Category Archives: funeral homes

funeral homes in Adelphi, MD

Choosing a Final Outfit

There will be many decisions that you will have to make when making funerary arrangements for a loved one. One of these decisions will usually be to choose the right final outfit for the person. This can be a bit more difficult than it may seem, especially if the person did not leave any hint of what they would have preferred. If that is the case, there are some things that directors of funeral homes in Adelphi, MD want you to know.

It is important to consider the kind of service that you want to have for the person. You need to make certain that the outfit matches the tone of the service. If you have a celebration of life, for example, choosing a very formal and somber outfit is probably not the best choice. This can help you narrow some options down.

You want to also consider the personality of your loved one. If the person did not like to wear dresses or if they did not like a particular color, you do not want to choose a final outfit that goes against that. You should ask the other family members about favorite outfits or favorite styles that the person had if you do not know yourself. This can let you find the best option without guesswork.

During many services, you may want to have an item buried or cremated with the person. If that is the case, you will want to let the provider know so that they can prepare it. If you want the item for the service but you do not want it in the casket during the burial or during the cremation, then be sure to also let the funeral home director know. This can help avoid any issues or mistakes.

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If you want to have your loved one cremated, you will want to know about the material that you can and cannot add to the casket. There are a few things to remember like metal is not a good option. Avoid jewelry, glasses, and belts that have metal buckles. This can be crucial if you want to ensure you do not run into issues. There are also some kinds of processed leather that will not break down in the crematorium. If you are not sure about the materials that are not allowed, you will want to reach out to the provider.

These are some things to remember when you start getting ready to choose the kind of outfit you want for your loved one. Think about the things your loved one enjoyed and about the things that they would not have wanted and be sure to also ask other people for suggestions. You can learn more about all of this by contacting an Adelphi, MD funeral home like us at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. We are ready to answer any questions you may have about the service and about the process of choosing a final outfit. Give us a call right now or visit us today.

Dos and Do Nots of Writing an Obituary

Writing an obituary for a loved one is a great honor and it is something to take some time with. You want to let everyone know what has happened and when the services will take place. If you have never written an obituary before, you will want to know a few things that can help you write a beautiful one. Here are the dos and do nots of writing an obituary that directors of funeral homes in College Park, MD want you to keep in mind.

Do read examples of obituaries. This is something that many people forget to do and it can be important. Although every obituary will be different, reading examples will tell you about the length they should be, what to include, and even the tone. This can help you put together the kind of obituary that you want for your loved one.

Do not add too many details to the biographical section. Obituaries always have at least a paragraph about the person’s life. It is important to stick to the milestones of the person’s life without adding too many details because this can confuse people who are reading the obituary. This is an important thing to remember, and it can make a difference in what you write.

Do add a list of the people who survived the person. This is a customary addition to an obituary and it is always appropriate to add it to the one that you are writing. Keep in mind that a very common issue people have when doing this is forgetting to include people in the list. To avoid this, you can have someone in your family check to make certain everyone who needs to be included is.

Do not forget to have a few people read the obituary. You need to make certain that there are no errors before you send it out to be posted or printed. Have at least two people read through it for errors that you may have missed.

Do include all of the details on the services that you want to let people know about. This means adding the time, location, and any special requests that you may have for donations. Some people choose to have this information in bold print or in a larger font, and most people have it at the end of the obituary so that people can find it easily.

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These are some crucial dos and do nots that you want to consider when you start planning the obituary for a loved one. You always want to read examples of obituaries and you want to ensure that you know what to include. If you want to know more about doing writing obituaries, you can reach out to a College Park, MD funeral home like us at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. We are ready to help you with all of the decisions that you need to make after death. Give us a call right now.

Top Tips for Finding the Right Funeral Home

Losing a loved one is something that can be harrowing. The last thing anyone wants to do when dealing with this kind of tragedy is make funerary arrangements, but it is necessary to do so. One of the most crucial things to remember is that you want to have the right provider helping you. This is not always an easy thing, considering how many options you have. To help you make the best choice, here are some tips to remember when choosing a funeral home in Adelphi, MD.

You need to find a company that has been in the industry for a long time. Funerary services are complex and they require experience. You do not want to have to worry about any mistakes that amateurs can make when putting together the arrangements. Most of the time, funeral homes have websites that you can check. Here they tend to put information on their history and training. Be sure to look at this or ask them directly if you still have questions.

You need to be sure they can offer the services you need. This is not always the case. If you are looking for options like bio cremation, which requires special facilities, this can mean that you need to find a provider that can offer it. A good way of doing this is to ask for a list of services as soon as you start speaking with the provider. This can make it easier for you to narrow choices down.

Always ask about the rates that the company charges. There are national guidelines in place to protect you from being overcharged, so you want to know what the average prices are. Then you can compare it to the company you are considering so that you can find the best prices.

Another thing you have to do is to visit the location. Many times, people do not think this is necessary to do, but it is actually something that can make a huge difference in the decision. You want to see if the location is clean and in order and you want to also speak with the person in charge to see if you feel comfortable working with them.

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All of these tips can help you find the best possible options for your loved one who has passed away. You want to ask lots of questions from the providers and you want to see if they can offer the exact services that you are looking for. Take the time to also visit the location to get a good sense of the quality of work they offer. If you want to learn more about this or if you want to get started making funerary arrangements, you can turn to an Adelphi, MD funeral home like us at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. We are here to help you find the exact options that you want for your loved one. You can give us a call right now or you can visit our location today.

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Who Works at Funeral Homes?

When people plan funerals at funeral homes in College Park, MD, they encounter many different types of professionals who make the funeral process easier and smoother. Here are some of the people who will be involved in making sure the funeral for your loved one happens exactly to your specifications and without any hiccups.

The Funeral Director

One professional that you will find at funeral homes is the funeral director. The funeral director is your go-to person for every aspect of the funeral planning for your loved one. The funeral director will answer all your questions and give you guidance and help from start to finish with your loved one’s funeral.

The funeral director takes care of all the details. The funeral director will set up the funeral service according to your instructions. If you want to have a viewing and/or visitation for your loved one, the funeral director will have everything in place for those.

The funeral director will also make arrangements for burial with the cemetery. If your loved one is a military veteran and you want military funeral honors for them, the funeral director will make arrangements for that as well.

In addition, the funeral director will take care of getting death certificates. You will need these to take care of your loved one’s final affairs.

Office Staff

Your loved one’s funeral will involve a lot of paperwork that needs to be completed and processed. The office staff at the funeral home will work in tandem with the funeral director to make sure every piece of paperwork is done, and they will make sure that you don’t miss any details with planning your loved one’s funeral.

The office staff in the funeral home are also a great resource for any questions you may think of during the funeral planning process, so count on them to be available if you have a question or need to know something that you forgot to mention while you were at the funeral home making funeral arrangements for your loved one or at any other time before or after your loved one’s funeral.

Financial Advisors

Your funeral home has financial advisors who can help you plan a funeral for your loved one that fits into your budget. These are skilled professionals who can give you all the options for your loved one’s funeral and then help you find the best options for the budget you have.

If your loved one had burial insurance, the funeral home’s financial advisors will process that and claim the policy benefit to apply to the cost of the funeral. That is one less thing that you will have to worry about while you are preparing for your loved one’s funeral.

Funeral Greeters

Your funeral home has funeral greeters who will help out with parking and giving people instructions during the viewing and/or visitation and funeral service. Their job is to direct the flow of people in an orderly fashion.

Funeral greeters will direct people to the room where your loved one’s funeral is being held. They will make sure that everyone signs the guest book, and they will help with seating everyone who is attending.

There are other people who work in funeral homes that you may never see, but you can be assured that every single employee is dedicated to meeting the needs of you and your family as you say goodbye to your loved one.

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

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Making Funeral Arrangements at Funeral Homes

When making funeral arrangements at funeral homes in Adelphi, MD, people who are doing it for the first time often do not know what they need to bring to start the funeral process. There are several things that you will need to take with you to the funeral home when you are making funeral arrangements for your loved one.

Hopefully, your loved one was organized and had thought about their funeral in advance. If so, you will already know where their important papers are so that some of these items will be easy to locate.

However, not everyone thinks in advance about their death, even sometimes in the case of terminal illnesses where the outcome is certain, and it may take some time to find all the documents the funeral director will need to start planning your loved one’s funeral.

Here is a list of the documents you should take with you when you go to the funeral home:

  • Your loved one’s birth certificate
  • Your loved one’s Social Security card
  • Your loved one’s marriage certificate (or divorce decree, if applicable)

If your loved one served in the United States military and was discharged with any status other than a dishonorable discharge, your loved one is entitled to several military funeral benefits. These include free burial or inurnment in a national or state cemetery, a free grave marker, and military funeral honors.

Even if your loved one will be buried or inurned in a private cemetery, they are still entitled to a free grave marker and military funeral honors.

In order for your funeral director to arrange these military funeral benefits with the local Department of Veterans Affair office, they will need to make a copy of your loved one’s military separation orders (Form DD-214), so if you want the benefits, you should take this with you as well when you go to make funeral arrangements.

You should bring clothes for your loved one to be dressed in as part of the embalming process. While in the past, the standard funeral clothing was more formal (suits and ties for men and Sunday dresses for women), things have changed enough so that you can choose how you want your loved one dressed for burial.

Some people choose to have their loved ones buried in clothes that everyone will recognize them in or the clothes they loved best, while others go the more traditional route and dress their loved ones more formally. The choice is entirely yours.

You will also need to provide information about your loved one to your funeral director. For the death certificate, you’ll need to provide your loved one’s occupation (your funeral director will also use the birth certificate and Social Security card for the death certificate).

You should also be prepared to provide details for your loved one’s obituary, if they or you have not written one and you want the funeral home to write it for you. It’s best to not put too much personal information in the obituary for your loved one.

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The street address where they died (and of other family members) should not be included. People who break into homes routinely scan obituaries to find out when no one will be home at the street addresses listed, and they target those homes.

Additionally, it’s best not to include their date of birth to prevent potential identity theft.

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

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Why Have a Visitation?

When planning funerals at funeral homes in College Park, MD, one of the things that funeral directors ask people is whether they want to have visitation for their loved ones. You may not know whether you should have a visitation for your loved one or not, but there are some good reasons to consider having one.

First, it’s important for you to know that you can have a visitation for your loved one without having a viewing (an open casket with your loved one in repose). You may not want a viewing because you want people to remember your loved one as they were in a life or because you don’t want that to be your last memory of your loved one.

Those reasons are valid and your funeral director understands them and can arrange a visitation that doesn’t include a viewing.

One reason for having a visitation for your loved one is that it gives your friends and family members an opportunity to personally pay their respects and to offer you comfort and support. Even during COVID-19, funeral directors have found creative ways to make visitations possible.

Many funeral homes are offering drive-through visitations. With a drive-through visitation, you and your immediate family stand in front of the funeral home, and each car comes through one by one, with the car’s occupants rolling down the windows and offering you their condolences and expressions of sympathy.

This is a critical part of the funeral process, and, perhaps, even more, important now when there are so many public health restrictions that keep people apart and distanced from each other to try to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Some funeral homes are able to host smaller visitations inside their facilities, and a visitation for your loved one would give you an opportunity to pay tribute to your loved one’s life and shine a light on who they were as a person.

While close friends and family members may know your loved one very well, some of the people who attend the visitation may have known them only casually. Those people will be able to learn things about your loved one that they may not have known, and they will have a deeper understanding and respect of why your loved one meant so much to you.

Some of the things you can include as part of the visitation for your loved one are:

  • A tribute video – Tribute videos often include two or three of your loved one’s favorite songs and photos that highlight aspects of their life and their personality.
  • A memorial table – Memorial tables focus on some part of your loved one’s life that they were passionate about or that meant a lot to them. For example, your loved one may have been a music collector, so you can include photos of them at concerts and covers of some of their favorite albums.

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Visitations can also help you and your family grieve together and draw comfort and support from your friends and other family members. Sometimes families have disagreements and rifts that only death can mend. A visitation for your loved one can be the first step toward healing and reforming bonds that you and your family can share for the rest of your life.

Visitations have many benefits, so while you don’t have to have visitation for your loved one, it may be something that you want to consider in your funeral planning.

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.

funeral homes in Adelphi, MD

Being Grateful When Times are Rough

Planning funerals at funeral homes in Adelphi, MD is never easy. When you lose someone you love to death, the grief, the pain, the sorrow, and the sense of loss you feel can make this time feel rougher than almost any other time in your life.

It can be almost impossible to imagine life without your loved one. What will you do without them? How will you live without them as part of your life? Where – and how – do you go from here?

Although the death of your loved one is very hard and there will be dark days and moments now and in the future as you move through their loss into new and unchartered territory without them, there are many things along the way that you can be grateful for.

Being grateful is a choice to see the good things around you. Even when your loved one has died, there are many things about them and your relationship with them that you can be grateful for. Gratitude has an encouraging effect, and as you focus on the things in your life that you are grateful for, it can help you move more easily through the grieving process without getting bogged down in it.

It’s easier to be grateful when your life is running smoothly. It can be much harder to be grateful when it’s not. But, ironically, that is the time you need gratitude and appreciation the most. So, here are some things you should look for and focus on as you mourn the loss of your loved one and you start a new life that doesn’t have them in it.

One thing you should pay attention to is the acts of kindness that other people do for you. These don’t have to be big and grand gestures and they don’t always have to come from people you know. In fact, one of the mysteries of life can often be that we are more kind to strangers than we are to our friends and family.

Perhaps someone you don’t know holds the door open for you as you are walking into a building. Maybe somebody you don’t know smiles at you when you need it most. You might have an uplifting conversation with another person while you’re standing in the checkout line at the grocery store or waiting to pick up a prescription at the pharmacy.

Those are acts of kindness that you should write down and keep as a remembrance of things you can be grateful for. Here’s an unexpected benefit of this: it will make you more conscious about practicing kindness toward people you don’t know. You will remember how these generous gestures made you feel and you will want to pass that experience on to others as you go through life.

Another thing you can do to promote gratefulness as a daily habit is to begin the day by listing several specific things you are grateful for. Include your loved one in this list. What things about them are you grateful for? What did they add to your life that you’re grateful for? What would you have never known without them that you are grateful for?

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Not only will this encourage you in your loss, but it will also help you to focus on good memories with your loved one that make you feel encouraged and comforted.

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

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Should You Have a Visitation?

When making funeral arrangements at funeral homes in College Park, MD, one of the things that will need to be decided is whether or to have a visitation. Many people have questions about what should and shouldn’t be done during visitations, so here are some answers that may help.

First, you should know that having a visitation for your loved one is optional. You and your family may decide that you just want to have a funeral service and/or a graveside service, and that is perfectly acceptable.

Traditionally, visitations are held just before the funeral service so that mourners can express their sympathy and support to the grieving family and so that they can pay their respects to the deceased.

Many times the visitation includes a viewing. Your loved one’s casket is opened so that the people attending the visitation can see them one last time and say their final farewells. However, you do not have to have a viewing with a visitation for your loved one.

In some cases, it may not be prudent to have a viewing for your loved one. If, for example, your loved one was in tragic accident in which they were severely injured, you would not want to have a viewing. As well, if your loved one died from a terminal illness that savagely ravaged their body, you would not want to have a viewing.

Whether you have a viewing with your loved one’s visitation is a personal decision that is entirely yours and your family’s to make. There is no right or wrong answer to whether you should have a viewing.

So, what can you do to honor your loved one during a visitation?

One thing you can do is to set up memory tables that have pictures of your loved one and personal things that were very special to them. For example, if your loved one had a favorite sports team and everyone who knew them knew about it, then you could set up a table that has pictures of them attending that team’s events or games and you can include team memorabilia from your loved one’s collection.

Another idea for a memory table could be to remember a loved one’s military service. Military veterans are often very proud of their service to the United States. For some military veterans, whether they served their entire career in the military or they did just one tour of duty, the military and their allegiance to the United States has a dominant place in their lives. Having a memory table reflecting that can help honor your loved one’s memory.

Another thing that you can do during a visitation is to play a tribute video that you or the funeral home creates. In your loved one’s tribute video, you can include a few of their favorite songs, favorite pictures of them, and quotes from books or poems that describe them or favorite sayings that your loved one was known for.

This tribute video can play and replay throughout the visitation.

Funeral homes have adapted to COVID-19 restrictions on gatherings, and they have found creative ways to do things such as viewings, which are usually held inside the funeral home. Many funeral homes have adopted the concept of drive by viewings.

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With a drive by viewing, you and your family stand at the funeral home entrance and people drive up, one car at a time, and roll down their car windows to offer you and your family their condolences and comfort.

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

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Why You Should Consider a Funeral Reception

When planning funerals at funeral homes in Adelphi, MD, people should consider having funeral receptions after the funeral service. Funerals, by nature, are a blur of many decisions at a very rapid pace after your loved one dies.

The reason for this is that you are in shock and numb at the loss of your loved one, even if you knew their death was coming and you thought that you had mentally and emotionally prepared for it. When your loved one died, your brain and body went into protective mode, which is why you’re both in shock and numb in the days after their death.

That is why you should consider having a funeral reception after the funeral service. A funeral reception gives you a break from all the activity that surrounds funerals and lets you spend some relaxed time with friends and family sharing memories and stories of your loved ones and getting some much-needed nutrition and hydration.

You’ve got enough on your plate, so think about turning the planning of the funeral reception over to someone who has offered to help you during this difficult time. The funeral home can help with accommodations for the funeral reception and that person can work with them to plan the funeral reception.

If you’ve been given the responsibility of planning a funeral reception, the best advice is to keep it family-friendly and keep it simple. There are many different ideas you can use for a funeral reception that won’t burden you with a lot of preparation all by yourself.

One of the most popular ideas for a funeral reception is having a potluck meal. People who will be attending the funeral reception can each bring a dish to contribute. You can assign the responsibility for drinks, ice, disposal plates, cups, and eating utensils to specific people to make sure you have everything you need to serve the potluck meal.

If you’d like a more simple funeral reception that doesn’t require people to sit, but instead allows everyone to mingle and talk, here are a few ideas.

Always be sure to have cold water, hot coffee, hot tea, and hot chocolate options for people to drink. Adequate hydration is always an issue for the grieving family because they are so consumed with everything they have to take care of, so having these on hand at the funeral reception will help them out.

You can do a funeral reception based on a theme. You might want to do cookies, dessert bars, and cakes. Instead of spending a lot of time in the kitchen making these sweet treats, go to the grocery store or to a bakery and purchase everything you want to serve. Grocery stores often care all of these dessert items already precut, so all you will need to do is the presentation at the funeral reception.

You can also do a funeral reception that features a variety of crackers, cheeses, spreads, and fruits. Fruits should be in season and should be cut up so that they are easy to eat. If you are using fruits like sliced apples or pears, add a touch of lemon juice to them so that they don’t turn brown before you serve them.

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Funeral receptions are a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of the funeral process. You will find that they provide a lot of comfort and support at a point when you need it most.

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

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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.

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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.