cremations Beltsville, MD

A Basic Primer on Cremations Services

Services for cremations Beltsville, MD are designed to help remember, memorialize, and honor someone who has chosen to be cremated. Too often, people are unaware that there are many ways to remember someone who has died and is being cremated, including having a viewing and a traditional funeral service.  

There are, in general, three types of cremations services.  

The first type of cremation service consists of a viewing, a funeral service, and then the cremation. Your choice of caskets is diverse. Funeral homes will let you rent a fancy casket for the viewing and funeral service. After the funeral service, the deceased will be placed in a fully-combustible casket for the actual cremation.   

However, fully-combustible caskets come in many attractive styles that are acceptable for funeral viewings and funeral services. The funeral home will have several different styles to choose from and they will include a liner and a pillow (which will be removed before cremation takes place).  

The body will be preserved for the viewing. The viewing is the time when mourners can pay their respects to the deceased person and offer support, encouragement, and comfort to the grieving family. Viewings usually last two hours and take place right before the funeral services.   

Funeral services can include scriptural or literary readings, eulogies from friends and family, a pastor’s, priest’s, or rabbi’s discourse, and music (recorded or live). If there is no religious affiliation, the funeral director will oversee the funeral service and coordinate all the parts that are included.  

After the funeral service, if the casket is rented, the deceased’s body will be placed into a fully-combustible casket, and cremation will follow. After cremation, the remains of the deceased will be returned to the family to do with as they wish.  

In the second type of cremation service, the deceased is cremated, and the family holds a memorial service at a later date. Often, the urn containing the ashes of the deceased person is present at the memorial service.  

Memorial service formats are basically free-style. They may consist of a trip to the deceased’s favorite place, or they may take place in a community center where food and drinks are provided and friends and family are encouraged to tell stories about the deceased person. Other times, memorial services may closely resemble funeral services, with a structured presentation that includes readings, eulogies and music.  

Memorial services can be held at any time, which often beneficial for people who live far away or when a trip to a central meeting place is planned. This gives everyone time to make plans to be there without having to hurry through the process of trying to get time off of work and find transportation that is affordable.  

The third type of cremation service is direct cremation. There are many people who simply don’t want either a memorial service or a funeral service. In direct cremation, the deceased is sent from where death occurred directly to the crematory. The body will be prepared, identified by the family, and then cremated with the cremains being returned to the family afterward.  

To request services for cremations Beltsville, MD, talk with our experienced team at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. You can also see us in person at our funeral home at 4400 Powder Mill Rd., Beltsville, MD, 20705, or you can contact us today at (301) 937-1707.  

Burtonsville, MD cremations

What to Wear to a Funeral

For funerals before Burtonsville, MD cremations, what people wear is important because this is a service designed to support, comfort, and encourage a family who has lost someone they love. The focus should be on the family, not on the mourners. So always keep that in mind when choosing clothes to wear to a funeral service. You don’t want to draw attention to yourself.  

Because funeral services before cremations are somber in tone, the best rule of thumb is to dress as conservatively as possible. While you don’t necessarily have to wear black, which is color associated with mourning throughout the world, you should avoid bright colors and prints or designs.   

Necklines, hemlines, and fit for women should be modest. Avoid low-cut blouses or dresses, short skirts, and spandex. Modest skirts and blouses, dresses, and pantsuits that don’t draw attention to cleavage, curves or thighs are acceptable.  

Women should keep their accessories very simple. Do not wear high-heel shoes or open-toed shoes, including flip-flops. Instead choose a basic flat shoe that will enable you to walk quietly inside or navigate easily through grass if the funeral service is outside. The less jewelry you wear, the better. Of course, wedding and engagement rings are appropriate, but it’s best to forego any other type of jewelry except a watch.  

Men who are attending funeral services before cremations should not wear jeans, t-shirts, baseball caps – in fact, all caps or hats should be removed one inside the building where the funeral service is being held – and tennis shoes or sandals. Men can wear black, gray, or navy suits with a dress shirt and tie, but a dark-colored sports coat, a dress shirt open at the collar, and dress pants with dress shoes is also considered appropriate attire for men attending funeral services.  

There are exceptions to these rules, but they are very specific. If the funeral service is for a military veteran, it is appropriate for military personnel to wear their dress military uniforms to the service. Additionally, some creeds and religions require a specific kind of dress, so be sure to honor the deceased person by adhering to those particular dress codes.  

If you’re on the fence about whether something you want to wear to a funeral service is appropriate, there are a few clothing don’ts that should help you make a decision about the clothes:  

  • If it’s your sexiest outfit, don’t wear it. 
  • If it’s a cropped top or low-cut pants, don’t wear it. 
  • If it’s going to call attention to you, don’t wear it. 
  • If it’s big, bright, shiny jewelry, don’t wear it. 
  • If it’s not something you would wear to a professional job interview, don’t wear it. 
  • If it’s a sleeveless dress, don’t wear it unless you also wear a jacket or sweater over it to cover your bare shoulders. 
  • If it makes noise, don’t wear it. 
  • If it is an open-toed shoe, don’t wear it. 

A couple of other things to consider when going to a funeral service is to cover any tattoos, and to avoid scent products like perfumes, lotions, and body sprays. Many people are sensitive to the chemicals in these products and have an allergic reaction when they come in contact with them.   

If you need more idea about what to wear to funeral services before Burtonsville, MD cremations, our knowledgeable staff at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. can help. You can visit us in person at our funeral home at 4400 Powder Mill Rd., Beltsville, MD, 20705, or you can call us today at (301) 937-1707.  

funeral homes Burtonsville, MD

After Death, Be a Friend, Not a Critic

Just because the funeral at funeral homes Burtonsville, MD is over and everyone else has gone back to their normal lives, it doesn’t mean that life has gone back to normal for those who have lost a loved one. Often times, this is when the full emotional impact of losing someone to death hits those who were closest to them.  

In the few days after someone has died, there is a flurry of activity accompanied by a lot of people surrounding the person or people whose loved one has died. There is no time to really absorb what the loss of a loved one will feel like, be like, or look like. Additionally, there can be a type of shock, especially if the death was unexpected, that sets in or a type of auto pilot that people run on during the funeral process.  

It is only when the funeral process is over, and everybody goes away or goes back home that the reality of life with a loved one emerges. And with that reality comes the real grieving process for the loss.  

Grief is often complicated in terms of human relationships. One of the compounding factors of grief can be loneliness, especially when someone loses their spouse. Another compounding factor of grief for both young and adult children can be the loss of their second parent, which can leave them feeling as if they’re all alone in the world. A third compounding factor of grief can be memories, both good and bad, that play on constant rewind every waking hour of the day and sometimes even in dreams at night.  

All of these factors can make grief more intense and long-lasting. And, sadly, sometimes the more intense the grief becomes and the longer it lasts, the more likely people who should be friends turn into critics.  

There is point where these friends-turned-to-critics will make very hurtful and sometimes calloused statements, making judgments about the amount of time and the intensity with which the person has been grieving, and suggesting that it’s wrong, abnormal, and weak.  

The person who is grieving personalizes these hurtful comments and hear that something is wrong with them, their behavior is abnormal, and they are weak. It is a devastating blow that has the effect of deepening their grief and possibly their depression.  

The wounds left by the friends-turned-to-critics can be deep and irreparable. And, although the grieving person can forgive their friends-turned-to-critics, they have seen a side of them that makes it impossible to continue to have a relationship with them, which in turn adds more grief.   

We should be friends to those who are grieving the loss of someone they love. We don’t know all that these people are wrestling with emotionally, mentally, and, even physically, because we’re not living in their shoes in their lives. Friends listen, comfort, and soothe. Friends hug or put an arm around a shoulder in support. Friends express empathy and understanding. Friends don’t make grief worse.  

At funeral homes Burtonsville, MD, our knowledgeable staff at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. can give you more guidance on how to be a friend after death, and not a critic. You can visit us in person at our funeral home at 4400 Powder Mill Rd., Beltsville, MD, 20705, or you can contact us today at (301) 937-1707.  

Adelphi, MD cremations

Notifying Friends and Family after a Death

The first step in Adelphi, MD cremations is the notify friends and family members of our loved one’s death. In the age of social media, where nothing is sacrosanct and many people just hang their entire lives, including way too much information at times, out in public for the entire world to see, it might seem like social media is the best way to notify. friends and family members of the death of a loved one.  

Social media is not the best way to notify friends and family of a loved one’s death. Neither, for that matter, is a group or individual text message or email. These are impersonal and suggest – even if it’s untrue – a level of callousness and disrespect both toward the deceased person and toward those who are being notified of the death.  

Losing a loved one is deeply personal and will affect each friend and family member differently. Therefore, the notification of a loved one’s death should be made in a way that connects personally with each of those friends and family members, so that they hear you and you hear them and you’re able to share private emotions, reactions, and thoughts without the whole world watching and being involved.  

You need to notify friends and family of the death of a loved one through a phone call or in a video chat. While many traditions surround death and funerals have changed or disappeared altogether in the last twenty years, our human hearts and what they feel and experience have not. Therefore, we need, in the face of loss, human contact and human comfort. Social media, text messaging, and email can’t give that to us at a time when we need it most.  

Since phone calls and video chats are the only way that friends and family members should be notified of a loved one’s death, it’s important that we, while we’re living, created and keep updated a current list of who should be notified when we die. Make sure all phone numbers and video chat information is current – you should review the list at the beginning of each year – and keep it with your important papers, even in a home safe or a bank safety deposit box.  

There will likely be a single family member that makes the initial calls to immediate family members about their loved one’s death. Once those calls have been made, the remaining notifications should be split among the immediate family so that the burden of calling everyone on the list doesn’t fall on one person.   

This process will be emotionally draining for everyone involved, but if one person has to do it all, they will crumble under the emotional weight they will end up bearing.   

Why? Because in the process of notifying friends and family members, these people who are being notified will, not intentionally or consciously, transfer a part of their grief to those who are notifying them. So, in addition to their own grief, the people doing the notifications have extra grief to carry around. And it is impossible for one person to simultaneously carry both their own grief and portions of everyone else’s grief.  

For more guidance on notifying friends and family after a death and before Adelphi, MD cremations, our experienced staff at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. can assist you. You can visit us in person at our funeral home at 4400 Powder Mill Rd., Beltsville, MD, 20705, or you can call us today at (301) 937-1707.  

College Park, MD funeral homes

What to Say to a Grieving Family

Before, during, and after funerals at College Park, MD funeral homes, it can seem like a daunting task to offer support and comfort to the grieving family with words that help and heal, not hurt and wound. Here are some things you can say that will let the family know you are truly there to help them as they are grieving.  

One thing you can say to help the grieving family is, “I’m here for you to lean on. I have an open heart and time to listen.” Because it’s difficult to know what the grieving family needs or what the right or wrong thing might be to say to them, it’s a gift to just offer a shoulder to lean on and an ear to listen to whatever they need to express about their loss.  

Another thing that you can say to the grieving family is, “I can imagine how hard it is to be strong right now.” A grieving family is at its weakest point when it loses a piece of family to death. Their foundations of strength are shaky and need to be rebuilt one step at a time. Acknowledging that to the family lets them know it’s okay to not be strong and it takes the pressure off of them to act and be something they don’t feel at that moment.  

A third way to help the grieving family is to say, “I know others who’ve lost loved ones and how much they grieved. That has made me aware of what a fight this is for you.” Instead of minimizing the family’s loss by reminding them that they’re not the first people to lose a loved one, this statement acknowledges that grief is hard when it hits people personally and it is a natural part of accepting the death of a loved one.  

A fourth thing that you can say to the grieving family is, “I know it will take time for your pain and grief to be less acute, but I am with you and beside you for the long haul.” Grieving, even within a family, is a unique process for each person. Some family members may be able to move more quickly out of that piercing grief and pain that follows the loss of a loved one, while others may struggle with it for months or years. There is no time limit on grieving and it is very comforting for the family to know they’ve got someone in their corner, no matter how long it takes to get to a more peaceful acceptance of a loved one’s death.  

A final thing you can do to help a grieving family is to say nothing. Offer them long, tight hugs instead. Physical touch can be a very powerful way to support a family who is grieving, and it reminds them that they are loved and cared for, which is often the very thing they may be feeling is gone with the loss of a loved one.  

At College Park, MD funeral homes, our experienced team at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. can offer you additional guidance on what to say to a grieving family. You can see us personally at our funeral home at 4400 Powder Mill Rd., Beltsville, MD, 20705, or you can call us today at (301) 937-1707.  

College Park cremations

Cremations Statistics

When considering the option of College Park cremations, it is interesting to look at the latest research on how cremations have traditionally been viewed in the United States and how – and why – Americans have changed in a fundamental way what they choose do with their remains after they die.   

Traditionally, cremations were shunned by most Americans because of religious beliefs that it defiled the body, making it impossible for the person to be resurrected into an afterlife with God. This idea has been passed down since the time of Charlemagne, King of France and Holy Roman Emperor (742 AD – 814 AD). Since pre-Christians used fire both in their worship, often sacrificing their children in the process, and in their funeral rituals, Charlemagne wanted to distinguish Christianity from paganism, so he dictated that anyone who cremated a body would be executed.  

Much of that stigma attached to cremations continued through the end of the 20th century. It seemed to take that long for rational, critically-thinking people to question the viability of the belief that cremations somehow eliminated the people being cremated from eternal life with God.  

First, it implied that God’s power was limited, which is a critical problem for Christian believers. Second, people die with more regularity than we might realize in spontaneous fires, such as car fires, house fires, or wildfires, and their remains are reduced to ashes (the same process that happens in cremations), so applying logic means these people are also ineligible for an afterlife with God.  

Once the ideas surrounding cremations were unwrapped and dispelled, more people in the United States began to choose cremations as the way they wanted their remains to be handled after death.   

In both 2016 and 2017, the number of cremations surpassed the number of burials in the United States. There are several reasons why the number of cremations is increasing in American.  

The first reason is practical. Cremations are less expensive than burials. Financially, most people either can’t or are unwilling to take on the additional financial expenses associated with traditional burials, so they are opting for cremations instead.  

The second reason is that American society, as a whole, is moving away from established traditions, and that includes organized religion and traditional funeral rituals, which include funeral services and cemetery burials. With celebrations of life replacing the traditional and more somber honor of the dead, there is less worry about what happens with people’s remains after death.  

The third reason why cremations are surpassing traditional burials is that cemeteries are running out of space and, often, cremations are the only option available.  

A fourth reason why cremations are on the rise in the United States is because many Americans are concerned about the environment and the impact of our actions on it. Cremations are considered to be environmentally-friendly, while traditional burials are not considered to be as good for the environment.  

There are many reasons why the cremations statistics in the United States show a steady rise in American’s preferences for how their remains should be disposed of, but these highlight the most important ones.  

If you want more statistics about College Park cremations, our knowledgeable team at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. can give you the information you need. You can see us personally at our funeral home at 4400 Powder Mill Rd., Beltsville, MD, 20705, or you can contact us today at (301) 937-1707.

Burtonsville, MD funeral homes

Taking Care of the Family after a Death

In and after the funeral process at Burtonsville, MD funeral homes, it is sometimes easy to forget how emotionally draining the death of a loved one is on the family. The family loses its energy reserves and hits total exhaustion quickly. Because of this, the family’s basic needs may seem just too hard for them to meet. But there are ways that you can pitch in and help so that they can be healthy and well, while staying focused on what they need to do after the death of a loved one.  

Food preparation is usually the last thing on a family’s mind after the death of a loved one. Often, some members of the family will just lose their appetite and not feel like eating at all. One of the ways you can help is to enlist friends of the family and start a daily food/meal delivery service for the family immediately after the death of their loved one and continue it for a couple of weeks after the burial. Food deliveries can range from a fast-food chicken dinner to casseroles, stews, salads, and veggies. Don’t forget to include bottled water and juices to drink as well.  

Keep a cooler with ice and a box on the front porch of the family’s home so that people can deliver their food without disturbing the family. This is an incredible way to take care of a family after the death of a loved one.  

Another way to take care of the family after a death, especially before the funeral, is to offer to run errands for what the family will need for the funeral. This may include picking up dry cleaning, getting groceries, or getting cars serviced and/or washed. There are many details involved with funerals that the family will get overwhelmed quickly. By helping the family with errands, you take some of those details off of their plates, so they can focus on the more important aspects they need to deal with.  

A third way to take care of the family after a death is to offer your services around the home. If it’s the summer time, the grass may need to be mowed. Often, family will be coming in from out of town and staying at the family home, which will generate a lot of dishes, more dirt and messiness, and a lot of laundry. By offering the family appointment times when you can drop by to help them with these things, which may seem minor, but they are not, you can help keep their stress levels at a more manageable level than they would be otherwise.  

There are many more ways that you can take of the family after a death. Enlist a group of friends and you will be giving the family a gift that is priceless.  

If you want more ideas on how to take care of the family after a death at Burtonsville, MD funeral homes, our experienced staff at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. can help you. Visit with us at our funeral home at 4400 Powder Mill Rd., Beltsville, MD, 20705, or call us today at (301) 937-1707.

Greenbelt, MD cremations

Funeral Viewing and Service Protocol

Funeral viewings and funeral services are often a part of Greenbelt, MD cremations. It’s important to understand what the proper protocol is at both funeral viewings and funeral services, because these are long-established ways to honor the deceased person and to provide comfort and support to the family that has lost a loved one.  

For funeral viewings, you should not arrive at the funeral home before the announced starting time for the family to receive visitors. Often, the family will arrive earlier and spend some time with their deceased love one. This is very personal and can be very emotional, but it gives the family some time to compose themselves for the funeral viewing and the funeral service, and it should not be interrupted by visitors coming to the funeral home early.  

Funeral viewings are less formal than funeral services, but it’s still a somber occasion, so loud, boisterous behavior among the mourners is inappropriate and disrespectful. It doesn’t mean you can’t share a light moment with the family, but just joking and laughing loudly with other people who are there is not acceptable behavior.  

With a funeral viewing, the family will be up in front of the room with the casket nearby. Mourners line up to brief talk with the family – please make sure you say something to everyone – and offer their condolences. Even if you are very close to the entire family or to a particular family member, don’t spend too much time talking to them because they or the one person you’re close to will miss being able to talk with everybody in the line, and this can lead to hurt feelings if somebody feels they were slighted.  

Once you’ve gone through the line for the viewing, head to the back of the room and, if you’re staying for the funeral service, find a seat as far back as you can and as close to the end of a row as you are able. You can talk quietly with other mourners, but this is not the time or the place to catch up on all the news from someone you haven’t seen in a while or to discuss work with a colleague.  

Seating for the funeral service, except for the family, always starts at the back. Depending on how large the family is, there may be one of several rows reserved from them in the very front, usually on the right-hand side of the room, where the casket is. If the funeral service is closed-casket, the family will be taken to a private area while the funeral home staff close the casket, and then brought back in for the funeral service.  

Mourners should seat themselves in such a way so that no one has to walk over them to get an empty seat. Generally, the seats should fill in starting with the one furthest from the center aisle, which is where people enter the rows to sit down. This is just a simple courtesy.  

Refrain from talking during the funeral service. The funeral service is usually a solemn service, and talking is not only disruptive, but it is also disrespectful to the deceased and the family of the deceased.  

If you need more guidance on funeral viewings and services before Greenbelt, MD cremations, our knowledgeable team at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. can help. You can visit with us at our funeral home at 4400 Powder Mill Rd., Beltsville, MD, 20705, or you can contact us today at (301) 937-1707.

Adelphi, MD funeral homes

Preplanning Your Funeral

Preplanning your funeral at Adelphi, MD funeral homes is an excellent way to ensure that your wishes for how your remains are disposed of are honored. Preplanning your funeral also relieves your family of the additional stress of trying to honor your memory while they are dealing with losing you and the grief they are feeling as a result.  

Preplanning your funeral may or may not include prepayment for the funeral. If you decide not to prepay for your funeral, it’s advisable to be sure that you have a burial insurance policy that’s designated exclusively to cover all the expenses of your funeral.   

One option for this kind of insurance policy may be to convert a portion of insurance coverage you already have into a burial insurance policy. For example, when you purchase a home, you typically purchase insurance to cover the home (not the contents, which is a separate policy) and this is usually the full value of the mortgage. As you pay the mortgage down, you may be able to convert a portion of that home insurance into a separate policy that’s designated for your funeral expenses. Your insurance agent can help determine if this is an option available to you.  

For a traditional funeral and burial, you will need to obtain a cemetery plot. If you are a military veteran, you are entitled to a military funeral, which includes a grave site, at no cost to you and your family. If you are a member of a church that has a cemetery, you may be entitled to a free grave site in its cemetery. A final option may be to obtain a free grave site in a family cemetery where you have relatives already buried.  

You will next need to choose your casket. While this doesn’t necessarily mean you purchase the casket now, you should specify the type of casket you want. Then you’ll need to plan your funeral service. Include scriptures, poems, or anything else you want read as part of the service and any music you want to be included. Be sure to specify who will oversee the funeral service and give contact information for that person.  

Finally, you can specify burial arrangements and what you want and don’t want in terms of services. For example, although the funeral home can transport your family in a limousine to the cemetery, it will incur an extra cost for your funeral. So it’s less expensive for your family to follow the hearse in their own cars. 

Be sure to write everything related to your funeral preplanning down. If there are charities that you want people to donate to in lieu of sending flowers, be sure to include those. Write out your funeral service. You can even write your own obituary. But everything should be in writing and with your important papers, either in a home safe or at a bank safety deposit box (include the information for your burial insurance policy and who to contact to get the money).  

It’s important to also give a copy to the person in your family who will be handling your funeral. And finally, you should let your family know about your funeral preplanning so that everybody’s in the loop and there are no surprises after you die.  

Our Adelphi, MD funeral homes experienced staff members at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. can assist you with all your funeral preplanning questions and needs. You can visit us at our funeral home at 4400 Powder Mill Rd., Beltsville, MD, 20705. We can be reached at any time, day or night, for immediate assistance, so call us today at (301) 937-1707.

Beltsville, MD cremations

Understanding Different Types of Cremations

When you’re considering Beltsville, MD cremations, it’s important to know that you have different cremation options that allow you to have control over how your death is handled.  

One choice that determines up front whether you’re cremated is what you want done with your body when you die. If you decide to donate your body for medical or scientific research, your final remains will be cremated.   

This is not true for organ donors. Organ donors have the choice between cremation and burial. Surgeons will simply harvest your organs and, if you want a traditional burial, they will sew your body back up for transport to the funeral home and their final preparations of your body.  

One of the misperceptions about cremation is that no funeral service can be held. Therefore, it’s important to know about cremations options that are available.  

In direct cremations, there is no funeral service. The body is transported to the funeral home, put into a combustible container, and cremated. The funeral home will collect the ashes and return them to the family.  

The family can choose what to do with the ashes from cremations. They can scatter them in the deceased person’s favorite place. They can scatter them at a gravesite (this happens often with spouses). Or they can keep them, either in a decorative urn or in jewelry that they wear.  

Direct cremations are also usually followed by a memorial service. This can be a week after death or two years after death, but it enables family members to plan for a memorial event and for attendees to be able to have the time to make arrangements to be there.  

If you want to have a funeral service before cremation, you can either purchase or rent a casket for the viewing and funeral service. If you decide to purchase a casket, make sure that the casket is fully-combustible so that it can be used for the cremation. A wide range of cremation caskets for every budget are available for purchase online. If you choose to rent a casket, the funeral home will provide the rental casket as part of their funeral services.  

You can have a traditional viewing, followed by a funeral service. Once the funeral service is done, the deceased person’s remains will be cremated and the ashes will be returned to the family to dispose of as they wish.  

Cremations are typically cheaper than burials because the materials used for cremation caskets are less expensive, and many of the costs associated with a burial – the grave site in a cemetery, digging the grave, transportation to the grave, and burial in the grave – are eliminated in cremations. Many people consider cremations to be more environmentally-friendly, as well, so about half of deaths in the United States are now followed by cremations instead of burials.  

You may not need to make a decision today about options for cremation, but it’s never too early to make plans for the future and make sure that your family knows how you want your remains to be handled.  

If you want to learn more about Beltsville, MD cremations, one of our knowledgeable staff members at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. can help you and answer any questions you may have about the process. You can also visit us at our funeral home at 4400 Powder Mill Rd., Beltsville, MD, 20705. We are available any time for immediate assistance, so contact us today at (301) 937-1707.