Monthly Archives: December 2018

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.