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funeral homes in Bedford Heights, OH

How to Avoid Funeral Planning Mistakes

Planning funerals at funeral homes in Bedford Heights, OH is something many people are unfamiliar with because we don’t plan funerals until our loved one dies. The process of planning a funeral can leave you confused, overwhelmed, and exhausted because so many decisions need to be made so quickly.

When you choose a trusted funeral home to help guide you through the funeral planning process, you can make sure that you avoid some of the most common mistakes that people make when they are planning a funeral.

One common funeral planning mistake is not asking questions. When you’re planning your loved one’s funeral, you are in a state of shock and numbness because death creates a chemical response in the brain that protects you from the blunt blow of the loss.

However, this “fog of grief,” as it is known, can keep you from asking important questions when you’re making funeral arrangements. Therefore, you should take another family member or a trusted friend with you to the funeral home and be willing to let them ask questions about funeral options.

Your funeral director will gladly answer any questions at any time, and they will offer invaluable advice in situations where you may not know how you want to proceed. Because of our unfamiliarity with death and funerals, we have a lot of questions we don’t know the answers to. Don’t be afraid to ask those questions or have a family member or trusted friend ask them.

Another common funeral planning mistake is thinking that the funeral rituals you are arranging are for your loved one. While there is an aspect to funeral services that pays tribute and honor to the memory of your loved one, funeral rituals are primarily for the people your loved one has left behind.

Funeral rituals give you and others an opportunity to be comforted, supported, and loved in a time of intense loss and grief. They also are designed to help you and others get closure, which is an important step in the grieving journey and the healing process after a loved one dies.

Therefore, even though planning funeral services and other events can be time-consuming, they serve a vital purpose that you will not get to experience if you decide you want to skip them.

Grief is not an event with a firm beginning and a firm end. But a common funeral planning mistake is to believe that it is. The reality is that the grief you experience when your loved one dies will not be over when the funeral is over.

In fact, because of the “fog of grief” discussed earlier, you may not experience the full expression of your grief until after the funeral is over. And that grief will run its course through weeks, months, and perhaps a year or two, until it mellows – but doesn’t disappear completely – into warm memories of your loved one.

The mistaken belief that grief ends with the funeral can cause people so much unnecessary pain, questioning, and sorrow for a long time because their expectations are not matching reality.

When you understand that grief is a journey, then you can better manage the ups and downs of the road before you. You can set limits on what you will and won’t do while you’re on that road.

A wise piece of advice about grief after the loss of a loved one is to not make any major decisions for at least one year after their death. That is because grief isn’t logical, rational, or objective, and you don’t want to make big any decisions you made emotionally that you will regret later.

If you’d like to learn more about planning funerals 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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Benefits of Funeral Preplanning

You should be thinking about planning your cremation services in Cleveland Heights, OH before you die. However, although you will spend innumerable hours planning for birthday celebrations, anniversary celebrations, holiday gatherings, high school and college graduations, and weddings, you have probably not spent a lot, if any, time planning for death.

If you haven’t, you’re not alone. Most Americans don’t really want to think about death in any kind of concrete way.

Some people don’t because they have the superstitious belief that if they actually get their affairs in order and preplan their funerals, they are inviting death to come.

Other people who are sick or who are terminally ill may put of preplanning their funerals because they think it says they’re giving up on fighting their illnesses.

Neither of these things, nor the other reasons that Americans give for not thinking about death and preplanning their funerals is true, but the beliefs are strong enough that many of us push any thought of dying and death – and planning for it – as far away from us as possible.

The reality is that preplanning your funeral has a lot of benefits.

One benefit of preplanning your funeral is that you don’t leave your family with the burden of doing it when they are going through an intense emotional and challenging time. Over 400 decisions must be made quickly when you die.

Your family will be in shock and grieving over your death and it will be difficult for them to think rationally and make well-informed decisions. You save them this extra stress by taking care of planning your funeral in advance.

Another benefit of preplanning your funeral is that your family doesn’t have to wonder – or argue about – what kind of funeral arrangements you want. If you don’t preplan your funeral by leaving a written set of instructions for your family, then no one will truly know how to plan your funeral.

Different family members may have different ideas about what kind of funeral you should have, and the feelings about these may be so strong that disagreements and rifts occur within your family as a result. Some of these disagreements can be so intense that the rifts become permanent.

Planning for your funeral after you die is a rush job. Although your funeral director will pull it off beautifully, smoothly, and meaningfully, your family may be so harried from the planning process that they don’t really get the benefit of funeral rituals that are designed to provide comfort and support.

When you preplan your funeral, you have the gift of time to think about your funeral and what you want to make it perfect for you and for your family. You can cover every detail of your funeral so that your family and the funeral home just have to execute your wishes.

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When you preplan your funeral, one of the greatest benefits you and your family will have is peace of mind. Once you get comfortable with the reality that one day you will die and you prepare for that, then you’ve eliminated one of the biggest sources of worry that people have in their lives.

A final benefit of preplanning your funeral is that you can involve your family in the process while you’re doing it. By sharing your funeral plans, you have the chance to discuss why you chose the funeral plans you did and you can make sure that all of your immediate family knows what you want and knows what to do when you die.

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

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How Funeral Homes Help Honor Military Veterans

When planning funerals at funeral homes in Cleveland Heights, OH, people may not be aware that there are special ways they can show honor to their deceased loved ones who are military veterans.

If you’re planning a funeral for your loved one who served in any branch of the armed forces, the funeral home can help you highlight their military service during the funeral service. Here’s how and what you’ll need to bring to the funeral home when you make funeral arrangements.

When you meet with the funeral director to make your loved one’s funeral plans, you should bring their military separation orders (Form DD-214) with you. The funeral director will copy this because they will need it to arrange for military honors, as well as other funeral benefits your loved one is eligible for.

All military veterans who were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable are eligible for free burial or inurnment in a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) national or state cemetery. Their spouses and dependent children are also eligible for free burial there as well.

The burial in a VA national or state cemetery includes a gravesite, opening and closing the grave, a grave liner for casket burial, a headstone, and free perpetual care of the grave.

The funeral director will make arrangements with the VA to coordinate the services and the burial or inurnment in a VA national or state cemetery, and the funeral home will handle all the other aspects of your loved one’s funeral.

Another funeral entitlement from the Department of Defense that is available to all military veterans (except those who were dishonorably discharged) is military honors. Military honors are typically presented at the end of your loved one’s funeral service or graveside service.

The presentation of military honors is a deeply significant ceremony. Your loved one will have an American flag draped over their casket (if the final disposition is inurnment, a military flag will be held during the service).

Members of a local National Guard unit or a local veterans organization will fold the flag in 12 folds (each fold represents an aspect of military service) and then present the folded flag to a family member.

Military honors also includes a rifle salute and the playing of “Taps” as a tribute and as a goodbye to your loved one.

If your loved one was a military veteran, but either they or you wanted to be buried in a private cemetery, the VA will still provide a grave marker or headstone at no cost. However, they do not set the grave marker or headstone, but your funeral director can help you get that done.

Another military honor for your loved one that the funeral home can help obtain is a presidential memorial certificate. The presidential memorial certificate is a gold-embossed certificate of thanks that is signed by the current president of the United State. It is something that you can frame and keep as part of your remembrance of your loved one.

Many funeral homes host special Veterans Day and Memorial Day events to honor deceased military veterans. Look for those and plan to spend some time with others who are honoring their veterans who have died.

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In addition, most VA and private cemeteries have special ceremonies on Memorial Day and Veterans Day. You can check with the cemetery where your loved one is buried to find out what kind of events they have scheduled for these two national holidays that honor military veterans.

If you’d like to learn more about funeral benefits for veterans 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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How to Safely Offer Condolences During COVID-19

Before and after cremation services in Bedford, OH, one of the things that have dramatically changed during the COVID-19 pandemic is our ability to offer our condolences and support to grieving families in person. Many people have either had to postpone services or they’ve held small private services with just immediate family members.

While this is necessary to be as physically safe as possible during a health crisis, the need for comfort and support by bereaved families hasn’t changed. In fact, because of the restrictions in place, families who have lost loved ones may feel even more isolated and alone than they would typically after a loved one’s death.

So, what can you do to help someone you know who has lost a loved one during the COVID-19 pandemic and how can you do it safely?

One thing that has been a blessing during COVID-19 is technology. You have many ways that you can maintain regular and consistent contact with someone who is grieving the death of a loved one.

You can call. You can text. You can email. You can do virtual chats. All of this lets the grieving person know that you care about them, that they are not alone, and that you want to help them.

If you have the technology to virtually chat with someone who has lost a loved one, that is a great way to establish a close, physical connection with them because you can see them and they can see you.

Another way to offer consolation to someone who has had a loved one die is by posting a memorial tribute on the funeral home’s website. You can express your sympathy there, you can share stories and memories of their loved ones, and you can even upload photos of their loved ones.

These memorial tributes can be very comforting for someone who is grieving over their loved one’s death and it can let them know that their loved one was special and cared about.

As technology has advanced over the last several decades, we have virtually abandoned old fashioned card and letter writing. But, to give your consolation to someone who is bereaved, it is worth your time and money to buy a sympathy card, write a meaningful note in it, and mail it to them.

If you can’t get out to buy a sympathy card, Legacy has a nice collection of sympathy cards that you can mail for a very small fee. You simply pick the card you want to send and type your condolence message and the recipient’s mailing address, and the card will be sent to them via the U.S. Postal Service.

Another way to express your condolences to someone who has lost a loved one is to make a memorial donation in their loved one’s name. Many obituaries will list specific places where donations can be made, while others will simply ask that you make a donation to the charity of your choice.

When you make the donation, the deceased’s family will receive notification that you made a contribution to the charity in their loved one’s name.

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Flowers are a traditional funeral ritual, so even if you can’t be there in person to offer your sympathy, you can always send a nice flower arrangement or plant to the home of the bereaved family. Plants are nice because they will last much longer than cut flowers, but a gesture with either one lets the grieving family know you’re thinking of them.

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

funeral homes in Bedford Heights, OH

Responsibilities of Estate Personal Representatives

After funerals at funeral homes in Bedford, OH, personal representatives are responsible for handling the estates of their deceased loved ones. If you’ve been named as the personal representative for your loved one’s estate, you may not know exactly what responsibilities you have in that role. This guide should help.

Being the personal representative for your loved one’s estate means that your loved one trusted you enough to handle their final affairs. However, being an estate personal representative can be a time intensive and difficult assignment for you to carry out.

Estate personal representatives are responsible for paying their deceased loved one’s debts, taxes (if owed), and other creditors from the estate assets. After these are paid, the estate personal representative then distributes the rest of the state according to the deceased loved one’s wishes.

While this sounds like it is straightforward, much of this may require doing a lot of research, filling out a lot of paperwork, and keeping up with deadlines. You, as the estate personal representative, may have to deal with family disputes during the process. It’s a lot to ask of somebody, but your deceased loved one knew you could do it.

So, what do you need to know about your responsibilities as an estate personal representative?

The first thing you’ll need to do is locate and safeguard all the estate’s probate assets. Probate assets are anything in the estate that was owned solely by your deceased loved one. Examples might be a business, a vehicle, or a piece of property.

Anything that your deceased loved one owned jointly with someone else will is not part of the probate estate. For example, if your loved one owned a house with their spouse or they owned a business with someone else, the house or business passes on to the surviving joint owner.

The same is true with joint financial accounts (checking, savings, etc.) and life insurance and retirement or investment accounts that have designated beneficiaries.

Anything that is a probate asset must be appraised for its value as of the date your loved one died. You will need a professional appraiser (real estate agent for the property and certified public accountant for a business) to determine the value. For financial accounts that were solely held by your deceased loved one, you will need to obtain current bank statements.

You will also need to identify all your deceased loved one’s creditors and pay off the debts owed to them. Typically, a notice of death published in a local newspaper will satisfy this obligation since it serves as a notice of death and creditors can then make claims against the estate.

Hopefully, your loved one left a list of creditors to whom they owed money, and this process will be relatively easy and straightforward.

You may need to file a final state and federal tax return for your deceased loved one. Consult with a certified professional accountant to see if this step is necessary for the estate you are representing.

As the estate personal representative, you will also need to pay any ongoing expenses for the estate. These would include things like utilities (residential) and operating expenses (business) that the estate has.

Once the debts of the estate have been paid, then the estate personal representative can distribute the rest of the assets according to the deceased loved one’s specifications.

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It’s important to know that all your out-of-pocket expenses for managing and settling your deceased loved one’s estate are eligible to be reimbursed by the estate. Keep detailed records and receipts for everything you spend. You may also be entitled to a small fee (generally about 2% of the estate’s net worth) for your work as a personal representative.

If you’d like to learn more about being an estate personal representative from funeral homes in Bedford, OH, our compassionate and experienced team at E. F. Boyd & Son Funeral Home is here to help.

cremation services in Bedford Heights, OH

Leave a Legacy to Your Family

Before you died and have cremation services in Bedford Heights, OH, one of the most important things you can do is to write a legacy letter to your family. You may or may not have a lot of possessions or personal wealth. Whatever you have is just stuff. Some of it may have sentimental or financial value, but it’s not a legacy.

Your legacy is your life and its experiences and what you’ve learned along the way. You have a wealth of knowledge to pass on to future generations. That may include family history, memories they know nothing about, the values that you’ve tried to live by, and the lessons you’ve gained from your time here on Earth.

Writing a legacy letter gives you a chance to pass the invaluable and priceless parts of your life on to your family. As you write your legacy letter, think about these things.

Every human life, including yours, is full of meaning. To your family, you are much more important than anyone else, including famous athletes and other famous people. Your family doesn’t know them personally. But they know you personally.

Your life is not a comparison with anyone else’s. Maybe you weren’t able to achieve everything you dreamed of achieving, but you have accomplished a lot just by being alive and by having a family that loves you.

Share the lessons you’ve learned and the experiences you’ve had throughout your life: as a child, as a grandchild, as a sibling, as a friend, as a spouse, as a parent, as a grandparent, and in all the other roles you’ve had in relation to the people in your life.

And, if you’re not a parent, you can still write a legacy letter for your friends, for your neighbors, or for your church congregation. You’ve got a lot to share with a lot of people.

A legacy letter gives you the opportunity to share your history with your family and others. Not only can you share the family history that only you may know, but you can share your perspective on the significant events that have happened in your lifetime.

You can talk about your role in them and you can talk about how they affected and changed you. If you have photos, articles, letters, or other information about your history and the history you’ve lived through, include those with your legacy letter.

Be generous with your legacy letter. Make sure to include a personal message to everyone in your immediate family. Tell them what you’ve learned from them, how they’ve impacted your life, and how they’ve changed your life. Share your heart and share your soul with them so that they understand you better and they understand your relationship with them better.

Your legacy letter should spell out the values and principles that have guided your life and that you have tried to live by. Whether it’s integrity, abiding faith in God, a strong work ethic, or any other value, explain why these principles are so important to you and how they have helped you and sustained you throughout your life.

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A legacy letter can also be used to make amends. There may be relationships in your family, among your neighbors, or in your church congregation that is tense or fractured. Perhaps you felt that saying anything would only make things worse. A legacy letter gives you the opportunity to make amends and try to patch things up, at least from your end.

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

funeral homes in Bedford Heights, OH

Etiquette in Cemeteries

After funerals at funeral homes in Bedford Heights, OH, people will visit cemeteries to spend time with their loved ones who are buried there. When you go to a cemetery, you might be aware that they have rules that are designed to keep the cemetery serene and well-maintained so that everyone who visits can have a peaceful and meaningful experience.

Before you go to the cemetery to visit your loved one, check out their website for the information you need to know (most cemeteries have rules posted near their entrances as well) and to look at a detailed map of the cemetery so you know how to get your loved one gravesite.

When you get to the cemetery, be respectful of other people who are visiting. For example, if a burial service is happening when you enter the cemetery, keep a polite amount of distance away from it out of respect for the deceased and the grieving family while you pass by.

Don’t stop to linger or watch. Also, you should be sure to leave your cellphone in your vehicle or to mute it so that it doesn’t disturb anyone else who is in the cemetery.

When you’re driving into and through a cemetery, drive slowly and cautiously. Keep your focus on the cemetery road so that you can slow down or stop for other visitors who may be crossing the road or coming onto the road from visiting their loved one’s grave.

Stay on the paved road of the cemetery at all times and do not drive or park on the grass. If another car approaches yours from the opposite direction, be sure to allow the driver enough space to safely pass by you.

Every grave in the cemetery represents someone’s loved one who has died. Be mindful of this as you walk through the cemetery. Walk between the grave markers and do not walk on top of graves.

As interesting as some headstones in the cemetery may be, do not touch them. For one thing, touching a headstone is considered disrespectful. For another thing, touching really old headstones could damage them. Additionally, do not lean on or sit on any of the headstones.

Although cemeteries have maintenance crews that work hard every day to keep the cemeteries pristine for visitors, each person who visits the cemetery to see a loved one can do their part to help with this process.

When you bring flowers and other gifts to place at your loved one’s grave, be sure to clean up any wrapping or tags that may be attached. Make sure that you pick up any other debris that you might see on the way to or at your loved one’s grave. The cemetery will have trashcans that are easy to see and get to, so throw away all the trash you have before you leave the cemetery.

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Cemeteries are fascinating places. Because of that many people love to take photographs in cemeteries. There may be unique grave markers or graves of people who are mysterious or locally well known. Take photographs in cemeteries is okay as long as you are taking pictures of the cemetery itself and not people in the cemetery.

Make sure, if you have other family members going to the cemetery with you, that everyone in your party knows what the rules of the cemetery are. If everyone who visits cemeteries follows these rules, cemeteries will truly remain places for our loved ones to rest in peace.

If you’d like to learn more about cemetery etiquette 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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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.