Category Archives: funeral homes

funeral homes in Burtonsville, MD

How to Comfort a Grieving Child

Funerals at funeral homes in Burtonsville, MD affect every person they touch. When loved ones die, the entire family is profoundly affected by the loss. While you may tend, when a loved one in your family dies, to focus on the grief of the adults in the family.

Their grief, while individually experiencing their own unique type of grief, has similar features, looks familiar, and evokes familiar responses. However, the children in the family often get overlooked, even though they’ve experienced a loss too.

While children may not fully understand the concept of death and what it means for them in relation to their loved one who has died, children do understand absence and loss. This may be one thing that causes them to grieve.

Another thing that may cause children to grieve after the death of a loved one is seeing their immediate family members grieve. There is something incredibly sad about seeing the adults you love, look up to, and depend on to dry your tears and help you through your sadness crying tears that you don’t know how to dry and exhibiting sadness that you don’t know how to help them with.

These are only two of the spokes of grief that children may experience when there has been a death of a close family member. There are many others. However, children seldom express grief, which for them can be accompanied by sadness, fear, anxiety, and anger, in the way that adults do.

Children tend to act out more, not want to go to sleep, and be more fearful of everything when they are grieving. They may be more aggressive with each other and they may have a short fuse about both big and little things (everything may turn into a battle).

As an adult, you should pay special attention to your children to make sure that their grief is being addressed, explained, and comforted.

To address your children’s grief, you have to talk about it. This often means putting your own grief aside to let your kids know that you are sad and you know they are sad as well. Let them know that you are there for them and they can talk with you about how they’re feeling. Help them to understand that sad, fearful, anxious, and angry feelings are normal when we experience a loss.

Let them ask questions. Because children don’t understand all the nuances of death and loss, they have a lot of questions. Explain each answer in language they can understand, but make sure you are open and honest with them.

There will be a lot of questions from your children along the way when they are grieving. Sometimes, those questions will come out of the blue, seemingly in isolation from anything else that is happening at that moment. But, for your children, these questions are the product of their own processing of grief, loss, and death, so make sure to take the time to listen to them and to answer them.

Language is extremely important when you’re discussing death and grief with your children. Our culture has a lot of euphemisms for death (“gone to sleep,” “passed away,” “left for their heavenly home,” and others) that can actually make death much murkier – and scarier – for your children.

If you tell your children, for example, that a loved one who has died has gone to sleep, they may suddenly develop a fear of going to sleep themselves because they believe they won’t wake up. While your intentions may be to soften the blow of death and to provide comfort for your children’s grief, you may, by simply using a euphemism, plant another fear in them.

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

funeral homes in Greenbelt, MD

Grief Upon Grief

After funerals at funeral homes in Greenbelt, MD, your grief begins to settle in as the reality that you’ve lost someone you love becomes fact in your mind and in your emotions. Grieving at any time is a difficult journey to walk through, but you may find that, right now, it’s not just difficult. It seems overwhelming.

There are a lot of reasons for that and you should be aware of them. As the COVID-19 sweeps across the United States, we are besieged with stories and images of death. The stories are heartbreaking as this pandemic escalates in its unrelenting and seemingly random selection of victims.

The images of large facilities being converted into temporary morgues in large urban areas is disturbing. The impact on daily life and routines, as we knew it before the COVID-19 pandemic, is unfamiliar (i.e., you can’t go back to the old routine you had before your loved one died) and unsettling. The rhetoric around the pandemic is inconsistent and, sometimes, incoherent, creating confusion and fear.

The death of your loved one created a huge change in your life. Suddenly and simultaneously, COVID-19 is bombarding you with a lot of other changes, some great and some small, but all requiring adjustment.

When you’re grieving the loss of a loved one, one of the most compelling things that are on your mind, whether consciously or unconsciously is “no more changes.” When a loved one dies, you need time to work through the grieving process without more upheaval.

You may find that you’re reluctant to move anything in your home after your loved one’s death. If your loved one was terminally ill and was in hospice care at home, you may find yourself overcome with emotion when the medical supply company comes to take away the equipment (hospital bed, oxygen concentrator or tanks, etc.) they provided for your loved one’s care.

You may leave your loved one’s things exactly where they were at the time they died. Clothes will stay folded in drawers or hanging in closets because removing them is another change. You may keep personal items on dressers or cabinets because moving them would be another change.

The change of learning to live without someone you love is part of what comes out of the grieving process. But suddenly having to deal with a lot of other changes that come from external sources on top of this big change in your life can have a dramatic effect on you while you’re grieving.

While that’s one reason you may be feeling overwhelmed as you grieve the loss of your loved one, the other reason is that you are experiencing grief upon grief.

You have the personal grief of the death of someone you love. Placed on top of that – and, to some extent, combined with it – is the grief of people around you, in your town, in your county, in your state, in your country because they’re loved ones are dying. It can be too much.

Perhaps it’s time to take a break from most of the 24/7 world that technology brings us. While there are many wonderous things about all the technology we have, there is also a saturation level that comes with it that can feel like it’s drowning you emotionally.

Consider limiting the time you spend catching up with the news. Consider limiting your time on social media. Consider, instead, spending more time connecting with family members and close friends who can encourage, comfort, and support you while you’re grieving.

Bad news and change are constants in life. COVID-19 has made change and bad news an epidemic. But you can protect yourself by distancing yourself from you and getting the nurturing and protection you need from those who love and care for you the most.

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

funeral homes in Beltsville, MD

Working Through Grieving

After funerals at funeral homes in Beltsville, MD, you will have to, usually sooner rather than later, resume the routine activities of life. When you’re grieving, even the most mundane of these activities, like taking the trash to the curb each week or going grocery shopping, may seem monumentally difficult.

Going back to work is perhaps one of the toughest challenges you will face after the death of someone you love. There are many reasons for this.

One reason is that, in our modern society, there is no time to grieve or mourn. Most companies give a short bereavement time (three workdays is common; some are paid and some are unpaid) before the bereaved return to work.

You will experience a lot of mixed emotions and feelings when you return to work as you juxtapose the major life event you’ve experienced against business as usual on the job. It can seem quite surreal, and you may feel like you’re a foreigner in a place where you know nothing about what is going on in this new location where you find yourself.

These feelings and thoughts can seriously disrupt your ability to function at work, at least initially. Additionally, there is always the likely possibility that you will not get the empathy and support of your coworkers so that you can ease back into work while you’re grieving. You also are very apt to have people make insensitive or hurtful comments (perhaps not intentional) that will compound your feelings of grief.

Grief is a process, not an event. It may take weeks, months, or even years to work through when you lose someone you love. The grieving process has a tremendous impact on you physically, mentally, and emotionally. It is exhausting and you will, no doubt, find yourself feeling very tired all the time and easily overwhelmed by even the smallest things.

Grief disrupts your body’s physiology. Two common physiological problems that emerge during the grieving process are disrupted sleep patterns and mental fogginess. Both of these can take a toll on your ability to work and to be productive at work.

No matter, however, how much grief is internally taking a toll on you, there are a few guidelines that can help you work through grieving.

One guideline is to always take the high road professionally. People do insensitive things and they will say insensitive things. Whether these actions or words are intentional or not, it’s important for you to be professional regardless. Don’t respond emotionally and do your best not to react emotionally.

Another guideline is to get grief counseling. The funeral home has many community resources for informal and formal grief counseling, so talk with the funeral director about access to these resources. If a particular type of grief counseling doesn’t fit your style and temperament, then try something else. Not everyone, for example, is comfortable in group settings or in one-on-one counseling. But, it’s important to keep looking until you find a method that works best for you.

Third, if your employer has a work-from-home option either full-time or a few days a week, consider taking advantage of it until you are emotionally and mentally far enough down the road in the grieving process to be able to competently handle being back in an office environment.

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

funeral homes in Burtonsville, MD

Food and Funeral Receptions

When planning funeral receptions at funeral homes in Burtonsville, MD, be sure to include food as part of your reception. Food brings people together and it gives those who attend an opportunity to relax and share warm memories and stories with each other, including the grieving family, about the loved one who has died.

There are many types of food that you can serve at a funeral reception. The funeral director may have caterers available to provide food, or friends may get together to provide it. Food selections can range from a full meal – usually, a potluck where each family brings a dish to be shared – or light snacks.

The timing of the funeral service or graveside service will usually determine what kind of food is served at the funeral reception afterward. If the funeral service or graveside service is held in the middle of the morning, a potluck or catered full meal is often served at the funeral reception. If the funeral service or graveside service is held in the early afternoon, often the food served at the funeral reception will be much lighter fare.

It’s easy to plan what type of food to serve at a funeral reception if it’s a full meal, but you may have a more difficult time deciding what kind of foods to serve if a full meal is not being served. Here are some suggestions that will make your planning easier.

For funeral receptions where a full meal won’t be served, it’s best to stick with a particular type of food instead of trying to provide a variety of different types of food.

Be sure, if you don’t have the funeral home cater the food, that you designate someone – either a friend or a church member, if you’re holding the reception at a church – to organize and assign people to bring the food so you don’t have to add this to your personal funeral tasks to complete.

One type of food that you can serve at a funeral reception is a salad bar. Include a wide variety of greens, fruits, vegetables, and cheeses, along with salad dressings. Having a salad bar is a healthy way to allow everyone to eat, and each person can choose how much they want to eat. For some people attending the funeral reception, this may be their lunch or main meal. For others, it may just be a healthy and light snack.

Another type of food that is popular at funeral receptions are dessert bars. Sweet food offerings bring comfort and they can encourage people to grab an extra couple of coffee and stay a little longer to provide comfort and support. Since many people love to bake, this will give them an opportunity to contribute to the funeral. There should also be fruit and

Sandwiches, chips, and vegetable plates are also a good type of food to serve at funeral receptions. Be sure to have enough varieties of sandwiches to feed children (think peanut butter and jelly) and people who may prefer not to eat meat (vegetable fillings). For sanitation purposes, having individual bags of chips is a good option.

Another idea for light fare at a funeral reception is to provide a fruit, cheese, and crackers bar. Have a variety of crackers, fresh fruit, and cheeses that can satisfy any palate (you can use more pungent cheeses like blue cheese and goat cheese, but the majority of cheeses should be mild in flavor).

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

funeral homes in Greenbelt, MD

Long-Term Care Homes: Seniors and Suicide

Some of the funerals at funeral homes in Greenbelt, MD are those of seniors who have died. Some had the blessing of good health and vitality to the end of their lives. They were able to live out their final years in their own homes and they had a life full of doing what they enjoyed, whether it was traveling, volunteering, visiting with family and friends, and doing hobbies they enjoyed.

Others may have experienced health challenges as they grew older that made it difficult for them to live alone. Of those, some may have had family members move them into their homes or had a family member move in with them so that they had help when they needed it, but still had some autonomy.

However, as American society has become more mobile, sometimes there is no family close by who can take care of their senior relatives. Sometimes it’s the seniors who don’t want to pick up and move to where their family members are. Sometimes it’s the family who decides that long-term care is the best option for everyone involved.

Whatever the case, there are many seniors now living in long-term care facilities. In some cases, spouses may both be alive and move in together, but in many cases, a surviving spouse or a never-married relative finds themselves in one of these facilities.

If other family members don’t live close by, then they may not be able to visit more than a few times a year, leaving the seniors alone and lonely, without friends and neighbors for companionship when their families live far away.

The change can be life-altering. Moving into a strange place, not knowing anyone, but depending on everyone for day-to-day care can be very scary. Seniors may feel isolated and unwanted. They may physically, emotionally, and mentally diminish because the change is so drastic and so hard.

While some long-term care facilities provide excellent care and make sure that they offer social opportunities for their residents, others do not. So, in addition to being uprooted from everything they have known and where they are comfortable, seniors may also face, if not abuse, then passive or active neglect.

This can lead to feelings of hopelessness and it can cause severe depression. Some seniors may be so unhappy that they no longer want to live. Of these, some may actually act on their desire to die and commit suicide.

Suicides of seniors in long-term care facilities are not widely reported or discussed in America, but a Kaiser Health News report for PBS NewsHour found that some seniors are choosing to end their lives in assisted living facilities and nursing homes.

Because long-term care facilities take great care to try to keep deaths by suicide quiet, simply because it’s bad for business, Kaiser Health News was able to dig deeply enough into the data from the documentation available to the public to estimate that the rate of suicide in long-term care facilities is about one senior per day (approximately 365 a year).

Not only does this show how much of an upheaval moving into a long-term care facility can create in a senior’s life, but it also highlights the pervasive problem of understaffing and lack of detail to the residents’ mental, physical, and emotional condition that would enable a senior to be able to commit suicide.

Seniors are as important as anyone else at funeral homes in Greenbelt, MD and we will take care of them in death as we would in life. You can talk with our knowledgeable team at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. You can visit our funeral home at 4400 Powder Mill Rd., Beltsville, MD, 20705, or you can call us today at (301) 937-1707.

funeral homes in Beltsville, MD

Women and Heart Attack Symptoms

Some of the funerals at funeral homes in Beltsville, MD are for women – grandmothers, mothers, daughters, wives, sisters, and aunts – who died of heart disease. Heart disease is the number one cause of death in women in the United States and across the world.

Heart attacks, most of them fatal, are the end result of heart disease. Yet, while heart disease and heart attacks in men are commonly diagnosed, doctors often miss the signs of heart disease and heart attacks in women.

While some heart attacks are so severe that they lead to death, many less severe heart attacks and the heart disease that caused them can be prevented and treated if doctors know what to look for.

Women are more likely to suffer from silent heart attacks than men are. Their symptoms of having a heart attack are often very different from those that men have. These are two of the many factors that are involved in why medical professionals often miss the signs of heart disease and heart attacks in women.

The general consensus, within the medical profession and without, is that heart attacks have obvious symptoms. These include shortness of breath, pain in the left side of the chest, and cold, clammy sweats.

However, silent heart attacks usually have no symptoms, or the symptoms don’t match those normally associated with heart attacks. However, silent heart attacks indicate the same heart problem – lack of blood flow to a portion of the heart that can scar and damage the heart – that other heart attacks do.

Many people who’ve had silent heart attacks may complain of flu-like symptoms or serious indigestion. They may feel a slight pain in their chest or back that mimics a pulled muscle. They may also feel overly tired for long periods of time.

Women, it turns out, are more likely to suffer silent heart attacks than men are. Both women and medical professionals, however, often attribute the symptoms of silent heart attacks to stress and anxiety and dismiss them as situational or temporary, without doing the testing to determine if there is a blockage to the heart.

Women’s lack of knowledge that their heart attack symptoms are often different from those of men is also a contributor to their increased risk of a fatal cardiac event. A study by the European Society of Cardiology that was released in December 2018 found that women who are having a heart attack wait about 37 minutes longer than men who are having heart attacks to call emergency services.

While men usually experience crushing chest pain when they are having heart attacks, women seldom do. They may experience things like jaw pain, nausea, vomiting, neck pain, throat pain, and shoulder pain.

Women reason that if they call emergency services for these fairly common symptoms of many illnesses that they will end up looking silly or foolish because they’re overreacting to their symptoms. Meanwhile, they can suffer irreparable damage to their hearts, in the best case scenario, or they can die, in the worst case scenario.

Heart attack fatalities in women may be reduced if both medical professionals and women recognize the more subtle symptoms of heart attacks and go ahead with a full cardiac workup to find out what is going on with the heart.

If you’d like to arrange a funeral at funeral homes in Beltsville, MD, you can talk with our knowledgeable team at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. You can visit our funeral home at 4400 Powder Mill Rd., Beltsville, MD, 20705, or you can call us today at (301) 937-1707.

funeral homes in Burtonsville, MD

Music Can Comfort the Dying

Before funerals at funeral homes in Burtonsville, MD, as we’re caring for loved ones who are coming to the end of their lives, it’s important to think about music and its power even when our lives as ebbing away.

Music is an intrinsic part of our lives. We often talk about the soundtrack of our lives. We might hear a song and be instantly transported back in time to a momentous event or place in our lives. Music is an integral part of life’s most important moments: church services, weddings, proms, parties, and funerals, to name a few.

Music has been a part of human history since the beginning. We see in Genesis 4 the first mention of music with Jubal, who was “the father of all those who play the harp and the flute.” But it’s likely that the very first music ever made was with voices and hands.

Music enhances our lives in ways we don’t even realize. It is fairly well established that music can promote physical, emotional, and spiritual healing. Recent research has shown that music can often reach people who are suffering from dementia when nothing else can.

Music, therefore, is an important component in the transition from life to death. It can provide peace, comfort, and reassurance not only to our loved ones who are dying but also to us as family members.

Music can help decrease levels of stress, restlessness, pain, and anxiety. It can also help our loved ones who are dying to breathe more slowly and deeply, which has a calming effect on the mind and the body.

Although many of us think of music generically in terms of what we and our loved ones like, there is a specific type of music that has been specifically developed to soothe the dying. Although it probably existed before 1973, it was in that year that Therese Schroeder-Sheker gave the method in which this kind of music was played: music thanatology.

It was specifically designed as music to be played on the harp accompanied by singing and is referred to as prescriptive music. Musicians who play prescriptive music are specially trained to use the harp and their voice to modulate in response to the dying person’s changing physiology.

Music therapists can also be used to provide music for people who are dying. Music therapy is designed to decrease physical and mental/emotional pain, but it very much requires that the dying person still be alert and actively participate as much as they are able in the music, including singing along or playing along with another instrument.

One of the newest types of music for the dying is the Threshold Choir. The idea was launched by Kate Munger in 2000 and now has 200 groups around the world participating. These choirs are small, consisting of three or four people at the most, and they gather around the dying person to sing from a selection of 400 approved Threshold songs that focus on care, love, letting go, and going home.

However, all we really need for our loved ones who are dying is the music of their lives. Include the songs they always sang, the ones they loved, the ones that always mattered. Play them soft and low, but loud enough that our loved ones can be comforted by them.

If you’d like to know about funerals at funeral homes in Burtonsville, MD, you can talk with our knowledgeable team at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. You can visit our funeral home at 4400 Powder Mill Rd., Beltsville, MD, 20705, or you can call us today at (301) 937-1707.

funeral homes in Greenbelt, MD

Physicians and End-of-Life Conversations

Before funerals at funeral homes in Greenbelt, MD, you may know that you should do advance care planning to make sure your medical wishes are known, that you have a medical power of attorney in place, and that you have a living will in place.

You know that one day you will die. You could be in an accident and die suddenly. Or you could be diagnosed with a terminal illness. Or you could simply die of old age. Regardless, death will come.

Even though you know you should prepare for its inevitability, you may feel like it’s too morbid to think about, talk about, or do anything about. You may think that if you do advance care planning that it’s opening your front door for death to walk in.

While these tend to be how many of us look at advance care planning, we would like to think that physicians – who deal with life and death every day – would be more assertive and more willing to talk with us, their patients, about it.

The reality is, though, that physicians are just as reluctant to discuss advance care planning with their patients – even the patients they suspect or know will be dead within a year.


One reason is because of the goal of American health care, which is to prolong life. If you’re busy working to prolong lives, then there’s no need to talk about the possibility of the end of life and how that should look. Some doctors have the same fear that their patients do: if they bring up the subject of advance care planning, then their patients will think they’ve given up on them and they know something about their health that they are keeping from their patients.

Because medicine in the United States is focused on keeping people alive for as long as is possible, instruction about how to have advance care planning conversations with patients is not a part of medical school curriculum, nor is it a part of residency programs, where medical students are interacting directly with patients under the guidance and training of doctors and surgeons.

Another reason that many physicians don’t have advance care planning discussions is because they simply don’t have the time. As medicine in America has moved toward the corporate for-profit model, so has its billing model. Time is money.

Much like other professions, such as law and accounting, that use a billing-for-time structure, medicine has now become attached to the clock instead attached to the patient and the patient’s needs. Most physicians have about 15 minutes to spend with each patient. Much of their compensation is tied to how many patients they can see per day and how much of their time can be billed to insurance companies and Medicaid and Medicare.

Fifteen minutes is not enough time to have advance care planning conversations with patients. A physician would have only enough time to bring the subject up and then move on to the next patient. Physicians understand the worry and the anxiety this would give their patients (i.e., “Why did my doctor want to talk about that? Have I got some kind of terminal illness? Am I dying?” would be the logical reaction), so they simply don’t mention it at all.

Advance care planning is important, however, because it gives you control over how you want your life managed medically at the end of your life. It lets you specify how you want the end of your life to look, from a medical standpoint. And it gives you control over how you want your funeral to be.

If you’d like to know about funerals at funeral homes in Greenbelt, MD, you can talk with our knowledgeable team at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. You can visit our funeral home at 4400 Powder Mill Rd., Beltsville, MD, 20705, or you can call us today at (301) 937-1707.

funeral homes in Beltsville, MD

When to Begin to Plan Your Funeral

If we’re not thinking about planning funerals at funeral homes in Beltsville, MD, we should be. It doesn’t matter how old or young we are, we should always live with the end in mind. As morbid as that may sound, it is actually one of the smartest things we can do and it is also a wonderful gift that we can give to our families.

How old are you? If you’re old enough to be reading this, then you’re old enough to start planning your own funeral. You may be young and healthy. However, time and chance happens to us all, and if something happens to you today, tomorrow, or next week, and you have your funeral planned, then you have the assurance that your funeral will be just what you want and that your family will be spared the stress and worry, amid their grieving, of trying to figure out what you would have wanted.

One thing that many Americans who put off planning their funerals don’t consider is how much of a burden that lack of planning puts on their families at a time when they are in shock and overwhelmed with everything. Planning your funeral now is an incredibly powerful way to take care of your family, even after you die.

So, how do you go about starting to plan for your funeral?

If you’re between the ages of 20 and 40, are married, have children, and are the primary wage earner in your household, consider the impact on your family if you died suddenly. Investing in life insurance and making sure to begin to build a healthy savings account and to set up investment accounts are two smart ways to plan for the end.

Life insurance rates are much cheaper the younger and healthier you are, so you can lock in rates for whole life insurance policies at very affordable costs compared to purchasing them when you’re older and may have more health issues that will increase the rates you’ll pay substantially.

Putting a set amount of your income into savings and investment accounts is a habit that you should begin early. No matter what other expenses come up, you should try to make sure to put something in these accounts each month, since these will be accounts that your family can immediately use after you die. Don’t forget to set up educational funding accounts for your children as well.

As you enter middle age, if you haven’t begun planning for your own funeral, you are likely to be jolted into thinking about it as your parents and other older family members become elderly and may develop serious health problems or die. Additionally, you may find that more people in your age group – perhaps even friends or relatives – are dying more frequently, and that will surely be a wakeup call to consider your own death and what you want when you die.

If you don’t have life insurance, you can purchase it, even though it will require a health exam and will cost more than it would have cost when you were younger. You should also consider purchasing funeral insurance, which has relatively affordable rates, to cover your final expenses. If you haven’t been putting much income into savings, investment, and retirement accounts, now is the time to do that, especially if your children are grown and you are no longer paying for college or otherwise having to support them.

If you’d like to know more about planning funerals at funeral homes in Beltsville, MD, you can talk with our knowledgeable team at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. You can visit our funeral home at 4400 Powder Mill Rd., Beltsville, MD, 20705, or you can call us today at (301) 937-1707.

funeral homes Burtonsville, MD

Do I Have to Go to the Funeral?

If you’re asking if you have to go to funerals at funeral homes in Burtonsville, MD, the short answer is, “Yes.” Almost no one likes to go to funerals. Some people are so funeral-adverse that they make the effort to go to the funerals of people they love and care about, drive around the funeral home parking lot for several minutes to try to work up the courage to go inside, and then end up leaving and not attending the funeral.

Funerals aren’t fun social occasions, unlike the other social gatherings of weddings, birthday parties, graduation parties and holidays where friends and family come together to enjoy the event. However, attending funerals is just as important as attending any of these other life events. As adults, we have to come to grips with the reality that death is part of life, not just of the person who has died, but also, eventually, of our own lives.

It can be inconvenient to attend funerals. They may require that you travel some distance to attend. They may require that you take some time off of work or that you miss some other activity you or your family has scheduled. They may require that you rearrange your normal evening schedule and that you eat and go to sleep later than you normally do.

These are sacrifices for others that you should make because in the end, attending funerals is about showing respect for and paying tribute to someone who has died and offering support and encouragement to a bereaved family.

Sometimes a friend or a family member of a friend – or even a family member – lives too far away for it to be practical to attend the funeral in person. However, many people now livestream their loved ones’ funerals for this reason, so if you can’t be at the funeral physically, you should attend virtually through the livestream.

Often funeral services are held on one day (usually in the evening after normal working hours so as many people who would like to can attend) and the graveside services are held the next day, during daylight hours. Unless you are an immediate family or are a close friend of the deceased or the deceased’s family, you do not have to attend both ceremonies. But be sure to attend one of them.

You may be hesitant to attend a funeral because you were emotionally close to the person who died or you are emotionally close to the family of the deceased and you don’t think you can make it through the funeral without falling apart. While it may be difficult, it’s important to remember that no matter how grief-stricken you may be, the funeral is about the immediate family of the deceased and that’s where your attention and focus must be.

There will be time for you to grieve the loss after the funeral, but it’s important to show up and be there for the grieving family during the funeral process.

If going to the viewing or visitation will be the part of the funeral that impacts you most emotionally, then just attend the funeral. However, be sure to send the bereaved family a personal and meaningful sympathy card and a gift like a flowering plant to let them know that you’re thinking about them.

If you’d like to know more about attending funerals at funeral homes in Burtonsville, MD, you can talk with our knowledgeable team at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. You can visit our funeral home at 4400 Powder Mill Rd., Beltsville, MD, 20705, or you can call us today at (301) 937-1707.