FINDING HOPE DURING THE HOLIDAY SEASON

Anyone who has experienced a death of a loved one may find the holidays difficult. The season can become filled with feelings of sadness, loss and emptiness.  “Society encourages you to join in the holiday spirit, but all around you the sounds, sights and smells trigger memories of the one you love who has died,” said Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D, Director of the Center for Loss and Life Transition “During the holidays it is important to remember to be tolerant and compassionate with yourself.”

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HAVE THE TALK  OF A LIFETIME

It’s a new year!  For many people that means life starts over.  It’s a time to try to live better, be more organized, and complete tasks that perhaps were overlooked during the previous year.  As you are making your resolutions and lists of all the things you want to do to make your life better in 2018, have you considered discussing having the Talk of a Lifetime with your loved ones?  What is the Talk of a Lifetime you might be asking.

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SUPPORT GROUPS HELP FAMILIES HEAL WHEN SOMEONE DIES

Someone you love has died and you are now faced with the difficult, but important, need to mourn. According to Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D,   Director of the Center for Loss and Life Transition “Mourning is the open expression of your thoughts and feelings regarding the death and the person who has died. It is an essential part of healing.”  The grief journey is often frightening, painful, overwhelming, and sometimes lonely. With hope the following tips from Dr. Wolfelt will help you as you move toward….

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By taking the time now to put your affairs in order for your funeral, loved ones can be spared emotional and financial burdens in the future. At the time of completing a funeral plan, individuals are given an option whether they wish to pre-fund the plan or just put their wishes on paper.


Because we are living longer and our families are often scattered around the country, advance planning is the responsible gift that provides helpful guidance, emotional support and required information to those who will survive us.


A funeral or memorial service is an opportunity for family, friends and associates to gather, reflect upon and honor the meaning and impact of the life of a deceased loved one. It is a complex blend of religious, psychological, emotional, social and economic dimensions that are interrelated but individual for each service. A funeral or life celebration is a ceremonial event that must be planned to coordinate activities and people in a flowing sequence that will help provide a positive lasting memory for everyone in attendance.


It is never too early to pre-plan and/or pre-fund your funeral or life celebration. You can always make changes to your plan if your circumstances change.

If an accident happened to cause your death today, would your loved ones know how to arrange your funeral or life celebration?


Who will notify your family and friends? Have you discussed the type of visitation, funeral or memorial service you’d like to have with anyone? Do you know what casket or urn you would like? Do others know your favorite song? Is there a favorite outfit you’d want to wear? Do you want a traditional burial or do you want to be cremated? Do you have military benefits that may pay for part of the funeral?


And the questions go on and on.


When a death occurs, survivors are naturally stunned, often emotionally devastated, and find it difficult to make decisions when they are simply trying to cope with their loss. Making the choice to pre-plan your funeral is a big decision, but it is something loved ones will appreciate very much at the time of your death.


According to the National Funeral Directors Association, the average person finds themselves planning a funeral only once or twice in their entire lifetime. As such, it is perfectly normal to feel a sense of apprehension, uncertainty or even outright fear of this unfamiliar process.

PRE-PLANNING YOUR FUNERAL SPARES LOVED ONES EMOTIONAL AND FINANCIAL PAIN

If a person does not have an advance funeral plan, planning is complicated by the feelings of great sadness one has when someone has died. With an advance plan, all necessary and difficult decisions can be made so families can devote their time and energy to honoring the memory of their loved one. They can concentrate on sharing sentiments and stories with each other, friends and associates during the visitation and celebration of life memorial service.


If you do not plan for the inevitable end of life, then one day a great deal of responsibility will be placed on the shoulders of a spouse or children for final arrangements and the settlement of your estate.


People buy life insurance to provide economic means for survivors. But money from life insurance doesn’t console survivors dealing with their emotional pain from grieving.


Lawyers draw up wills to ensure possessions in estates will be distributed according to your wishes. But an estate is not probated until after a funeral.

JEANNE SLEDD

Jeanne Sledd is a senior advanced planning specialist and licensed funeral director. She has worked for Milward Funeral Directors for nearly 20 years. Milward Funeral Directors has three locations in Lexington. Jeanne can be reached at 859-252-3411.

more articles by Jeanne Sledd

159 North Broadway  |  859.252.3411

391 Southland Drive  |  859.276.1415

1509 Trent Boulevard  |  859.272.3414

www.milwardfuneral.com