Monthly Archives: March 2019

Waverly, NY cremations

What to Write in Sympathy Cards

After Waverly, NY cremations, people begin buying and writing sympathy cards to the family who’s lost a loved one. Sympathy cards are intended to express support, comfort, and empathy, so the words that are written should reflect those things.

One of the traps of sympathy cards is the sympathy card with a long poem in it. The greeting card industry, like most other writing industries, sources these kinds of cards to people who get paid to do it. Often, the messages are trite and lack the warmth and sympathy of a personal note. Too often, people who want to express sympathy buy one of these cards and simply sign their names, then send them.

It’s helpful to put yourself in the shoes of the family who’s lost someone dear to them. How would you feel if you received a card like this? To people who are grieving, a card like this can convey the message that the sender didn’t care enough to write anything themselves, sent the card out of duty and not care and concern, or that the sender was simply to busy to be bothered with more than a signature.

None of this may be true, but that can be the effect of sending a card like this. It is best to get a simple sympathy card that is blank inside and includes a handwritten note. It can be an expression of condolence on the family’s loss or it can be a cherished memory of the deceased. It doesn’t need to be long, but it needs to be heartfelt.

Avoid offensive clichés like “I know how you feel” or “it’s all for the best.” You may have an idea of how the family feels, but you may not actually know how they feel. It’s better to use phrases like, “I can imagine…” instead. Telling a family that losing a loved one is all for the best is literally a slap to their emotions. It doesn’t feel that way to them, and it comes across as heartless and callous.

Many people include these in sympathy cards, not meaning to hurt or offend anyone. So it’s important to take your time and think through your words carefully before you write a sympathy card.

If you’re sending a sympathy card, but you know only one member of the deceased’s family, address the card to them. Write personally to that person, but extend your thoughts to the rest of the family.

Conclude your sympathy card with a sentence that makes the family – or person you know – aware of your concern and that also opens the door for them to contact you if they need something (don’t be vague with “if you need anything, just let me know;” instead, be specific with something like “I’m in the neighborhood on X day so I can pick up groceries or drop off dry cleaning, if you need me to.”) or they just need to talk. These are gestures that many people forget to include in sympathy cards and it can leave the family feeling like they’re all alone after they’ve read all the sympathy cards because there’s no extended invitation to reach out if they need to.

Be sure your handwriting is easy to read. If your cursive writing looks like a doctor’s signature, then print your note. Also, be sure to sign with your full name, because a lot of Bill’s, Mary’s, John’s, and Ann’s may be sending sympathy cards. You can also include your cell number and an email address in case the family wants to contact you later (this is optional).

If you’d like more help with writing sympathy cards after Waverly, NY cremations, talk with our knowledgeable and compassionate team at Roberts Funeral Home for guidance. You can visit our funeral home at 279 Main St., Wellsburg, NY 14894, or you can contact us today at (607) 734-7811.

cremations in Elmira, NY

Why Funeral Directors Matter

Funeral directors handle cremations in Elmira, NY, as well as traditional burials. They are with the family of the loved one who has died each step of the way, and they have the professional knowledge and experience to make sure everything is done in accordance with your and your loved one’s wishes.

The first reason why funeral directors matter is that they handle all the behind-the-scenes activities that accompany cremations or burials. They take care of all the legal paperwork, including getting permits, handling military benefits (if applicable), and getting the official death certificates.

Funeral directors meet with the family as soon as possible after the death of their loved one. The meeting serves several purposes. It lets the family make funeral arrangements in a quiet, unhurried environment, where they can decide if they want to have a service (funeral or memorial) and what that will look like, what the final disposition of their loved one should be, and to ask questions.

Unless a person has had the experience of a lot of deaths in their immediate family, the first time going through the funeral process can be daunting. The funeral director is there to answer any questions or to help in the decision-making, by explaining anything that is unfamiliar or unknown. Ask questions about anything that’s not clear or that is not understood. This is their job and they are more than willing to help you in any way they can.

Another reason why funeral directors matter is because their priority is to let families focus on grieving while the funeral directors do the planning. Funeral homes can take care of all the details of the funeral process, so it’s advisable, with the family’s input, of course, to let them handle those and place that time and energy toward mourning the loss of a loved one.

Funeral directors can plan every kind of service for any size group in just a few days. They will take care of flowers, set up visitations, handle the flow of services, and make arrangements for catered receptions. While the family will be involved in the selection process of all of these, they don’t have to sweat the details of making them happen.

Funeral directors matter, as well, because their role is to encourage the family of the deceased to make the funeral process their own, as well as abiding by the wishes of their loved one. For example, if the deceased didn’t leave any specific instructions for a service, then the family can take this opportunity to remember them with special readings and music that reminds them of their loved one. Funeral directors will guide this process by asking what the best way would be to remember the loved one they have lost.

A fourth reason why funeral directors matter is because they can help the bereaved family after the cremation or burial. Funeral directors have resources for grief counseling – some funeral homes host grief support group meetings at their funeral homes – and they can get the information or the contacts needed to begin the healing process from the loss of a loved one.

Funeral home directors are with grieving families every step of the way. They are there to help, to guide, to offer advice, and to make sure that not only is the deceased treated with dignity, honor, and respect, but so is their family.

To get more information about funeral directors before cremations in Elmira, NY, our sympathetic and experienced staff at Roberts Funeral Home is available to help. You can come to our funeral home at 279 Main St., Wellsburg, NY 14894, or you can contact us today at (607) 734-7811.

Waverly, NY cremations

The History of Memorial Day

With more military veterans opting for Waverly, NY cremations after they die, it’s important to continue to remember their service to the country, as well as the service of every other military who has died, either on the battlefield or years removed from their active duty.

Memorial Day is a federal holiday that originated from Decoration Day (and some parts of rural America, it is still called by this name). Decoration Day was established in 1868, by the Grand Army of the Republic (an organization of Union military veterans), as a day for the entire country to decorate the graves of Civil War dead with flowers. The first Decoration Day was held on May 30, 1868. The date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom around the country and there was no specific battle whose anniversary felt on that day.

The first large-scale observance of Decoration Day occurred that year at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA. Flowers were laid on both Union and Confederate graves, followed by prayers and hymns.

The name “Memorial Day” first appeared in 1882, but it would not replace Decoration Day as the official name of the commemorative day until after World War II. In 1967, the federal government officially declared that the last Monday in May would be Memorial Day. Memorial Day did not become a federal holiday until 1971.

After World War I, Decoration Day was expanded beyond just putting flowers on Civil War military veterans‘ graves to placing flowers on all United States military veterans’ graves. In 1915, after reading “In Flanders Field,” by poet John McCrae, Moina Michael was inspired to write “We Shall Keep Faith,” which encouraged people to wear red poppies on Memorial Day (they are also traditionally worn on Veterans Day).

Moina followed up her poem with action. She sold red poppies in her community on Memorial Day and used the money to help military veterans in need. Red poppies are still a popular flower on Memorial Day. However, instead of seeing people wearing them, as was traditional until about 30 years ago, you will see them placed on the graves of military veterans.

It’s important to take time each Memorial Day to remember the sacrifice that many men and women have made to each one of us as citizens of the United States. Many of them were barely adults and never got to have full, long, and happy lives. But they were willing to put their lives on the lines for ours. Do something active to commemorate their lives.

One suggestion would be to go out to the cemetery – may be one you’re familiar or one you’re not familiar with – and lay flowers on every grave with a military gravestone. If you have family members who were military veterans, lay flowers at their graves.

Another suggestion is to plant red poppies in your flower garden or plant a tree in memory of a deceased veteran.

You can also fly the United States flag at half-staff until noon on Memorial Day (the flag should be raised to full height for a second and then dropped to the half-staff position; afternoon, the flag should be raised to the top position again).

If you’d like more ideas for commemorating Memorial Day after Waverly, NY cremations, talk with our knowledgeable and compassionate team at Roberts Funeral Home for ideas. You can visit our funeral home at 279 Main St., Wellsburg, NY 14894, or you can contact us today at (607) 734-7811.

funeral homes in West Elmira, NY

Nurture the Family Unit after a Funeral

After funerals at funeral homes in West Elmira, NY, it is not unusual for family members – especially those that are more distant, but sometimes even the closest ones – to drift away and never come back together. If the deceased was a matriarch or patriarch of the family and the fulcrum point that kept the family together and in touch with each other, the loss of connection is even more likely.

Sometimes immediate family fractures, especially if there are already existing tensions or issues among siblings. Even if the siblings don’t have any problems, sometimes fractures occur because of legal matters such as wills and inheritances. Many times, these breaks are permanent.

More often, though, the distant family connections break because the thread that held them together is gone. People live in different places, lead different lives, and may have only seen each other once or twice a year for holidays.

It doesn’t have to be this way. There are many things that remaining family members can do to nurture the family unit after a funeral.

One is to get everyone’s contact information, including email, social media accounts, phone numbers, and addresses. Send a short update email to everyone once a while or create a family group on social media where everyone can post updates about themselves and their families. If you have relatives who aren’t using email or social media, send them a text message a couple of times a month, or call them every two weeks just to check in, or send them a handwritten card or note every couple of months.

Another way to nurture the family unit is to create a family newsletter that you publish every quarter. Encourage all the family members to send news and pictures of their family events or milestones that you can include in the newsletter. With a variety of free and intuitive page layout software available, putting a family newsletter together is not only easy but quick.

A third way to nurture the family unit after a funeral is to plan regular gatherings, either in small groups, or to bring the whole family together. A great idea is to have an annual family reunion. Choose four or five locations where family life that is good gathering spots (enough hotel and restaurant accommodations, as well as activities) for reunions. Rotate the location of the reunion through these places so the burden of planning the reunion (securing blocks of rooms in hotels, setting up one or two meals in restaurants, etc.) doesn’t fall on the same people every time. Plan at least one reunion in the rotation to be near the cemetery of the family patriarch or matriarch so that everyone can visit and future generations will know the history of their families.

A final way to nurture family units after the death of a loved one is to send an annual letter to everyone. Many people do this around holidays as a way of catching everyone up on the significant events in their year and to keep the lines of communication open.

It takes some effort to keep families intact after funerals, but the effort is well worth it. Don’t lose the people you love and who love you, no matter how far or near they are away.

For more ideas about nurturing families after funerals at funeral homes in West Elmira, NY, our sympathetic and experienced staff at Roberts Funeral Home can offer suggestions and guidance. You can come to our funeral home at 279 Main St., Wellsburg, NY 14894, or you can contact us today at (607) 734-7811.