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cremation services in Cleveland Heights, OH

Seven Types of Grief

Access to grief resources is one of the cremation services offered in Cleveland Heights, OH. You may be experiencing grief because you have had a loved one die from COVID-19 or die during this pandemic. Because the traditions and rituals of funerals have dramatically changed because of the pandemic, your grief over the death of your loved one may seem more unsettled.

If you haven’t lost anyone because of the pandemic or for any other reason, you still may be experiencing grief. You may just feel this persistent sadness that you can’t relate to anything directly or to anything that is concrete.

There are seven different types of grief that we can experience, and you may be experiencing one or more of those types of grief right now.

One type of grief that you may be experiencing is a loss that’s not related to death. You can grieve over the loss of anything that is significant in your life. The loss may be psychological, physical, spiritual, and/or interpersonal.

While some of these losses during our lifetimes will seem minor and manageable, other of these losses will be life-changing and devastating. The more significant the thing was that you lost, the greater your grief will be.

The second type of grief is secondary losses. When you experience a life-changing or devastating loss, there is usually a ripple effect of subsequent losses. That is because the first loss involves such big shifts and breaks that it creates a domino effect of losses that are related to it.

For example, you may have lost your job or are working less than you were before the pandemic. This, in turn, has impacted your financial well-being. If you regularly assembled with the church congregation and there is no virtual way to do that now, you may feel a loss of a spiritual connection. If you’re working from home and don’t have regular contact with your coworkers, you may lose interpersonal connection.

The third kind of grief is an ambiguous loss. Ambiguous loss is grief that happens for someone you love who is still living. It’s different from the type of grief that you experience when a loved one dies.

Ambiguous loss is the grief that you feel when someone disappears out of your life, a close relationship changes, or even when someone develops dementia and their personality and relationship with you is altered forever.

The fourth kind of grief is a cumulative loss. With the COVID-19 pandemic, cumulative loss is a very common type of grief that people are experiencing. Cumulative loss happens when a new loss occurs before you’ve been able to grieve for the previous loss or when you experience multiple losses in rapid succession.

The fifth kind of grief is a non-finite loss. The definitive feature of this type of grief is that reality doesn’t match your expectations. People usually carry this kind of grief for a very long time, but it’s often difficult for them to pinpoint the source of grief.

The sixth type of grief is anticipatory grief. Anticipatory grief is grief that is experienced before the loss actually happens. For example, if you have a loved one who has a terminal illness, it is very likely that you will experience anticipatory grief because you know they’re going to die before they actually die.

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The seventh type of grief is disenfranchised grief. Disenfranchised grief happens when you feel like you’re being denied the opportunity to grieve by other people. This kind of grief can happen if you feel ashamed of your grief or you feel like your grief isn’t being validated by other people.

For more information about grief resources and cremation services in Cleveland Heights, OH, our compassionate and experienced team at E. F. Boyd & Son Funeral Home is here to help.

Advanced Dementia and Hospice

Before funerals at funeral homes in Cleveland Heights, OH, you may be caring for a loved one who has advanced dementia. You may not know it, but hospice care is not just for terminal diseases like cancer or organ failure.

Hospice care can be effective for people who may be experiencing a wide range of chronic conditions including renal failure, heart failure, liver failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and dementia. However, it’s important to know that once you have your loved one admitted to hospice care, these chronic diseases will be managed, but there will be no treatment to extend life.

Unlike many chronic diseases, dementia can be difficult to characterize in terms of stages of the disease. If your caregiver for someone with dementia, you know firsthand that every day can be different. You may have some days where your loved one is doing relatively well and you may have other days where the neurological decline is plainly evident.

The life expectancy of your loved one with dementia is also difficult to predict. Whether your loved one has vascular dementia, frontotemporal lobe dementia, Lewy body dementia, or Alzheimer’s disease, or a combination of different types of dementia, it can be difficult to determine when hospice care is appropriate.

Because of the difficulties with communication in the later stages of dementia, you may not know if your loved one is in pain, experiencing discomfort, or needs and wants anything. Even if your loved one can communicate, the communication may not reflect what’s actually going on with them.

This can complicate your decision about getting hospice care for your loved one.

Dementia in terms of hospice eligibility is difficult to assess. With many other chronic or terminal diseases, life expectancy can be relatively estimated in concrete terms. With dementia life expectancy cannot be estimated with any certainty.

Most hospice care agencies have admission policies that include terminal health conditions with a life expectancy of six months or less. Therefore, it’s critical that you and your loved one’s medical care team work together to try to identify when your loved one is in the late stages of dementia.

It’s not unusual for dementia patients to get admitted to hospice care for the comorbid conditions, such as heart failure or kidney failure. But, if it’s clear that your loved one has progressed to the end stage of dementia, they will be admitted to hospice care so that they can get comfort care until the end of their life.

Hospice care agencies use two criteria to determine whether your loved one with dementia can be admitted.

The first thing that hospice care agencies use is your loved one’s ranking on the FAST scale. The Reisberg Functional Assessment Staging (FAST) scale has 16 items that can determine how many stages your loved one with dementia has gone through (there are seven stages on the scale).

If your loved one has a stage 7 ranking on the FAST scale, then they will have progressed to severe dementia with incontinence and the inability to dress, bathe, walk, or go to the bathroom without your assistance. In stage 7, your loved one may be unable to communicate at all or may not be able to communicate effectively.

The other criteria that hospice care agencies use to determine admission eligibility for your loved one with dementia is comorbid conditions. Comorbid conditions directly related to dementia can include pressure ulcers, extreme weight loss, sepsis, and pneumonia.

If you’d like to learn about planning funerals at funeral homes in Cleveland Heights, OH, our compassionate and experienced team at E. F. Boyd & Son Funeral Home is here to help.

Accelerated Resolution Therapy for Complicated Grief

After cremation services in Bedford, OH, caregivers of loved ones die often experience a deep sense of loss. Caregivers stand in a class by themselves. They devote themselves entirely to caring for their loved ones, no matter what they face or how challenging that care may be.

Because of this, caregivers often experience a deeper sense of loss when their loved ones die. For many caregivers, the death of a loved one is like a switch suddenly being turned off. They go from doing everything all the time to suddenly, in a sense, having nothing to do.

This can create a greater sense of grief for caregivers because, at the moment, they don’t know what to do with themselves. Grief can come in many forms, including regrets, confusion, guilt, and anger, among others.

The common wisdom for dealing with this grief is to acknowledge your feelings, seek professional help, and ride it out until the intensity subsides. However, a new kind of psychotherapy known as acceleration resolution therapy may be a better answer for this type of grief.

The way we grieve is complex. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross defined five distinct stages of grief in her landmark book entitled On Death and Dying. The stages include denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

However, when you go through the grieving process, not all of the stages happen in the stages that do happen don’t follow any specific order of occurrence. Grief is not predictable and it is not a neat and clean process.

Additionally, your grief isn’t like anybody else’s grief. Your grief is unique to you.

If you have spent years or months being responsible for the health and well-being of a loved one, you have given up other aspects of your life before you began caregiving. So once your loved one dies, not only are you grieving over their loss in absence, but you are also challenged to get back to the life you had before you began caregiving.

This transition is difficult for every caregiver. All the things that may have been important to you before you began caregiving may now seem trivial or unimportant compared to what you did as a caregiver. These things may include a career, family, hobbies, and friends.

You may not know how to get back to where you were and that can compound your grief and make it complicated grief.

Complicated grief for caregivers can also include post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD). The connection between PTSD and caregiving is seldom recognized. However, as a caregiver for a loved one, it is traumatic to watch them decline, to lose their independence, to watch them go through horrible medical conditions, and to watch them die.

Trauma impacts the grieving process dramatically. When traumatic feelings interact with the experience of grief, then grief becomes complicated. Traditional grief counseling may not offer the kind of coping skills that people who are experiencing complicated grief need in order to resume anything that looks like a normal life.

Accelerated resolution therapy may be the best route for caregivers who are experiencing complicated grief. Acceleration resolution therapy is designed to address PTSD and other emotional disorders successfully in a short period of time.

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If you are a caregiver who has lost a loved one and you’re experiencing intense grief that just doesn’t seem to end, your funeral home may be able to help you find grief resources that will include accelerated resolution therapy. Your funeral home is deeply connected to the community and they have a wide array of contacts who may be able to direct you to the grief counseling you need.

For more information about grief resources and cremation services in Bedford, OH, our compassionate and experienced team at E. F. Boyd & Son Funeral Home is here to help.

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What is a Letter of Last Instruction?

Part of planning funerals at funeral homes in Bedford, OH may include what is communicated in letters of last instruction. Typically, when you create a will, a letter of last instruction is included with the will.

However, you can leave a letter of last instruction with the rest of your important papers as an overview of what your wishes and desires are after you die. Think of your letter of last instruction as a supplement to your will that will guide your family through administrating your estate and directing them to all your important personal information.

So, what is included in a letter of last instruction?

One of the things that you should include in a letter of last instruction is a list of personal contacts. These are the people who need to be notified when you die. You should include contact information for family members, friends, clergy members, work, and social acquaintances that you want to be notified of your death.

Another thing that should be included in your letter of last instruction is a list of business and financial contacts. This list should include insurance agents, financial advisors, attorneys, and accountants. This list should also include the location of your bank, information about your insurance policies, and a list of all your account and policy numbers.

A letter of last instruction should also tell your family where your legal documents are located. If you have them in a safe at home, be sure that you include access to the safe. If your legal documents are located in a safety deposit box at your bank, you need to go now with a family member or someone else that you trust and have them granted access to the safety deposit box (they will be given a key).

Legal documents include documents such as wills, social security cards, trust documents, veterans benefits files, birth certificates, deeds, marriage certificates, titles, contracts, divorce decrees, mortgage papers, etc.

We all have a bigger digital footprint than we think we have. Your letter of last instruction should include all of your online usernames and passwords. Remember to include email accounts, social media accounts, bank and financial accounts, credit card accounts, shopping accounts, and the account to log onto your computer.

With this information, whoever is administrating your estate can close accounts, use accounts, and protect accounts to ensure that there is no theft of your identity after your death.

Your letter of last instruction should also detail any outstanding debts that you owe or that is owed to you. Be sure to include detailed information, including loan account numbers, credit card numbers, collateral, privately held notes, and terms of payment for the debts you owe and for any debts that are owed to you.

Another thing that you need to include in a letter of last instruction is a list of beneficiaries of your estate. For this list, you’ll need to list the names and contact information (include email addresses and cell phone numbers) for all your beneficiaries. You can also provide specific bequests for things that you want to give to certain beneficiaries because they have sentimental value to them.

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Don’t forget your pets. Your letter of last instruction should provide information about how to take care of any pets who survive you. You should also designate who should take care of your pets and whether their care will be paid for by you.

The final item in your letter of last instruction should be detailed information about the kind of funeral you want and any service that you may want after your death.

If you’d like to learn more about letters of last instruction at funeral homes in Bedford, OH, our compassionate and experienced team at E. F. Boyd & Son Funeral Home is here to help.

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Memorial Service Ideas

Helping plan memorial services are one of the cremation services offered in Bedford Heights, OH. There are many great things that you can do to honor the memory of your loved one. Memorial services are an avenue that allows you and your family and other mourners to come together to honor the life of your loved one in very personalized ways.

So, what kind of memorial services can you have?

A themed memorial service focuses on one aspect of your loved one’s life that they were passionate about or that embodies a symbol of their lives.

When you have a memorial service that focuses on a theme about your loved one’s life, you can highlight something that defined them or that was important to them.

If they had a passion, then you can focus on the memorial service on that. Their passion might have been something like music, sports, or family. The whole memorial service is centered around showing your loved one’s relationship with what they cared about in life.

For example, if your loved one was loved music, then the theme of the memorial service can show how music shaped their life and how they related to music all throughout their life.

Having a memorial service that uses a symbolic theme lets you use a phrase or symbols to capture the essence of who your loved one was. For example, if your loved one liked to grow flowers, then a wide array of fresh flowers can be used in the memorial service and mourners can be encouraged to plant a flower in your loved one’s memory.

If you don’t want to have a themed memorial service for your loved one, you have many other ways to create a memorial service that honors their memory and highlights what you – and others – loved about them.

One way is to have a memorial service that includes a memory board where people can write down their favorite memories of and stories about your loved one. You and your family will find that doing a memory board will give you a lot of comfort as you adjust to your loved one’s death.

This is also a great way to encourage people to share their stories about your loved one, including the ones you and your family may not know.

A memory board implicitly reveals the impact your loved one had on the world around them, and as you review it in the days, weeks, months, and years after your loved one’s death, it can ease the sad times when grief hits.

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Another addition to your memorial service can be a video tribute to your loved one. The funeral home can take your pictures of your loved one and add music to create a video tribute that can be played before or after the memorial service, or as part of the service itself.

You can also create a memorial service that consists of sharing foods that your loved one liked. This is a more informal service, where you and your family and other mourners eat and drink and mingle while sharing foods that were special to your loved one.

The funeral home can cater to this type of memorial service, mourners can bring food with them, or you may choose to dine out in a restaurant that was one of your loved one’s favorites. This type of memorial service is intimate and offers a lot of support to you and your family.

For more information about cremation services in Bedford Heights, OH, our compassionate and experienced team at E. F. Boyd & Son Funeral Home is here to help.

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Good End of Life Care Leads to Happy Memories

Before funerals at funeral homes in Bedford Heights, OH, good end of life care may make our memories of our loved ones’ lives much happier. The Madame Curie charity (a UK organization that provides support for terminally ill patients and their families) done extensive research on end-of-life care. They found that more than 33% of the people surveyed believed that inadequate or poor end of life care diminished the good memories they had of their loved ones.

About 20% of the people who were surveyed, believed that better end-of-life care would have helped them remember their loved ones with happier memories.

Four-fifths of the people who were surveyed saw a direct correlation between their happy memories of their loved ones and the good and positive end of life care. These same people believed that because their loved ones received great end of life care, they themselves were better able to go through the grieving process after their loved ones were gone.

This research indicates that how well our loved ones are taken care of by hospice or hospital organizations while they’re dying is interwoven with how positively we remember their entire lives. This research also seems to suggest that even in relationships that were not particularly easy, better memories of the relationship emerged if the loved one received a good end of life care.

Losing your loved one is a traumatic and life-changing event. You will be overwhelmed with many strong emotions before your loved one dies. These emotions will intensify after your loved one dies. If your loved one’s end of life care was poor or inadequate and it didn’t serve your loved one and you well, that can have detrimental effects on how you remember your loved one.

If you find yourself getting angry each time you think about the last few weeks, days, hours of your loved one’s life because the hospice group or hospital staff was inattentive or even negligent, then it’s more likely that you will have more negative memories about your loved one’s entire life.

With the right care and support, the dying process can be calm and peaceful. And it should be that way. However, the reality is that not all hospice agencies and hospitals are equal, and while some of them provide fantastic care and support, others do not.

One of the most frustrating situations you can find yourself and your dying loved one in is when acute home health care (right after a hospital stay), palliative home health care (continuous care when acute care is no longer need and until hospice care is needed) and hospice care (end of life care) units are within the same organization, but they operate independently of each other.

The acute and palliative home health care could be excellent, but the hospice care might be awful, or vice versa. It’s imperative to know that you have, as an advocate for your loved one, the right (and responsibility) to fire any care group that isn’t providing excellent care and replaces them with a care group that will.

The last days of your loved one’s life are important. You should make sure that they have the best care available, not only for their sake but also for yours and the memories you will be left with when your loved one is gone.

If you’d like to learn about funeral planning at funeral homes in Bedford Heights, OH, our compassionate and experienced team at E. F. Boyd & Son Funeral Home is here to help.

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Going Back to Work After a Loved One Dies

Going back to work after cremation services Cleveland Heights, OH is undoubtedly one of the hardest things you will have to do when your loved one dies.

Unless your company offers a generous bereavement policy, most employees are allowed to take off three days from work for bereavement. Some employers may allow you to personal time off (PTO) if they feel they can allow you to absent from work longer than three days.

However, most employers discourage their employees from taking extra bereavement leave, often using subtle insinuations that your job won’t be safe if you take more than the standard amount of time off.

However, legally, you can use all your PTO and then up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off under the Family Leave Act for bereavement. Be aware, though, that even though you are legally allowed to take this much time off for bereavement, you will likely either be demoted or terminated.

That is because many Americans are hired as at-will employees. This means that employers have control over what they will allow as a reasonable amount of time away from the job (despite PTO and federal legislation in the Family Leave Act) before they replace you.

So, in reality, whether you are ready to go back to work or not, you are likely to return after your three days of bereavement are over.

But anyone who has experienced the loss of a loved one knows that three days is just the beginning of the grieving process. It will be very stressful for you to try work while the intensity of grief is gripping every thought and every moment of your time.

You will likely find that you have difficulty concentrating and some of your work will be late or unfinished. Your completed work will likely not be up to par with your previous work because you are elsewhere.

Another issue you will have returning to work is that your emotions will be raw. Walking back in the door will probably take you aback because you’re in so much pain, and everyone is going about business as usual.

Your coworkers may offer condolences, but you will be expected to pick up where you left off before your loved one’s death.

That might mean that you’re expected to meet a critical deadline and your leadership team will be breathing down your neck to meet it.

You will also be expected to attend and participate in staff meetings or other kinds of meetings, as well as to immediately get back into the company’s rhythm and mindset.

This will be hard for you. However, there are a few strategies that you can use to make it less difficult.

You should first let Human Resources how you want your loved one’s death handled in terms of coworkers. You may not want to talk about your loved one’s death at work because it’s too emotional, so HR and/or your management team can let your coworkers know that.

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You can rehearse a few standard replies to company small talk that will not make you seem rude, but that will enable you to keep moving without having to engage in it (since this will be the last thing you want to do).

You will have trouble focusing on work, but there are some simple tools that can help you. Use to-do lists to organize and break projects down into ordered, manageable tasks. This will make it easier for you to start and finish them until the project is complete.

Another great strategy is to find a safe zone where you can have quiet time alone. If your company has areas outside where you can take uninterrupted walks, this may be the saving grace that helps you through the days, weeks, and months ahead.

For information about cremation services Cleveland Heights, OH, our compassionate and experienced team at E. F. Boyd & Son Funeral Home is here to help.

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Understanding Death

Funerals at funeral homes in Cleveland Heights, OH are held after someone dies. However, there are several kinds of death that can occur before people are officially declared dead.

One type of death is brain death. If there is no neurological activity at all, then a person is declared brain dead (this, in medical terms, is considered as being legally dead). But even though there is no neurological activity in a person, modern technology and medicine can still keep the body alive without the person’s brain functioning at all. That means that a body without brain activity can be kept alive for a long time with artificial means.

Although it’s unusual for people who are brain dead to be kept on life support for an extended period of time, it is very common for people who have suffered brain death to be kept alive for a short period of time, especially if they are organ donors.

This kind of life support is necessary to keep the organs healthy until all the organ transplants can be arranged. Once all the organ transplants are arranged, the person who is brain dead is then taken off life support, and the organs are harvested for transport to the designated recipients.

Another type of death is circulatory death. Circulatory death happens when the heart stops beating, and blood stops circulating in the body to vital organs, including the brain (brain death can actually be the result of circulatory death).

Circulatory death is more commonly known as cardiac arrest and, unless a person has a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order in place, emergency responders or hospital staff will try to get their heart beating again, using one or all of these methods: CPR, adrenaline, and electric shock.

The more time that passes when the heart is stopped, the more likely that brain damage or brain death will happen. Most medical experts say that six minutes is the maximum amount of time the heart can be stopped before damage to the brain starts.

If a person’s heart is restarted before the brain dies completely, then significant brain damage has happened. This results in the person who was revived being in a persistent vegetative state.

A persistent vegetative state is defined as “chronic wakefulness without awareness.” People who are in a persistent vegetative state are legally considered to be alive even though their brains are dead, so unless they have living wills that dictate that they don’t want any extraordinary medical measures taken, they will be given feeding tubes and ventilators to be kept alive.

A very famous case of someone being in a persistent vegetative state is that of Karen Ann Quinlan.

In April 1975, Quinlan went on a very restrictive diet to try to fit into a new dress that she had purchased. A couple of weeks after starting the diet, on April 15, 1975, Quinlan, who had not eaten any food for two days, went to a friend’s birthday party at a local bar in Byram Township, New Jersey. While there, she consumed a few gin and tonics and took Valium.

Shortly afterward, Quinlan felt weak and dizzy, so her friends took her home and put her to bed. When her friends checked on her fifteen minutes later, Quinlan was not breathing.

Emergency services were called and paramedics began to try to revive Quinlan. While she regained normal skin color and resumed breathing, Quinlan was still unresponsive.

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Quinlan was admitted to Newton Memorial Hospital in a comatose state. Because her brain had been deprived of oxygen for at least 20 minutes, the damage was irreversible, and Quinlan was in a persistent vegetative state.

Quinlan’s parents wanted their daughter removed from the ventilator, but the Morris County prosecutor threatened to charge the hospital with homicide if they removed the ventilator. Quinlan’s parents sued in September 1975 to have the ventilator removed, but their request was denied by a New Jersey Superior Court judge.

Finally, in 1976, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that Quinlan’s ventilator could be removed. However, Quinlan’s parents had not requested that her feeding tube be removed, so Quinlan lived for nine more years until June 1985, when she died from respiratory failure.

If you’d like to learn about planning funerals at funeral homes in Cleveland Heights, OH, our compassionate and experienced team at E. F. Boyd & Son Funeral Home is here to help.

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Why Millennials Should Plan for Death

Planning cremation services in Bedford, OH is a wise decision at any age, but there is one generation that has not planned for their deaths, but should because of how they tend to live their lives.

That generation is Millennials. Millennials are classified as the generation born between 1980 and 2000. One of the hallmark features of this generation is their propensity to live in the moment instead of preparing for the future.

Because Millennials are more focused on enjoying the present, they are also delaying many of the milestones of early adulthood such as settling into a career and getting married, and starting a family. These milestones typically make people start thinking about planning for the future, and that includes purchasing life insurance to take care of their families if something happens to them.

However, the lifestyle of Millennials should be a motivator for them to plan ahead in case something happens to them and they die.

One of the things that many Millennials like to do because they are not encumbered by jobs and family responsibilities, is to engage in very physically active and sometimes risky adventures.

This can translate to travel to faraway countries where they climb mountains, they go backpacking or hiking through the jungles with many hidden dangers, or they go too watery destinations where they do deep diving, ride treacherous rapids, or surf deadly waves.

Because there are inherent dangers in these travels, the risk of serious injury or death from Millennials is high. Therefore, having life insurance to cover cremation services should be a priority for them.

Anytime people engage in an activity that has inherent dangers, such as skydiving or bungee jumping, they are required to sign a waiver absolving the company providing these activities of any responsibility if they are injured or they die.

Millennials need to understand that their willingness to sign these waivers without a second thought means that their lives are at risk and that they need to be prepared in case the worst happens.

At the very minimum, millennials need a living will and a simple will. Millennials need to understand what each of these documents does and why they need them. A living will gives instructions about medical care in life-threatening situations.

Living wills will let millennials choose whether they want every medical option pursued to save their lives if they are in a life-threatening situation or whether they want to die naturally with just comfort care. A living will is valid as long as it’s signed and dated.

Millennials should have simple wills that specify what should be done with their possessions in the event of their death and what debts need to be paid off with their life insurance.

Millennials are more likely to have pets than almost any other generation alive today. Millennial tend to be devoted to their pets, referring to them as their kids and as their parents’ grandkids. Therefore, one thing that Millennials should specify in their wills is how they want their pets cared for if they should die.

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For Millennials who have completed college, it is likely that they have done so by going into massive debt with student loans. Provisions for paying off their debts, using their life insurance, should be stated in their wills.

There should be a current list of all debtors, payment addresses, and amounts owed so that whoever executes the will can make sure that those debts are taking care of.

For information about cremation services in Bedford, OH, our compassionate and experienced team at E. F. Boyd & Son Funeral Home is here to help.

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You Need a Cleaner When You Die

Before funerals at funeral homes in Bedford, OH, you need to enlist a cleaner (someone you trust and who is technically adept) to clean your physical house and clean your digital house to eliminate anything that might create problems after your death.

This cleaner is not your run-of-the-mill cleaner. Their job is to go through closets, dresser drawers, medicine cabinets, office desks, etc. and remove anything that could cause potential problems with your family members. They are tasked with destroying everything they remove that you direct them to destroy.

This person is also responsible for cleaning your digital house. Every time you do anything online, you leave behind traces of data. These are known as crumbs, and they stay around years after you leave them.

You may not have any particularly incriminating or embarrassing crumbs of data in your online past. If you do, then you’ll definitely want to get those cleaned up before you die. But crumbs of data give other people too much information about you, and if that information should fall into the wrong hands then you could be a target for some kind of fraudulent activity.

Additionally, most of us have been online for 20 or more years. What you left behind 20 or more years ago may not reflect anything about you now. So, you will want to clean up the old you before you die (this is common advice to college graduates who are looking for employment and who have social media accounts that are 10 or 15 years old, and which may not show them in the most flattering light to potential employers).

In the same way that you wouldn’t want old love letters or other very personal things read by other people, you don’t want to leave that kind of information in your digital house when you die.

The four reasons that you need to clean your physical house and your digital house are to ensure that you have not left anything that is dangerous, that is illegal, that is embarrassing, or that is secret.

Dangerous things in your physical house include things like prescription medications that would pose a potential safety threat to other people. These would include things like painkillers, antidepressants, and anxiety medication.

Illegal items in your physical house are things that are not allowed under federal, state, or local laws and which could get you arrested.

Embarrassing things in your physical house include anything that you wouldn’t display in the open when you have friends and family members over.

There may be embarrassing things in your digital house as well. These would include pictures posted on social media, pictures on your smartphone, text messages, social media posts, and emails you wouldn’t want everyone to see.

Embarrassing things don’t necessarily have to be anything racy. But they could be things that are offensive to others or that demean others.

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Secret things in your physical house could include family information, such as a previous marriage that no one knew about or adoption that no one knew about, private affiliations with groups that are secretive by nature, or affiliations with groups that your family and friends would find offensive, or relationships that your family and friends know nothing about.

Your cleaner must have access to both your physical house and your digital house. This means they need to have keys to get into your physical house and passwords to get into your digital house.

If you’d like to learn more funeral planning at funeral homes in Bedford, OH, our compassionate and experienced team at E. F. Boyd & Son Funeral Home is here to help.