Shaker Heights, OH funeral homes

Make Your Eulogy Count

At Shaker Heights, OH funeral homes, the eulogy is often a centerpiece of a funeral service. It is an opportunity to draw a portrait of a life and sharing the things about that person that made them so special and so loved. It can seem like a daunting task, but there are some guidelines that can make it easier.

One guideline is to recognize how important the eulogy is to the family and to those who have gathered to mourn. Write it down. It may be painful to put the words to paper as you are also mourning the loss of someone you love and care about, but even if you’re a very good public speaker, you will not be able to memorize the kind of eulogy you’ll want to give. And, if you’re not comfortable with public speaking, having it written down will give you reassurance that you won’t falter.

Eulogies should be positive. They are not just a laundry list of all the great qualities of the deceased, but instead they are stories that show intimacy, friendship, and relationships. Tell stories, share memories, talk about how the deceased interacted well with everyone that they crossed paths with. Even good memories are hard to talk about when you’re grieving, but do it anyway. The family of the deceased will have a lot of comfort from the words you share about their loved one.

Another guideline is to include something you learned from the deceased. It might have been an example they set or the way they did something that clicked with you and changed you for the better. This gives insight into who the deceased was and how much of an impact they had on your life and the lives of others.

If you are the only one giving a eulogy, then you can plan for a presentation of five to ten minutes. However, if there are several people giving eulogies, plan for a time limit of three minutes. Practice while timing yourself to make sure you don’t go over the time limit.

When you start your eulogy, introduce yourself and describe your relationship with the deceased. There may be some people at the funeral service who don’t know you are, even if you’re an immediate family member. This is a good time, as well, to thank everybody for coming to the funeral service and let them know that the family appreciates them being there.

When giving the eulogy, speak slowly and enunciate your words. There are two reasons for this. One is obviously that you want everybody to understand what you’re saying. But the second reason is that it helps calm public-speaking jitters and nerves and allow the mourners to be fully attentive to your reflection on the life of the deceased.

Make eye contact with the mourners as you give the eulogy. Although you’re reading the eulogy, you want to stay engaged with everyone who is listening. Eye contact will do that. You don’t necessarily have to look at anyone specific, but you should look in both directions of the room occasionally.

End your eulogy with a favorite memory of the deceased and then offer encouragement and support to the rest of the mourners who are grieving with you.

For more information about eulogies at Shaker Heights, OH funeral homes, our compassionate and experienced team at E. F. Boyd & Son Funeral Home is here to help. You can visit our funeral home at 25900 Emery Road, Warrensville Heights, OH 44123, or you can call us today at (216) 831-7906.

Warrensville Heights, OH funeral services

A Guide to Hosting a Remarkable Repast

One of the Warrensville Heights, OH funeral services that can help ease the pain of losing a loved one is to hold a repast after the funeral or memorial service. It is a reception that is designed to offer additional support, comfort, and encouragement for the family as they adjust to the future without someone they love.

Repasts are usually centered around sharing food and drinks with each other in a comfortable setting that pulls everyone together in a common spirit of friendship and companionship. Some people have full sit-down dinners, while other people have light snacks or a potluck meal where everyone, except the family, brings a dish.

All of this, however, takes planning, and the funeral director can give suggestions and guidance to make the repast something that everyone who attends will remember fondly and warmly.

One of the considerations for a repast is where it will be held. The most commonly-used places for a repast are at the home of a friend or relative, the funeral home, a church community building, or a restaurant. Occasionally, if the weather is nice, repasts are also held at local parks. When choosing a place to have the repast, it’s important to think about its distance from the funeral home. If it’s too far away or too difficult to find, attendance may be low.

The menu for the repast is the next consideration. Cost and preparation time will be big factors. For potlucks, asking everyone to bring something is expected and is probably the easiest and least expensive options for a repast. If the repast is being hosted at a restaurant, choosing either a buffet-style meal or having the restaurant make a limited menu available can keep the cost more reasonable. If the meal is being catered, then the caterers can help with budget-friendly menus.

Repasts are very personalized and they focus on the life of the deceased. Memory tables, slide shows or videos, and photo walls are a very common part of repasts. Memory tables contain items that were special to the deceased or that represent honors and achievements in the deceased’s life.

Slide shows or videos often combine photos of the deceased with music that was either special to them or special to the family as a unit. These will play in the background during the repast.

Photo walls are usually arranged chronologically and show the deceased from birth to current. There are usually captions underneath each picture with the date and significance of the photo.

Another unique way to personalize the repast, if you’re having a potluck, is to have everyone bring one of the deceased’s favorite dishes (hopefully, they had a broad palate) for the group to share to remember them.

Planning a repast is not something a grieving family will be able to do on their own, because they have so many other things they need to take care of. Many times, a relative or friend will volunteer to coordinate planning the repast, but if no one volunteers, the family should not hesitate to ask for the help they need. The funeral director can certainly step in and be of great service in helping to coordinate the repast.

If you’d like to learn more about Warrensville Heights, OH funeral services, our compassionate and experienced team at E. F. Boyd & Son Funeral Home is here to help. You can visit us at our funeral home at 25900 Emery Road, Warrensville Heights, OH, or you can call us today at (216) 831-7906.

cremations services in Warrensville Heights, OH

Cremations with Funeral Services

One of the cremations services in Warrensville Heights, OH is to help the family of the deceased planned a visitation and a funeral service before the cremation takes place.

When a visitation and funeral service are going to be held before cremation, the body of the deceased will be transported from the place of death to the funeral home. The family will meet with the funeral director, usually the day after the death of their loved one, to make funeral arrangements.

The family should bring clothes for the deceased to wear for the visitation. Shoes are not needed, since the feet will not be seen, but a pair of socks is always a nice gesture for the deceased (and it will make the family feel better). If the deceased is a man and he will be wearing a tie, do not include a tie tack, since this is jewelry that will need to be removed before the cremation. The same is true of cufflinks and watches.

The funeral director will then guide the family through the visitation process and will help them plan the funeral service. During this meeting, the family will decide whether to rent a casket for the visitation and funeral service or to purchase a cremation coffin for the ceremonies.

The body of the deceased will then be embalmed. This is a process that preserves the body so that it doesn’t start decomposing. Embalming also includes washing and dressing the body, cutting fingernails (if necessary), styling the hair, and making the deceased look as lifelike as is possible.

The visitation and funeral service will be held sequentially. Visitations are generally a two-hour period before the funeral service in which friends, families, neighbors, coworkers, and acquaintances can stop by and give the bereaved family their condolences and pay their respects to the deceased.

The funeral home will provide a guest book for all attendees, whether they come just for the visitation or for the visitation and the funeral. The grieving family will not remember everyone who came because they will still be in the blur and haze of the shock of the death of their loved one. Attendees should sign their first and last names in the guest book, so the family will know who they are (the guest book is given to the family by the funeral home when they pick up death certificates and the cremated remains).

The funeral service will traditionally include readings (poems, scriptures, and/or prose), eulogies, a spiritual message, and music. If the family wants to have the funeral service livestreamed or recorded (on a DVD, from which copies can be made and sent to family or friends who were not able to attend the funeral service), the funeral home will make all the arrangements for this to happen.

After the funeral service, if the family chose to rent a casket, the deceased will be transferred into a fully-combustible container for transport to the crematorium. The cremation process will then take place and the family will be notified when the cremation remains are available to be picked up.

For more information about cremations services in Warrensville Heights, OH, our compassionate and experienced team at E. F. Boyd & Son Funeral Home is here to help. You can visit our funeral home at 25900 Emery Road, Warrensville Heights, OH 44123, or you can call us today at (216) 831-7906.

Cleveland Heights, OH funeral services

Recognizing When Death is Near

With Cleveland Heights, OH funeral services, you will have everything you need to take care of your loved one after death. However, you may be caring for a family member who has a long-term terminal illness and you may be wondering if you’ll know and how you’ll know that death is nearing for them.

As a person is nearing death, the body physically begins to shut down. This is a progressive process can start a few months before death actually occurs.

One of the first signs will be increased sleeping. Your loved one may sleep as much as 16-20 hours a day because of changes in the body’s metabolism. Near the very end of life, your loved one may not wake at all for two or three days before death. It’s important, though, to talk with your loved one right up to the last breath, because hearing is the last sense that is lost.

As death becomes imminent, your loved one will want less to eat and drink. This is because the body is trying to conserve how much energy it expends. Don’t try to force your loved one to eat or drink if they don’t want to.

Your loved one’s body will start to cool down, especially hands, feet, and limbs. This is a sign that blood circulation is decreasing and being reserved to sustain vital organs.

Another sign that death is imminent is increased confusion (even if your loved one doesn’t have any kind of dementia). Your loved one may be confused about who you and other family members are and may call you by the name of someone, such as their mother or father, who’s been dead for a long time. This is an expected result of the metabolism changes associated with the body shutting down.

The closer death gets, the more erratic breathing will become. If hospice is not already on board at this point, it’s a good time to bring them in to help. They will be able to make your loved one comfortable and will show you how to keep them comfortable as they begin to take their last breaths.

Some people get extremely restless right before death. This is due to oxygen deprivation in the brain. If your loved one experiences this, don’t try to restrain them, but talk with them in soothing manner, and rub their arm or forehead gently. Reading, playing their favorite music, or just talking about good memories may help decrease their restlessness.

At the very end of life, your loved one will likely experience some sort of withdrawal from life. This usually happens a day or two prior to death. They will either be non-responsive or in a comatose-like state. Talk to them anyway, even when there’s no response.

It’s not unusual, near the very end of life, for people to hallucinate. They may see or talk to people who’ve already died. This is normal, so stay calm and let the process play out.

If your loved one is somewhat alert at the very end of life, they will likely want only a few people around them. They may just want you around them. This is for their comfort, so accommodate their needs, even if other family members get upset that they’re not allowed to be with them up to the end.

If you’d like to learn about Cleveland Heights, OH funeral services, our compassionate and experienced team at E. F. Boyd & Son Funeral Home is here to help. You can visit us at our funeral home at 2155 E. 89th Street, Cleveland, OH 44106, or you can call us today at (216) 791-0770.

cremations services in Cleveland Heights, OH

Losing a Spouse

Among the cremations services in Cleveland Heights, OH that are offered are grief resources. For people who have lost spouses to death, these resources can be very beneficial in the early days, weeks, and months after a loved one’s death.

There is a unique type of bereavement that follows the death of a spouse. Whether the spouse was a life partner for a few years or for many years, the union that brought two people together as one is a very special bond.

When people marry, a team is formed that will face the ups and downs, the triumphs and the failures, the good days and the bad days, and all the days in between, together. Usually children come into the picture, whether they are biological or they are adopted, and a family unit is formed.

The team of spouses raises the children, providing for them, educating them, and making sure they are prepared to fly out of the nest when the time comes. Along the way, there are many team meetings, team consternations, team tears, and team laughter, but the team of spouses grows stronger and tighter with each passing day, month, and year.

After the children leave home to make their own lives, the team of spouses gets its second honeymoon, and often these years are when even deeper bonds are forged and the team becomes more solidified. While each spouse may be working, may have different interests, and may spend time with different friends from time to time, they usually spend more time together than any other time since they were dating and then first married.

They depend on each other, help each other, encourage each other, and look out for each other. As they settle into their golden years, with grown children and grandchildren often far away, they become more intertwined with each other as a support system.

Then suddenly – or gradually, with terminal diseases – one spouse dies. The surviving spouse is lost, because half of who they were is gone. There is shock. There is numbness. There is the battle between the reality of the death and the inconceivability of it. The surviving spouse will usually go stoically through the funeral process because their hearts are just not yet capable of absorbing the loss.

However, once the family leaves to go their homes, and the surviving spouse is alone, then the reality of the other spouse’s death sets in. All the big things and little things that left with the spouse’s death become larger than life. Grief and loneliness, often very intense, follow.

As the surviving spouse adjusts to the empty house, the missing part of themselves, and a whole different life than they had planned, some of the grief and loneliness can be eased by joining a grief support group for spouses.

However, not all therapy comes from sitting in a room with other people who’ve had a similar loss, so it’s important to try to find opportunities to get out of the house and to get involved with something that matters, whether that’s taking classes for something you’ve always wanted to do or its joining a group that supports causes that you support, or it’s volunteering your time for elderly people or for a non-profit organization. Being around people and doing something that the surviving spouse loves can ease the grief and the loneliness to some degree.

For more information about cremations services in Cleveland Heights, OH, our compassionate and experienced team at E. F. Boyd & Son Funeral Home is here to help. You can visit our funeral home at 2165 E. 89th Street, Cleveland, OH 44106, or you can call us today at (216) 791-0770.

funeral homes in Cleveland, OH

The Elements of a Funeral Service

At funeral homes in Cleveland, OH, the elements of a funeral service come together to lovingly and respectfully honor the memory of a loved one who has died. These elements work together to bring comfort and hope to the grieving family and to the mourners.

The first element of a funeral service is traditionally what are known as readings. These may be poems, Bible scriptures, or sections of prose that were either favorites of the deceased or are chosen by the family because the readings remind them of their loved one. One person may do all the readings, or several people may be chosen to do each of the readings.

The next element of a funeral service are eulogies. Some funeral services have just one eulogy, while other funeral services have several eulogies. Eulogies are given either by family members or by very close friends of the deceased. Eulogies are intended to give insights into who the deceased was in relationships and life. They are very intimate portraits that may bring tears and laughter, but they show honor and respect for a life well lived.

Sermons or a spiritual message are usually the next element in a funeral service. While this doesn’t have to be done by a clergy member, it usually is. This is the part of the service that can offer great comfort and abiding hope to the deceased’s family and to the mourners who have gathered for the service.

What happens after death is the focus of this part of the funeral service. There is the reminder that all pain, sorrow, suffering, and tears of physical life are now gone for the deceased, and a new better horizon awaits them. Often the words of I Corinthians 15 and I Thessalonians 4, as well as Revelation 21:4 are read as part of the sermon as encouragement.

The next element of a funeral service is music. The music may be interspersed between the other elements or it may be played after the sermon or spiritual message. The choices of music for funeral services are endless. Some people choose the deceased’s favorite song. Others choose gospel songs or hymns that point to be future. Other people choose contemporary music that has saying goodbye to someone you love as its theme.

The funeral director will work with you on the music you choose and make sure that any equipment or instruments (if it’s being done live) are set up and ready to go at whatever point in the funeral service the music is being performed.

The last element in a funeral service is usually a prayer. This is a prayer for the deceased, but all for the family and the mourners. It asks for guidance, comfort, blessings, and help for all those who knew and loved the deceased and now will have to move forward in life without them.

After the prayer, the funeral director will make announcements regarding times and locations for graveside services and burial, and, if these are taking place the next day, the funeral director will provide the time that everyone who wants to ride in the funeral procession should meet at the funeral home.

If you’d like to learn more about funeral services at funeral homes in Cleveland, OH, our compassionate and experienced team at E. F. Boyd & Son Funeral Home is here to help. You can visit us at our funeral home at 2155 E. 89th Street, Cleveland, OH 44106, or you can call us today at (216) 791-0770.

Cleveland, OH direct cremations

All About Direct Cremations

With Cleveland, OH direct cremations, no type of service is held before the cremation occurs. People choose direct cremation for many reasons. Sometimes it’s easier to for friends and family to plan for travel and time off of work to meet at a later date for a memorial service or to scatter the cremation remains (known as cremains). Sometimes, the cremains are being transported back to another place (hometown, family home, or family cemetery, for example) and direct cremation is the most efficient way to get the cremains to their final resting place.

With direct cremations, the deceased is transported from the location where they died directly to the crematorium. The family will meet with the funeral director to authorize the cremation, provide information for death certificates, and provide what they want included in the deceased’s obituary. The family will also bring clothes for the deceased.

The funeral director will obtain the necessary permits for the cremation, and will over the entire process. The process of cremation is very precise and very thorough.

The deceased is treated with dignity and respect throughout the process. Hearing aids, glasses, and jewelry will be given to the family (there are many places to donate hearing aids and glasses to help other people hear and see, so it’s a great way to pay tribute to a deceased loved one).

If there are any medical devices, such as pacemakers or implanted defibrillators, implanted in the deceased, these will be removed because the lithium batteries in them can damage the crematory.

The deceased will be dressed and will be identified by a family member or by a current photo. An indestructible tag is affixed to the deceased (this tag will remain throughout the cremation process) and the deceased is placed into a fully-combustible container, which is then placed into the crematory.

Cremation, which is a combination of intense heat and evaporated, usually takes about two to three hours. Once cremation is complete, all that is left are bone fragments. These will be cooled down and then any metal (fillings, screws, pins, and plates) left will be removed.

Once all the metal is removed, the bone fragments are then pulverized until they have a very fine consistency. These are put into a plastic bag with the tag that was affixed at the beginning of the cremation process. The plastic bag is then put into either a temporary container (if the family hasn’t yet purchased an urn) or the urn that the family purchased.

The family member who’s authorized to pick up the cremains from the funeral home is contacted to let them know that the cremains are ready.

The family then can decide what to do with the cremains and they can decide how best to memorialize their loved one.

Traditionally, cremains have been scattered in the deceased’s favorite place or a place that has special meaning for the deceased and the family. There are many other options for using the cremains, such as cremation jewelry, artwork that has the cremains mixed in with the paint, tattoos that use ink that has been mixed with the cremains, as well as other choices.

For more information about Cleveland, OH direct cremations, our compassionate and experienced team at E. F. Boyd & Son Funeral Home is here to help. You can visit our funeral home at 2165 E. 89th Street, Cleveland, OH 44106, or you can call us today at (216) 791-0770.