Category Archives: funeral homes

funeral homes Burtonsville, MD

After Death, Be a Friend, Not a Critic

Just because the funeral at funeral homes Burtonsville, MD is over and everyone else has gone back to their normal lives, it doesn’t mean that life has gone back to normal for those who have lost a loved one. Often times, this is when the full emotional impact of losing someone to death hits those who were closest to them.  

In the few days after someone has died, there is a flurry of activity accompanied by a lot of people surrounding the person or people whose loved one has died. There is no time to really absorb what the loss of a loved one will feel like, be like, or look like. Additionally, there can be a type of shock, especially if the death was unexpected, that sets in or a type of auto pilot that people run on during the funeral process.  

It is only when the funeral process is over, and everybody goes away or goes back home that the reality of life with a loved one emerges. And with that reality comes the real grieving process for the loss.  

Grief is often complicated in terms of human relationships. One of the compounding factors of grief can be loneliness, especially when someone loses their spouse. Another compounding factor of grief for both young and adult children can be the loss of their second parent, which can leave them feeling as if they’re all alone in the world. A third compounding factor of grief can be memories, both good and bad, that play on constant rewind every waking hour of the day and sometimes even in dreams at night.  

All of these factors can make grief more intense and long-lasting. And, sadly, sometimes the more intense the grief becomes and the longer it lasts, the more likely people who should be friends turn into critics.  

There is point where these friends-turned-to-critics will make very hurtful and sometimes calloused statements, making judgments about the amount of time and the intensity with which the person has been grieving, and suggesting that it’s wrong, abnormal, and weak.  

The person who is grieving personalizes these hurtful comments and hear that something is wrong with them, their behavior is abnormal, and they are weak. It is a devastating blow that has the effect of deepening their grief and possibly their depression.  

The wounds left by the friends-turned-to-critics can be deep and irreparable. And, although the grieving person can forgive their friends-turned-to-critics, they have seen a side of them that makes it impossible to continue to have a relationship with them, which in turn adds more grief.   

We should be friends to those who are grieving the loss of someone they love. We don’t know all that these people are wrestling with emotionally, mentally, and, even physically, because we’re not living in their shoes in their lives. Friends listen, comfort, and soothe. Friends hug or put an arm around a shoulder in support. Friends express empathy and understanding. Friends don’t make grief worse.  

At funeral homes Burtonsville, MD, our knowledgeable staff at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. can give you more guidance on how to be a friend after death, and not a critic. You can visit us in person at our funeral home at 4400 Powder Mill Rd., Beltsville, MD, 20705, or you can contact us today at (301) 937-1707.  

Adelphi, MD cremations

Notifying Friends and Family after a Death

The first step in Adelphi, MD cremations is the notify friends and family members of our loved one’s death. In the age of social media, where nothing is sacrosanct and many people just hang their entire lives, including way too much information at times, out in public for the entire world to see, it might seem like social media is the best way to notify. friends and family members of the death of a loved one.  

Social media is not the best way to notify friends and family of a loved one’s death. Neither, for that matter, is a group or individual text message or email. These are impersonal and suggest – even if it’s untrue – a level of callousness and disrespect both toward the deceased person and toward those who are being notified of the death.  

Losing a loved one is deeply personal and will affect each friend and family member differently. Therefore, the notification of a loved one’s death should be made in a way that connects personally with each of those friends and family members, so that they hear you and you hear them and you’re able to share private emotions, reactions, and thoughts without the whole world watching and being involved.  

You need to notify friends and family of the death of a loved one through a phone call or in a video chat. While many traditions surround death and funerals have changed or disappeared altogether in the last twenty years, our human hearts and what they feel and experience have not. Therefore, we need, in the face of loss, human contact and human comfort. Social media, text messaging, and email can’t give that to us at a time when we need it most.  

Since phone calls and video chats are the only way that friends and family members should be notified of a loved one’s death, it’s important that we, while we’re living, created and keep updated a current list of who should be notified when we die. Make sure all phone numbers and video chat information is current – you should review the list at the beginning of each year – and keep it with your important papers, even in a home safe or a bank safety deposit box.  

There will likely be a single family member that makes the initial calls to immediate family members about their loved one’s death. Once those calls have been made, the remaining notifications should be split among the immediate family so that the burden of calling everyone on the list doesn’t fall on one person.   

This process will be emotionally draining for everyone involved, but if one person has to do it all, they will crumble under the emotional weight they will end up bearing.   

Why? Because in the process of notifying friends and family members, these people who are being notified will, not intentionally or consciously, transfer a part of their grief to those who are notifying them. So, in addition to their own grief, the people doing the notifications have extra grief to carry around. And it is impossible for one person to simultaneously carry both their own grief and portions of everyone else’s grief.  

For more guidance on notifying friends and family after a death and before Adelphi, MD cremations, our experienced staff at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. can assist you. You can visit us in person at our funeral home at 4400 Powder Mill Rd., Beltsville, MD, 20705, or you can call us today at (301) 937-1707.  

College Park, MD funeral homes

What to Say to a Grieving Family

Before, during, and after funerals at College Park, MD funeral homes, it can seem like a daunting task to offer support and comfort to the grieving family with words that help and heal, not hurt and wound. Here are some things you can say that will let the family know you are truly there to help them as they are grieving.  

One thing you can say to help the grieving family is, “I’m here for you to lean on. I have an open heart and time to listen.” Because it’s difficult to know what the grieving family needs or what the right or wrong thing might be to say to them, it’s a gift to just offer a shoulder to lean on and an ear to listen to whatever they need to express about their loss.  

Another thing that you can say to the grieving family is, “I can imagine how hard it is to be strong right now.” A grieving family is at its weakest point when it loses a piece of family to death. Their foundations of strength are shaky and need to be rebuilt one step at a time. Acknowledging that to the family lets them know it’s okay to not be strong and it takes the pressure off of them to act and be something they don’t feel at that moment.  

A third way to help the grieving family is to say, “I know others who’ve lost loved ones and how much they grieved. That has made me aware of what a fight this is for you.” Instead of minimizing the family’s loss by reminding them that they’re not the first people to lose a loved one, this statement acknowledges that grief is hard when it hits people personally and it is a natural part of accepting the death of a loved one.  

A fourth thing that you can say to the grieving family is, “I know it will take time for your pain and grief to be less acute, but I am with you and beside you for the long haul.” Grieving, even within a family, is a unique process for each person. Some family members may be able to move more quickly out of that piercing grief and pain that follows the loss of a loved one, while others may struggle with it for months or years. There is no time limit on grieving and it is very comforting for the family to know they’ve got someone in their corner, no matter how long it takes to get to a more peaceful acceptance of a loved one’s death.  

A final thing you can do to help a grieving family is to say nothing. Offer them long, tight hugs instead. Physical touch can be a very powerful way to support a family who is grieving, and it reminds them that they are loved and cared for, which is often the very thing they may be feeling is gone with the loss of a loved one.  

At College Park, MD funeral homes, our experienced team at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. can offer you additional guidance on what to say to a grieving family. You can see us personally at our funeral home at 4400 Powder Mill Rd., Beltsville, MD, 20705, or you can call us today at (301) 937-1707.  

Burtonsville, MD funeral homes

Taking Care of the Family after a Death

In and after the funeral process at Burtonsville, MD funeral homes, it is sometimes easy to forget how emotionally draining the death of a loved one is on the family. The family loses its energy reserves and hits total exhaustion quickly. Because of this, the family’s basic needs may seem just too hard for them to meet. But there are ways that you can pitch in and help so that they can be healthy and well, while staying focused on what they need to do after the death of a loved one.  

Food preparation is usually the last thing on a family’s mind after the death of a loved one. Often, some members of the family will just lose their appetite and not feel like eating at all. One of the ways you can help is to enlist friends of the family and start a daily food/meal delivery service for the family immediately after the death of their loved one and continue it for a couple of weeks after the burial. Food deliveries can range from a fast-food chicken dinner to casseroles, stews, salads, and veggies. Don’t forget to include bottled water and juices to drink as well.  

Keep a cooler with ice and a box on the front porch of the family’s home so that people can deliver their food without disturbing the family. This is an incredible way to take care of a family after the death of a loved one.  

Another way to take care of the family after a death, especially before the funeral, is to offer to run errands for what the family will need for the funeral. This may include picking up dry cleaning, getting groceries, or getting cars serviced and/or washed. There are many details involved with funerals that the family will get overwhelmed quickly. By helping the family with errands, you take some of those details off of their plates, so they can focus on the more important aspects they need to deal with.  

A third way to take care of the family after a death is to offer your services around the home. If it’s the summer time, the grass may need to be mowed. Often, family will be coming in from out of town and staying at the family home, which will generate a lot of dishes, more dirt and messiness, and a lot of laundry. By offering the family appointment times when you can drop by to help them with these things, which may seem minor, but they are not, you can help keep their stress levels at a more manageable level than they would be otherwise.  

There are many more ways that you can take of the family after a death. Enlist a group of friends and you will be giving the family a gift that is priceless.  

If you want more ideas on how to take care of the family after a death at Burtonsville, MD funeral homes, our experienced staff at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. can help you. Visit with us at our funeral home at 4400 Powder Mill Rd., Beltsville, MD, 20705, or call us today at (301) 937-1707.

Adelphi, MD funeral homes

Preplanning Your Funeral

Preplanning your funeral at Adelphi, MD funeral homes is an excellent way to ensure that your wishes for how your remains are disposed of are honored. Preplanning your funeral also relieves your family of the additional stress of trying to honor your memory while they are dealing with losing you and the grief they are feeling as a result.  

Preplanning your funeral may or may not include prepayment for the funeral. If you decide not to prepay for your funeral, it’s advisable to be sure that you have a burial insurance policy that’s designated exclusively to cover all the expenses of your funeral.   

One option for this kind of insurance policy may be to convert a portion of insurance coverage you already have into a burial insurance policy. For example, when you purchase a home, you typically purchase insurance to cover the home (not the contents, which is a separate policy) and this is usually the full value of the mortgage. As you pay the mortgage down, you may be able to convert a portion of that home insurance into a separate policy that’s designated for your funeral expenses. Your insurance agent can help determine if this is an option available to you.  

For a traditional funeral and burial, you will need to obtain a cemetery plot. If you are a military veteran, you are entitled to a military funeral, which includes a grave site, at no cost to you and your family. If you are a member of a church that has a cemetery, you may be entitled to a free grave site in its cemetery. A final option may be to obtain a free grave site in a family cemetery where you have relatives already buried.  

You will next need to choose your casket. While this doesn’t necessarily mean you purchase the casket now, you should specify the type of casket you want. Then you’ll need to plan your funeral service. Include scriptures, poems, or anything else you want read as part of the service and any music you want to be included. Be sure to specify who will oversee the funeral service and give contact information for that person.  

Finally, you can specify burial arrangements and what you want and don’t want in terms of services. For example, although the funeral home can transport your family in a limousine to the cemetery, it will incur an extra cost for your funeral. So it’s less expensive for your family to follow the hearse in their own cars. 

Be sure to write everything related to your funeral preplanning down. If there are charities that you want people to donate to in lieu of sending flowers, be sure to include those. Write out your funeral service. You can even write your own obituary. But everything should be in writing and with your important papers, either in a home safe or at a bank safety deposit box (include the information for your burial insurance policy and who to contact to get the money).  

It’s important to also give a copy to the person in your family who will be handling your funeral. And finally, you should let your family know about your funeral preplanning so that everybody’s in the loop and there are no surprises after you die.  

Our Adelphi, MD funeral homes experienced staff members at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. can assist you with all your funeral preplanning questions and needs. You can visit us at our funeral home at 4400 Powder Mill Rd., Beltsville, MD, 20705. We can be reached at any time, day or night, for immediate assistance, so call us today at (301) 937-1707.