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Choosing Food Service for a Wake

While remembering and honoring your lost loved one is the most important part of the service at a funeral home in Newtown, PA and the wake, the food is crucial. What you serve and how you serve it have a big impact on your guest’s enjoyment, making food a big pressure point in service. How do you choose the right food? Start by deciding how you want the food to be served. The most common options are plated, buffet, food stations, cocktail, and family style.

  1. Buffet – Usually served on long tables, buffets offer up many food options for guests to self-select, from meat and fish to pastas, salads, and other sides. Buffets are usually popular for wakes with large numbers of guests or those that want to offer lots of different food options. Buffets are great as they cater to many different tastes and are generally cost effective. However, buffet lines can get very long, slowing down the evening.
  2. Food Stations – Similar to buffets, food stations are placed all around the reception hall with different sections at each one. You can have a pasta, raw bar, carving, or dessert stations, or any other kind you can think of. People tend to enjoy the ability to mingle and select their own food, and the number of stations keep lines short. However, stations require a large space and lots of staff.
  3. Plated Dinners – The most traditional wake food style, plated dinners are when the guests are served individual, pre-portioned plates for each course. Generally, guests select their preferred main course dish from a list of options in advance the wake. There are many good things about plated dinners, such as that they limit food waste, and they have a fancier feel. However, plated dinners can cost more than other styles as they take more staff to make and serve. They also take more planning time as you have to carefully place each guest to make sure they get the food they ordered.
  4. Family Style – Family style is a sit-down dinner in which waiters bring large portions of food to the table and guests serve themselves like they would at home. This allows people to select the food they want and the quantity they want, and also makes the dinner feel more social and less formal. However, you do need large tables to accommodate big serving platters, and family style can be expensive.
  5. Cocktail Style – Instead of a sit-down meal, you can have small, passed hot and cold items served on platters by waiters. This lends itself to small venues and more intimate wakes, but guests might be disappointed if they were expecting a big meal.

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Do you want more funeral planning tips? As a Newtown, PA funeral home, we have years of planning experience at your disposal. We are honored to do whatever we can to help you in your time of loss or preplanning. Call or visit us today to learn more.

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What Do You Do with Cremains?

Cremains are the bone fragments left over after a body has gone through a cremation service in Langhorne, PA. The term “cremains” is a portmanteau, meaning it’s a blending of words to create a new, more succinct one. In this case, the word “cremains” is a blend of “cremated” and “remains.” While cremains are often called ashes, that’s technically incorrect as they are really a mixture of dry calcium phosphates with some various minor minerals such as salts of sodium and potassium or, in other words, dry bone particles.

Since cremations occur at temperatures above 1600° F, any substance that would make true ash is incinerated. However, it makes sense that cremains are mistaken for ash because after the cremains are passed through a grinder, they do greatly resemble ash. The exact amount of cremains that remain after a body is cremated depends on the body’s size, weight, and body type as well as factors such as the crematoriums process and equipment. However, variation in the amount of cremains is very slight. That is why most cremation urns are generally about the same size, though you can find them in different dimensions by length, weight, and depth as well as by interior capacity.

There are many things you can do with cremains after they’ve been processed. Whether you’re planning ahead for your own final arrangements or need some help figuring out what to do after a loved one has been recently cremated, here are some ideas for what to do with cremains, like scattering. A popular option for cremains is to scatter them. Cremains can be scattered in a park, yard, or forest, at sea, in a special garden, or anywhere else. Don’t forget about cremation urns and decorations. While most cremation providers return the cremains to the family in a simple box or container, many choose to purchase a cremation urn to house the cremains permanently or before they’re interned. There are many different kinds of cremation urns in all different shapes, sizes, decorations, and even colors. A unique way to memorialize your lost loved one is to turn their cremains into some kind of decoration. Some people choose to mix the cremains into glass to create beautiful art, while others have the cremains mixed into metals or placed into lockets to make cremation jewelry.

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There’s also internment. Internment is a fancy word for being laid to rest. Internment of cremains can be either burial or placement in a columbarium niche. Some families choose to bury a loved one’s cremains in the family burial plot, while others bury the cremains at home in their yards. Columbaria are buildings or rooms with niches that store cremated remains. They can be indoors or out, and often include large numbers of cremation urns to save space.

Would like to learn more about cremains, internment, or Langhorne, PA cremation services? We are here to help! Call or visit us today for more information about what we can do for you in your time of loss.

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Ideas to Support Someone in Grief

What can you do to help someone who is going through the pain of loss after a funeral home service in Langhorne, PA? One of the best ways to comfort and support someone going through a loss and a service is simply being there for them.

Here are some ways you can be there for someone suffering from a loss. For example, be as normal as possible. They might be sad, but they can still talk about the weather, share jokes, get hungry, need alone time, need to be pushed out of their shell at times, cheer on their sports team, care about politics or the environment or what’s going on in the gossip columns. Treating them normally will show them respect and love in a meaningful way.

To be there for someone, you oftentimes just need to physically be there for them. Try saying, “I’m coming over Thursday, what would be a good time?” It’s easy to want to say the right thing to someone who is grieving, but usually the best thing to do is just listen. If they’re not ready to talk, support them in silence. And don’t forget to let them cry. Crying is a natural and even important part of grieving. Let them cry, or even cry with them. It’s also important to not wait to be asked. Take some initiative and don’t wait for them to ask for help or company. Use your best judgement, but offer up assistance whenever you can. For example, mow their lawn, come over and make dinner, or just call to chat.

Don’t try to understand and don’t judge. Even if you’ve been through a similar situation, they are unique and have a unique experience. Be available and be gentle. They might need help, a shoulder to cry on, or just someone to talk to at odd times, so make yourself available and remind them often that you are available. Loss is not a good time for tough love, so be gentle with them. However, be careful not to go overboard and turn your gentleness into condescension.

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They are still the same person you’ve always known, so use your best judgement on how to interact with them. Don’t feel burdened to try to make sense of everything for them, or to completely understand what they are thinking and feeling. Grief looks different for everyone, so don’t put your idea of what they should be doing or saying on them. Instead, meet them and accept them where they are, wherever that may be. Similarly, be lenient for perceived offences or slights. For example, let it go if they don’t call you back right away. Finally, just ask them what they need. Sometimes, you just won’t know how best to support them unless you ask. They might not know themselves, or they’ll tell you exactly what they need.

We are here to help if you want to learn more about being there for someone in grief or Langhorne, PA funeral homes. We have the expertise needed to help guide you through a time of loss. Call or visit us today for more information on what we can do for you in your time of loss or preplanning.

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How to Help a Grieving Friend

You don’t want your attempts at helping someone who is grieving after a loss and a cremation service in Washington Crossing, PA to be a burden on them in their time of loss. You most likely want to be helpful in a concrete way. Need some inspiration? These ideas will help.

Try helping them rest. There’s a lot do to when someone dies, from planning the service to dealing with end-of-life legalities. Help out by taking things off their plate so they can really rest. Try taking over hosting responsibilities for out-of-town funeral guests, performing household chores, or doing some childcare for an afternoon.

Yard work is an excellent way you can help out, as everyone needs their grass cut at some point. From making lists to actually doing the shopping, running errands takes a lot of physical and mental work. Taking errands off their plate would be very helpful in their time of grief. Keep reaching out and ask what they need. Grief doesn’t end after the funeral or cremation. Even after you’ve attended the service, said your condolences, brought a meal, and run some errands, keep reaching out.

They’ll always appreciate the support. Sometimes the best way to provide exactly the help they need is to ask them what they need. Be specific, saying something like, “I’m free on Wednesday, what can I help you with?” or “Can I bring over dinner on Thursday night?” The simple act of going somewhere when in grief can be overwhelming. You can also offer to drive them places or simply go with them wherever they need to go so they’re not alone. Homecooked meals are genuinely comforting, but cooking takes time and energy – both of which are tough to come by in grief. Cook at their house while keeping them company or bring over an easily heated, freezer-friendly dish like a casserole, soup, or lasagna. You can also include a little treat in your meal delivery, such as a pie, cookies, a book, or even a pair of cozy socks.

Don’t forget to be flexible. What they need might vary from day to day, hour to hour, or even minute to minute. Yesterday, they might have wanted to be left alone, but today they might need a shoulder to cry on and an ear to hear their pain. Be flexible and willing to provide what they need as each moment passes.

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Finally, consider giving them some much-needed rest. What about gifting them a massage? Physical touch like massages can be very helpful when someone is grieving. Gift them a massage gift certificate so they can rest, relax, and have some time alone.

Do you want more tips on supporting someone in grief or more information on Washington Crossing, PA cremation services? We are here to help and are honored to assist in any way we can during your time of loss or preplanning. Please call or visit us today to learn more about our services.

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Making a Memorial

It’s important to honor your loved one in whatever way feels best to you after a service at a funeral home in Washington Crossing, PA. Losing a loved one leaves behind more than just memories. You’re also left with photos, clothing, trinkets, letters and more – so use these items to create a memorial space in your home!

It’s important to honor your lost loved one in whatever way feels best to you. We Here are some tips for creating a lovely and respectful memorial space in your home to honor your lost loved one. To begin, choose a space. The number of keepsakes and decorations you want to use in your memorial should help determine what kind of space you need to use. If you want to use a lot of special items and decorations, consider using an entire room or some kind of walk-in closet at the memorial space, such as an unused room, grown child’s room, old office area, or an empty pantry. You can also choose a smaller area like a shelf, bookshelf, fireplace mantle, or other unobtrusive yet visible location in your home like an end table or coffee table, corner shelf, wall in a bedroom, or entire bookshelf.

You can also make a collage or use a double frame to display lots of different photos. Your lost loved one accomplished a lot in their life, so honor those accomplishments by displaying memorabilia or awards in the memorial space. Include items from military service, university degrees or doctoral certificates, awards such as plaques and trophies, and more. You can also add items that represent religious beliefs, church activity, volunteer service, club memberships, their favorite books, or other hobbies. What about cremation urns? If your lost loved one was cremated and you want to keep their remains in your home, you have a unique opportunity to display and honor the cremation urn.

Create a special memorial space for your loved one centered around the urn containing the cremated remains. You can accomplish this by simply decorating the urn in some way, such as an engraved photo, inscription, or an urn with a photo frame. You can also use the urn as the centerpiece for the memorial and fill the space around the urn with photos, keepsakes, candles, and other items. Don’t forget that your memorial space should be beautiful. Decorate it with lovely items like candles, pictures, artwork, flowers, greenery, or other items that both add ambiance to the space and reflect your lost loved one’s personality and style. Pictures are some of the best ways to honor and remember your lost loved one. And photos are a great place to start when creating your memorial area as a good picture can serve as the space’s central focus. Try restoring an old photograph, getting a new frame for an old picture, or using an antique frame for a new picture.

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We are here to help if you want more tips on creating a memorial space or more information on Washington Crossing, PA funeral homes. Call or visit us today for more information on our services and what we can do for you in your time of loss.

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Grief After Cremation Services

How will you handle a loss? How should you mourn? How do you cope with the grief? Everyone grieves and mourns in their own way and for their own length of time. No matter how or how long you grieve after a death and cremation services in Newtown, PA, it’s an important part of processing a loss.

To better understand what grief is and how to work through it, use this list of important information about grief. To begin, grief is a deep kind of sorrow associated with a loss, whether that loss is a death or another kind of loss, such as that of a relationship, job, or even hope for the future. But grief is not the same as mourning. Grief is the internal experience or emotional response after a loss, while mourning is the external way, we process our grief. In other words, grief is what you are holding onto on the inside and mourning is what you’re letting out. While everyone grieves and mourns differently, is important to be aware of and acknowledge where you are in your personal grief and mourning process.

Mourning is the outward expression of grief. As such, there is no set timeline for how long you should mourn after a loss. Mourning periods vary between people, cultures, religions, and more. For example, the Jewish, Eastern Orthodox, Hindu, and Muslim religious sects have set mourning periods, while many western cultures believe one year is an acceptable mourning period. Cultures and beliefs also dictate how to mourn, with traditions including wearing black, no dancing or celebrations, a black wreath on your door, and covering the doorbell.

What does grief look like? What symptoms does it have? Grief manifests in many different ways between different people or even at different times. How you grieve at one point in your life might be very different than how you grieve at another. Grief can also manifest in a variety of ways from physician and emotional to mental symptoms. Some of the most common include heart palpitations, headaches, GI issues, body pain, anger, bitterness, confusion, loss of joy, apathy, irritability, fear, shame, anxiety, or even betrayal.

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There is also no set timeline for grief. How long grief lasts varies from person to person and even from loss to loss. For example, you might grieve longer after the loss of a spouse versus the loss of a job. If you feel that your grief is lasting longer than it “should,” you might feel more comfortable speaking to a professional. Grief is hard work, and it’s important to acknowledge it as such so you can face it and come out stronger on the other side. No matter how, why, or how long you grieve, it’s an important part of processing a loss.

We are here to help if you want to learn more about grief or Newtown, PA cremation services. Stop by and visit us or give us a call today for more information on what we can do for you in your time of loss.

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Final Disposition After Funeral Home Services

Final disposition is a legal term that refers to what happens to a body after death, including after a service at a funeral home in Newtown, PA. Keep reading to learn more about final disposition and the various methods used for after cremation services.

To begin, ground burial at a cemetery is the most traditional disposition method in the United States. In this method, the body is kept intact, generally embalmed, placed in a casket, and then buried in a cemetery. While there are many options available for cemetery burial, cemeteries are becoming crowded. You can also bury remains above ground. Above ground burial in a mausoleum is when the body is entombed above the ground in some kind of crypt or sarcophagus. These above-ground burial types are rarer than most other final disposition options, due to limited space and far greater cost. A lawn crypt is a vault that is partially underground and holds one or more caskets, usually a family or husband and wife pair. They generally have a few steps down to enter and can often be completely covered with grass.

After cremation, there is natural burial and cremation with ash burial. A natural burial is similar to ground burial except that the body is not embalmed or placed in a traditional casket. Instead, the body is placed in the earth with a few simple wrappings to ease natural biodegradation. The whole point of natural burial is to return the body to the earth in a simple, clean way.

In a cremation with ash burial, the body is cremated and the cremated remains, or ashes, are placed in a cremation urn. The cremation urn is then buried in a cemetery plot inside a cremation urn vault to protect the cemetery grounds. You can also choose final disposition methods like cremation with inurnment. You can place cremated remains inside cremation urns and then house the urn inside a, above-ground permanent resting place called a columbarium. The columbarium houses urns in niches that are either in a freestanding structure on the cemetery grounds or an outdoor wall with niches that you can visit anytime.

If you don’t want to bury or house cremated remains, you can also scatter them. The most traditional scattering method is scattering the ashes in a body of water such as a river, lake, or ocean. You can also scatter the ashes in a location special to you or the deceased, such as a favorite park or landmark. Don’t forget about housing cremated remains at home, whether on display or somewhere private.

There are many nontraditional final disposition methods available, from water cremation and body donation to body preservation and more. You are welcome to explore these nontraditional methods to see if they would work for you or your lost loved one.

We are here to help if you want to learn more about final disposition or Newtown, PA funeral homes. Call or visit us today for more information on our services or what we can do for you in your time of loss.

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Crypts and Cremation Services

What is a crypt? Do people still use crypts for after cremation services in Langhorne, PA? Are there different kinds of crypts? Keep reading to learn more.

Crypts aren’t as dark or scary as they seem in the movies. Instead, they are simple, meaningful places to house loved ones who have passed on and have had a service at a funeral home. Per Merriam-Webster, a crypt is, “a chamber (such as a vault) wholly or partly underground, a vault under a main floor of a church, or a chamber in a mausoleum.” Simply put, a crypt is a vault or small space used to house dead bodies, generally in the floor of a church or underground in some capacity.

It’s important to note that crypts and mausoleums are not the same thing. Mausoleums are the building that house crypts above ground, while crypts are the small rooms that house caskets. In other words, a mausoleum holds the crypt, and the crypt holds the casket or the body.

Interestingly, there are different kinds of crypts, including mausoleum crypts and lawn crypts. While “crypt” refers to chambers underneath churches, it also refers to the chamber inside a mausoleum where the body is stored. Another word for the chamber where the body is stored inside a mausoleum is “mausoleum crypt.” A lawn crypt is an underground or partially underground mausoleum that contains more than one casket, such as several members of one family side by side or above and below. The world’s first know crypts were used in Italy, Greece, and South Africa to house the bodies of saints, priests, martyrs, and other ancient Christians deemed worthy of entombment within a church as well as religious relics. Perhaps the most famous crypt is the one in St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. Built in the 4th century, the crypt in St. Peter’s Basilica is believed to house the remains of Saint Peter underneath the floor of the high altar.

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Some cemeteries use the term “lawn crypt” to refer to above-ground structures that hold one or more caskets. There are many other different types of crypts. Some of the most common are single crypts that house just one casket, companion for two caskets, and family or Westminster crypts that have enough room for an entire family. Most crypts are dark, dry, and somewhat cold. Single crypts are generally small rectangles just big enough for a casket, while Westminster crypts can be quite large as they need to hold multiple caskets. Usually, one end of the crypt is open to place the casket inside. Modern crypts also often have drains, pipes, and ventilation to prevent bad smells from building up inside the mausoleum.

Maybe you’ve heard about crypts before or seen them in a scary TV show or mummy movie, but now you know what they really are! We are here to help if you want to learn more about crypts or Langhorne, PA cremation service. We are here to help, so please call or visit us today for more information.

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Tips for Coping with Grief

You’ll still always miss your loved one, you can look forward to a healthy, productive, and meaningful life if you allow yourself to grieve fully and openly. While grief after a service at a funeral home in Langhorne, PA looks different for everyone, there are helpful tips that can help you cope with your loss. If you process your grief, you can look forward to healing in your own time.

Here are helpful tips to help you cope with your grief and emerge stronger on the other side. To begin, take care of yourself. Put yourself and self-care first and you grieve. Don’t be afraid to turn off your phone and have quiet time or reach out to loved ones or friends for support when needed, binge watch that TV show, or whatever else you can do to help yourself feel better.

Don’t be afraid to accept the changes in your life and try something new. Your life will change because of your loss, and resisting these changes will only make them harder. Take steps to make sure these adjustments are positive and healthy, like taking time for yourself and moving slowly. Consider trying a new hobby or pastime to remind yourself there is always the possibility for happiness and fulfillment even after a loss. You can try traveling, taking a class in a new skill, or even getting a new pet. You also need to prepare for and accept the symptoms of grief. When we grieve, our brains release hormones and chemicals that cause physical, mental, and emotional symptoms throughout the body. Be prepared for symptoms like brain fog, pain, or anxiety, and accept them as they come so they will leave when they’re ready.

Memorials like headstones are wonderful for grief as they provide a concrete place where you can go to remember and honor your lost loved one. You can set up a traditional memorial like a headstone, or you can create something more unique like a bird feeder, memory jar, painting, engraved heirloom, or even just a scrapbook filled photos and memories. It can also be very helpful to write down the thoughts and feelings you have as you grieve. A journal is a space, private space in which you can freely express yourself. You also should exercise! Physical activity is wonderful for reducing the symptoms of grief. Take time to move your body in whatever way feels good, whether that means going for a walk, taking an exercise class, or even just dancing around your living room to your favorite music.

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Try honoring old traditions. While trying new things is great for grief, so is honoring and remembering the old traditions you had with your lost loved one. Considering doing some of the things you used to do together, whether alone or with another loved one or a friend. Facing the loss and your grief is incredibly difficult, but it must be done. Ignoring your grief and its associated feelings will not make them go away but will instead make them harder to deal with down the road.

Do you want more information on grief or Langhorne, PA funeral homes? We are here to help. Call or visit today to learn more.

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What Do I Wear to a Memorial?

Funeral, memorial, and other service attire can be a minefield of differing traditions and opinions, often leaving guests completely unsure of what to wear. You’re not alone if you’re wondering what to wear to a memorial after a cremation service in Washington Crossing, PA.

However, you don’t have to be unsure anymore. Use this ultimate guide to funeral attire as inspiration for your funeral or memorial outfits. When dressing for a funeral or memorial, you should be aware of some common attire guidelines. For instance, avoid revealing pieces. Shirts and dresses should always cover up to the neck and pants and dresses should go down to the knees. Many traditions also require shoulders and knees covered as well as headwear such as hats for the men and headscarves for the women.

As for footwear, avoid athletic shoes like sneakers as well as casual shoes like flip-flops. More causal services may allow t-shirts and other informal wear, but always avoid loud prints or big logos and keep a formal jacket on hand just in case. A general rule of thumb is to dress as you would for a job interview or a church service: conservative, clean, and put-together. The traditional colors worn at funerals are an important aspect of funeral attire. Though not every service calls for dark hues, you will almost always blend in and be appropriately dressed if you stick to the tradition of wearing a black, dark grey, or deep blue. Brown shades, lighter grays, and other earthy colors are acceptable for most funeral services. Be sure to avoid bright colors including yellow, red, pink, orange, and white. You can wear white if it’s part of an accessory or worn underneath dark colors, like a white shirt with a dark jacket.

Memorials are more informal events than funerals, but they still require somewhat subdued formal clothing. When in doubt, err on the side of more formal and more traditional with dark colors and conservative cuts. Celebrations of life are unique services in that they are more casual and upbeat. As such, they have fewer expectations and requirements for dress. Celebrations of life can range from lighthearted memorials to parties with dancing, so be sure to check the invitation for guidance on attire. However, it’s safe to assume that a smart-but-casual outfit will be acceptable. Wakes, viewings, or visitations are muted, somber events and therefore require muted, somber clothing. Expectations for attire can range from highly formal to dressy-casual, so be sure to check the invitation or dress according to what you know about the family. Similarly, it’s important to dress respectfully and conservatively at a funeral to honor the deceased and the bereaved. Stick to tradition, avoid bright colors, and, when in doubt, dress like you would for a job interview.

We are here to help if you want more guidance on Washington Crossing, PA cremation services, or what to wear to death-related events. Please call or visit us today to learn more about what we can do to help.