Monthly Archives: July 2019

cremation services offered in Greenbelt, MD

What is Complicated Grief?

Grief resources are among the cremation services offered in Greenbelt, MD. To understand complicated grief, it’s important to distinguish grief, mourning, and bereavement. These words are often used interchangeably, but they are distinct from each other in important ways.

Bereavement describes the experience of having a loved one die. Grief is the psychological and emotional response to bereavement. Grief includes the combination of intense sorrow and longing that is accompanied by thoughts, memories, and images of the loved one who died. Mourning is the period of time where grief is processed and adjustment is made to life forward without a loved one.

Although grief itself never dies, it does change over time. The acuteness and all-consuming nature of it that occurs immediately after a loved one dies eventually changes into a knowledge of loss, that from time to time can be temporarily sparked by a memory, a life moment, or a random thing that reminds us of our loved one.

Complicated grief is different from normal grief in that the intensity and all-consuming nature of the grief doesn’t abate over time. People with complicated grief get stuck in a pattern of thinking about the circumstances of the death and worry about its consequences, which evokes intense emotional upheaval.

Approximately 3 million people die in the United States every year. For each of those people who die, it is estimated that they leave at least five close attachments behind. So, at any given time during a year, almost 15 million Americans are bereaved, grieving, and mourning. However, around 1 million of those Americans are experiencing complicated grief.

For all the close attachments of a loved one who has died, a period of disruption and emotional intensity follows as they process the death and accept the death.

The death of a loved one is one of the most stressful events that a human can experience. Not only is the stress related to the actual loss of someone they loved, but there can be other stressors such as finances, legal issues, asset distributions, and moves that can add even more stress.

This stress requires a lot of external support and a bevy of coping skills to be able to handle, manage, and get through. If the people grieving had complex relationships with the loved one who died or they had unresolved issues, their coping skills may not be as robust as someone else.

Without adequate support and coping skills, a person may get entangled in grief and not be able to break the cycle of intense and acutely painful emotions that grief brings. This is complicated grief.

It’s important to understand that grief, even complicated grief, is not the same thing as depression. Depression may occur as a result of grief, especially complicated grief, but depression is a neurological disorder that can occur independently of grief, which is not a neurological disorder, but an appropriate emotional response to loss.

Complicated grief lasts for an extended period of time – several years, in the most severe instances – and it inevitably interferes with the person’s ability to function normally and to move forward in finding purpose and meaning in life.

Professional grief counseling can help people who are experiencing complicated grief. These trained professionals can provide a way out of complicated grief and into a new life that hasn’t forgotten the loss, but is no longer trapped in the intensity of the initial grieving processor.

If you need information about grief resources and other cremation services in Greenbelt, 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.

funeral homes in Greenbelt, MD

Funerals for Military Veterans

For funerals for military veterans at funeral homes in Greenbelt, MD, there are benefits available through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The most basic of these benefits includes free burial in a national cemetery, a gravestone or grave marker (in both national and private cemeteries), a burial flag, and a Presidential Memorial Certificate.

For burials in national cemeteries, there is no charge for opening and closing the grave or for a grave liner or vault. The grave marker or gravestone will be placed after the funeral at no charge, as well.

Spouses and dependent or disabled children of honorably-discharged military veterans or current military members can also be buried, at no cost, in national cemeteries with a gravestone or grave marker, even if the military veteran is not buried there.

Spouses who lost a military member while on active duty, and then later marry a non-military veteran can claim burial benefits from the previous marriage. Spouses whose marriages to military members or military veterans ended in divorce are not eligible for funeral benefits.

People who are not eligible for veteran funeral benefits include adult children (unless they’re disabled), parents or siblings (even if they’re dependents of the military member or military veteran), any military veteran with a dishonorable discharge, and military members or military veterans who’ve been convicted of capital crimes or subversive activities.

If a military member dies while on active duty, the military will cover the cost of all funeral expenses, including embalming, casket, transportation to the cemetery, burial (if it’s in a national cemetery), and a grave marker or gravestone. Whoever is designated as the next-of-kin is also entitled to a $100,000 death gratuity.

If a military veteran died as a result of a service-related injury, the burial allowance is $2000 if burial is in a national cemetery. If burial is in a private cemetery, the burial allotment is $300.

Military gravestones and grave markers come in several different styles, but if the military member or military veteran is being buried in a national cemetery, then the style of gravestone or grave marker must be consistent with other grave makers and gravestones in the cemetery. The average time for a gravestone or grave marker to be delivered is about three months.

The inscription on the grave marker or gravestone must include – in this order – the name, branch of service, year of birth, and year of death of the military member or military veteran.

Funeral arrangements for burial in a national cemetery can be made only at the time of death, not in advance of death. If military honors are requested, they will be provided by personnel from nearby military installations or by a local veterans’ group of volunteers. Fly-overs are done only for military members who were on active duty when they died.

If a military veteran dies in a VA facility and has no next-of-kin or insufficient assets to pay for a funeral, the VA will pay for all burial costs. If a military member or military veteran is buried in another country (if they died fighting during a war, for instance), the family can get passports at no charge to visit the grave or memorial.

To obtain funeral benefits for a military veteran, give the funeral director a copy of copy of their military separation order (DD-214). If a spouse is claiming military funeral benefits, a copy of the DD-214 and a copy of the marriage certificate should be given to the funeral director.

If you’d like to know more about military veteran funerals at funeral homes in Greenbelt, 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.

cremation services in Beltsville, MD

Guidelines for Flying with Cremains

Help with transporting cremains by air is among the cremation services in Beltsville, MD that can get your deceased loved one back home, to a favorite destination, or to a place they wanted to visit.

Airlines will allow you to transport cremains on domestic flights as checked or carry-on luggage, but the urns that the cremains are placed in must be able to be x-rayed so that the airlines and TSA can clearly see the contents. The funeral director can help you select an urn that meets airline and TSA specifications.

TSA and airline personnel are not allowed to open the urn or pull the contents out, so if they’re unable to x-ray the contents, the urn won’t be allowed on the plane. Some people don’t realize this until they get to the airport. If this happens to you, try to find a box or paper bag to put the plastic bag of cremains in (put the urn in your carry-on luggage) so that they can be x-rayed and carried on to the flight.

Each airline may have specific requirements for transporting cremains, so be sure to check your airline’s website before flying domestically with cremains to make sure that you meet their criteria.

For example, American Airlines and Southwest Airlines (they require that arrangements be made 24 hours in advance of the flight) will only allow the transportation of cremains as carry-on luggage. United Airlines allows cremains to be transported as both checked baggage and carry-on luggage. Delta lets cremains be transported as checked baggage, carry-on luggage, or unaccompanied cargo.

For international transportation of cremains, British Airways allows them as both carry-on luggage and checked baggage. Air Canada only allows the transportation of cremains as carry-on luggage.

If you’re transporting cremains by air internationally, you’ll need to do some research about what regulations need to be followed for the country you are taking them to. The first thing that you should do is to confirm that the destination country will accept cremains. You can do this by contacting that country’s embassy here in the United States.

The funeral director can help you with international transportation requirements, including contacting the destination country’s embassy for their rules and regulations regarding cremains. They can also make sure that you have an airline-friendly container, if you tell them when you’re planning the cremation what you’ll be doing with the cremains.

The TSA’s guidelines for urns that can be x-ray excludes urns that are made out of metal, granite or stone, because they are too dense to see the contents inside. The best types of urns for transporting cremains by air are urns that are made out of wood, fiberboard, plastic, or cardboard.

If you decide that you don’t want to transport the cremains yourself, the funeral home can partner with the TSA to provide a Remains Transfer Service. The funeral director can give you more information about this service and any details you might want to know.

The funeral director can help get the paperwork required by the TSA – at a minimum, the cremation certificate and a copy of the death certificate – and can help you find a funeral director, if you’re transporting the cremains internationally, in the destination country, so that you don’t encounter anything that would delay or cancel your flight.

If you’d like more information about cremation services in Beltsville, 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.

funeral homes in Beltsville, MD

Remember Mothers Who Have Died

After a mother’s funeral at funeral homes in Beltsville, MD, the memories of her will live on and on. We all discovered Mother’s Day early in our childhoods, and our celebration of Mother’s Day began with drawing a picture or putting a little gift together in elementary school to take home to our mothers. And they cherished each one of those rudimentary efforts by proudly displaying them on the refrigerator or on a corkboard in the kitchen or den.

And, even when we grew up and left home, all the mementos of Mother’s Days gone past were carefully tucked away in a box somewhere in the attic or basement, because they were special to our mothers.

Mothers were our first go-to person from the day we were born. Whether we were hungry, we needed a diaper change, or we just needed to be held, mothers were often the first to respond to our cries. They’d spend hours rocking us, holding us, and bonding with us.

As we got a little older, mothers were there to clean up cuts and scrapes, put bandages on, dry our tears, give us advice how not to get hurt again, and then let us go back out to the big, bad world of playing better prepared.

By our teen years, we are ready to stretch our wings a bit and fly, and while our mothers may want to hold us closer because they can see how quickly time flies and how soon we will actually launch out of the nest and into our own places in the world, we want some distance between us and them. The inevitable tension of these years for both our mothers (and our fathers) and us can seem like it will never end for anybody.

But we still love them and they still love us, and we still do neat things for them on Mother’s Days, although as we mature we realize that every day is Mother’s Day and our world would never be right without them in it, even if we’re trying as hard as we can to push them away some.

It is not really until we go out on our own, to college or to work, that we truly appreciate all that our mothers have done and we start moving back toward them as they adult children in a relationship that is still respectful, but has elements of friendship mixed in.

We may have been the caregivers for our mothers in the last years of their lives. Whether they had heart conditions, dementia or mixed dementia, or the debilitating effects of a stroke, they were still our mothers and we loved them. The roles may have reversed, with us becoming the parent and them becoming the child, but we never neglected to show them honor and respect.

This Mother’s Day, instead of thinking about their absence in our lives, we should instead fill our lives up with all the memories our time with them. Play some music your mother loved, Cook or bake her signature dish or the one that was your favorite growing up. Take a long, long walk and just rehearse all the fun times, all the funny times, and all the sweet times you had with your mother and you’ll find Mother’s Day is not as hard as it could be.

If you’d like to learn more ways to remember your mother at funeral homes 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.