Monthly Archives: May 2019

Owego, NY cremations

Odd Wills and Strange Requests

After Owego, NY cremations, the family will gather to hear the deceased’s last will and testament (please have one, because otherwise it’ll likely be a free-for-all among your family, and it might not be pretty).

If the deceased created their own will using software or an online will generator, then the executor will read the will. If an attorney created the will for the deceased, then the attorney will read the will.

As long as a will is signed and dated, it is valid, even if it’s not witnessed or notarized. However, having a will witnessed and notarized will make it less likely and harder to be contested.

Most wills are expected distribution of assets and belongings. However, there are few that have become well-known for being anything but standard.

One of these wills is that of the late hotel mogul Leona Helmsley, also known as the Queen of Mean. When Helmsley died in 2007, her will left $12 million to her dog, Trouble, while it left two of her grandchildren absolutely nothing. Both grandchildren contested Helmsley’s will. A judge decided to reduce Trouble’s share of Helmsley’s fortune to $2 million and grant the two grandchildren $10 million each. However, $2 million allowed Trouble to live an opulent life until her death in 2011.

The illusionist Harry Houdini was as mystical in death as he was in life. He died on October 31, 1926. In his will, he instructed his wife, Bess, to conduct a séance every year on the anniversary of his death so that they could communicate from beyond the grave. Bess was supposed to read, “Rosabelle, answer, tell, pray, answer, look, tell, answer, answer, tell” to get in touch with Houdini. Bess did this for ten years with no response, after which she quit trying. However, Houdini admirers like the tradition and continue it today on every Halloween.

German writer Heinrich Heine got the last word in what must have been quite a contentious relationship with his wife, Matilda. His will specified that the only way that Matilda could inherit his entire estate was if she remarried. The reason? According to Heine, “there will be at least one man to regret my death.”

English philosopher Jeremy Bentham left a most unusual request in his will. He instructed a friend who was a physician to preserve his head and skeleton, dress the remains in a suit, seat them in a chair with his cane, and display them in a case on the campus of University College London. He’s been there since 1932, although a wax head now sits atop the skeleton because the natural head decayed.

Sandra West, an oil heiress, died unexpectedly in 1977 when she was 37 years old. Her request for burial was unusual. She wanted to be dressed in a white nightgown and buried in the front seat of her 1964 powder blue Ferrari 250GT. She requested that the seat be laid back to a comfortable position. The car was then boxed up and lowered into a grave at the historic Alamo Masonic Cemetery in San Antonio. To thwart the threat of looting, the grave was covered with cement.

If you’d like information about Owego, 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 West Elmira, NY

Ideas for Using Cremation Remains

Remains from cremations in West Elmira, NY are given to the family to do what they wish with them. There are many creative ways to use cremation remains – known as cremains – to remember a loved one in a way that suits your family, and your loved one’s wishes, best.

One way to use cremains is to scatter them in a special place. That may be your loved one’s favorite place in the whole wide world, or it may be in a place that had special meaning for them or for your family. If you plan to scatter the ashes on private land that you don’t own, it’s important to get permission from the property owner before scattering them. Some national parks will allow cremains to be scattered, but you’ll need to make sure you get the proper authorization first.

Another way to use cremains is to have them transformed into keepsake jewelry. From pendants to rings to bracelets, there are many designs that you can choose from. A small amount of the cremains will be stored inside the jewelry, allowing you to keep your loved one close by all the time.

A really unique way to use cremains is to have them integrated with explosive materials to create fireworks. There are several companies that specifically create fireworks using cremains, and then they will produce a fireworks show for family and friends to see their loved one light up the darkness of night.

Cremains are often included as artist’s material. Two examples are mixing them with tattoo ink and with oil or acrylic paints.

Some people want memorial tattoos of their loved one after death. Often these will be an elaborate design with the name, date of birth and date of death, or they will be an image, inked from a photo, of the deceased loved one. Some tattoo artists will mix some of the cremains with the inks they will use to create the memorial tattoo, allowing you to have your loved one as a permanently-etched part of you.

If your loved one was an artist or loved art, then using some of their cremains to create a painting is a great way to pay tribute to them. Professional painters will mix the cremains with either oil-based or acrylic paint and create the painting you desire from those paints. You may want a portrait of your loved one or you may want a painting of a place or something that they loved, like a family cabin or cottage, or a flower garden, the ocean, or a forest.

Two of the neatest ideas for using cremains are using them to create ocean reefs and using them to grow a plant or a tree.

There are companies that will take some of your loved one’s cremains and create reefs from them. Coral reefs are endangered throughout the world, so these new reefs give a favorable habitat for marine life to thrive.

The seed of a plant or tree can be planted in biodegradable urns, which have soil that is mixed with your loved one’s cremains. The cremains have nutrients that can enrich the soil and promote growth of a new living thing. The plant or tree is a lasting tribute to your loved one that can be used as a gathering place for family and friends on significant anniversaries.

For more ideas on using cremains from cremations in West 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

Coping with Regrets after Death

Regrets are common after Waverly, NY cremations. They seem to be an inevitable part of the grieving process, especially when the reality of death sets in and we’re all alone with our thoughts, rehashing the details of our lives with the loved ones we’ve lost.

Regrets are not necessarily a bad thing, although if we eventually get stuck on them, they can make grief much more intense for much longer than it should be. Regrets are often the product of paying attention, which is something we don’t always do when someone is still alive. Regrets can also be wishing that an event or an incident with our loved had turned out differently than it did and, if we’d been doing something differently, it might have.

One of the benefits of regrets is growth. Sometimes we don’t know what we don’t know until it’s too late, at least for our loved one who has died. But we can learn from those kinds of regrets and make changes in our lives to make sure they never repeat themselves.

Another benefit of regrets is wisdom. Until we are in the situation where we can look at our lives, both in relationship to our deceased loved one and in relationship to everyone else, with integrity and honesty to see where we fall short, whether that’s in selfishness, obliviousness, impatience, unkindness, or harshness, among many other things, we don’t gain wisdom.

Regrets, like death, should change us for the better, and make us more wise and more humble, as we see our own reflection clearly in them.

Some regrets are about things we couldn’t have done any differently or that wouldn’t have turned out any differently, but we wish that we could have or that they had. Perhaps we were caring for an elderly parent, vigilantly watching them, and they fell anyway because they were just beyond our reach. They may have broken bones, suffered from head trauma, or got really banged up and bruised. Those kinds of scenes can replay over and over in slow motion, bringing pain and agony to us as well as regret, but we couldn’t have done anything differently at the time.

Those are the kind of regrets that we can get stuck in and they can prolong intense grief, because we want to change the outcome. And those are the kind of regrets that we have to put to rest and say, “I did the best I could. It may not have always been good enough, but it was the best I could do at the time.”

Some regrets are for missed opportunities with our loved ones. We may have been talking for years about a trip we were going to take or an adventure that we wanted to do with our loved ones, but we never got around to them before they died.

And some regrets are for issues and problems between us and our loved ones that were never resolved while they were alive. These can be very difficult to cope with, because there may also be guilt associated with the regrets, but like all other regrets, we can’t change the past. All we can do is move forward, and professional help may be needed for that to happen, and know that somewhere in the future everything will be made right.

If you’d like information about grief resources 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.

funeral homes in West Elmira, NY

Military Veteran Funeral Benefits

When planning funerals at funeral homes in West Elmira, NY, if the deceased was an honorably-discharged military veteran, they are eligible for funeral benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The funeral home will coordinate with the VA for all arrangements. A copy of the military veteran’s separation papers – Form DD-214 – should be provided to the funeral director (do not give anybody the original form).

One of the military veteran benefits available is free burial in any national cemetery where space is available. This includes a gravesite, opening and closing of the grave, a gravestone or grave marker, a burial flag, and a Presidential Memorial Certificate. National cemeteries are maintained by the United States government, so perpetual care of the gravesite is included in this burial benefit.

Spouses and dependents are also eligible for free burial with military veterans in a national cemetery. The names and dates of birth and death of the spouses and dependents will be added to the veterans’ headstones. If a spouse or dependent of an eligible military veteran dies before the veteran, they are still eligible for burial at no charge.

Gravesites in a national cemetery cannot be reserved ahead of time, but the VA will, upon request, determine eligibility for burial in a VA cemetery before the need arises.

For eligible military veterans who want to be buried in a private cemetery, free burial benefits include a gravestone or grave marker, a burial flag, and a Presidential Memorial Certificate. Some military veterans may also be eligible for burial allowances, but the family will have to apply for that on their own. Spouses and dependents of military veterans are not eligible for any burial benefits in a private cemetery.

If an eligible military veteran is buried in an unmarked grave in any cemetery around the globe, the VA, upon request, will provide a gravestone at no cost to the family, regardless of the date of the veteran’s death. For graves of eligible military veterans who died on or after November 1, 1990 that have a privately-purchased gravestone, the VA will provide a government gravestone as well. The VA will provide a government medallion for the privately-purchased gravestones of eligible military veterans who died on or after April 6, 1917.

Grave markers are flat and can be bronze, marble, or granite. Gravestones are upright and can be granite or marble. If the military veteran has been cremated and is stored in a columbarium, bronze niche markers can be provided for the niche where the remains are stored.

When burial is at a national cemetery, state veteran’s cemetery, or military base or post cemetery, the cemetery will order the gravestone or grave marker with the information provided by the family to the funeral home. Spouses and dependents of eligible military veterans are provided with a gravestone or grave marker only if they are buried at a national cemetery, a state veteran’s cemetery, or a military post or base cemetery.

While there is no cost for a government gravestone or grave marker to eligible military veterans who are buried in private cemeteries, the family is responsible for having it placed on the grave.

To get more information about military funeral benefits at funeral homes in West 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.