Monthly Archives: September 2019

cremation services offered in Burtonsville, MD

What Funeral Directors Do

Funeral directors arrange all cremation services offered in Burtonsville, MD. We often don’t think about all the things that funeral directors do when we’re dealing with the death of a loved one, but the services they provide make the whole funeral process so much easier to bear and deal with.

Our lives start to intersect with funeral directors after a loved one dies because one of their responsibilities to provide transportation for people who have died from the place where they died to the funeral home. In the very early history of funeral homes, transportation was done using ambulances or hearses. This let neighbors all around that someone had died. Now, with more attention to discretion and privacy, transportation is provided primarily using unmarked minivans. However, hearses are still used when the casket is being transported from the funeral home to the cemetery.

Funeral directors also set up a meeting with the deceased’s family to make funeral arrangements. Most of the time, this meeting happens within a day or two after the death of a loved one.

At the meeting to make funeral arrangements, funeral directors a lot of questions about what the deceased and/or the family wants for the funeral. They make sure that every need of the family is met during the funeral process. If the deceased is being cremated, the funeral director will find out if the family would like to have a funeral service before cremation or a memorial service after cremation.

If the family wants a funeral service before cremation, the funeral director will help them plan every detail of the funeral service.

Most of the time, families have someone in mind already that they want to oversee the funeral service. This may be a clergy member, a close friend, or even another family member (anyone can oversee a funeral service).

However, if the family does not have anyone, the funeral director will oversee it. The funeral director guides the family through the order of the funeral service, including any readings, eulogies, and music they choose. The funeral director will then make sure that the service happens exactly as the family wants.

If the family wants the funeral service livestreamed or digitally recorded, the funeral director will provide these services as well.

If the deceased is cremated, the funeral director oversees the cremation process. They’ll make sure the deceased is accurately identified and tagged before cremation begins.

If the deceased is being buried, the funeral director will make all the burial arrangements with the cemetery, and will make sure that the grave is opened before burial and closed after burial. In addition, they will make sure gravestones or grave markers are ordered and placed in the cemetery after burial.

There is a ton of paperwork associated with funerals. Funeral directors handle all of it, including getting certified death certificates, getting burial and cremation permits, writing obituaries, if the deceased or the deceased’s family doesn’t have one written, and getting them published either online or in newspapers.

Funeral directors also supervise the embalming of the deceased. This procedure includes ensuring that the deceased looks as much as possible like they did when they were alive, ensuring that the body is cleaned and dressed in the clothing provided by the family and ensuring that hair styling and manicuring is done.

If you want more information about cremation services offered in Burtonsville, 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 Burtonsville, MD

What is an Ethical Will?

Before funerals at funeral homes in Burtonsville, MD, more and more people are choosing to leave ethical wills to their surviving family members. As people start to contemplate their own mortality, they also start thinking about what they want to leave behind for their families, including their children and grandchildren.

Perhaps they get their medical, financial, legal, and digital affairs squared away so that there are no ambiguities and everything runs as smoothly as it possibly can when someone is facing the end of life, and then dies. That is a tremendous gift to leave family members, because it takes care of the practical parts of the end of life and dying..

However, there are other things that are very important to pass on to future generations. One of these is our moral code – the principles we believe in and practice, to the best of our ability, in our lives.

All the stuff we leave behind will eventually be gone, either because it breaks, it gets old, or it gets depleted. Things are finite and always come to an end. But our moral code, also known as our ethical legacy, is an intangible gift that we can give to our families that is unbreakable, timeless, and is in abundant supply. It may be the most valuable thing that we leave to our families after we die.

We all know of people who lived by an ethical code, but who failed to pass it on to their families, so it died with them. We also see the results of not having an ethical will in successive generations, as scandals, disasters, and even total ruin because they didn’t have an ethical legacy that they were accountable to and responsible for continuing and passing on to future generations.

These examples are a good reason to think about writing an ethical will. While this isn’t a legal document, it how you’ve tried to live and how you would like your family to live after you die. It’s your personal code, which involves relationships and ethics. If you’d liked to see a good example of an ethical will, consider reading the book of Proverbs in the Bible.

So what’s in an ethical will? The framework involves a mission statement that explains the code we’ve tried to follow in living our lives. Included within that are the lessons we’ve learned from our relationships, our experiences, our successes, and our failures. Life is full of lessons. Those can provide us with a perspective on our lives, while they can give guidance to our families that we leave behind when we die.

An ethical will should state what we deem to be the most valuable and important in life. It states what we stand for and what we will not turn from nor compromise on. These are our core values, which we want continued to be followed after our deaths.

Although the term ethical will is new, people have been doing this for a very long time. It may have taken the form of a letter written just before someone died or it may have been a series of conversations in the months, weeks, or days before dying. While not everyone has always done it, many people saw this as the last gift to their families and they made it happen.

If you’d like to know more about ethical wills at funeral homes in Burtonsville, 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 offered in Greenbelt, MD

What Happens During Cremations?

Cremations are among the cremation services offered in Greenbelt, MD, but many people don’t exactly know what happens during cremations. A good overview of the cremation process will highlight the steps involved.

With cremations becoming an increasingly popular choice among Americans to dispose of remains instead of the traditional underground burial, it’s important first to understand why. There are many reasons. One interesting historical event, the Great Recession of 2008, is a big contributor to the rapid rise of cremations instead of underground burial. Additionally, cremations have a much smaller impact on the environment and they take up less space than a traditional gravesite.

The practice of cremating the dead has been around almost as long as humans have existed on earth. In the ancient Greek and Roman cultures, cremations were held as events that honored brave, famous, or heroic people. Armies who were fighting in foreign lands cremated their fallen soldiers, then took the cremation remains (cremains) back home to bury in their native lands.

Until Christianity was adopted under Constantine as the official Roman religion, the majority of people were cremated when they died. However, because Constantine wanted to distinguish Christianity from pagan practices, many of which worshipped their gods by burning people alive, the practice of cremation was replaced by underground burial.

That tradition remained intact in the Western world until religions essentially lifted the taboo on cremations, giving people the choice of the type of final disposition they wanted.

There are some interesting things about cremations that many people don’t know.

Cremation containers don’t actually contain ashes. The remains of cremations – all that’s left after the cremation process – are bones. These are pulverized to the consistency of sand and returned to the family.

Only one body is cremated at a time in a cremation unit. Cremation units, which perform the cremation process, can hold only a single casket or container at a time.

Crematories are responsible for making sure the family gets the correct cremains. All crematories follow a standard procedure to make sure this happens. Each body is tagged with a flame-retardant tag as soon as it gets to the crematory. The family is required to identify the remains before cremation. The tag remains with the body throughout the cremation process and is attached to the container with the cremains that is given to the family.

Cremations generally take between two and three hours because of the intense heat sources applied that allows a body to burn that quickly.

Cremations are hot, with temperatures of 1,400 degrees Fahrenheit. The process and heat application makes sure all organic compounds in the remains are burned up.

Cremains of an adult can weigh between six and eight pounds, which is approximately the same weight as a small bowling ball.

Funeral services can be held for someone who is being cremated. Funeral homes routinely arrange funeral services for people who are being cremated. The funeral service can be held with or without the body of the deceased present.

Cremains can be buried in cemeteries. About 10% of cremains are buried underground in gravesites. Many cemeteries are now creating urn gardens, a landscaped section of land specifically designed for the burial of urns.

Cremains can be buried in back yards. However, just because it’s legal, you should check to see if there are any local ordinances governing the burial of cremains.

If you want more information about cremation services offered 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

How to Give a Memorable Eulogy

At funerals in funeral homes in Greenbelt, MD, close friends and family members are often chosen to deliver eulogies for a deceased loved one. Eulogies are very special tributes that highlight the deceased’s life and offer insights into their character, temperament, and what made them so special.

Most people can get a little nervous when they’re asked to give a eulogy because they don’t write or speak for a living. Additionally, because they’re grieving too, it can be hard to hold it together emotionally when talking about a loved one who has died, even when the stories and memories are positive. The other thing that can make people anxious about giving eulogies is that they don’t want to disappoint or embarrass the bereaved family.

The most important thing to remember about a eulogy is that it is less about delivery than it is about being heartfelt in remembering the person who has died. It’s telling the story of someone’s life in a very personal way. The eulogy should highlight how the deceased made in a difference in the world while they were here. It should showcase their milestones, their accomplishments, and their relationships, among which yours was a close one.

There are several things that should be included in a eulogy.

The first thing should summarize the milestones in the deceased’s life, including their birth, education, career, and important relationships, including marriage, children, and your own.

A eulogy should also detail the positive attributes of the deceased. You can give insights into what the deceased was like as a person (for example, gentle, humorous, thoughtful, kind, honest, and gracious, and so on).

Most of all, a eulogy should provide good memories of the deceased. These are for the family and will give them a lot of comfort, as well as laughter and happiness, to ease the grief of their loss.

Eulogies often highlight something that the deceased was known for. If the deceased loved literature or history, for example, a memorable eulogy will show how those were integrated into the deceased’s life. Eulogies are not meant to cover every detail of a person’s life.

Don’t try to give the eulogy from memory. Write it out. Start with a draft, give yourself some time, then go back and edit it. Have another person to read it and give you feedback on what changes they would suggest. Let someone read it out loud. This is an easy way to hear what needs to be edited or clarified.

Once you’ve finished writing the eulogy, let someone edit it for grammar, spelling, and punctuation. This can prevent you stumbling in giving the eulogy because of typos, run-on sentences, or incomplete sentences.

Practice giving the eulogy, remembering to speak clearly and in a slow, measured rhythm. Eulogies are generally about 10-15 minutes, so practicing giving it will help you stay within that timeframe. Practicing giving the eulogy can also ease the anxiety of public speaking. The best ways to practice giving a eulogy are in front of a mirror or in front of your family or friends.

Now you’re ready to deliver a thoughtful and memorable eulogy to the deceased that will honor them and give comfort to their family.

If you’d like to know more about giving eulogies 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.