased are correctly identified based on the name provided by the authorized agent or the bereaved. First, the deceased’s name, as provided by the bereaved or authorized agent, will be clearly listed on the cremation container. Second, a metal bracelet, disk or other token will be placed in the container with the deceased. This metal tag will not be broken down during the cremation process and will remain with the cremated ashes to further ensure identification.cemetery in Matthews, NC

You can always ask for additional identification steps. For example, you can ask for a detailed explanation of the cremation process in writing, have the cremation provider do a comparison of the deceased to a current photo of your loved one before the cremation begins, ask the cremation provider to do a final identification check based on a listed unique detail like a tattoo or birth mark.

If you would like to learn more about the body identification process or Matthews, NC cemeteries, Gethsemane Cemetery and Memorial Garden is here to help. Stop by and visit us or give us a call today.