Category Archives: funeral homes

funeral homes in Shaker Heights, OH

Unusual Funeral Processions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

funeral homes in Warrensville Heights, OH

Make Mother’s Day Special

After the funeral of your mom at funeral homes in Warrensville Heights, OH, dealing with Mother’s Day each year can be difficult. For a month or so before the second Sunday in May, we’re inundated with reminders about Mother’s Day and all the things we should or ought to be buying for our moms or doing with our moms.

But for those of us who’ve lost our moms, these constant reminders can accentuate our grief and remind us of just how much we’ve lost and how much we miss our moms. But we can do things that will make Mother’s Day special for us and that will honor our moms who are no longer here.

One idea is to find ways to remember your mom. Take your favorite photo of her and display it in a prominent place in your home. Surround it with candles and flowers for the day. If you have your mom’s jewelry, find her most favorite piece and wear it that day. Volunteer with or make a donation to a charity or a cause that was important to your mom. Do activities that you used to share with your mom. If you used to help her with the flowers around the house, plant a flower or a bush in a special corner of the yard to remember her by.

Another way to make Mother’s Day special is to sit down and write to your mom. Whether you’re using pen and paper, a word processing program, or an online blog (you can make entries private if the blog is public and you just want to write the entry, but not post it), tell your mom what’s going on. Tell her how much you miss her and why. If there are things that you wished you’d told your mom before she died, tell her now. Let your mom know how life has been for you the past year, making sure to include anything that she would have encouraged you with, comforted you for, and applauded your efforts in.

Many people who’ve lost their moms make Mother’s Day special by inviting family and close friends who knew their moms over for a meal and to share stories about their mom. Too often, because we’re so consumed with busyness and the technological distractions that are everywhere, we forget to communicate with our children about their grandparents: who they were, what they were like, what was special about them, and the lessons that we learned. We lose a part of our own history when we don’t do this, so setting aside Mother’s Day to tell our moms’ histories is a great way to keep their memories alive.

Make Mother’s Day special by being kind to yourself. It’s hard when you’re around people who are talking about their plans with their moms and your mom isn’t here to make plans with. It’s okay to feel sad and to cry, but spend time out in nature, remembering your mom. Incorporate some quiet time where you can read or meditate or pray. Cook your favorite meal that your mom made as comfort food when you were growing up. Forget the diet for this one day, if it’s not particularly healthy, and remember all the love your mom put into that meal each time she made it.

For more ideas for celebrating moms who’ve died after funerals at funeral homes 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.

funeral homes in Cleveland, OH

The Symbolism of Funeral Flowers

When selecting flowers for funerals at funeral homes in Cleveland, OH, knowing what the most commonly-used flowers symbolize can help you make the best choice to show respect to the deceased and to offer comfort to the grieving family.

Lilies are one of the most common flowers that you’ll see at funerals. Lilies symbolize innocence and the purity of the soul of the person who has died. Although lilies are available in many colors, white lilies are most often used as funeral flowers.

Roses are another flower that is typically used in funerals. There are a variety of colors to choose from, and each has a special meaning in relationship to the person who has died. Red roses symbolize love for the deceased and grief about the death. White roses, as with lilies, symbolize purity and innocence. Yellow roses are usually sent to funerals by very close friends of the deceased, since they symbolize friendship. Light pink roses are seldom used in funerals, but dark pink roses are used to symbolize gratitude to the deceased for all that they have done for someone.

Another type of flower that is very commonly used for funerals is carnations. Carnations are usually included in funeral wreaths because of their bold colors. Red carnations symbolize affection. White carnations, like lilies and white roses, symbolize innocence, but they also symbolize rebirth. Pink carnations are a common choice among Catholics because of their belief that the tears of the Virgin Mary created these flowers.

Orchids are also used for funerals. They symbolize everlasting love for the loved one who has died. White or pink orchids are used to symbolize sympathy for the bereaved family.

Gladiolis are another common choice for flowers for a funeral. They symbolize great integrity and character in the person who died. They represent sincerity, strength, and a strong moral foundation. Since colors do not have specific meanings, as with some other funeral flowers, you can choose from a wide variety with gladiolis.

Two other flowers that very often used for funerals are tulips and daffodils. These bright-colored flowers may seem like an odd choice for a somber service, but because they bloom in the spring, they symbolize renewal and new beginnings. Sending a flower arrangement to the funeral that includes daffodils or tulips is analogous to sending the family a condolence card that expresses support and encouragement. It reminds them that although the present is difficult, they will persevere through it and they will be happy again, even with the lose of someone they loved, and you’ll be by their side every step of the way.

Violets are commonly given as funeral flowers when someone who is very young has died unexpectedly.

The symbolism of hyacinths is related to Greek mythology. The god Apollo had deep affection for a boy named Hyakinthos. The god Zephyr killed Hyakinthos, and after his burial, beautiful flowers sprung up around his grave. Apollo named these flowers hyacinths to honor his dead friend. Hyacinths, therefore, symbolize a deep sense of sorrow and intense grief for the person who has died.

Another flower, forget me nots, is also often included in funeral flower arrangements. They symbolize telling the person who has died that they will always be remembered and they will live on in your memories.

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

Shaker Heights, OH funeral homes

Make Your Eulogy Count

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Warrensville Heights, OH funeral services

A Guide to Hosting a Remarkable Repast

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cleveland Heights, OH funeral services

Recognizing When Death is Near

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

funeral homes in Cleveland, OH

The Elements of a Funeral Service

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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