Monthly Archives: January 2019

Owego, NY cremations

Dealing with the Death of a Spouse

Dealing with the death of a spouse after Owego, NY cremations can be extremely difficult for the surviving spouse. A lifelong partnership has ended, and an overwhelming sense of grief, loneliness, and even persistent depression sets in during the days, weeks, months and years (depression is not uncommon for two to three years after the death of spouse) following the death.  

Healing is possible, although the surviving spouse will always miss the spouse whose died and that person’s place in their heart will never be filled by anyone else, even if they remarry in the future.  

One step to dealing with the death of a spouse is to acknowledge grief. Once the immediate tasks that need to be done after a death are accomplished and adult family members make their way back to their lives, grief has to be faced. It’s important to recognize and accept that life has changed and it will never be the same as it was again. Mourning that loss and the loss of your spouse is a very healthy way to move forward.  

Taking care of self after the death of a spouse is paramount. Fatigue and a mental fog are very common among surviving spouses. Many stress hormones get released and they can trigger “broken heart syndrome,” which is characterized by severe chest pain, which can actually lead to an increased risk of heart attacks. People are wired to instinctively avoid pain, so turning to alcohol or drugs may seem enticing, but this is not a good choice in the long term. Try to eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep.  

The general rule of thumb after the death of a spouse is to avoid making any major decisions for one year. These would include things like selling a home, moving to another city, remarrying, or making major purchases. Because thinking is not clear during the grieving process, significant mistakes that will cause a ton of regret later on can happen when making major decisions. While grieving, everything is based on emotions, so decisions are not going to be logical. If something major has to be decided, then seek the help of a friend or adult child you trust to help you make the best decision.  

Another step in dealing with the death of a spouse is deciding what to do with their personal belongings. This can be a difficult step to take for many surviving spouses. Take as much time as is needed with this step. There’s no certain amount of time for getting rid of personal belonging, nor does the surviving spouse have to get rid of all of them. There will come a day when the thought of dealing with their personal belongings won’t hurt as much and the energy required to do it will be there.  

Creating a memorial for the deceased spouse can help with the grieving process. It can be a simple as a handmade box with cherished items or it can be a stone put at the deceased spouse’s favorite place. It will bring back good memories, shared memories, and will offer solace and comfort.  

After Owego, NY cremations, our empathetic and compassionate team at Roberts Funeral Home can help with resources to help cope with the death of a spouse. You can come to our funeral home at 279 Main St., Wellsburg, NY 14894, or you can call us today at (607) 734-7811.  


cremations in Elmira, NY

Etiquette for Cremations Ceremonies

Etiquette for ceremonies associated with cremations in Elmira, NY may be different than etiquette for burial ceremonies, depending on whether the deceased person chose direct cremation (ceremonies are held after the cremation) or a visitation and funeral service (ceremonies are held before the cremation).  

If someone who wants to be cremated chooses to have a visitation and a funeral service before cremation, then normal funeral service etiquette applies. The visitation will usually be held a couple of hours before the funeral service, when friends and family can pay their respects to the deceased and offer comfort and support to the deceased’s family. The funeral service that follows will generally consists of readings, eulogies, a funeral sermon (if the person was religious), and music. After the funeral service, the deceased will be cremated.  

If a person chooses direct cremation, there are no ceremonies held before the cremation takes place. Instead, memorial services are held at a later date. This gives family and friends time to plan for and get to the memorial services without having to make hasty, and sometimes very expensive arrangements, to get someplace immediately.   

The structure of memorial services is flexible and will depend on many factors. There are times when a memorial service is much like a funeral service, with readings, eulogies, a funeral sermon, and music. The only difference between this and a funeral service is timing.  

Sometimes memorial services are open and simply consist of a casual gathering of friends and family for food and remembrance either at a home, church, or community center. It’s a time for storytelling and remembering the deceased.  

Other times, memorial services are invitation-only and are held at some place that was special to the deceased and has events planned that were favorite activities of the deceased. Since this requires advanced planning, these types of memorial services are often held months, or even a year or more, after the deceased has been cremated.  

Although it’s becoming more common with funeral burials as well, when people choose cremation, there is a request for photos and/or donations to specific charities or to charities the donor chooses instead of flowers being sent. Honor those requests because they express, not only the wishes of the deceased, but the wishes of the family as well.  

Instead of a funeral viewing before cremations, memorials often have slideshow presentations accompanied by music. The slideshow will highlight the deceased’s life and will be accompanied by their favorite music or songs that are pertinent to their lives. Many people think this a more positive way to remember someone than a viewing because they get to see the deceased in the good times they enjoyed in their lives.  

While traditional funerals include burial of the body underground, with cremations, the body is burned until all that remains are the bones. These are finely crushed into cremains and returned to the family. Some people do choose to bury the cremains underground, but, more commonly, the ashes are spread somewhere that was near and dear to the heart of the deceased. The spreading of the ashes can take place years later, in some cases, and are usually a private ceremony just for the family.  

For guidance with ceremonies etiquette for cremations in Elmira, NY, our compassionate and knowledgeable team at Roberts Funeral Home can assist. You can come to our funeral home at 279 Main St., Wellsburg, NY 14894, or you can call us today at (607) 734-7811.  

Waverly, NY cremations

Advanced Illness: Holding On or Letting Go

Before Waverly, NY cremations, advanced age or illnesses are often what causes the death for a deceased person. In Dylan Thomas’ famous poem, Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, the narrator is urging his aging father to “rage against the dying of the light.” Our culture puts a premium on life and does everything it can to avoid and delay – although it eventually comes – death. This often results in a life that may have quantity, but that has little or no quality. It can also lead to unnecessary suffering and pain.  

People have an instinctive desire to continue to live. We experience this as wanting to eat, to do activities, to learn, to grow, to look to the future, and to move forward. We have strong attachments to other living things, including our families, friends, and pets, and we don’t want to leave them. While we don’t decide to continue to live, our actions make living automatic.   

When age and illnesses reach an advanced stage, our thoughts are not of ourselves, but of others. We want to be with our loved ones, and may even feel a responsibility to not fail them or cause them pain and grief. We may have unfinished business, such as making amends or reconciling relationships. Fears may arise about losing control of our lives, being dependent on others, what will happen as we die, and what will happen after we die. They may be so intense that we find them difficult to think about. Feelings or resentment, guilt, sadness, and anger often arise with both the person who is ill and their caregiver(s) about having to do what they don’t want to do.  

Even as death approaches, a sense of hope remains. What that hope looks like changes as death nears. While once it may have been hope for the illness to be cured or a little more time, hope is now reconfigured into present and immediate terms: a good night, one more visit with friends or loved ones, or, even, an easy death.   

At some point, though, in the days and weeks before death, many people don’t have a desire to live any longer. This is not suicidal nor is it a sign of depression. Instead, it’s an innate sense that it’s time to let go. It may present itself as a profound tiredness that doesn’t go away with rest. Often people reach a point where they’ve hit the limit of how much effort they can put into prolonging life. While refusing to let go may extend life a little, death is still inevitable. Prolonging death may translate into a time when more suffering than living actually happens.  

Some family members and friends also go through a door of letting go. They’ve watched the person they love fight, struggle, and suffer, and they no longer want that person to experience any more of that. Other family members and friends may simply not be able to accept that dying is the next best step for their loved one and refuse to believe that is what’s happening.  

Letting go does not mean our loved one wants to die. Instead, it is an expression of their acceptance that death is the next step they will take.  

Before Waverly, NY cremations, our sympathetic and knowledgeable staff at Roberts Funeral Home can help you when your loved one has gone gentle into that good night. You can visit our funeral home at 279 Main St., Wellsburg, NY 14894, or you can call us today at (607) 734-7811.  

funeral homes in West Elmira, NY

Why Suppressing Grief is Unhealthy

Before and after funerals at funeral homes in West Elmira, NY, the process of grieving the loss of a loved one begins. However, in some cases, grief gets suppressed out of necessity – taking care of immediate things – or because the person just can’t handle grief’s sometimes overwhelming effects, so they just shut it down or put it aside.  

While some grief suppression may be necessary in small increments of time, suppressing it over the long term every time it comes to the surface is unhealthy, and can result in health problems, emotional problems, and mental problems, such as depression and anxiety.  

When grief is suppressed instead of being faced head on, it becomes incomplete grief. There are several symptoms associated with incomplete grief.  

One symptom is irritability or anger that gets worse with time and can erupt into an explosion or violence. Suppressing grief lets things build up inside with no outlet or expression. The body, mind, and soul can take this for only so long until it gets too big and too much to handle or keep suppressed. Often the trigger that lets it all out is tiny or insignificant, and often observers will wonder why the reaction is so extreme in comparison.  

Another symptom of incomplete grief is long-term obsession with missing the deceased. It is normal in the first few weeks or months to obsess about the death of a loved one and for their loss to hurt deeply, leaving a void that almost seems too deep to ever even scar over. Emotional rewinding is part of this as the relationship gets reviewed and the death gets reviewed in every single little detail. However, it’s not uncommon for people to get stuck in the emotional rewind and not be able to move forward. They have all their regrets on replay and cry whenever the deceased or something sad is discussed.  

Hyperalertness and fear of loss is a symptom of incomplete grief. Hyperalertness and fear of loss manifest themselves as pervasive anxiety and a overwhelming sense that nothing’s safe, everything’s fragile, and everyone is vulnerable. As a result, hypersensitivity to everything sets in and an overriding need to be prepared for the worse becomes the default mindset.   

A fourth symptom of incomplete grief is behavioral overreaction. How behavioral overreaction is express is either in excessive clinginess to significant others or pushing everyone away and keeping them at a distance to avoid the potential of loss and pain. This sometimes is a short-term way of coping with healthy grief, but with incomplete grief, it becomes the norm for the long-term.  

Apathy, numbness, and low-grade depression are all signs of incomplete grief. Apathy is apparent when things the person once enjoyed doing are no longer enjoyable to them and they really don’t seem to care about anything. Numbness is a blunted emotional reaction that simply can’t seem to feel anything. And a low-grade depression is characterized by a lack of energy, a sense of hopelessness, and dark thoughts that persist over time.  

Utilizing grief resources such as counseling and therapy are an excellent way to resolve incomplete grief.  

At funeral homes in West Elmira, NY, our sympathetic and knowledgeable staff at Roberts Funeral Home can help you with grief resources. You can come to our funeral home at 279 Main St., Wellsburg, NY 14894, or you can contact us today at (607) 734-7811.