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Cumulative Grief and Cremation Services

Everyone will experience grief at one time or another, generally after the loss of a loved one and a cremation service in Newtown, PA. However, sometimes people experience losses one right after another can lead to what is called “cumulative grief.”

Cumulative grief can occur when someone experiences more than one loss in a short period of time, causing the pain of each loss to compound each other into oftentimes overwhelming grief. The symptoms of cumulative grief include numbness, high blood pressure, sleeplessness, feeling overwhelmed, avoiding processing the losses, and processing one loss but not being able to process any others.

Here are fast facts about cumulative grief to help you understand this phenomenon and how you can get through it. To begin, it’s not shameful to seek help, especially since cumulative grief can affect your physical health. Finding professional help, like a therapist or counselor, can go a long way towards easing you through cumulative grief. Grief can devastate you emotionally, mentally, and physically. In fact, it can raise blood pressure, increase the risk of blood clots, and even alter the heart muscle to mimic the symptoms of a heart attack.

All grief, even cumulative grief, takes time to work through. Don’t try and rush through the feelings even if it hurts as this may just leave you feeling overwhelmed. Don’t try to avoid the feelings, either, as they will continue to build up and cause more pain in the long run. Age increases the risk of cumulative grief. As people get into their 70s, 80s, and 90s, they oftentimes find themselves experiencing more frequent loss of friends, family members, and other loved ones. Substance abuse can also increase the risk for cumulative grief.

cremation service in Newtown, PAGrief is also cyclical. Grief, especially cumulative grief, is cyclical, meaning that one day you might feel better, but then the next you start to feel terrible again. This doesn’t mean you’re regressing or not making progress, it’s just part of the grief experience. This cyclical nature also means that you can make room for joy and happiness within your grief journey. After all, being happy does not negate the love you had for your lost loved one. People that use drugs or alcohol to numb grief oftentimes don’t fully feel their losses, putting them at greater risk for cumulative grief when they stop using the drugs or alcohol. Multiple loses can also heighten feelings. The simple nature of cumulative grief is that it’s hard. How could feeling the pain of multiple losses not be? As tough as feeling the heightened emotions all at once, it’s better than ignoring the feelings until they become too much to bear.

Finally, cumulative grief isn’t just about death. While death is the most common cause of cumulative grief, it can also be caused by other losses like a change in friends, loss of identity, job loss, or a loss in future dreams or goals.

J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel is here to help if you want to learn more about grief or Newtown, PA cremation services. Call or visit us today to learn more about what we can do for you in your time of loss.

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Prepping Your Home for a Wake

While there are many places to host a wake after a service at a funeral home in Newtown, PA, many bereaved prefer to have the gathering at their home. Whether this is because the deceased had a special connection to the house or because the bereaved want to keep the event intimate, a wake at home is a wonderful idea.

If you want to host a wake for your lost loved one at your home, you do need to spend time getting your home ready. Here are some tips for prepping your home for a wake, like organizing your cords. Cords hanging off the TV, tangled by the nightstand, or snaking around your desk look plain messy. Clear away and organize your cords by investing in some cheap cord organizers and power strips.

You can also update your furniture and change dated fixtures. A brand-new couch is pricey, but reupholstering your existing couch just takes a few hours and some creativity. You can update other furniture, too, like chairs and tables with a new stain or coat of paint. Want to make your home look updated for the wake? Change out the fixtures. It’s incredible how much changing fixtures can change a room. Whether you’re updating frosted glass pendant lights or ripping out nasty old ceiling fans in lieu of more modern ones, spend the weekend changing your dated fixtures for a quick home update.

The best way to prep your home for a wake is to do a deep clean. Start in the high traffic rooms like the kitchen, bathrooms, and living spaces, but don’t forget the extra rooms like bedrooms, offices, and basements. You also need to give your windows and window treatments some love. Window treatments can get dirty if left unattended. A quick way to make your home feel like new again is to clean your treatments. You can even repaint or re-stain them if you want to add a new pop of color.

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Don’t forget to add greenery and a fresh coat of paint. Plants, flowers and other greenery always add life and color to a space. Worried about watering? Buy some fake plants. Few things update a space more than a fresh coat of paint. You can totally change the color of a room for a super new look, or you can just give the existing color a refresh. What about cleaning tile and grout or making space for your pet? Nothing makes a bathroom or kitchen seem older and dirtier than stained grout or tile. Buy a cheap tile and grout refreshing kit at your local hardware store or online and spend the afternoon scrubbing. It might take some elbow grease, but your kitchen and bathroom will look good as new. Your home should be free from pet clutter for the event. Take some time on your weekend to carve out a dedicated space for your pet and all his accessories.

Do you want more tips or information on Newtown, PA funeral homes? J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel is here for you in your time of loss or of preplanning.

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Buying a Casket Before Cremation Services

Caskets are big-ticket items, come in many different sizes and materials, and have a wide range of features, which is why buying a casket can be and expensive. Though it’s not common, many people do choose to buy a casket for their loved one for a service before a cremation service in Langhorne, PA.

Need some help shopping for a casket? These tips are here to help!

To begin, consider your lost loved one’s wishes. If your lost loved one left behind instructions or preferences as to the type of casket they want, follow those instructions. Not only will this help honor your lost loved one, but it will also make your job that much easier. If they didn’t leave any instructions, think about their tastes and personality to help narrow down your choices. You should also shop early and set a budget. Buying a casket is hard even without adding the additional stress of making the purchase when you have high emotions, are under a time constraint, and are feeling vulnerable after a loss.

The best way to combat this issue is to shop as early as you can, whether that means picking a casket before you pass to make the choice easy for your family or moving the task of buying a casket to the top of your funeral to-do list. Caskets can vary widely in price, from a few hundred or thousand dollars to tens of thousands. All these options can be very overwhelming, so it’s best to start shopping with a set budget in mind. What’s more, you don’t want to overspend and put extra stress on yourself during your time of loss. Another tip is to enlist help. You don’t have to shop for a casket alone.

In fact, it’s often best to have a shopping companion along to help you make the decision and offer additional support. Also, having someone along to help might also make it easier for you to stick to your budget and request samples or information on lower-priced options. And finally, its’ almost always helpful to talk over the pros and cons of your various options with someone else. Beyond that, you need to know your rights. Finally, take your time and know your rights. While you don’t have all the time in the world to choose a casket, you do have the time to take a step back, breathe, and center yourself if you begin to feel overwhelmed. Oftentimes just taking a quick break can make all the difference.

Consumers of funeral home and cremation products have certain rights under federal law. These laws are intended to help protect you from being pressured into buying products you don’t want or need simply because you’re going through a loss. For example, the Funeral Rule requires funeral homes to provide you with transparent pricing. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions. You need to have all the information before you can make a good decision.

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Do you want more information on buying a casket or Langhorne, PA cremation services? J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel is here to help. We’re happy to do whatever we can to help you in your time of loss or of preplanning, so call or visit us today.

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Tips for Visiting Someone Who Is Dying

What should you do if you have a friend or close relative who’s dying? While it’s hard, it’s incredibly important to visit them so you can show your love and support before your friend’s passing and service at a funeral home in Langhorne, PA.

But what should you say? How can you get through the tangle of emotions that comes with such a visit? Most people have never been in that kind of situation before and therefore lack the experience and knowledge to know what to say or do. People also don’t know what to say or do because death and terminal illnesses are somewhat taboo subjects in our society and are therefore often not really talked about or dealt with.

There is a lot of awkwardness that comes from talking about death, but it may be helpful to remember that your friend or loved one might feel just as awkward about the subject. Here are some tips for what to say. To begin, all you have to do is listen. Sometimes it’s more about what you don’t say than what you do say. They might just need someone to listen to them, hold their hand, and be their shoulder to cry on. After all, what they are going through is scary and overwhelming.

Just being there to sit with them and let them express how they are feeling can be more than enough comfort. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Face the elephant in the room head on and ask questions about how they’re doing. They may not want to answer them, and that OK, but just having you be there to ask the questions is often comfort enough. Always let them decide how much they feel like sharing. Finally, be honest. Always be honest about your own feelings and experience.

Feeling nervous, sad, or scared? Say so. Human connection is so important, and the best way to connect is through honesty. Also, don’t wait. You never know which conversation or visit might be your last, so don’t wait too long to make your visit and be sure you remain as heartfelt and loving as you can. Don’t you want your friends and loved ones by your side when your time comes? The answer is probably yes, so you need to extend that same grace to your friends and loved ones as they pass. Also, friendship and family means being there to support a person through the good times and the bad. Yes, you may feel uncomfortable, but image how scared or uncertain they are.

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J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel is here to help if you want more information on death or Langhorne, PA funeral homes. Stop by and visit us or give us a call today to learn more about what we can do for you. Remember, this is the moment they need you the most. It’s understandable and even normal to feel uneasy or anxious about visiting with someone who’s dying.

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Begin the Preplanning Conversation

Even though talking about death is never easy, these conversations are essential. It never will be easy to talk to your loved ones about their after-life plans for cremation services in Washington Crossing, PA.

When you’re ready to have the discussion, you can use these questions to help guide you and make sure you get the information you need. To begin, ask if they have a will. According to a study done in 2020 by Trust & Will, only 32% of all adults have a will or living trust, and only 36% of adults with children under 18. Wills are vital documents that make sure a person’s last wishes are followed in the event of their death. Create a will with your loved ones, or make sure that that have one of their own, and keep it in a safe but accessible place.

Don’t forget to ask about Powers of Attorney or Health Care Powers of Attorney. Power of Attorney is a document that gives a designated person the power to make legal decisions for another person if they become unable to make them for themselves. A Health Care Power of Attorney does the same, but for medical decisions instead of legal ones. These documents can be essential if your loved one is getting older or suffering from cognitive disorders like Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia.

You should also have a discussion about how they would like to be celebrated. Perhaps the most important part of the after-life discussion is how your loved ones would like to be remembered and celebrated. Do they want to be buried or cremated? Have a funeral, memorial, or celebration of life? Asking about this now ensures your loved one’s wishes will be honored after their death. You also need to ask about financial information. Financial institutions are strict about giving people access to other people’s accounts, even if they are a spouse or close relative. That’s why it’s important for your loved ones to have their financial information written down and that you know where its kept. They should include sources of income and liabilities, accounts receivable, bank accounts, real estate, assets, securities, and personal property.

Finally, ask about who will take care of their pets and what you should do with their online accounts. Most people love their pets like children and will therefore have specific wishes as to how they should be cared for upon their death.

Make sure these wishes are written down in a safe place. Some people choose to keep their online presence as a digital memorial upon their death, while others would prefer that their digital presence is removed. Either way, make sure you have a list of their online accounts and passwords so you’re able to carry out their wishes when they pass.

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J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel is here to help if you have more questions about preplanning, or would you like more information on Washington Crossing, PA cremation services. Call or visit us today to learn more about what we can do for you in your time of loss or of preplanning.

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Caskets and Funeral Homes

What do you know about caskets? If you’re planning a service at a funeral home in Washington Crossing, PA, you will most likely need to choose a casket for your lost loved one.

The best place to begin is learning about the most common types of caskets, casket features, and casket materials. To begin, there are wood caskets. Generally, wood caskets are made from solid hardwoods like mahogany, walnut, cherry, maple, oak, and pecan. Much like furniture made from harder woods is more expensive, the harder the casket wood the more expensive the casket will be.

Other woods such as pine, poplar, and willow are generally the most affordable, and the least expensive wood casket option is wood veneer, pressed wood, and cloth-covered fiberboard. There are also metal caskets. The most common metals used to make caskets are bronze, copper, stainless steel, and carbon steel. Bronze and copper are the most durable as they will not rust over time, but they do tend to cost. Stainless steel and carbon caskets come in different thicknesses, each with their own price point.

Metal caskets are usually more durable than wood, which is why they’re often marketed as “protective.” Though they do come with a rubber gasket to seal the casket, they do not slow down the decomposition process.

You also need to consider the size of the casket before you commit to choosing one. A standard casket is generally 84 inches long, 28 inches wide, and 23 inches tall. While the length of a casket is rarely an issue – as most bodies comfortably fit within the standard size – you may need to look at an “oversized” casket that have an extra width of 31 inches.

What about features? Caskets come with two basic types of lids: half couch and full couch. Half Couch refers to a two-piece lid that’s usually partially opened (from the deceased’s waist up) for a viewing. Full Couch refers to a one-piece lid extending the length of the casket. Don’t forget to think about additional features like lining, memory drawers, and casket corners. Casket interiors, or linings, come in a variety of materials. The most common are crepe, velvet, satin, linen, and velour. Memory drawers are special compartments built into the casket that hold small personal items you wish to bury with the deceased. These are special attachments to the outside of the casket that help denote the deceased’s life in some way, like a golfing or fishing symbol.

Finally, cremation caskets are used to support the body while its being cremated and therefore need to be combustible and cannot have any metal parts. In fact, unless you would like a casket because you have a funeral before the cremation, you don’t have to have a true casket at all. You can choose a cremation container, or simple box, in which to cremate the body.

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Do you want to learn more about caskets or Washington Crossing, PA funeral homes? J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel is here to help. After all, there are a lot of different caskets out there, all in different materials, shapes, sizes, and price points, so it can be hard to get started on choosing one for your lost loved one.

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Memorable Celebrations of Life

Are you looking to really honor the memory and life of your lost loved one with a memorable and unique celebration of life after a cremation service in Newtown, PA? Everyone wants their lost loved one’s service to stand out and be remembered for years to come, but it can be hard to impress people when you’re not exactly sure how.

Use these ideas to help make your lost loved one’s celebration of life really stand out. You can start with live streaming. Social media has another connection-boosting feature: live streaming. Almost every platform from Facebook to Instagram can live stream your celebration of life allow guests that can’t attend in person the chance to celebrate the life of your lost loved one. You can also make a grand entrance.

Everyone loves to make an entrance, so make sure the gateway into the celebration of life is something to remember. Dress up your entrance with lots of decorations and unique touches to make it feel more special and memorable. You can add a red carpet, flower wall, step and repeat, or a balloon walkway to make your event feel just like a celebrity award show. Or you can create a large photo collage of the deceased or make the entrance themed to something that he or she loved in life.

Don’t forget about food. People love food, so it’s not surprising that one the biggest parts guests remember of any event is the food. So, make sure your food really shines! Talk with your caterer to create a menu that focuses on fresh, local, and high-quality food, and don’t forget to include plenty of options for common dietary restrictions like gluten free, vegetarian, dairy free and vegan. What about photo opportunities and art? It’s no secret that social media is huge these days. Take advantage of the craze for your loved one’s celebration of life by creating Insta-worthy photo-ops. You can rent out a photo booth or just set up a corner of the space with a backdrop and props. Not only will these chances to take photos help your guests have fun, but they will also help create more memories of your lost loved one that will live on.

You can even create a unique hashtag that guests can use when posting so everyone can see the photos. You want people to never stop talking about your event, and what makes people talk more than art? Hang unique and thought-provoking art pieces at the celebration of life. They double as décor and conversation starters. You can also choose to hang large pictures from the deceased’s life as a way for guests to remember big moments.

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Do you want more assistance with creating a memorable celebration of life? J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel is here to help. We are a Newtown, PA cremation service provider with the experience necessary to help you. Call today to learn more about what we can do for you in your time of loss or of preplanning.

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Send Your Support After a Loss from a Distance

No one likes to see their friends, loved ones, or family in pain after a loss and service at a funeral home in Newtown, PA, but it can be awful to see loved ones grieving when you’re far away from them. If you’re looking for ways to be there for someone in grief even from halfway around the world, these tips are here to help inspire you.

You might not be able to see and help them in person right now, but you can certainly plan a visit. This is especially helpful since the grieving process doesn’t end once the service is over, so the bereaved might need extra love and support a few months down the line after other people have moved on. You can also use technology. We are so lucky to live in a modern world with almost endless ways of staying in touch with people despite physical distance. From Facebook and Instagram to video chatting, and even the classic telephone, use technology to reach out to the bereaved. Reach out when you can so they know you’re available, but don’t be pushy.

Also, don’t feel like you have to talk or have meaningful words of encouragement. The best thing you can do for your friend is just to listen. What about donating or ordering deliveries? Cremations and funerals do cost money, and it might be very helpful for you to donate money to help the bereaved with some of the costs. You can also make a donation in the deceased’s memory. Choose a cause that was important to the deceased and let the bereaved know about your donation so they can feel something good has come from their loss. Even a small gesture can mean a world of difference to someone in grief.

And, thanks to modern delivery services, it’s never been easier to send those small gestures even from across an ocean. Place an order for grocery delivery so they don’t have to worry about shopping or order them some food from their favorite take out place. You can also send flowers, candy, gift baskets, thoughtful gifts like books, gift cards, and a whole host of other delivery items to show you care and are thinking about them in their time of loss. Finally, don’t ask what you can do. The last thing someone in grief wants to do is field a bunch of questions. So, instead of asking what you can do to help, just do it. Be proactive, whether that means sending over a cleaning service, flowers or food or paying for a grocery delivery. And remember, while it’s never preferable to be far away from someone when they’re grieving, it is possible to provide some comfort even though you’re apart.

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J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel is here to help if you want to learn more tips or information about Newtown, PA funeral homes. We can offer you more information beyond these tips for how to help your family member or friend when they’ve lost someone. Call or visit us today to learn more about what we can do for you in your time of loss.

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Catering and COVID-19 at Memorial Services

Thanks to the pandemic, most of the conventional aspects of planning funeral, memorial, or wake after a cremation service in Langhorne, PA are gone or changed for a very long time. COVID-19 has even drastically changed the memorial and wake catering industry in the United States and beyond, so what can you do? There are tons of ways to keep guests safe when it’s time to eat, including individual serving ware rather than shared serving tools, temperature checks on all employees and outside caterers, mask requirements for employees and caterers, and individual plates rather than family style service.

It’s important to note that recent CDC findings suggest that the virus that causes COVID-19 doesn’t grow or live on food or drinking liquids, so handling food or consuming food is generally safe when it comes to transmission. You can still have a wonderful service to honor your lost loved one with catering ideas like these to keep people safe and fed. The bereaved and their guests still need to eat. Luckily, there are several catering trends that are safe for memorials in the time of COVID.

Here are a couple of the best options. The first is food stations. Food stations have been around for a while and they aren’t going anywhere. From appetizers and cocktails to ice cream bars, taco stations, and even mashed potato bars, food stations are delicious, easy, and safe. Pre-poured, pre-plated and even mini servings of station foods are ideal for minimizing guest and server contact, especially since they help keep lines moving and spread out the guests for better social distancing. There are also passed hors d’oeuvres and individual desserts. While grazing boards, like those with charcuterie spreads, fruits and desserts are classic, they’re not ideal for COVID safety. Luckily, passed hors d’oeuvres are back in style.

They allow for masked servers to bring food directly to the bereaved to minimize people unnecessarily touching food. While large, shared desserts lovely and always will be, more and more people are moving towards décor cakes. Décor cakes are smaller cakes that are placed at each place setting to serve as both decoration and a tasty dessert. The small individual cakes are also better for social distancing. You can also opt for other small desserts like pies, macarons or even donuts.

These are just a few of the current COVID-friendly catering trends. While memorials, funerals and wakes might not be like we pictured for the foreseeable future, they are still possible with safety measures and a little creativity.

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J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel is here to help if you want more wake tips or information on Langhorne, PA cremation services. We’re a funeral home with the experience and compassion necessary to help you plan an honorable, respectful, and memorable memorial for your lost loved one. Stop by and visit us or give us a call today to learn more about what we can do for you in your time of loss or of preplanning.

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Looking for Affordable Monuments?

Memorials are usually permanent fixtures like large headstones or statues used to memorialize the deceased. However, there are other kinds of monuments that are just as special but more affordable. Many people want to set up a monument to their lost loved one after a service at a funeral home in Langhorne, PA, but can’t afford the more traditional structures. This list of ideas for affordable monuments can help you memorialize your lost loved one while staying on budget.

To begin, you can use your memories. Your memories of your loved one are always with you and are also completely free. Use your memories as a monument to the deceased by telling stories about them to younger generations and by asking friends, family and other loved ones to share their stories as well.

Make these memories more permanent by asking people to write them down in a journey or, for more the more tech-savvy, making a video compilation of them telling their memories. What about pictures? Everyone has many pictures of loved ones, so it’s easy to use photographs as a monument when someone you love passes away. Simple framed photos and scrapbooks are equally meaningful and help you remember them. You can also write a memorial or repurpose belongings. Even if you’re not a gifted writer, it can still be meaningful to write some kind of memorial for your lost loved one.

Try writing a poem, memoir, short story, or even just an essay about how you feel about their life and loss. You can repurpose almost any of your lost loved one’s belongings as memorial. For example, you can turn a shirt or blanket, pillow, or stuffed animal. What about making a mixtape? Music is very powerful and can help us work through difficult emotions. Make a playlist or a mixtape that reminds you of your lost loved one so you can listen whenever you’re thinking about them or you miss them.

Don’t forget to share it with family and friends. You can also give to charity. One of the best ways to honor the deceased is to help their good legacy live on through charitable giving. Even a small donation will go a long way towards helping a cause that your lost loved one believed in or cared about. Or plant a memorial garden. Flowers, trees, bushes and other living things are always a beautiful reminder that life goes on and there can be beauty in the wake of loss. Plant a memorial garden for your lost loved one at home in your yard or work with your local authorities to plant a garden or even a tree in a public place. Finally, there’s cremation jewelry. Cremation jewelry takes part of the deceased’s cremains and turns it into jewelry that you can wear or carry with you at all times.

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J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel is here to help if you want more tips on memorialization or information on Oakland, CA funeral homes. After all, these are just a few of the many ways you can memorialize your lost loved one without spending a large amount of money.