cremation services in Newtown, PA

Planning Cremation Services

Traditions surrounding death, grieving, and cremation services in Newtown, PA are changing.

These days, there are almost no rules when it comes to planning a memorial or funeral service. This change is good as it allows for ultimate personalization for celebrating the life of the deceased. This lack of guidelines, while good for personalization, can make planning tough.

Where do you start? The best place to begin is choosing the 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.

Next, think about final disposition and the master of ceremonies. 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. 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.

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. But flowers are a traditional part of memorials and funerals, and probably aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. They 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 also 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.

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.

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 Newtown, PA cremation service, J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel is here to help. Please stop by and visit us or give us a call to learn more about what we can do for you in your time of loss.

funeral homes in Newtown, PA

Should You Bring Your Kids to Funeral Services?

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

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. 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.

Childcare experts say that children should have a say in the matter of whether or not they should attend a funeral.

Ask 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. 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. 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.

funeral homes in Newtown, PA

Finally, 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.

Do you want to learn more about Newtown, PA funeral homes? J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel is here to help. Call or visit us today.

cremation service planning in Langhorne, PA

Funeral Agents

Someone will have to make decisions about your funeral or cremation service planning in Langhorne, PA, from where you will be buried or cremated, how your will estate be carried out, and many other important jobs. This person is usually one of your next of kin. Your next-of-kin is an immediate family member, like a husband, wife, or common-law spouse, a child, your parents, a domestic partner, or your siblings.

But what happens if you don’t have any next of kin? Or if you don’t want your next of kin to be in charge of your will and cremation service arrangements?

There are plenty of situations in which this happens. For example, people often get divorced and therefore are estranged from their ex-spouse and children. People outlive their family members. Or, in other instances, someone may not want their children to be in charge as they might argue about how to execute the cremation and estate funeral after the death of their parents. These aren’t necessarily bad situations, and there are definitely ways you can make sure your wishes are followed even if they apply to you.

If these or similar situations apply to you, you can always designate a funeral agent. A funeral agent is a person designated to have legal responsibility over all the matters concerning someone else’s disposition. In the funeral world, this is called the “right to control.” You can hire a funeral agent and give them the right to control your cremation service planning and the legal power to override the decisions of anyone else, including your children, siblings, spouse, domestic and civil partner, and parents.

Funeral agents can be anyone you choose, from a friend or clergy member to a neighbor, coworkers, social worker, or extended family member. However, its best to choose someone that will outlive you and will understand and be able to handle the ins and outs of planning a cremation. Choose and appoint your funeral agent carefully. While the laws vary from state to state, the most common process is by either adding a codicil to your will or by filling out a form. If you want to designate a funeral agent in your will or in a codicil to your will, you need to talk to a lawyer and explain your wishes.

cremation service planning in Langhorne, PASince the executor of a will is not necessarily the funeral agent, it is important to make the wording clear and specific in your will. Have your lawyer draw up a will or amendment that makes it clear who your funeral agent will be. If you want to fill out the form, you should get the form from your local government and make sure its notarized and signed by the intended funeral recipient and two witnesses.

Get in touch with J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel if you want to learn more about funeral agents and other aspects of preplanning for a Langhorne, PA cremation service. Whether or not you appoint a funeral agent is completely up to you, as it is a very personal choice.

funeral home in Langhorne, PA

Social Media Accounts After Funeral Homes

You can’t just leave a deceased’s social media or otherwise online life behind. There are a lot of financial and legal steps you need to take when someone you love passes away and has a service at a funeral home in Langhorne, PA, but you can’t forget about their social media and other online accounts.

Use these tips to take care of common online accounts after a death:

  • Google – Start with Google. Thankfully, Google accounts are fairly easy to deal with. If the deceased had any kind or any number of Google accounts, from Google Docs, Google Drive, Google Calendar to Google Photos, Gmail or even YouTube, they had a Google ID. Google has a program called Inactive Account Manager in which someone can preset all data and accounts linked to their Google ID to be wiped after a certain period of inactivity. If the deceased used that program, your work is done. If they didn’t, simply file a request to Google, submit documents proving your relationship to the deceased, and the company will close down the Google ID.
  • Twitter – Twitter will work with a verified immediate family member or an executor of an estate to deactivate a deceased’s account. You must submit a request for a deactivation and removal online, upon which you will be sent an email with instructions for providing proper documentation of your relationship to the deceased and the death.
  • Facebook – Facebook has set up two different methods to handle a deceased’s account: Deletion and Memorialization. If you wish to delete their Facebook page, you have to submit a request to Facebook, provide documentation proving they are deceased and your relationship to them, and wait the 90-day period. Facebook also offers a Memorialization option, which turns the deceased’s page into an online memorial that keeps the original content and allows others to post memories, comments and photos.
  • Instagram – Instagram is similar to Facebook in that it allows the bereaved to delete or memorialize an account. Only immediate family members can file a request to delete an Instagram account, and they are required to submit proof of relationship and proof of death, such as a death certificate. Instagram accounts can be memorialized once the company gets a valid request backed up by death documentation and proof of relationship. A memorialized Instagram account can’t be changed at all, and the posts will only be visible to the audience with which they were first shared. In other words, you can’t make a memorialized account public if it was originally private.

funeral home in Langhorne, PAOur digital footprints will only get bigger the longer our society spends online. You can also make it easier for your family after you’re gone by taking steps now to organize your accounts. If you want to make things easier on your family and loved ones after your death, start making a list of all your accounts, usernames, and passwords now so they have easy access to your information.

J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel is here to help if you want to learn more about dealing with death or Langhorne, PA funeral homes.

cremation services in Washington Crossing, PA

Pre-Need and At-Need Planning

You might have heard the phrases, “at-need services” and “pre-need services” when discussing cremation services in Washington Crossing, PA. However, like many others, there is a good chance that you don’t know what they mean. And that’s ok! This article is here to help clear things up for you.

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:

  • Maintaining 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.
  • Have the Service You Want – 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. This 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
  • Lessen 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.

cremation services in Washington Crossing, PA

If you want to learn more about Washington Crossing, PA cremation services or at-need and pre-need planning, just get in touch with J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel.

funeral home in Washington Crossing, PA

Millennials and Preplanning

If you’re a millennial or in a similar young age group, you probably haven’t and don’t want to think about funeral planning. We don’t blame you – even people that aren’t as young as you don’t want to think about their passing. But you need to spend time thinking about what you want for a funeral home in Washington Crossing, PA as preplanning is very important.

These tips can help you get started:

  1. Choose a Funeral Home– The very first step is to choose a funeral home, as someone will need to prepare your remains for disposition, handle your service, and even be a place to hold your service. Do some research on local funeral homes to learn about their prices, services, beliefs, and offerings. This way you can find one that has what you need and want.
  2. What About Disposition? – More and more people, especially younger generations, are choosing cremation over burial as, to them, burial is a waste of space, money and time. In fact, the National Funeral Directors Association reports that more than half of the dispositions in the USA these days are cremations. But what do you want? Do you want to be buried? Cremated? You can still have a traditional funeral service if you want to be cremated, or you can have a non-traditional memorial service even if you want to be buried. It’s totally up to you! Your funeral director can help you determine what you want done with your remains before, at, and after the service.
  3. Save Some Money – Millennials are also looking to save money on funeral expenses, like caskets. Yes, some caskets are expensive. But there are tons of other options that are much more budget friendly. Your funeral director can advise you on the best one to choose for your needs and budget.
  4. funeral home in Washington Crossing, PACheck Prices – In addition to using Google, Yelp and other websites to help you find a good funeral home you can also check the funeral home’s actual website to get a good idea of pricing. Funeral homes are required by law to provide clear and accurate prices for all of their services so you can get a good idea of what’s available and how much it will cost before you event step foot into a funeral home.
  5. Consider Religion – Younger generations are also moving away from funeral and memorial services, as many people think that funerals and memorials are strictly religious events. While funerals can certainly be religious, they don’t have to be. You can choose to have a non-traditional memorial service that isn’t religious or hire a funeral celebrant to lead a non-religious funeral. Your funeral service can be anything you want it to. Do you love golf? You can have a celebrant focus on your golf game. Are you a huge flower lover? Cover your funeral in flowers.

J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel, a Washington Crossing, PA funeral home, is here to help if you want to learn more about preplanning and our services.

Newtown, PA cremation

Be Prepared for Cremation Services

Even though no one will ever be fully prepared a loved one’s death and cremation service in Newtown, PA, it’s still important to take steps now to make your passing smoother for your family.

As scary as it is to plan for your death, you need to do whatever you can to make it easier for your loved ones after you’re gone. So, what can you do to prepare for your death right now?

The first step is to leave your last wishes. Make it known how you want your funeral or memorial to be done. Do you want a cremation service? A memorial? Traditional burial? There are a lot of questions that need to be answered when it comes to planning a service, so don’t leave your loved ones to answer all of them when their grieving your loss.

Your family might rely on you for financial support, meaning that when you die, they will not only lose you but will also love the income you provided. Take care of your loved ones by purchasing life insurance. Life insurance can help offset the costs of funeral and cremation services and can also provide additional income for living expenses, remaining debts and other costs.

You also need to make a will. Everyone should have a will, as wills make it easy for the bereaved to know exactly what the deceased wanted. Plus, if you don’t leave a will, the state might end up choosing who gets your asses and who will care for your dependents. Double check that your 401k, life insurance, and IRAs have the correct beneficiaries listed. In other words, make sure that the people or person you want to get the money after your gone are listed on the documents. This is especially important as someone’s beneficiary documents can supersede wills and even divorces.

Newtown, PA cremationWhat about all your documents? You might know where your important documents are, but will your family be able to find them? They might not know to check the top dresser drawer for your will, the bottom drawer for your life insurance policy, and your desk for the bank account information. Make it easier on your loved ones and keep all your important documents in one safe place that is easily found and accessed by a surviving family member. Include your social security card; legal forms for retirement accounts, deeds, and rental agreements; tax returns; and lists of all online and computer passwords. Don’t forget to sort your possessions. Catalog important items of monetary or sentimental value to ensure they are kept and passed to the proper person after you’re gone. Don’t forget to notate why each item is important so no information gets lost.

J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel is here to help if you want to learn more about what you can do for your eventual passing. We can assist with any preplanning or Newtown, PA cremation service questions you may have. Call or visit us today!

funeral home in Newtown, PA

Grief Podcasts

While we all deal with grief in different ways, sometimes it can get away from you and become too much to handle all on your own after a loved one’s memorial or funeral at a funeral home in Newtown, PA.

How do you know if your grief is too much? And what can you do about it? While everyone’s grief can look a bit different, there are a few warning signs that ring true for everyone if grief is becoming too much.

For example, apprehension of new relationships due to the fear of loss. However, in order to move forward and continue to grow, we must forge new relationships. You might also need a bit of extra help if you find yourself getting lost in escapism in having an inability to continue normal activities. Staying busy or trying to escape to avoid feeling sad is not a long-term solution. Eventually, you will need to face your feelings.

An inability to move on, or the loss of enjoyment is a bad sign. You shouldn’t stop living your life completely during grief. You’re still allowed to pursue your interests and goals. If your grief is preventing you from pursuing activities that you enjoy, or enjoying things you normally would, you may just need help finding your way forward. Avoiding time with loved ones isn’t always good, either. Sometimes it’s easier to process grief on our own, but it’s also important to be with loved ones. If you find yourself consistently avoiding other people, you should consider getting some help with your grief.

But what can you do about your grief if it gets too bad for you to handle all on your own?

Many people that are grieving find it very helpful to listen to grief podcasts as they are easily accessible and provide bereaved support and community in a very convenient way. Whether you’re looking for more causal listening or are hoping for expert advice, there are tons of helpful grief podcasts available on Spotify, such as Good Grief by Blake Kasemeier. Blake lost her mother to lung cancer and then started Good Grief to help other people through their own losses and mourning journeys. What’s Your Grief is by Eleanor Haley and Litsa Williams. Hosted by two mental health professionals, this podcast discusses the gamut of grief-related topics.

funeral home in Newtown, PAThere’s also The Mindfulness & Grief Podcast by Heather Stang. Heather Stang has a Master’s in death, dying and bereavement, called thanatology. This degree gives her a unique perspective to grief and can help listeners deal with hard emotions, encourage self-care and compassion, and honor what is left of the deceased. Grief Out Loud is by The Dougy Center. Hosted by a clinical social worker, Grief Out Loud talks about the most commonly avoided topics regarding grief. And finally, Grief/Relief by Moe Provencher isn’t hosted by a professional and is geared more towards real people sharing real parts of their lives and grief to help normalize the topic.

Losing a loved one isn’t and will never be easy, but these grief podcasts may be able to help. As can J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel. We are here to help if you have more questions on grief or would like to learn more about Newtown, PA funeral homes.

Levittown, PA cremation services

Why Obituaries Are Important

Whether you’re having a funeral or a memorial service after a cremation service in Levittown, PA, there are many reasons why you should publish an obituary for your lost loved one, including but not limited to:

  1. Notating History – An obituary is also a good way to make sure the deceased’s story is written down for future generations. Children, grandchildren, cousins, aunts and uncles will all be able to access a part of their personal history.
  2. Sharing the Loss – Sharing in your grief and loss with the general community can be a big help after the death of a loved one. You’d be surprised how many people will reach out with helpful offers like condolences, prayers and general help. As a bonus, obituaries that are posted online almost always have comment sections in which people can post and share their own experiences with the deceased and words of comfort.
  3. Paying Tribute – Each person on this planet has a unique life story as special as they are. While we can easily assume that the deceased lived and died, an obituary gives a window into how they lived and why they were important and special. Beyond the basic facts of life like date of birth, age date of death, survivors, and predecessors, an obituary can include other fun and unique information about a person including their hobbies, favorite foods, work history and amazing accomplishments.
  4. Part of the Grieving Process – Remembrance is a big part of grieving. In other words, when you spend time thinking about a lost loved one by narrating that person’s history and remembering why that the deceased was important to you, you are showing and experiencing your grief in a healthy way and will ultimately help you move forward in your particular grief journey.

These reasons, and many more, are why obituaries are not just a random tradition with no reasoning or meaning. But how do you go about publishing an obituary?

obituaries

Up until about twenty years ago, most local newspapers published obituaries for free as they were considered to be news stories. These older obituaries mostly listed facts and kept the emotional editorializing to a minimum. Many newspapers also printed death notices which, unlike obituaries, were paid advertisements that gave the name of the deceased, the date, and the time and location of funeral services. These days, the majority of newspapers charge fees for printing obituaries. While these fees can be expensive, they do mean that the purchaser has the power to write whatever he wished about his deceased loved one, be it emotional or fact-based. There is also some funeral home that post obituaries on their websites for free or for a small fee. Ask your funeral home or funeral director about their policy regarding this new tradition. You can also post an obituary on a memorial website like Legacy.com or post an obituary on Facebook or another social media site for free.

If you want to learn more about obituaries or Levittown, PA cremation services, please reach out to J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel.

funeral home in Levittown, PA

Conveying Condolences

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 funeral service at a funeral home in Levittown, PA, making condolence calls and sympathy cards very important.

However, 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. Use these tips to help.

Our first tip? Sympathy cards. 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____.”

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.”

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”.

writing condolence

You can also 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 J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel today for more information on our Levittown, PA funeral home services.