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cemeteries in Charlotte, NC

The Power of Rituals

Services at cemeteries in Charlotte, NC and, in fact, the entire funeral service industry are built on traditions. Most of these traditions originated in religion, be it Judaism, Christianity, or another belief system. But with religion on a downslide, what will take the place of these traditions? How can those suffering from a loss find richness and meaning in death?

Rituals might be the answer. A ritual is defined “a repeated pattern of behavior performed at specified times”, and it often includes the use of symbols, rites, and actions.” Rituals have long been used in both religious and general cultural situations. Take, for example, Día De Los Muertos, visiting a lost loved one at a cemetery, or performing Last Rites on someone who is dying. All of these rituals fit the definition, but they also offer lots of benefits for those that perform them.

Rituals are powerful because they offer a wide range of benefits. Specifically, they give us space to process a loss. In a grief study performed by Harvard University, researched discovered that it wasn’t just traditional rituals that helped people going through a loss. They also learned that personal rituals played a large role in helping with grief. These personal rituals might seem useless or silly to the outside word, but to the mourner they had immense meaning and healing power. Little acts from washing a car to going for a walk have the bereaved space to emotionally process the loss.

Though they reported feeling sad during the ritual itself, they mostly reported feeling better and lighter afterwards. Rituals give us a feeling of control. We don’t have much control over life or death, but rituals help us feel like we have control, which can go a long way towards comforting us. In that same Harvard study, the participants that performed a ritual reported feeling that “things were in check’ and less likely to feel ‘helpless’, ‘powerless’, and ‘out of control’.”

cemeteries in Charlotte, NCRituals also bring people together. As said by expert Tracey Wallace from Eterneva, “Mourning rituals and ceremonies are meant to bring people together, to take the hands of those mourning the loss and lead them astray from isolation”.  People often feel along after losing a loved one, but rituals can help them feel connected to other people and part of a community. As The Conversation wrote, “Using familiar words and actions in an unfamiliar situation can help us find our way through it”. During a grief study done by Harvard, the scientists discovered that people who experienced little or no grief symptoms within one month of losing someone they loved all performed rituals. The experts believe that the rituals helped with the grief symptoms because they gave the bereaved a chance to mourn the loss, celebrate the life, and process their grief.

Rituals have incredible power for healing after a loss. We are here to help if you want to learn more about common rituals or Charlotte, NC cemeteries. Call or visit us today for more information.

cemeteries in Charlotte, NC

What About Wills?

There are different kinds of wills just like there are different kinds of cemeteries in Charlotte, NC Do you know which kind of will is best for you and your needs?

  1. Online Platforms – There are several online platforms that help you create your own official will. These platforms, like Willful, allow you to tailor your will to your exact needs while still maintaining your status as official and legally recognized. These platforms are a good idea if you have a simple estate and won’t need any legal advice, or if you want to get started early on your will and come back to edit it later on in life. These platforms do charge for their services, but most include free will updates in the initial cost.
  2. Holographic Will – A holographic will is simply a handwritten will that you sign and date. These wills are not witnessed. While this may seem like a simple and cost-effective option, a holographic will can present a few issues. For example, these kinds of wills aren’t officially recognized in many states. Plus, as many people don’t have legal backgrounds, these wills might be missing important will components and legal language. However, holographic wills are better than no will at all.
  3. Will Kits – Similar to online platforms, will kit are fill-in-the-blank documents that allow you to fill in information about your estate to create a simple will. These documents are one-size-fits-all and don’t offer much space to customize or personalize your will, so they probably aren’t a good solution if you have a complex estate or specific needs. Also, you will have to purchase a new will kit every time you need to make changes because you get married, have children, get a divorce, or any other big life event.
  4. Lawyer Drafted – The best kind of will is one that’s made with the help of a lawyer. Hiring a lawyer to handle your will is best because it means the document will not only be official but will also be customized to fit your specific needs. Making a will with a lawyer is also best if you have a complex estate, like if you have assets in multiple countries, a child with a disability, or are separated but not divorced. It’s important to note that hiring a lawyer to draft your will can get pricey – with many lawyers charging over $800 for a basic will service. However, in the long run, the money might be worth it to know that your affairs will be properly handled after you’re gone.cemeteries in Charlotte, NC

No matter which kind of will you want, be sure to choose one. Unfortunately, many people pass away without leaving a will. If this happens, the government will use its estate laws to handle your estate and will appoint its own executor to take care of the details. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, most people prefer to have control over their own affairs rather than leave things to the state.

Do you want more information on wills or Charlotte, NC cemeteries? Gethsemane Cemetery and Memorial Gardens are here to help.

Huntersville, NC cemeteries

Deaths Overseas

Most people do have some arrangements preplanned for service at cemeteries in Huntersville, NC for themselves or their loved ones. It’s a good idea to plan, but almost no one plans on having to deal with a death or bringing a body home. The process of bringing a body home, called body repatriation, can take a long time and a mountain of paperwork, so it’s best to get started as soon as you can. Move quickly and efficiently to make sure that you stay on top of all that needs to be done.

If you lose a loved one while they’re traveling, the stress of that death is usually compounded by the question: “what do I do now?” Generally, the local embassy of the country where the person died will contact the United States State Department, who will in turn notify the appropriate next of kin. That’s when it’s time to get moving with an executed and signed Next-of-kin Affidavit and a Letter of Instruction that details your wishes for the body’s repatriation.

There are some instances in which confirmation of the deceased is tricky, so the next-of-kin may be asked to provide dental or medical records to assist with confirming the identification of the body. The exact process of body repatriation can differ slightly from country to country, but it’s important that you follow the laws of the country where the death occurred. There are generally three different methods of body repatriation.

The first is Local Cremation and Return of Cremains. Cremation is usually available in most countries. However, cremation might be more costly or less available in countries that are predominately Muslim or Catholic. You can also choose Local Burial. Local burial is possible if the country in which the death occurred allows for burial of foreign nationals. The local embassy will generally make burial arrangements and send the next-of-kin the details.

There is also Preparation and Return of an Embalmed Body. In this method the body is embalmed at a funeral home in the country where the death occurred and then returned to the USA. Sometimes the embalming standards of the local country are not at the same level as American embalming, so a viewing of the body will not be advisable. Keep in mind that the next-of-kin will be responsible for all body repatriation costs as the US government does not have funds set aside for these instances. Embalming prior to repatriation is the most expensive, with local cremation and local burial coming behind. Also, it’s important to note that there might be extensive delays in body repatriation if the deceased was a victim of a crime as the local police will need to investigate.

cemeteries in Huntersville, NC

If your family is put in the unfortunate situation of losing a loved one overseas, you need a provider you can count on. Gethsemane Cemetery and Memorial Gardens offers Huntersville, NC cemetery services with the compassion and expertise needed to help you through this difficult time. Call or visit us today to learn more about what we can do for you.

cemetery in Charlotte, NC

POAs, Executors and Guardians

Do you know what executors, guardians and people holding powers of attorney are? Or what they have to do with planning a memorial or a service at a cemetery in Charlotte, NC? If you don’t, its ok. You’re not alone. Many people are confused about what these different things are and what they have to do with end-of-life planning.

Executors, guardians, and people holding powers of attorney (POA) are similar in many ways, but they all have unique roles to play when it comes to planning cremation services, funerals and other death-related matters.

To begin, a Power of Attorney is not a person. A POA is a legal document in which one person, the principal, gives another person, the attorney-in-fact, the power to act on their behalf in financial and legal matters. Most POA documents are financial, legal, or both and are only applicable when the principal is still alive. If the document is financial, the attorney-in-fact does have the power to preplan and prepay for the principal’s funeral, cremation, or other death-related service. However, the attorney-in-fact cannot make any death-related arrangements after the principal has already died. The attorney-in-fact is also not able to make funeral plans for another person on the principal’s behalf, such as a spouse or a child.

What about guardians? Guardians are given legal control to make personal and financial decisions for someone else when that person, the ward, is deemed unable or unfit to make such decisions for themselves. Guardians may or may not have control over the final disposition. This is determined case-by-case and depends on the powers given to the guardian in probate court. Guardians are usually the ward’s spouse or adult child, but anyone can be appointed a guardian if the court believes he will act in the ward’s best interests. In some cases, if there is no next of kin, a Public Guardian appointed by the state will make funeral arrangements.

And finally, an executor is the person that has control over a deceased’s assets. Though many people believe executors have control over the details of a deceased’s final disposition, this is not true. In fact, an executor’s main, and often only, role when it comes to disposition is to inform the funeral agent or director of their particular role in the deceased’s will. An executor is mostly intended to deal with more financial matters from locating the deceased’s property and opening an estate checking account to probating the will, paying bills, and filing all necessary tax forms. The executor’s job is over after the estate is divided up and closed.

cemetery in Charlotte, NC

To begin, some of the laws surrounding these roles vary from state to state, so be sure to research your local laws. Gethsemane Cemetery and Memorial Gardens is here for you if you want to learn more about North Caroline death-related law or your options for Charlotte, NC cemeteries. We are happy to offer you our services in your time of loss or preplanning. Give us a call today.

 

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.