Category Archives: cremations

cremation services in Adelphi, MD

Remembering a Loved One During the Holiday Season

After cremation services in Adelphi, MD, you will grieve the loss of your loved one. With time, your grief will change from the intense sadness you feel right after your loved one dies, and your memories will be filled with comforting moments that wrap around you like a warm blanket on a cold winter night.

However, the holidays may disrupt all that warm comfort as you remember previous holidays when your loved one was still alive. The memories of the traditions you shared combined with the actual absence, whether it’s an empty chair at the table or an absent helper in preparations, can throw you back into intense grieving because your loved one is not there.

One of the things that you may find yourself thinking about your loved ones is that you are the only one missing them. You may watch family members and friends going about their normal routines and not even seeming to notice that your loved one isn’t there.

You may feel upset that it doesn’t seem to matter to anyone but you that your loved one has died and is no longer a part of holiday celebrations. While this may not be true, it doesn’t change how you feel.

So, it’s important for you to be able to find meaningful ways to remember your loved ones during the holiday season so that you can be assured in your own mind that they are not forgotten and they will never be forgotten.

One way that you can remember your loved one during the holiday season is to carry on one of their traditions. For example, your loved one may have been a great cook and there was one special dish they made every year only during the holiday season. Find their recipe for that special dish and adopt cooking or baking that dish your tradition as a tangible way to remember them.

Another way that you can remember your loved one during the holiday season is to donate your time or resources to something charitable that was special to them. Your loved one may have volunteered to deliver holiday meals to senior citizens or to families in need. Your loved one may have served meals on holidays to people in need at a church or a shelter.

If you don’t have a lot of time, try to donate a little time if you have it so you can honor your loved one by sharing the same experience they had. However, if it is not possible for you to donate your time, make sure you donate your resources to those causes.

Food banks, for example, are always in need of more food around the holiday season. Many times they will specifically ask for holiday meal items to be donated, so check to see what they need and provide for them as you are able. Some grocery stores will also donate meals to families during the holidays. All you need to do to participate is to make a donation by adding a set dollar amount to your checkout total.

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A final way that you can remember your loved one during the holiday season is to create something permanent in memory of them. You might plant a tree seedling inside that you can plant outdoors in your yard when the weather turns warm or you could have someone handcraft a memory chair or bench that you can put in your loved one’s favorite place.

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

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How to Honor Your Loved One’s Memory as Time Passes

With cremation services for a loved one in College Park, MD, you will deal with the grief that comes from losing someone who is dear to you and holds a special place in your heart. The initial stages of grief can be very painful and intense as you come to grips with the reality that your loved one is gone and all that means.

This period of the grieving process will be filled with a great sense of loss and finality that can be very difficult to walk through. When your loved one dies, you’ve lost them and all of your life, going forward that is associated with them. That’s a hard blow to cope with.

You’ve lost the plans, the hopes, the dreams of the future that the two of you shared. You’ve lost their companionship. You’ve lost their love, their support, their comfort, and all the ways they were able to be your safe haven when the storms of life rolled through.

One of the things, however, that you will never lose from your loved one who has died is your past with them when they were alive. You have all the memories of your time together to hold and to cherish for the rest of your life.

This gift may be hard to recognize in the early stages of grieving because you’re focused on what your loved one’s death means for the present and for the future. But, as time passes, grief changes, and the memories of the time you had together will start flowing in, offering a sense of comfort and relief for your pain.

You want to keep your loved one’s memory alive and never stop honoring it. But you may not know exactly how to do that in a way that is deep and meaningful. Here are some ideas.

One way that you can keep your loved one’s memory alive and continue to honor it is by supporting a cause or a charity that they believed in. Support doesn’t have to be just monetary. Support can also be expressed through volunteering your time for the cause or the charity.

Even if you aren’t as enthusiastic as your loved one was about the cause of charity, you can pay homage to your loved one’s memory by donating a little of your time or money to them regularly.

Another way that you can keep your loved one’s memory alive and you can honor them is to visit places that were special to them or special to you and them. These places could be as simple as a park that you and your loved one regularly walked through or a restaurant that was your favorite.

These places might also be far away destinations that you traveled to frequently. Maybe you went to a city like New Orleans or Seattle every year for a few days. While in New Orleans, you may have made it a point to stop at the iconic Preservation Hall to listen to local jazz musicians play. While in Seattle, you may have had Pike Place Market as one of your not-to-be-missed stops.

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Whatever and wherever those places were, go to them. Enjoy the present in honor of your loved one and savor the memories of your past with your loved one as they wash over you to strengthen and hold you.

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

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When Families Disagree Over Final Wishes

Often, when families are planning cremation services offered in Adelphi, MD, there will be disagreements about the final wishes of their loved ones. Funeral homes see this more than you might imagine and it is one of the areas in which they can help you and your family amicably get past any differences you might have to come to a consensus about your loved one’s final wishes.

It’s important up front to say that these kind of disagreements can be avoided if each of us sits down with our families before we die and tells them all at once what our final wishes are (they should also be documented in detail).

When we’re still living, we can explain to our family members why we’ve chosen what we’ve chosen and we can address any issues or disagreements that might arise during this conversation.

In the United States, we don’t talk about death enough or openly, and that is the primary reason why family disagreements over a loved one’s final wishes happen.

The death of your loved one is an emotional and unsettling time for you and your immediate family. Perhaps you are making funeral arrangements for a parent, and you and siblings are trying to decide how best to honor them and their memory.

Family dynamics alone are seldom without some friction and tension. Old feelings, words, and actions – many of which may have happened years or decades ago – that were never addressed and never resolved often come to the surface in times of crisis.

The death of your loved one is a time of crisis, and it is very likely, that your family dynamics will surface as you try to work together to honor the memory of your loved one and fulfill their final wishes as they would have wanted them fulfilled.

The keys to defusing family disagreements during the funeral process are to be willing to listen, be willing to yield, and be willing to put aside hard feelings or hurt feelings from the past. The death of a loved one can actually be a time of healing for a family, but it takes everyone’s effort to listen, yield, and set aside grievances to make it happen.

The lesson you can take away from this experience is make sure that you preplan your funeral. Decide whether you want to be buried or cremated. Cremation services are a very popular method of final disposition and they give your family a lot of flexibility in using your cremation remains to fulfill your final wishes.

Decide on the kind of service you want to have. You can have a funeral service (you will be cremated after the service) or a memorial service or a celebration of life (you will be cremated before the service).

How do you want to be remembered? Document everything you want included in the type of service you choose that you believe encapsulates your life and your spirit.

Write your obituary. No one can tell the story of your life like you can. This will be the last story you ever tell. Make sure it’s a story to remember.

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Once you’ve preplanned your funeral, gather your family together to tell them what you’ve decided. Listen to their input, address their concerns, and work to get consensus. Make sure they know where your funeral instructions are so that all they will have to do is take them to the funeral home to be carried out.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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The Changes of Loss

After cremation services in College Park, MD, you will be confronted with a lot of changes in your life and to your life because of the death of your loved one. These are often very big changes that take time to adjust and adapt to.

One of the changes you will experience when you lose a loved one is with relationships. You and your family may notice that some people who were friends and who were close before your loved one died become scarce and more distant.

In part, this scarcity and distancing may be because these people are uncomfortable with the death of your loved one and don’t know what to say or do. This scarcity and distancing may, however, be because your deceased loved one was the connection between you and your family and that group of people. When your loved one dies, the connection gets broken.

On the flip side, another change may be that some relationships with other people get closer and stronger. Death has a way of bringing people that may have been more peripheral in your life into a more central role in your life.

Another reason for changes in relationships after your loved one has died is that you and your family have different interests, priorities, and goals than the people you interacted a lot with before your loved one died.

The routines you and your family had before your loved one died will also change. For example, if your loved one had a terminal illness, much of your time as a family may have been spent involved in caregiving activities, like managing medical appointments, caring for your loved one at home, and spending time at the hospital with them.

Once your loved one dies, those activities will stop. This can be a very abrupt change and you and your family may feel a bit lost without all of your energy and attention being focused on taking care of the needs of your loved one.

In time, you’ll develop new routines, but it will take some time to get used to not having to be on call all the time and having the ability to do things that you may have not been able to do while you were caregiving.

Another change that you and your family will experience after the death of your loved one is that of responsibilities. Usually, within a family unit, different members have different responsibilities that they naturally fall into, either because they’re good at them or they chose to do them.

Your loved one had responsibilities that they took care of before they died. You and other family members will now have to pick those up. If they are unfamiliar or you were not part of the execution before your loved one died, this change can be very stressful.

For example, if your spouse handled all the household finances or took care of all the car maintenance, you and your family may initially be at a loss as to what to do. However, by working together – and using help offered by friends or trusted advisors – you and your family members can learn how to take care of these responsibilities and excel at doing them.

A big change that you and your family may face is in your financial situation. If your loved one was the primary wage earner for the family, you and your family may need to find ways to make up for the lost income their death brings. You may have to work more or enter the workforce after a long absence. This can be very stressful.

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Regardless of the changes the loss of your loved one brings, you and your family will learn to cope with them, and, in time, you will be able to navigate them successfully.

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

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Should You Have a Celebration of Life?

After cremations as part of the cremation services offered in Adelphi, MD, one of the types of memorial services that you can have is a celebration of life. When you die, your family will understandably be devastated with your loss.

They will be grieving your absence in their lives. They will want a service that is not only a memorial to you, but that also allows them to share memories, stories, and adventures in their life with you.

Choosing a celebration of life as a memorial service is often based on who you were as a person and how you want to be remembered. You may not want a somber, serious, and formal memorial service, but instead you may want a service that is uplifting and that focuses on the life you lived, not the death you died.

A celebration of life is a service that focuses on how you lived your life, instead of focusing solely on your death. If you are someone who is lighthearted and doesn’t like serious ceremonies, then a celebration of life may be the perfect choice for your memorial service.

Celebrations of life are very informal gatherings. The focus of a celebration of life is to talk about you when you were alive and to celebrate the life that you lived. While a celebration of life is not exactly a party, the focus is more about living than dying.

So what’s involved in a celebration of life? Usually, celebrations of life feature some sort of entertainment, food, drinks, and a very loose, informal atmosphere where friends and family exchange memories and stories about you and your impact on their lives.

Some people choose to have their favorite games or pastimes as the centerpiece of their celebration of life. For example, if you love football, your friends and family might hold your celebration of life while watching your favorite football team play.

Other examples might be having a celebration of life at the beach or going skiing in the mountains.

Whatever is special to you in your life might be used as the theme of your celebration of life. Since celebrations of life are held after cremation, you can even have your family and friends take the time to plan a weekend to meet somewhere to have your celebration of life.

Music is one of the things that most of us hold dear. We like certain genres of music or certain songs, and many celebrations of life will include our favorite songs or genres of music. You might want to have live music or you may want to make a celebration of life playlist on Spotify or another streaming music service to be played at your celebration of life.

Food and drinks are almost always a part of celebrations of life. You can request that your celebration of life be held at one of your favorite restaurants or you can ask that your favorite foods and drinks be served at your celebration of life. Since the focus is on you and your life, the food and drinks served should be the ones that are your favorites.

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The atmosphere of celebrations of life is very casual and so too, often, is the dress. You can specify what you’d like people to wear if there is a theme (such as a football game) to your celebration of life.

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

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Erroneous Beliefs about Grief

One of the cremation services offered in College Park, MD is access to grief resources after the death of a loved one. Grief is part of the journey you will have to travel when someone whom you love dies.

Your grief will not be exactly like anyone else’s grief for your loved one. Our relationships with those we love are personal and individual, and the things that we grieve about when they are gone reflect that uniqueness and individualization.

It’s important to remember that grief is a response to loss. While we typically think of grief as being specific to the death of a loved one, the reality is that we can experience grief over any type of loss.

These losses may not be the death of a person, but they are the death of something. Losses like this can including being laid off or terminated from a job, not getting a job that we really wanted, moving away from a place we love to a new city (perhaps because of a new job), breaking up a long-term relationship (married or not married), and losing a close friendship because of time, distance, or an unresolvable difference.

Loss can come at many places and in many ways in our lives and they can trigger feelings of grief. If these kinds of losses come on the heels of the death of someone you love, they can intensify your grief until it can seem as though grief is swallowing you up.

You may, in an attempt to stem this overload of grief, be more susceptible to some of the erroneous beliefs about grief.

One of these erroneous beliefs about grief is that if you ignore the pain of grief, then it will disappear faster. The reality is that you more you try to ignore the pain you are feeling from grieving or the more you do to try to distract yourself from it, the longer you will actually have to grieve.

The painful part of grieving will not go away until you face the emotions and feelings of grief and deal with them. This can be unpleasant at times. It can be confusing at times. It can be very unsettling at times.

However, all of this is a normal part of the grieving process, and ignoring it or trying to distract yourself from it will only make it last longer and make it much worse.

Another erroneous belief about grief is that you are truly grieving the death of your loved one if you cry about it. Crying is good for you (although if you cry long enough, you may have a headache and swollen eyes that only sleep will take away), but crying is just one way to express the emotions of grief.

Don’t fall into the trap of believing someone – or even you – is not grieving deeply just because they – or you – aren’t crying a lot. There are many ways to process grief without any external manifestation of it.

The need to be emotionally strong after the death of a loved one is another erroneous belief about grief. This one may be harder for you to navigate through because this erroneous belief is projected on us by society.

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We are expected to return to our normal lives shortly after the death of our loved ones and function as though nothing traumatic has happened to us. We are expected to meet or exceed all the expectations of us as well, or better, than we did before our loved one’s death.

However, pretending to be strong when you are emotionally shattered inside means delaying grief. While you may be able to do this for a while (perhaps even years), eventually a day of reckoning comes when you can no longer hold off the grief. It will be stronger, more intense, and likely will take make longer to work through.

If you need information about the cremation services offered in College Park, MD, you can talk with our expert staff at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A.

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Heart Disease and Death

While cremation services are offered in Adelphi, MD, we hope we don’t have to provide them for you or any of your family members for a long time. However, the American lifestyle is a major factor in the development of heart disease, and heart disease is the top cause of deaths in the United States.

Two-thirds of heart-related deaths are attributable to coronary heart disease; the other one-third of heart-related deaths are the result of congestive heart failure, rheumatic heart disease, congenital heart disease, and pulmonary heart disease.

Heart disease can strike at any time, and many people die prematurely from heart disease. However, in most cases, heart disease is preventable.

Americans do a lot of talking about healthy lifestyles. Advertising is full of health-related messages that portray Americans exercising a lot, eating healthy diets, and getting quality sleep (all things that are related to heart health).

However, in reality, most Americans have a very unhealthy lifestyle. Our lives have become so fast-paced and so filled up that we literally don’t have time to exercise regularly. We could make the time, but that would require giving up something else, and most Americans aren’t willing to make that sacrifice.

Exercise is good for the heart. If we can get 150 minutes of exercise – whether that consists of vigorous walks around the neighborhood, riding our bikes with our children, or gardening and doing yardwork (using, for example, a push mower instead of a riding mower to do the grass) – each week, we can strength our hearts (the heart is a muscle) and we can increase its effectiveness and efficiency in pumping blood throughout our bodies.

Our busy lifestyles also mean that we eat, in most cases, very poorly. Until the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020, many Americans either ate highly-processed foods, fast food, or food prepared in restaurants.

The excuse for our poor diets has always been that we don’t have enough time to shop for fresh foods and then to prepare them at home. Again, Americans have the time, but it requires them to eliminate something else they’d rather do.

Coronary heart disease is often a direct result of poor diets. The coronary arteries get clogged up with plaque, slowing or eliminating (in some cases) blood flowing to the heart. Most people suffer a heart attack before they are diagnosed with coronary heart disease.

If they survive, stents are placed in the arteries to reopen them for effective blood flow to the heart. In severe blockages, bypasses may be performed to get enough blood flowing to the heart.

Most people in the United States don’t get enough sleep, and when they do sleep, they sleep poorly. One reason is because of our busyness. The most restorative sleep (and the one that cleans out brain toxins, such as tau and beta amyloids, which are key proteins involved in the development of Alzheimer’s Disease) we can get is deep sleep.

However, our busyness creates stress in our lives and stress disrupts our sleep. We either toss and turn much of the time we are supposed to be sleeping (restless sleep), we’re wide awake several times when we go to sleep, or we spend a lot of time in REM sleep (where dreams occur) trying to work through the stress of our waking hours.

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The result is very little sleep and very poor quality sleep. This in turn places stress on the heart and can lead to the development of heart disease.

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

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Feeding a Grieving Family

As a family gathers for cremation services in Beltsville, MD, they are dealing with the shock – even if they knew death was imminent – of their loss, grief, and all that is involved in making funeral arrangements. Food and eating are usually not even on their radar. And, if it is, they will not have the time or the energy to cook and eat.

Providing meals for a grieving family is a great way that you and other friends and family members can show your support for them. Whether the family attends your church or has lived in your neighborhood for a while, setting up a meal delivery system for a couple of weeks for them will ensure that the family has the nutritional sustenance they need.

If you’re part of a team or a committee of one that is making sure a bereaved family is being fed, here are some guidelines that can help.

You should have a designated place at their home to deliver food. Typically, this is their front porch since it’s usually the easiest and least intrusive part of their home to access. Place a couple of sturdy boxes and a large cooler filled with ice (replenish as necessary) to hold the food and drinks that are being delivered. By doing this, you will not disturb the family if it’s an inconvenient time and they won’t have to feel obligated to entertain anyone delivering food.

Be sure to bring water (plain and natural sparkling) and other drinks (milk, half and half or coffee creamer, iced tea and juices, etc.) to put in one cooler. Make sure you include items to make hot coffee and tea (provide both Keurig-type pods and ground coffee and tea bags).

Although most hot food is for dinners, be sure to provide food for breakfasts and lunches. Good breakfast foods can be easy-to-prepare foods like bread and bagels, jams and jellies, and fruit and cold cereals. Good choices for lunch foods are bread, condiments, deli meats, pickles, and cut vegetables (a vegetable tray is a good idea).

Try to provide food that is both easily transportable and nutritious. For dinner meals, a hot entrée (purchased or homemade) with prepared vegetables or salad fixings and salad dressings are good options. Make entrees in disposable containers that can be thrown away so that the bereaved family doesn’t have to worry about returning dishes.

Prepare enough food to feed all of the family members who may be staying at the house. You can also fix soups and stews, but deliver them in large plastic containers that do not need to be returned.

All meals that you provide should be easy to prepare or easy to reheat. Grieving family members may not eat the food immediately, so when they are ready to eat it, they should be able to get it ready without a lot of time and effort.

If you or others in the meal delivery rotation don’t have time to cook a meal, consider picking up cooked rotisserie chickens and add cooked vegetable sides (most grocery stores have these) or pick up a cooked pasta dinner with salads from a pizzeria. Fast foods, pizzas, fried chicken, and carbohydrate-heavy sides are also acceptable if you don’t have a lot of time to prepare food, but try to make sure that any food delivered to the family is as nutritional as it can be because a grieving family will need it.

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