Monthly Archives: May 2019

cremations in College Park, MD

Happy Memories Come from Good End of Life Care

Good end of life care before death and cremations in College Park, MD may make our memories of our loved ones’ lives happier. In research from the Madame Curie charity (a UK organization that provides support for terminally ill patients and their families), more than a third of people surveyed felt that inadequate or poor end of life care besmirched the good memories they had of their loved ones.

For about a fifth of those surveyed, improved end of life care would have helped them remember their love ones with better and happier memories.

80% of those surveyed tied their good memories of the lives their loved ones lived to good and positive end of life care. Those same people believed that because their loved ones got excellent end of life care, they were better equipped to more easily move through the grieving process after their loved ones died.

The research suggests that how well our loved ones are taken care of by hospice or hospital organizations while they’re dying is directly related to how positively we remember their entire lives. There is some suggestion in this research that even in relationships that were not always easy, better memories could be formed if the loved one received good end of life care.

Losing a loved one is a traumatic and life-changing event. Emotions flood in and overwhelm people even before their loved ones have died. Those emotions just get stronger after death, and if end of life care was not adequate and it didn’t serve the loved ones and their families well, it can have damaging effects on how the loved ones are remembered by their families.

If anger swells every time the thought of the last few weeks, days, hours of a loved one’s life comes to mind because the hospice group or hospital staff was inattentive or even negligent, then it’s less likely that good memories of the entire life of our loved one will be able to come to the surface.

With the right care and support, the dying process can be calm and peaceful. The reality is that not all hospices and hospitals are equal, and while some provide excellent care, others do not. It can also be that you have acute home health care (just after a hospital stay), palliative home health care (continuous care after there’s no need for acute care and until hospice care is needed) and hospice care units within the same organization. But they all operate independently of each other.

The acute and palliative home health care could be wonderful, while the hospice care might be abysmal, or vice versa. It’s imperative to know that we have, as advocates for the ones we love, the right to fire any group that’s not providing quality care and replace them with an organization that will.

The last days of someone’s life are too important not to ensure that they have the best care available. And with the research showing the impact of that care on our memories of our loved ones’ lives as well as how well we are able to get through the intense grieving period, it’s just as important to us that our loved ones get good end of life care.

If you’d like more information about cremations in College Park, MD you can talk with our expert staff at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. You can drop by our funeral home at 4400 Powder Mill Rd., Beltsville, MD, 20705, or you can contact us today at (301) 937-1707.

Adelphi, MD cremations

Famous Celebrity Graves

Even if Adelphi, MD cremations don’t include burial in a plot or an urn garden, burial sites of famous people who have died are places that people visit regularly. Some of them become shrines over time, as people leave flowers and other things to mark their sojourn there.

One famous celebrity grave is that of Princess Diana in Althorp, Northamptonshire (UK). Princess Diana caught the world’s attention when she became the bride of Prince Charles in the early 1980’s, and she held the world’s attention until her untimely death in a car accident in 1997. As news of her death spread around the globe, thousands of flowers were brought to be laid outside Buckingham Palace as her adoring public came to pay respects. However, Princess Diana’s final resting place is private, on a small island in a lake in Althrop. While only immediate family is allowed to visit her actual gravesite, visitors can go to the memorial built for her that sits beside the lake.

Another famous celebrity grave is that of Elvis Presley at Graceland in Memphis, TN. Graceland is often a tourist destination, which makes Elvis Presley’s grave on the most visited in the world (more than half a million people each year). Presley’s grave (as well as the graves of some of his family members) is located in Graceland’s Meditation Garden. Visitors gather to leave gifts, pray, or sing famous Presley hits.

Jim Morrison, founder and lead singer of The Doors, died in Paris on July 3, 1971 after ingesting a large amount of alcohol and drugs. Whether it was an intentional or unintentional overdose, the 27-year-old singer joined, in an astonishingly short space of time, two other 27-year-old rock celebrities, Jimi Hendrix (September 18, 1970) and Janis Joplin (October 4, 1970). His grave is enclosed by a metal fence in the Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris, adorned with a simple headstone engraved with “True to himself.”

A luminary from the world of mathematics and science, Sir Isaac Newton’s grave is located in Westminster Abbey in London. Marked by a spectacular monument that epitomizes design styles of the 1700’s, Newton’s grave also has a sculpture of him leaning against scientific books while the globe that hangs over him shows the star constellations and each star of the Zodiac. It’s a truly beautiful grave to visit and many people flock to it year after year.

Reggae legend Bob Marley’s grave is located in Nine Mile, Jamaica. Within a gated compound that contains Marley’s childhood home and the Bob Marley Museum is Marley’s mausoleum. Guided tours are conducted around the compound, but photography within the mausoleum itself is prohibited. February 6, which is Marley’s birthday, is a national holiday in Jamaica and a Bob Marley musical festival is held by fans close to Nine Mile annually.

The renowned poet and bard, William Shakespeare, is entombed at Holy Trinity Church, in Shakespeare’s home of Stratford-upon-Avon, which is dedicated to all things Shakespeare. He is buried not far from where he was born, so going from cradle to grave didn’t require a great deal of distance. His gravestone reads: “Good friend, for Jesus’ sake forbeare, To dig the dust enclosed here; Blessed be the man that spares these stones, And cursed be he that moves my bones.”

If you’d like to learn more about Adelphi, MD cremations, you can talk with our knowledgeable team at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. You can visit our funeral home at 4400 Powder Mill Rd., Beltsville, MD, 20705, or you can call us today at (301) 937-1707.

Greenbelt, MD cremations

Returning to Work after the Loss of a Loved One

Going back to work after Greenbelt, MD cremations is probably one of the toughest things adults have to do when someone dies. Unless a company has a generous bereavement policy, most employees get to take off three “free” days of work. They may, in the United States, be able to get more time off using personal time off (PTO) if their employer allows them to be gone longer than that (and many employers discourage it), and when they run out of PTO, then they can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off under the Family Leave Act, if the employer allow them to.

Since most Americans are hired as at-will employees, employers have the control over what they will allow as a reasonable amount of time away from the job (despite PTO and federal legislation in the Family Leave Act) before they replace the employee. So, whether a person is ready to return to work or not, most people head back to the office after their three days for bereavement are over.

But anyone who has experienced the loss of someone near and dear to them knows that three days is just the beginning of the grieving process, and trying to work while the intensity of grief is gripping every thought, every moment creates a tremendous amount of stress and anxiety (work will often be late or just unfinished and completed work will have errors, which is, quite frankly, not the person’s fault, but poor employment policies that don’t allow adequate time for people to get some semblance of their emotion balance back after they’ve lost somebody).

When people return to work after the death of loved ones, their emotions will be raw. It will be an almost surreal experience to be so emotionally taxed, in so much pain, and in the tight grip of grieve and see the workplace just humming along as usual.

Although some people may offer condolences, it’s far more likely that they’ll be expected to pick up right where they left off three days before. That may mean a looming deadline has to be met and the leadership team is breathing down their necks to get it done (and, depending on personalities, they may not be nice people to begin with, so this pressure will make them less nice and more hurtful). It may mean they’re expected to attend and participate in staff meetings or other kinds of meetings where, again, life goes on as it always has and whatever tenor normally accompanies these is the same, and that may be offensive in light of what the bereaved are experiencing.

Although it will be hard, there are a few strategies that can make things a little less hard.

One thing is to let the Human Resources (HR) department or manager know how they want to handle the death in terms of coworkers. Most people would rather not discuss it at work because it’s so emotional, so HR and/or management can pass that along and make things a little easier.

People who are grieving need to rehearse a few standard replies to small talk that will not make them seem rude, but will enable them to keep going and not have to engage in it for any length of time.

One of the problems will be focus, but grieving people can develop strategies for being more focused. To-do lists will help with organization and breaking projects down into bite-sized tasks – in order – will make them easier to tackle and to accomplish.

Another great strategy is to find a safe zone – somewhere quiet where grieving people can be alone. If the workplace has areas outside where it’s easy to walk uninterrupted, most people will find this to be one of the most therapeutic ways to get through the day, and the days ahead.

For more strategies for returning to work after Greenbelt, MD cremations you can talk with our expert staff at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. You can drop by our funeral home at 4400 Powder Mill Rd., Beltsville, MD, 20705, or you can contact us today at (301) 937-1707.

cremations in Beltsville, MD

Understanding What “Dead” Means

Death happens before cremations in Beltsville, MD. However, there is more than one kind of death that can happen before people are officially declared dead.

One of these kinds of death is brain death. If there is no neurological activity, then a person is declared brain dead (which is considered being legally dead). However, through technology and medicine, the body can be kept alive, even though the brain is not functioning at all. For all intents and purposes, the body can be kept alive for years and years using artificial means.

Although it’s rare that people who have suffered brain death are kept on life support for an extended amount of time, it is very common for people who are brain dead to be kept alive for a short period of time, especially if they are organ donors, in order to keep the organs healthy until organ transplants can be arranged. When everything’s in place, then they are taken off life support, and the organs are harvested for transport to the recipients.

Another kind of death is circulatory death. This takes place when the heart stops beating, and blood stops circulating in the body to vital organs, including the brain (brain death can actually be the result of circulatory death). This is commonly known as cardiac arrest and, unless a person has a Do Not Resuscitate order in place, emergency responders or hospital staff will attempt to get the heart beating again, using CPR, adrenaline, and electric shock.

The longer the heart is not beating, the more likely that brain damage or brain death will occur (six minutes is the top amount of time that most medical experts say the brain can go before damage starts). If the heart is restarted before the brain dies completely, then significant brain damage has occurred, which leaves the person in a persistent vegetative state.

A persistent vegetative state is often referred to as “chronic wakefulness without awareness.” People in a persistent vegetative state are legally considered to be alive, so unless they have a living will that specifies that they don’t want any extraordinary measures taken, they are given feeding tubes and kept alive.

One of the most high-profile cases involving a persistent vegetative state was that of Terri Schiavo in the late part of the 20th century. Schiavo suffered cardiac arrest in 1990 and, as a result, was left with severe neurological damage before she was resuscitated. The hospital put a feeding tube in and kept her alive. Her parents and husband fought for 15 years to have the feeding tube removed because they all stated that Schiavo would not have wanted life prolonged with absolutely no chance of recovery (the 26-year-old did not have a living will, which is why it’s important for everyone to have one, regardless of age).

The state courts agreed with Schiavo’s husband and parents, but the Florida state legislature passed a bill that was known as Terri’s Law that gave then-Governor Jeb Bush the authority to prevent the feeding tube from being removed. The courts and the state legislature went back and forth, until Congress passed legislation that allowed the federal courts to intervene in the case. Schiavo’s feeding tube was removed on March 18, 2005, and she died 13 days later. The autopsy of her brain showed massive loss of neurons, with her brain weighing half of what a normal human brain weighs, and the medical examiner concluded that severe damage had left Schiavo blind and incapable or emotions or thinking.

If you’d like to learn about cremations in Beltsville, MD, you can talk with our knowledgeable team at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. You can visit our funeral home at 4400 Powder Mill Rd., Beltsville, MD, 20705, or you can call us today at (301) 937-1707.