Author Archives: Welton

Cleveland, OH cremation services

Speak from the Heart

After cremations as part of Cleveland, OH cremation services, the grieving process begins for the family members who have lost a loved one. When these family members are friends or extended family, we immediately are moved to comfort and support them, but we don’t often know if we should say anything, or if we do, what would be the right thing to say.

In reality, sometimes more silence than words is okay if we don’t know what to say and we’re afraid that we might say the wrong thing. But we can acknowledge the loss of a loved one and we can express our sympathy to our grieving friends and extended family members.

When someone is grieving, they may simply want to talk about their loss and their grief (some people don’t want to and we should respect that as well). They are not looking for advice or wisdom or counsel. They just need to be able to express to another person how they are feeling. We can show our hearts in this case by just listening with an empathetic ear.

Many of the feelings of loss and grief are complicated. They can range from anger to sorrow to fear and to regret. It can be hard to hear grief out loud, and we might be tempted to try to counter what our grieving friend or extended family member is saying by, in essence, disagreeing with how they feel and what they are saying. This can make things so much worse.

What we need to do instead is step back and put ourselves in their shoes. What would we want someone to say to us if we were in the throes of grief and emotional turmoil? Something kind and understanding that comes from an empathetic and gentle heart would sooth our wounds of loss instead of aggravating them.

Another way to show and speak from our hearts is not to disappear after a few weeks of supporting and consoling our grieving friends or extended relatives. One way to disappear is not making the time to check in with them regularly to see how they’re doing. They may not be up to in-person visits, but we can text or call them to let them know we care about them.

Another way to disappear is more subtle, but also much more hurtful. This disappearance consists of being impatient with our friends’ or extended relatives’ grief by essentially telling them that it’s time to move on and get over it. If you want to damage, or possibly destroy, a relationship, this is a sure way to begin the process.

Grieving takes time, and no two people grieve openly – grief, in some shape or form, lasts the rest of ife – the exact same way or for the same amount of time. It takes a lot of patience sometimes to listen to some of our friends and extended family members say the same things and express the same feelings over and over for an extended period of time.

But this is a part of healing and we need to affirm the validity that they are feeling these things and give them a safe and supportive environment to work out their grieving, no matter how long it takes. That’s friendship and that’s love.

For more information about grief resources as part of Cleveland, OH cremation services, 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

Many Urban Cemeteries are Almost Full

After funerals at funeral homes in Cleveland, OH in the near future, it may be quite difficult to find a cemetery with a single cemetery plot for sale. Cemeteries in urban areas are simply running out of space. Many of them have removed sidewalks, acquired more land around the cemetery, and shortened the amount of space between plots to continue to accommodate burials. But the amount of available land is finite.

Even the largest urban cemeteries, like Arlington National Cemetery, are facing a land crunch. Arlington National Cemetery is projected to run out of cemetery plots by 2041.

Baby Boomers, the largest generation since World War II, are now aging and beginning to die. As Baby Boomers die, they will push the land shortage that urban cemeteries are facing to its absolute limit. Baby Boomers moved out of small towns and into urban areas at a level and pace not seen in any generation before them. Once they got to urban areas, Baby Boomers eventually established homes and families and continued to contribute to the population growth of these areas.

What is problematic about cemeteries running out of space in urban areas is that many people want to be buried near where they live or they want to be buried with family members. That may not be possible in the future, and some people may have to choose cemeteries that are further away from where they live or where nobody else they know is buried.

Although it’s estimated that there are about 10,000 cemeteries in the United States, there is no concrete data on whether they are all active cemeteries or whether they still have room for future burials. Very few new cemeteries have been built in the last decade anywhere, but especially in urban areas.

One reason is because land is so expensive, and there so little of it available, in urban areas that cemeteries simply can’t compete with commercial interests in acquiring more land. Another reason is the ubiquity of housing developments, where huge tracts of land are purchased by developers and houses are built and governed by a homeowners association. Neither the people who purchased the houses nor the homeowners associations want a cemetery, figuratively speaking, in their backyard. So part of the contractual agreement for the housing development includes what is allowed on the land – and around it – and what is not.

About 76 million Americans will turn 78 between 2024 and 2042. 78 years of age is the average life expectancy in the United States. If all of those people decide to be buried in a casket, 130 square miles would need to be added to American cemeteries.

However, there is a silver lining. Since cremated remains can be buried in a cemetery and they take up much less space than a casket, cremation opens the avenue for more burials in urban cemeteries. With more than 50% of Americans choosing cremation over traditional burial, with that percentage expected to rise to 80% by 2035, cemeteries are now creating spaces for urn burials. These urn gardens are landscaped and maintained just like the rest of the cemeteries where caskets are buried. This may be the answer to keep urban cemeteries active and room available for several more decades.

If you’d like to learn more about funeral planning 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 2165 E 89th St., Cleveland, OH 44106, or you can call us today at (216) 791-0770.

cremation services provided in Shaker Heights, OH

The Effect of Grief on the Elderly

Grief resources are among cremation services provided in Shaker Heights, OH. Elderly people are affected by grief in very profound ways. When elderly people lose loved ones, which is more frequent and often includes spouses, existing health problems can get much worse, living arrangements may have to be changed, and stress gets much more intense.

Because the elderly experience grief more frequently, as friends, family members, and peers die, they may sense that their time to die is closing in on them, which can lead to greater feelings of anxiety and loneliness.

The emotional and physical ways that grief may affect elderly people are different than for younger people. Grief always has an impact on physical health. However, elderly people are much more susceptible to severe health problems after a loved one dies because their stress levels are significantly elevated for a longer period of time.

A decrease in appetite is one physical symptom of the effective grief on the elderly. Many older people have a normal decrease in their desire to eat. They will eat fewer meals and their meal portions will be smaller. However, grief can decrease their appetites even more, which can lead to malnutrition and dehydration.

Feeling confused during the grieving process is common at any age. However, among the elderly this confusion can be much worse and lead to periods of forgetfulness, disorganization, and disorientation. Since these are many of the same symptoms associated with cognitive impairment and dementia, testing should be done to eliminate these conditions as the source of confusion.

Elderly people are more likely to experience significant life changes following the death of a loved one, especially a spouse, then younger people. For elderly spouses who were married for many years, the loss of the other spouse creates a void in caring and support. The surviving spouse may find themselves having to leave a home that they’ve lived in for many years and either move into small apartment, in with their families, or into an assisted living facility. These kind of life changes magnify the stress of grief.

Another loss that elderly people may experience following the death of a spouse are financial difficulties. Unless there is life insurance or financial investment that ensures financial security, many elderly people who lose their spouse also lose the fixed income that the spouse received. So instead of living on to fixed incomes, the surviving spouse has to make it on one fixed income. This is also an extra stress added to the grieving process.

Another source of stress associated with grief among the elderly are the feelings of being isolated, alone, and lonely. Losing a spouse, a close friend, or close relative can mean losing someone to confide in, to talk to, or to spend time with. Younger family members are usually wrapped up in their own lives with and raising families, so they don’t have a lot of extra time to spend with older family members (and they don’t realize what older family members are feeling and experiencing). This can lead to elderly to believe that they are truly all alone in the world, which can exacerbate the stress associated with grief.

Grief support and grief counseling are good resources for elderly people who are dealing with extra stress and different grief than their younger counterparts. Many of these resources are free.

If you’d like to learn about grief resources and cremation services in Shaker Heights, 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 25900 Emery Road, Warrensville Heights, OH, or you can call us today at (216) 831-7906.

funeral homes in Shaker Heights, OH

Reducing Funeral Stress

Funerals at funeral homes in Shaker Heights, OH can be very stressful, but there are some important ways that some of the stress can be reduced. There will always be stress associated with funerals. There is the stress of losing someone we love, whether the death is expected or unexpected. There is the stress of the grieving process, which is at high intensity right out of the gate. There is the stress of all the activity that surrounds the funeral process, including accommodating out-of-town guests, planning the funeral, and in many cases, either the expectation of or the materialization of family drama. That’s a lot of stress.

However, there are some things that we can do to mitigate some of the stress.

It’s important to remember that even in an emergency situation, which a funeral is, we have more time than we think we have. One of the biggest stressors surrounding a loved one’s death is planning and arranging a funeral in a very short period of time. While it’s true that there are certain things that need to be done rather quickly after someone dies, there’s still more flexibility in the schedule that we might think.

For example, if your loved one is going to be having an underground burial, but it will take several days for all the family members to arrive, the funeral home is able to plan for that and accommodate that within reason. In the case of cremation, memorial services can be held any time after the cremation. That may be days, weeks, months, or even a year or more later. So take a deep breath and figure out what needs to be done immediately and what can wait.

Another way to reduce the stress of funerals is to talk about them before they happen. Even though in Western culture, we avoid talking about death if at all possible, if the family talks about and plans for the funeral of a loved one before they die – or the loved one themselves talks about and plans for their own funeral – then it’s just a matter of setting the plan in motion. There will still be stress with doing this, but the stress of having to figure out all the little details and wondering if we’re doing what are loved one would’ve wanted is eliminated.

We need to understand that talking about and planning for funerals in advance, whether for ourselves or for a loved one, is not the same as giving up on them. Somehow, our society has been conditioned to believe that once you talk about someone’s death, then you’ve thrown your hands up and given up on their lives, which is tantamount to just not doing anything else for them. Where this idea came from is a mystery, talking about death and planning for death is not abandoning our own lives or the lives of somebody we love.

Another way to reduce funeral stress is to embrace the idea of death as a natural process. Hospice care organizations provide end-of-life support so that people who are dying can die comfortably at home surrounded by the people they love. Dying in a hospital is unnatural to us and all the sounds and the activity that often accompanies death can create a lot more stress.

Again, having hospice care at home is still stressful. However, it is less stressful in the long run, because everybody’s at home, including our dying loved one, and a peaceful (hopefully) and comfortable environment.

For more ways to reduce funeral stress at funeral homes in Shaker 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.

cremation services provided in Warrensville Heights, OH

Writing a Traditional Obituary

Helping write obituaries is among the cremation services provided in Warrensville Heights, OH. Although there is a growing trend toward writing more creative obituaries, most obituaries still follow a traditional format.

You have the choice of where you want them published. Both digital and print editions of newspapers have a cost associated with them (most charge by the word) for obituaries. Funeral homes will publish obituaries on their websites as part of their service to you and your family. There are other digital options for publishing obituaries as well. Some may be free and some may have a cost associated with them.

Traditional obituaries have several elements included.

The first is the announcement of the death. It includes the deceased’s name, age, and residence at the time of death. Do not include street addresses, because there are people who regularly scan obituaries to see when homes will be empty so they can burglarize them. Simply include the city and state.

There are many ways to say someone has died. While some people are comfortable with using the word died, others feel it’s too harsh, so they’ll use phrases such as passed away, went to their heavenly home, and went to be with the Lord. There’s no right or wrong way to express that someone has died, so use the phrasing that you are most comfortable with.

The next element in an obituary is a list of the immediate family members who have died before the deceased, including parents, siblings, spouses, and children.

A brief biography is the next thing that should be included in a traditional obituary. This should include important events, qualities, contributions and connections in the deceased’s life. These are things like the date and place of birth, parent’s names, date and place of marriage, birth name of spouse, education, work, and military service. Within this, the impact that the deceased had during their lifetime should be highlighted.

The next element in an obituary is a list of the family members and friends-who-were-like-family who survive the deceased. The order should be surviving parents, surviving spouse, surviving children (and their spouses’ first names in parentheses), surviving grandchildren, and any other family members or friends that were special to the deceased.

Arrangements are listed next. These will include the arrangements for visitations, funeral or memorial services and burial (if the deceased is not being cremated). Dates, times, and locations of all funeral arrangement events should be included as well.

The next section of the obituary is for special messages that the family of the deceased would like to communicate. This is where requests for donations instead of funeral flowers should be placed as well as thanks to hospital staffs, hospice staffs, and individuals who may have been involved in taking care of the deceased before they died.

Photos are now very common in obituaries. If they’re being published in a newspaper, they are an additional cost (color photos cost more than black and white), while they are part of the funeral home’s services if they’re published on their website. Choose a good quality (good lighting, no smudges or creases, and dressed nicely), recent photo of the deceased for the obituary.

If you’d like to learn more about writing obituaries and cremation services in Warrensville Heights, 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 25900 Emery Road, Warrensville Heights, OH, or you can call us today at (216) 831-7906.

funeral homes in Warrensville Heights, OH

Someone Has Died. Now What?

Before funerals at funeral homes in Warrensville Heights, OH, there are several things that need to be done immediately after someone dies. The first thing that needs to be done is that a medical professional has to call time of death and then fill out a Pronouncement of Death form. If the deceased is in a hospital when they die, then medical staff will take care of this.

The next thing that will need to happen is for arrangements to be made to get the deceased person to the funeral home. You should not have to do this. Hospital personnel will contact the funeral home and arrange for the deceased to be transported. Medical staff will then clean and dress the deceased before the funeral home staff arrives to take the body to the funeral home.

However, you do need to let family who are not already there and close friends know that your loved one has died.

Next, if the deceased person has dependents and/or pets, you need to make sure that adequate care arrangements are made for them. Some people with children have already appointed godparents to take care of their children when they die, so you will need to contact them. However, if the godparents live far away, then you will need to arrange temporary care arrangements for them until the godparents can get there.

It’s important to remember that the death of an owner or parent(s) has a profound effect on both pets and children, so they need to be in a very supportive, comforting, and loving environment as they adjust to the reality of someone they love deeply being gone.

If the deceased was employed, you need to notify the employer of the death and ask for information about any benefits or pay that may be owed. If you don’t know, you should ask if the deceased had life insurance through the company. If they did, be sure to get all the information you need so that the insurance benefits can be claimed.

If the deceased’s primary care physician doesn’t already know, you need to make sure that they are informed about the death.

While doing all of these things may seem daunting and overwhelming, create a task list and assign everyone who is there to help with a portion of the tasks to do. This will prevent the entire burden from being on one person’s shoulder and will make the process faster and easier.

If a person who is in home hospice care dies, your first notification will be to the home hospice agency. One of the nurses will come to your or the deceased’s home and complete the Pronouncement of Death. The hospice nurse will also contact the funeral home about transporting the body, and will then clean and dress the body before the funeral home staff gets there.

Hospice provides final care kits and all medications for hospice-admission illnesses, so once the funeral home takes the body to transport it to the funeral home, the hospice nurse will work with the primary caregiver or a family member to properly dispose of all medication that hospice provided. They are legally required to do this, especially with narcotics.

For more information from funeral homes in Warrensville Heights, OH about what to do after someone dies, 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.

cremation services Warrensville Heights, OH

Destigmatizing Suicide

Helping with suicide awareness is among the cremation services provided in Warrensville Heights, OH. Americans, in general, avoid talking about suicide. We skirt the subject and obituaries and death notices by saying things like, “passed away suddenly” or “passed away unexpectedly,” even though it’s clear to anyone reading them that the person was neither sick nor elderly.

The stigma against suicide in the African-American community is even stronger because it is seen as a sign of weakness. There are unrealistic expectations among African Americans about the constant outward display of strength. We are expected to have it all together all the time. There is no discussion about mental health, emotional health, or seeking help from qualified professionals when we need it.

Yet we only have to look at a few names to understand that suicide, in the mental health issues that preceded them, is prevalent among the African-American community.

Don Cornelius, the genius behind the very popular TV show, Soul Train, which introduced many still-popular African-American entertainers to the world, died from a self-inflicted gun wound in 2012. Cornelius, who underwent complicated brain surgery in the late 1980s, said that he never felt the same mentally or physically after the surgery. Finally the pain and the mental strain caught up with him.

The singer and actress, Phyllis Hyman, committed suicide with a drug overdose in 1995. The suicide note Hyman left said, in part, “I’m tired. I’m tired. Those of you that I love know who you are. May God bless you.” She was 46 years old.

Musician Donny Hathaway was 33 when he plunged to his death from his 15th floor hotel room in New York City in 1979. Incredibly talented, Hathaway was known not only for his skills as a musician and as a writer, but also his incredibly smooth sound both as a solo artist and as a duet artist.

Hathaway suffered from severe depressive bouts at the height of his career. After seeking professional treatment, Hathaway was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. Psychiatrists prescribed a very strong medication to help control the symptoms. However, Hathaway’s wife, Eulaulah, said as Hathaway got busier and more popular, he became less diligent about taking the medication.

Hathaway’s mental instability during the 1970s created havoc in his personal life and resulted in several hospitalizations. At the time of his death, Hathaway was in the recording studio with his frequent duet partner, Roberta Flack. They were doing a follow-up album of duets after the release of the widely-popular “The Closer I Get to You.”

However, Hathaway’s behavior both in the studio and outside the studio was increasingly erratic. The day Hathaway died, he had become paranoid and delusional, claiming that white people were trying to kill him and had hooked his brain up to a machine to steal both his sound and his music. The record producers decided to stop the recording session and send everybody home. Within hours, Hathaway lay dead on the sidewalk outside his hotel.

Mental illness and suicide show no partiality. We must, as African-Americans, seek professional help if we need it and not be afraid of what other people might say or think. Our lives are at stake and the lives of our community are at stake. Each of them is valuable and worth saving.

But when suicide hits our families, we should not be afraid to say so, so we can finally break down these walls to keep us from getting the help we need.

If you’d like to learn about cremation services in Warrensville Heights, 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 25900 Emery Road, Warrensville Heights, OH, or you can call us today at (216) 831-7906.

History of African-American Funeral Traditions

African-American funeral traditions at funeral homes in Shaker Heights, OH offer an insightful look into some of the richest and most meaningful funeral rites and rituals in the world.

The roots of African-American funeral traditions lie in ancient Egypt. As part of Africa, Egypt strongly influenced the rest of the continent as it created embalming techniques and elaborate funeral rituals for loved ones who had died.

Egyptians were the first ones to learn how to preserve dead bodies. Using a mixture of spices, ointments, and other natural ingredients, along with cloth, Egyptians learned how to preserve the bodies of the dead. This process, called mummification, was best represented by the discovery of King Tut.

Egyptians also created the sarcophagus. This well-crafted burial container aided in preserving the body. Preservation of the body, the Egyptians believed, gave power to the dead person’s soul in the next life.

To house the sarcophagus, Egyptians built pyramids for the wealthy. These were filled with everything the soul would need for sustenance in the afterlife. Many of these pyramids were filled with furniture, clothes, and food. However, only the upper classes of Egyptians were buried in pyramids.

But the rituals of services and burial passed through all the classes of Egypt. From there, they spread out through the rest of Africa. The tribal communities took them and adapted them, so that each tribe had its own variation of funeral traditions to honor, to respect, and bury their dead.

When the slave trade began, many of those brought to the Americas were from Western Africa. In African culture, the women of the tribe were responsible for preparing the body, which included bathing and dressing it. No one else could handle the body until the bathing ritual is done.

Before the deceased was buried, tribal members presented gifts to the person. These were buried with the deceased, harkening back to the Egyptian belief that the soul would need them for the next life.

An elaborate mourning ritual followed. Again, women took the lead in weeping and wailing over the body. After an extended period of a few hours, the body was buried.

The whole community would then visit the gravesite for several weeks after the burial. They would pray that the spirit of the deceased had found peace. Services to celebrate the transition from this world to the next took place at a much later time. This might be several weeks or even up to a year after the person had died.

This was a memorial service, and it was filled with singing, dancing, eating and drinking, and drumming. Its purpose was to pay final respects to the deceased and to denote the end of the funeral observances for that person.

For the almost 400 years of slavery in the United States, slaves were prohibited from giving their loved ones a good funeral and proper burial. Part of this was due to the fact that slave owners feared if a group of slaves gathered together, they would rebel against the slave owners.

Many slaves were buried without any ceremony at all, in fields that were not used for crop production. Under the heavy yoke of slavery, African-Americans began to see death as freedom from slavery. As they embraced Christianity, African-Americans view death as a chance to be with Jesus and to go and live free and their heavenly home. This hope went to the development of the homegoing or homecoming celebration that is still an integral part of African-American funerals in some parts of the country today.

For more about African-American funeral traditions at funeral homes in Shaker 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.

cremation services provided in Warrensville Heights, OH

When Grief is Too Much

Grief resources are among the cremation services provided in Warrensville Heights, OH. When a loved one dies, intense grief and mourning are the natural human emotions that are evoked. When they are expressed and processed in a safe and supportive environment, healing occurs as the nature of grief is transformed into memories and the hope of seeing our loved ones again.

However, some people believe that showing grief makes them look weak, which, in turn makes them feel more vulnerable. And when people feel vulnerable, they can also feel powerless.

The Western world has indoctrinated us with the idea that we can’t show emotions because they will leave us exposed as a target for bullying, derision, and even potential violence. Therefore, we’re taught at an early age to hide our emotions and our feelings and act as though we don’t have them.

Boys are taught at a very early age not to cry. When they fall down and skin their knees or get a few bumps and bruises, they’re told, “Buck up and take it like a man.” If they do cry, they are often called sissies or crybabies, something no boy ever wants to hear. This indoctrination is so intense that by the time boys become men, they’ve become very adept at stuffing every emotional reaction deep inside and putting on the stoic face of indifference.

Girls are allowed to cry and get upset when they’re very young. But as they mature, the same limits that are imposed on boys start being applied to them. Women who cry and who express their emotions publicly are held in less regard than women who put on the same stoic face of indifference as men.

However, the intense grief of losing somebody you love makes it very hard to uphold the Western tradition of stoic indifference. Losing somebody that you love hurts deeply. It not only rips your heart out, but it tears your soul in two. Containing that kind of emotion is virtually impossible.

But in some cases, some of us still try to stuff all those emotions down and carry on as if nothing has happened. In men, this is often expressed as silence. They simply don’t talk about it. In women, this is often expressed as busyness. They simply stay is busy as possible to avoid having to think about or feel grief.

Because grief is an expression of love, trying to contain it, deny it, or avoid it takes a serious toll on us physically, mentally, and emotionally.

The physical toll of suppressing grief manifests itself in health problems. Blood pressure goes up, headaches abound, fatigue nags constantly, stomach issues arise, and sleep often eludes us. This may, in turn, cause us to seek relief in alcohol and drugs, which create more physical health problems.

The mental and emotional toll is immeasurable, and can actually result in severe depression and even suicidal thoughts.

Grief demands our attention. If we choose to ignore it, we do so at our own peril. We are denying a basic part of what makes us human, but all the denial in the world will not make it go away. It’s better to deal with it immediately and reap the benefits of healthy grief processing.

If you’d like to learn about grief resources and cremation services in Warrensville Heights, 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 25900 Emery Road, Warrensville Heights, OH, or you can call us today at (216) 831-7906.

funeral homes in Shaker Heights, OH

Unusual Funeral Processions

Most funeral processions at funeral homes in Shaker Heights, OH proceed in the usual slow-moving, dignified last ride from the funeral home to the cemetery where the deceased will be laid to rest.

But some people have come up with creative ways to make the last trip.

In April 2019, a convoy of garbage trucks went with the coffin to the cemetery in Springfield, Illinois. The deceased was Ronnie Davis, one of the drivers for the trash collection company, Republic. His job was to empty metal waste containers for commercial customers.

When Mr. Davis died unexpectedly in late March, his coworkers decided to organize a funeral procession for him. So instead of the usual line of passenger cars behind the hearse, a dozen garbage trucks made their way to Oak Hill Cemetery. The first truck behind the hearse was the truck that Mr. Davis normally drove. A black wreath was attached to the grill of the truck. All the drivers in the funeral procession blew their horns as they drove to the cemetery, as a sign that they valued and admired Mr. Davis.

In 1994, at the San Marino Grand Prix Formula One car race, Brazilian driver Ayrton Senna da Silva, who was considered to be one of the top racecar drivers of all time, was in the lead when he missed a tight corner in the seventh lap and flew off the track hitting a concrete retaining wall. At a speed of 135 miles an hour, Senna didn’t stand a chance. He was declared dead at a nearby hospital.

The government of Brazil declared three days for the nation to mourn its native son. When Senna’s body arrived at the airport, a huge funeral procession accompanied him for the 20-mile trip to Sao Paulo. In Sao Paulo, about three million people poured into the streets to get a glimpse of Senna’s coffin going past. It was perhaps the single largest group of mourners up until that time.

However, having large groups of mourners assemble for a funeral procession is not an unusual event in history. When philosopher Voltaire died in France in 1778, approximately one million people were thought to have joined his funeral procession. Voltaire’s funeral procession included an orchestra that featured a tuba.

When the Ayatollah Khomeini, Iran’s Supreme Leader, died in 1989, the number of people who joined his funeral procession was almost four million. They came in spite of oppressive heat and a crush of people that jostled up against each other for miles. The mourners wailed, beat themselves, and chanted as they express their grief for their fallen leader. The heat was so bad that firetrucks lined the procession route so that they could spray water on the crowd for relief. The crush of the mob of people was so great that eight people died and 400 people were injured.

With Amish people in America, funeral processions are quite simple. There are no flowers, no eulogies, and no music. Instead, a hymn is read and everyone prays at the gravesite. Graves are dug by hand and the deceased are entombed in simple wood boxes. There are no adornments on the graves, since this is seen as a symbol of status and wealth, which the Amish shun.

For more ideas about funeral processions at funeral homes in Shaker 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.