Monthly Archives: November 2020

cremation services in College Park, MD

The Faces of Grief

After cremation services in College Park, MD, you will face the grief of losing your loved one head-on. At first, it will be intense and pervasive, but you will find that grief has many different faces, and even those faces change as you go through the journey.

Sometimes external events are triggers for our grief and our memories as we travel through the grief process. For example, early in grieving, everything that even remotely reminds you of your loved one is probably going to evoke a strong emotional reaction.

But as time goes on, you may find that grief comes in different forms. Instead of life being bad because your loved one has died, you may find that you have good days with bad moments. Or you may find that you have a not-so-great day and someone shares a memory of your loved one and you find it comforting. And, then you may have those seemingly irrational moments when just the smallest – and sometimes, odd – things that remind you of your loved one bring on a complete meltdown.

You may not realize that grief is cumulative. Not all the grief that you experience will be because someone died. As humans, we suffer losses of various kinds throughout our lives and they produce grief.

You may have lost a pet when you were very young or you tried to save a wounded animal and it died. You may have missed an important school event or you weren’t chosen for a sport or activity that you wanted to be involved in. You may have not gotten into the college you wanted to go to or get the scholarship offer you expected.

You may have had to move far away from your family to pursue your education or career and you rarely see them now. You may have gotten married and then divorced. You may have wanted to get married, but it just never happened. You may have been passed over for a promotion at work or you changed jobs and discovered you hated your new job, but you couldn’t go back to your old job because it had been filled.

All of these are examples of losses. All of these – and more – cause you to experience some type of grief. The losses add up and so does the load of grief.

However, there are sometimes in your life where the losses come one right after another, instead of being spaced out by months or years. When this happens, as it has for many people during 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic continues without abatement, you literally get overwhelmed.

You find it nearly impossible to put two thoughts that make any sense together. You may find yourself feeling exhausted when you wake up in the morning. You may find that it’s hard for you to focus on anything and that you continually feel distracted and disjointed.

All of that is grief from losses that have piled up on top of each other. Not all of these losses are because you had a loved one die, but they all cause you to grieve more intensely.

funeral homes in Beltsville, MD

If this describes what you’re experiencing, you are not alone. If you’re able to get some professional grief counseling, now would be a good time to take advantage of that. It won’t remove your grief, but professional counseling can help you find strategies for coping with it better so that you’re not feeling so overwhelmed all the time.

If you want more information about grief resources and cremation services offered in College Park, MD, you can talk with our expert staff at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A.

funeral homes in College Park, MD

The Basics of Funeral Planning

When planning funerals at funeral homes in College Park, MD, you may not know exactly where to start or all the things that you need to do to make sure you’re funeral plans are in place.

So, what goes into a funeral?

First, you’ll need to decide what kind of final disposition you want. You have many options to choose from: traditional burial, green burial, cremation, interment in a mausoleum, etc. Once you’ve decided what kind of final disposition you want, then you’ll need to decide on a casket or an urn.

If you are being buried, interred in a mausoleum, or your cremation remains stored in a columbarium, then you’ll need to select the kind of grave marker you want and what information you want to be included on it.

Where you are interred is the next thing you need to decide on. If you are a member of a church congregation and they have a graveyard, you can very likely get a free burial plot if the graveyard is not full. You may have a family cemetery where you want to be buried (it may be where you currently live or it may be where you grew up). Or you may want to pick a local public cemetery to be buried in.

Most services for funerals are held either in the funeral home or in a sanctuary, but you can choose just about any location where you want your funeral service or memorial service held. The funeral home will help make the arrangements to secure the location when you die.

Next, you’ll need to decide what kind of service you want to have. While you may personally think that no service needs to be held when you die, you’ll want to think about those you leave behind. In reality, the service is for them and it’s an important part of the closure process.

There are many kinds of services that you can have after you die. You may decide you want a traditional funeral service. If you’re a military veteran, you may want to have a military service. If you’re being cremated, you may want to have a memorial service or a celebration of life service.

Once you decide on the type of service you want, then you can customize it so that it includes exactly what your wishes are. There may be things that you want read as part of your service or there may be specific songs that you want to be played. Be sure to document all the details so that your family knows exactly what you want.

You should write your obituary before you die. Only you have lived your life and only you know what you want people to remember about you or to take away from the experiences you’ve had. Be creative and give people a sense of the person you are. Make it personal and make it humorous and make it instructive.

Decide now what you want to wear when you die. The clothes you pick should be the ones that best define you and that people will recognize you in. Traditionally, people were dressed up when they died, but now people are choosing what they like to wear to be buried or cremated in.

funeral homes in Adelphi, MD

Meet with the funeral home to go over your funeral plan. Your funeral director can help you make it complete, and then they can keep your information on file so that it’s available when you die and your family goes to make arrangements for you.

If you’d like to know more about funeral planning at funeral homes in College Park, MD, you can talk with our knowledgeable team at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A.

cremation services offered in Adephi, MD

Strength in Grieving

After cremations as part of the cremation services offered in Adephi, MD, it’s not uncommon for bereaved family members to hear other people tell them how strong they are in the way they handle their loved one’s death. Although this is meant to be a compliment, it may leave you feeling like people aren’t seeing your grief and don’t really understand how you feel.

While some people may appreciate being told they are being strong in handling their loved one’s death, most people do not. Why?

For one thing, when you are grieving, you feel weak and vulnerable. So when someone tells you how strong you are, it can come across as a statement that is patronizing or a statement that reveals that the person who said it really doesn’t understand what and how you are feeling and going through.

Another reason why you may not appreciate hearing that you are being strong in handling your loved one’s death is that you may internalize that statement to mean that you are a stoic person. This can make you feel guilty or bad because you aren’t showing how much you loved and cared about your deceased loved one.

A third reason why the statement that you are being strong in the face of your loved one’s death may not resonate with you is that it implies that not expressing emotion about losing someone you love is better than being emotional about it.

You may interpret this to mean that if you show the emotions of the grief you are experiencing for your loved one that other people will disapprove or be disappointed. So, you may feel the need to bury your emotions, which can make your grieving process longer and worse.

Interestingly enough, another reason why you may not want to hear that you have to be strong about your loved one’s death is that it conveys an implied threat. The threat is that if you don’t keep your emotions in check, then there will be negative consequences that follow.

When someone tells you that you are being strong or you have to be strong after your loved one dies, then they are bypassing the pain you are feeling. Therefore, you know intuitively that you can’t count on that person for empathy, compassion, and support while you are grieving.

The reality is that strength when you’re grieving is not strong as it is defined in most other situations. Yes, you put one foot in front of the other, whether you feel like it or not, and you take care of all the things that you are responsible for, but doing these things while you’re grieving depletes your stamina and energy quickly.

That is because, in the background, you’re dealing with a myriad of thoughts, memories, and emotions related to your loved one, and you’re giving them a permanent home in your mind and your heart as you sort through them.

You may put you “I’m okay” mask on when you deal with the outside world, but you know how big the struggle inside you is. The struggle is where you are strong, but most people will never see that because it happens internally and privately.

cremation services offered in Greenbelt, MD

It’s the little things that are big things. It’s opening up old boxes of photos, even though you know the tears will fall. It’s saying your loved one’s name aloud for the first time in casual conversation. It’s being aware of, acknowledging, feeling, and expressing all the emotions of your grief.

If you want more information about cremation services offered in Adephi, MD, you can talk with our expert staff at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A.

funeral homes in Adephi, MD

Why People Die From Dementia

Some funerals at funeral homes in Adephi, MD are for people who died from dementia. Dementia is a complex neurological condition that creates more severe effects as it progresses. There are many different types of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy body dementia, and vascular dementia.

Someone who has dementia can suffer from multiple types of dementia. Because dementia involves the brain, it also affects the rest of the body and can negatively affect organs like the heart, the kidneys, and the lungs.

Dementia is characterized by memory loss in its early stages. However, as it progresses, dementia begins to affect higher brain functions that we take for granted. In the later stages of dementia, things like balance and coordination are affected, as well as sleep cycles, breathing, heart rate, and digestion.

In the final stages of dementia, people who suffer from it can no longer do what it takes to keep their bodies alive and functioning. This is because of the neurological damage that has been done and the muscle weakness that happens as a result of that.

At this stage of dementia, people are often unable to walk, communicate, maintain bowel and bladder control, feed themselves, chew, and swallow. Once those basic functions are gone, the body can’t get what it needs to survive.

What this leads to is a lack of proper nutrition and dehydration. This, in turn, can cause life-threatening health conditions like heart failure, kidney failure, and respiratory failure. Even though neurological damage is responsible for these secondary health conditions, rarely will a death certificate list dementia as the cause of death. If dementia is mentioned, it will be in the form of whatever condition led to death was a complication of dementia.

Because of this, the actual number of deaths that are caused by dementia are severely underreported.

One of the most common causes of death in dementia patients is a secondary infection. In many cases, this secondary infection is pneumonia. Although pneumonia can be treated with antibiotics in healthy people, people with dementia usually have compromised immune systems that leave them unable to fight a bacterial infection, even with the help of antibiotics.

For people with late stage dementia, the conditions listed below can cause or contribute to multiple organ failure and death:

  • Cardiac arrest
  • Dehydration and malnutrition
  • Traumatic brain injuries and fractures from falls
  • Lung infections
  • Kidney failure
  • Strokes
  • Pressure ulcers
  • Thromboembolisms
  • Sepsis

Because these conditions and their treatments can be uncomfortable and anxiety-inducing, many people who suffer from dementia and their caregivers opt for comfort care instead of treatment that might extend life for a short period of time.

This is why everyone should have an end-of-life care plan in place. None of us know if or when will develop dementia. The rates of dementia have exploded in the last 30 years. There is significant research that has been done to suggest that lifestyles and the environment (air pollution, water pollution, and soil pollution are contributors to the development of dementia) are part of the reason for the sharp increase in dementia cases.

While we may not be able to control the environment, we can control some of the lifestyle factors that may increase the chances that we will develop dementia. These include getting regular exercise, eating healthy food, getting quality sleep, and getting regular health checkups to spot and control conditions that might lead to high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease.

If you’d like to learn about planning funerals at funeral homes in Adephi, MD, you can talk with our knowledgeable team at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A.