Category Archives: cremations

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.

cremation services provided in Warrensville Heights, OH

How to Help Bereaved Families

Helping bereaved families is among the cremation services provided in Warrensville Heights, OH. However, friends and family are involved in the process as well, even though we don’t always know exactly what to do. We can fall back on clichés, like “just let me know if you need anything,” or “I’m here if you need me,” but we seldom, if ever, will hear anything from a family that’s grieving.

In part, that’s because they don’t know what they need. And, in part, that’s because they know people say those phrases without thinking, so they don’t expect follow through on them in the weeks and months ahead when needs do arise.

So here are some ways, we can take the initiative to actually do something helpful for a bereaved family.

Send them something. While most people will send flowers to the memorial service, they don’t often think about the more practical needs the grieving family may have. You can start a food chain, where people rotate delivering home-cooked meals every day for the first few weeks after someone has died. The easiest way to do this is to have a large box, along with a cooler filled with ice, set up by the front door, where people can drop off food and drinks without disturbing the family.

Be sure to include breakfast and lunch items, as well as coffee, tea, and water among the drinks. People who are grieving can forget to eat and forget to stay hydrated or they can depend on fast food or snack foods and sodas to keep them fueled because they’re easy and they’re available. Make sure the bereaved family has nutritious food and drink choices is a fantastic way to help them out.

Send them some groceries. Many stores now do home deliveries, so you can also buy food and home staples so that their pantries are stocked and they have enough toilet paper and paper towels.

Another way to help grieving families is to offer practical support. Often, the loved one who has died handled certain things in the home, and the rest of the family may be at a loss of how to proceed forward. Take care of yardwork or offer to take the car in for an oil change and tune-up. If children and pets are part of the family, then offer to babysit or pet sit, or simply, if the pets are dogs, to walk them several times a day.

You can also help a bereaved family in practical ways like helping them go through their loved one’s things to decide what to keep, what to donate, and what to throw away. Then you can take the donation items to the places they are being given to. You can also help the family assume new responsibilities, like finances, cooking, and childcare, if those are areas in which you have expertise. Some people don’t want to be alone after a loved one dies, so you could offer to let them stay with you until they’re comfortable being back in their home.

Most of all, you can help a grief family by being there, physically and emotionally. Call them up and ask to visit – looking for opportunities to help – and call or text them often to let them know that you are available for them. Don’t be vague. Tell them you love them and you want to help and support them. And then do it.

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.

cremation services offered in Cleveland, OH

Mourning Clothes

Guidance for mourning clothes is among the cremation services offered in Cleveland, OH. Although many fashion traditions associated with death have been made more casual, many people still believe there – and they dress in accordance with this belief – are appropriate ways to dress to honor the dead.

Whether you’re having a funeral service before cremation or a memorial service after cremation, funeral fashion history will be an integral part of that. In the Western world, black has symbolized bereaved for the last 500 years. It is customary to wear black at funeral or memorial services and then perhaps wear more of it for several months after the death of a loved one.

Although the custom of wearing black as a symbol of grief began with royalty and aristocracy in Europe, eventually it was adopted as the standard color for bereavement.

Wearing black clothing has many times been a social statement. Beatniks, for example, wore black clothes during the 1950’s to distinguish themselves from the rest of the population. In medieval times, wealthy Spanish gentleman wore black velvet as a symbol of status. And the late Johnny Cash took on the moniker of The Man in Black, saying that he wore black to highlight political and social problems, poverty, and tribulation in life.

During medieval times, there were very strict rules for royalty and the aristocracy concerning fashion. This extended to what people wore after a loved one died. Not only did everyone in the funeral wear black, but the immediate family wore black for a society-specified bereavement period. Women who were widowed wore black (and then shades of gray as time passed) much longer than men who were widowed.

In the 1800’s, as the middle class arose, black clothing became standard for all European and American funerals. However, during the reign of British Queen Victoria, very elaborate types of black clothing were made specifically for funerals and worn throughout an extended period of bereavement.

As the Lost Generation raged through the 1920s, much of the very specific type of funeral clothing that had predominated funerals for the past several centuries was replaced by simple black clothing: black suits, hats, and ties for me and modest black dresses for women.

Because black clothing worn by a family who has lost a loved one is a symbol of bereavement, it engenders respect, gentleness, compassion, and kindness. And mourners who wear black clothing to a funeral service or memorial service are also showing honor and respect for both the bereaved family and the person who has died.

Black clothing should be simple and unadorned, since the focus is on the family that’s grieving and not on the mourners.

For men, a dress shirt, black pants, a black jacket, and black dress shoes is appropriate to wear to a funeral service or memorial service. Avoid dress shirts that require cufflinks, as jewelry tends to take attention away from the family. Women can wear a simple black pantsuit or black dress with low-heeled shoes. If the dress is short-sleeved or sleeveless, a shawl or jacket should be worn with it. Small earrings and a watch are okay to wear, but other more noticeable jewelry should not be worn.

Guidance for mourning is among the cremation services offered in Cleveland, OH, our compassionate and experienced team at E. F. Boyd & Son Funeral Home is here to help. You can visit us at our funeral home at 2155 E. 89th Street, Cleveland, OH 44106, or you can call us today at (216) 791-0770.

Shaker Heights, OH cremation services

Are You Prepared for the End?

Preplanning cremations is one of Shaker Heights, OH cremation services, and there are many more things like preplanning cremations that we can do now to be prepared for the end of life.

Before we even get sick or reach an age where death is more likely than not, we should have legal documents in place that ensure that our wishes for our medical care and for distribution of the things that we will leave behind are done as we want them done.

A medical power of attorney is a legal document in which we designate someone we trust to make medical decisions for us if we are unable to. Without a medical power of attorney, even if our family knows what medical things we would or would not want, the doctor or hospital is bound to take all measures necessary until there is absolutely nothing more they can do because no one has been designated to make those decisions for us.

A medical power of attorney is important because we never know when we could be unable to make our own medical decisions. We could be incapacitated by a stroke, a debilitating disease like Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS), a tragic accident where we are unconscious, or by dementia. We would want a medical advocate who would make decisions in our best interests and according to our wishes.

If we don’t wish to be resuscitated if we stop breathing, then we should have a Do Not Resuscitate order drawn and signed by our primary care provider.

We should also have a living will. A living will is different from a medical power of attorney, in that a living will states what measures we do or don’t want taken when we are dying.

The medical power of attorney and the living will are legal as long as we’ve signed and dated them. It’s advisable to have them notarized, which is usually free at banks where we have financial accounts.

All three of these documents should be on file with our primary care physician and we should take them when we go to the hospital or to urgent care centers as well (many medical facilities now share access to our health care records, but it never hurts to take these documents anyway).

The other document that we should have now is a will. A will simply states how and to whom we want our assets distributed after we die. A will doesn’t have to be complicated nor does it have to be expensive. There is software and there are online sites that let you create your own will. A will is legal as long as it is signed and dated. Again, though, it is advisable to have a will witnessed and notarized.

We should also have updated information for our digital lives. This includes online bank accounts, investment accounts, credit cards, shopping accounts (like Amazon), social media accounts, email accounts, and any other online presence (such as blogs). Include all the pertinent information that your designated person will need to log in and manage or delete these accounts after you die. Keep it on a flash drive with your important papers.

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

cremations services in Warrensville Heights, OH

Cremations with Funeral Services

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

cremations services in Cleveland Heights, OH

Losing a Spouse

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cleveland, OH direct cremations

All About Direct Cremations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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