Category Archives: cremation

cremation service in Newtown, PA

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.

cremation service in Langhorne, PA

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.

cremation service in Langhorne, PA
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.

cremation services in Washington Crossing, PA

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.

cremation service in Newtown, PA

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.

cremation service in Newtown, PA

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.

cremation service Langhorne, PA

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.

cremation services Langhorne, PA

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.

cremation service in Washington Crossing, PA

Tips for Picking Caterers

If you don’t choose an event center with catering for a memorial after your loved one’s cremation service in Washington Crossing, PA, you will have to choose an outside caterer.

This might be overwhelming, but these tips are here to help. The first step in choosing a caterer is deciding what kind of catering you want. There are three main categories: full service, drop and go, and drop off with service. Full-service catering is the highest tier of catering options as the caterer will take care of every step of the food service, leaving you free to simply remember your lost loved one in the company of your guests. Full-service catering takes care of everything including dinnerware rentals, staffing, setting the tables, serving, bussing the tables, and organizing the food.

Full-service catering can be plated or buffet service, but no matter which kind the caterer will take care of the food whether that means staging the plates for plated or keeping the buffet trays stocked during service. Some buffet full-service caterers will also staff the buffet line to keep people moving, help with serving, and control portions. Drop and go catering is the exact opposite of full-service. Much more affordable, this kind of catering is perfect for those looking to save some money on their lost loved one’s service. Restaurants and caterers will do drop and go service as all it requires on their part is to make the food and then drop it off at the venue.

That means that everything else, from set up and tear down to utensils, service, and stocking is up to you. While you will save money on this type of catering, there are some issues to be on the lookout for. For example, it’s important to make sure that the food is delivered early enough for you to have time to set it out before service. Many people also forget how much stuff it takes to serve food: serving platters, trays, serving forks, serving spoons, hot boxes, refrigeration, and more.

If you choose to go with drop and go catering, just be prepared. Give yourself enough time to set up, make a list of everything you will need, and maybe nominate a friend or two to help you keep the buffet stocked and clean up. The final option is drop off with service. Most catering companies and restaurants that offer drop off catering will also have service additions you can add on to their basic plans. These additions could include things you will need for serving like trays and utensils, or it could even be staffers to help set up, serve and tear down. Think about what kind of help you want from your caterer and ask them to give you a quote with those specific tasks added on.

cremation service in Washington Crossing, PA

J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel is here to help if you want to learn more. We are honored to offer whatever assistance we can. Use these tips and our Washington Crossing, PA cremation services to help make your time of loss and grief a little easier.

cremation service in Newtown, PA

Writing Thank You Cards After a Memorial

The end of your loved one’s cremation service in Newtown, PA isn’t the end of your funeral to-do list. You still have to send out thank you cards. How do you actually go about sending thank you cards? It may seem like a lot of work, but it actually isn’t that bad – especially if you follow these tips:

  • Who should you send thank you cards to? – Besides the guests and anyone who sent a gift or made a donation, you should also thank vendors, officiants or speakers, attendants, your parents or whoever helped you organize the funeral. Some people also send thank you cards to the funeral director or cremation provider staff.
  • Don’t Wait Too Long – Try to send out thank you cards as soon as you can after the funeral, but don’t stress yourself out too much. The proper window of time for thank you cards is one to two months after the service.
  • Start Tracking Early – It will be so hard to try and remember or determine who gave what or who brought what after the funeral. The sooner you start keeping track of flowers, food, or donations the better off you will be. If people send gifts early you can also be sneaky and write some thank you cards before the funeral itself. Just don’t send them till afterwards.
  • Stay Organized – Make a list and stick to it! Keep track of who gave what and when so you can just follow your list when it’s time to say, “thank you.”
  • Stationary – If you have it in your budget to buy personalized or custom stationary for the thank you cards, go for it. However, if you don’t have the extra cash, clean, pretty and simple cards or paper will do the trick.
  • Get Some Help – Similarly, you don’t have to write the thank you cards all on your own. Get some help, whether it’s from a colleague, friend, or family member.
  • Go Slow – You don’t have to write all the cards in one sitting. In fact, it’s better to write a few every day so you don’t get overwhelmed, make mistakes, or loose personalization.
  • Keep it Personal – Try to make every card as personalized as you can. Write a tidbit about where their donation is going or how their thoughtful food was delicious. These personalized touches will make your guests feel appreciated.

cremation service in Newtown, PA

J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel, a Newtown, PA cremation service provider, is here to help with any other questions you may have about thank you notes, funeral services, or any other aspect of at-needs or pre-needs planning. We’re honored to do what we can to help in your time of loss. After all, sending out thank you cards might seem a bit outdated or unnecessary, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s absolutely vital to thank the people that brought flowers, food, or otherwise supported you in your time of loss. giving gifts. Plus, thank you cards allow you to stay connected with people even after the funeral is over.

cremation service in Langhorne, PA

Tips for Choosing a Venue for a Memorial

Even though planning the service aspect of the memorial, writing a eulogy, and even deciding on the flowers are all very important, one of the most important aspects of planning a memorial after a cremation service in Langhorne, PA is choosing the right venue. Unfortunately, choosing a venue can be stressful.

Rather than get overwhelmed, use this list of things to think about when choosing an event center in which to host your lost loved one’s memorial.

Start with ambiance. The existing décor or ambiance in the space is key. Think about the architecture, décor, and interior style. Do you want a more intimate feel? Then look for a venue that is already more intimate and cozier. Do you want lots of greenery and plants? Look at event spaces with pre-existing greenery. The less the existing ambiance matches the feel you want for the memorial, the more work you will have to do once you begin planning. There’s also accessibility. You need to be sure that any venue you choose is accessible to everyone who wants to attend the memorial no matter their physical abilities. Are there wheelchair ramps? Handicap bathrooms? If there will be children at the memorial, you also need to think about access to children’s amenities. You need be aware of being welcoming to any and all capabilities.

Don’t forget about acoustics. You don’t want your memorial to be too loud to too quiet, so you need to think about acoustics when looking at venues. A low ceiling may make a space feel cozy, but it might also make sounds too loud during eulogies or speeches. The reverse can also be true if a ceiling is too high. Acoustics can almost always be fixed with sound systems, but those do get pricey. Being flexible on open dates is another great way to narrow down venues. Some venues book up years in advance, while others keep open dates on their calendars for more last-minute bookings. Be sure to check if a venue has your desired date open before you spend a lot of time researching it. You should also look into insurance. Depending on the venue, you might need insurance. Check with potential venues to see what their insurance policies are, and if they include event insurance in their packages.

Want more information? You can also check out local online reviews, consumer’s bureaus and other websites for more information to narrow down your options. If you take the time to do your research, you’ll find a great venue for your lost loved one’s memorial in no time.

cremation service in Langhorne, PA

Finding the right event space for your lost loved one can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. This is especially true if you enlist J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel, a Langhorne, PA cremation service provider, to help. We have years of experience in the industry and would be happy to make venue recommendations. Please stop by and visit us or give us a call today to learn more about what we can do for you.

cremation services in Washington Crossing, PA

How Do You Plan a Green Memorial?

Everyone wants to do their part when it comes to the environment, and this includes hosting an eco-friendly funeral or memorial service for a lost loved one. Eco-friendly memorials and funerals have been on the rise, whether they’re at churches, halls or after cremation services in Washington Crossing, PA. These tips and tricks can offer guidance and inspiration if you want to plan an eco-friendly service for your lost loved one.

First, be mindful of paper. Funerals and memorials use a lot of paper. From invitations to programs, menus and even fans, a lot of this paper goes into the garbage after the service of over. Make sure the paper products you use are recycled after the event or save on paper items by choosing creative substitutes. Do a chalkboard sign as opposed to programs or send out invitations via email as opposed to on postcards. Also, be aware of what you’re burying with the deceased so you’re not releasing harmful or non-biodegradable materials into the environment.

You can also recycle and repurpose. Try using repurposed or recycled items for any decoration you may want for the service or wake. You can easily put together beautiful and meaningful decorations while being considerate of the materials and their sources. Try using clean materials like jute and cotton or make the flower arrangements from fabrics to cut back on flower use. You can also choose to use recycled or organic fabrics instead of synthetic ones.

What about lighting? If you’re having the service at night or in a dark venue, it can go through tons of energy. Try and use more eco-friendly LED lights to use less energy or invest in candles that you can re-sell or hold onto as keepsakes after the event. You can also host a daytime funeral or memorial and skip the lights altogether.

Don’t forget to shop seasonal. If the wake or memorial service will have food, make seasonal produce a priority when planning the menu. Seasonal produce is dramatically less harmful for the environment than out of season food and is also easier to get fresh and in bulk. This is because seasonal produce uses less preservatives and fertilizers and doesn’t require lots of refrigeration or greenhouse heating. Plus, in-season fruits and veggies are almost always more delicious and flavorful than other options. Also, shop local. There are a lot of emissions involved when it comes to transporting goods long distances. If you choose local supplies and vendors for the funeral or memorial, you can greatly reduce the event’s carbon footprint. Not to mention that supporting local vendors is great for the local economy and can also save you some money.

Finally, think about the guest lists. The more guests you have, the bigger the funeral’s carbon footprint will be. If being eco-friendly is important to you, try and cut down the guest list to smaller number. Plus, the smaller the guest list the more intimate and respectful of the deceased it will be.

cremation services in Washington Crossing, PA

Do you want to learn more about eco-friendly services or Washington Crossing, PA cremation services? J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel is here to help. Stop by and visit us or give us a call today.

cremation service in Langhorne, PA

Sending Grief Care Packages in a Pandemic

These days, how can you comfort or support someone when you can’t see them in person or give them a hug? While normal, everyday activities are tough because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s made supporting people after a death a cremation service in Langhorne, PA incredibly difficult.

One way to help make a loss a little easier for someone grieving is to create a grief care package. While there are normal care packages that are great when there isn’t a pandemic, a care package in the time of COVID-19 is a bit different, from what it includes to the delivery:

  • Soothing Items – These days, comforting items like candles, weighted blankets, pajamas, and essential oils have become necessities for everyone dealing with the stress of the pandemic. They’re especially helpful for people that are going through a loss. Create a care package with some of these comforting gifts or have them mailed to the bereaved via Amazon or another delivery service.
  • Food – Grocery shopping and cooking are tough during a loss, but these tasks are made even tougher because of the pandemic. Include some prepared, frozen foods in your care package so the bereaved don’t have to worry about risking exposure in a grocery store or taking the energy to cook. You can also send them a gift card for Instacart or another grocery delivery service so they can choose their own food and still stay safe from illness or place an Instacart order on their behalf and have it delivered to their home, so you and they are safe.
  • Customary Gifts – The traditional gifts like flowers, candy, books and sympathy cards still signal that you care and are thinking of the bereaved. Take into consideration the person to whom you are sending the grief care package as not everyone likes chocolate or has need for a new book
  • Supportive Gifts – Another traditional care package for someone going through a loss is a cleaning service to help out with household chores. While this might not be possible right now because of the pandemic, you can still send helpful gifts that don’t require indoor contact. A landscaping service, for example, will go a long way towards taking the yard work off their plate. If it’s around the holidays, you can also hire an outdoor decorating service.
  • Important Household Items – Toilet paper might not be as popular as it was at the beginning of the pandemic, but it’s still a very thoughtful item to include in a care package. It can be hard for the bereaved to have the time, energy, or emotional bandwidth to do errands like getting household necessitates. Help them out by sending toiletries, tissues, paper towels, dishwasher detergent and other items directly to their home. All of these items are available for delivery through Amazon, Target, and other stores, so it will be very easy for you to make sure they get to the bereaved while keeping yourself safe.

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J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel is here to help if you would like to learn more about care packages or Langhorne, PA cremation services. After all, these are just a few tips to help you send care packages during the pandemic.