Monthly Archives: July 2019

cremations services in Elmira, NY

Lessons from Grief

One of the cremations services in Elmira, NY is grief support, including grief resources. Grieving after a loved one has died is a process that everyone who lives and loves will eventually have to go through. Although its initial onset is brutal, and although it changes with the passing of time, it never goes away, there are many lessons that we can learn that are embedded in grief.

One lesson is that life is short. That should help us make sure that we are living life to its fullest now. Too many times we get sucked into the belief that we will live forever (even though realistically we know that’s not true) and there will always be time later to do the things we intend to do, we want to do, or we ought to do. So we put things that, in the big scheme of things, are not all that important at the top of today’s to-do list while we postpone or neglect the things that matter.

If you get the promotion at work because you work 70 hours a week, but you haven’t spent time with your kids since God knows when, then it’s time to rearrange your priorities. Ellen Goodman, an award-winning journalist with The Boston Globe, wrote a poignant essay entitled “The Company Man.” Find it on the Internet and read it, because its sentiments are universal.

Grief can also teach us what is important in our lives. Grief makes us stop and reevaluate everything about our lives. That includes what we spend the most time on, we spend the most time with, and how we spend our time. You will find after you go through the grieving process that there will be things that you no longer want to do or have to do. You will also find that some of the people who were in your life are no longer there, either by their choice or by your choice. Additionally, you will find balance in what you spend time on, setting limits on the amount of time that things and people, other than loved ones, can take up.

Another lesson that we learn from grief is that we can go to the bottom of darkness and find a way out. Not only do we grieve the loss of a loved one, but we also experience, in grief, the death of our old selves. Grief changes us. We come out of grief a different person than we were before. But some people stay at the bottom of the darkness of grief, unable or unwilling to rebuild a new iteration of themselves. They get stuck. And, in the end, our choices are that stark: to stay stuck or to claw our way out to a new life.

A final lesson we learn from grief is our legacy becomes our primary motivator. Our legacies are what people remember us by and for. It’s what we leave behind when we die. Legacies are about, not just accomplishments and awards and success, but about character and integrity. Our legacies show how we treated other people. Our legacies show what was most important to us in our lives. Our legacies are what make a lasting impression on everyone that we’ve ever crossed paths with in our lifetime. That should always be uppermost in our minds as we go about our day-to-day lives, because that will be all that’s left when we take our final curtain call.

If you’d like information about grief resources and cremations services in Emira, NY, 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 Elmira, NY

Helping Children with Addiction Deaths

Some funerals at funeral homes in Elmira, NY are for loved ones who have died as a result of addiction. No death is easy, but deaths that have occurred because of an addiction carry a lot of extra weight and burdens for friends and family.

Drug overdose deaths are outpacing deaths by car accident and by firearms. In 2016, there were 63,000 opioid overdose deaths alone. This number exceeds the number of Americans who were killed in the Vietnam War during the 19 years that the United States was involved.

Discussing drug overdose deaths with children can be difficult. When somebody dies as a result of overdosing on drugs, there are many feelings among the living that come up. They are the tough feelings of sadness, anger, guilt, worry, anguish, blame, and isolation. Overshadowing these feelings is always the question of why.

If we’re dealing with a child who had significant exposure to a parent died because of addiction, the child is already aware on a subconscious level that life, in general, was hard, a struggle, or somehow different from the lives of other children. If a child whose parent died because of an addiction was protected from exposure to it, then drugs and death will be something they don’t know anything about. Regardless, losing a parent is a traumatic event for child.

Losing close friends to drug addiction is also hard on children. They may not have even been aware that their friend was abusing drugs, or, in some cases, the death may have been caused by the first use of a dangerous drug like fentanyl.

It’s important first to explain addiction to the child in very concrete terms on a level that they are able to understand. The first thing that the child needs to know is that an addiction is an illness that has an effect on the brain and on the behavior of another person. The child needs to know that addiction can be treated, but that it can be very hard to treat successfully.

Explain the difference between medicine that is prescribed for specific illness and drugs, legal and illegal, that can be abused. You don’t want the child to get the impression that all medicine or drugs are harmful. Therefore, the easiest way to explain addiction is to describe it as an invisible disease that makes the person use more prescription medication (or even alcohol) than is safe or use drugs that aren’t safe for anyone.

To successfully communicate with a child about an addiction death, it’s important to be prepared. Take some time to think about what you say. The conversation should be ongoing, with the foundation laid in the initial discussion of addiction, and then more added as a child asks questions or comes back at a later time to talk about it more. It’s critical not to overwhelm the child with too much information all at once.

While we are suffering our own sadness and grief over the death of a loved one due to addiction, we need to be as calm as possible when talking with children about the death. If the children really young, we’ll need to explain death first, and then explain addiction in very simple terms without a lot of details. We might just say that the person who died was sick including get better and leave it at that until the children are older and start asking more questions about the loved one died.

For more ideas about funeral music at funeral homes 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.

cremations services are offered in Horseheads, NY

Broken Heart Syndrome is a Real Thing

Many cremations services are offered in Horseheads, NY to take care of loved ones who have died, and their families after the death. Among these are grief resources to help the bereaved family as they go through the grieving process.

A particular aspect of grieving is a rare, serious condition that is known as broken heart syndrome. We speak of broken hearts metaphorically when something bad happens. It may be the breakup of a relationship. It may be a death. It may be just a disappointment about something we expected to happen that didn’t.

However, cardiologists and neuroscientists have shown that the heart-mind connection in the face of loss is more than metaphorical. For people who suffer from broken heart syndrome, research has shown that their brains function differently than the brains of healthy people. This, in turn, shows that what happens in the brain can have a negative effect on the heart.

The medical term for broken heart syndrome is Takotsubo syndrome. In general, it follows the occurrence of extreme stress, such as the kind that people feel after they lose someone they love. What happens in the heart is that it abruptly weakens and begins to bulge. This bulging looks like a Japanese octopus trap called a takotsubo (a Japanese doctor first identified and described the syndrome).

Neuroscientists and cardiologists, from the beginning, believed that the disorder (which mainly strikes women and, though sometimes fatal, resolves gradually over a period of time) was connected to how the brain controlled the nervous system under stress.

Sympathetic nervous system ramps up in the face of danger (fight or flight). The parasympathetic nervous system calms down when the danger has passed. The limbic system creates and handles emotional responses.

Normally this process of these three systems is characterized by close communication so that autonomic processes, such as the beating of the heart, run smoothly. A group of cardiologists in Switzerland hypothesized that a disruption in the communication of the three systems could be responsible for broken heart syndrome.

They created a research group composed of 15 people who had recently been through and survived broken heart syndrome and 30 people who had never had broken heart syndrome.

When the cardiologists performed functional MRIs on all 45 subjects, they found some interesting results. In the 30 healthy people, the parts of the brain associated with the sympathetic nervous system, the parasympathetic nervous system, and the limbic system lit up together when stress was applied.

However, in the broken heart syndrome survivors, communication among these areas of the brain was almost nonexistent. Especially noteworthy was the lack of neuronal activity between areas of the brain to control the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.

What this meant for these survivors is that the normal physiological cool down and calming that normally happens after a stressful event was less likely to happen, leaving them in an extended fight-or-flight state, which had an adverse effect on the heart.

The results of this research suggest that broken heart syndrome has its origins in the brain, where reactions or overreactions to stress occur. What the research didn’t show is whether stress changed the brains of the broken heart syndrome survivors, which then led to cardiac problems, or if the brains were just predisposed to handling stress poorly.

If you’d like information about grief resources and cremations services in Horseheads, NY, 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 Horseheads, NY

Breaking the Code: Suicide as Cause of Death

Some funerals at funeral homes in Horseheads, NY may be the result of someone taking their own lives. Yet often these deaths are shrouded in code phrases that explain the death as sudden or unexpected.

Suicides in the United States have increased 33% since 1999. Because we as a nation are still reluctant to talk about suicide and many people believe that suicides are acts of selfishness or acts of cowardice, we skirt the issue, which is a growing concern, so that we don’t have to deal with the inevitable questions that arise when suicides are brought out into the open.

There is no single cause for suicides. While some suicides are related to mental health issues, many suicides are not.

Young children and teenagers, for instance, who commit suicide are often the targets of real life bullying or cyberbullying, and they hit a point where they don’t know how else to make it stop but to take their own lives. In most of these cases, these kids can’t think far enough ahead to think of the permanence of death: that middle school and high school won’t last forever and neither will the bullying. All they can see is the pain and torment they are experiencing right now.

Some adults commit suicide as an act of despair. They may be dealing with job losses, financial losses, or family breakups, and as they watch the world they worked so hard to build crumble around them, they reaching a breaking point where it seems pointless to keep living. In that moment, they make the decision to end their lives instead of waiting out – which admittedly is very hard when the bottom drops out of your life – the sudden urgent desire to stop the pain.

Until recently, suicide is the cause of death was rarely mentioned and obituaries. However, families are beginning to be honest about the cause of death if it was suicide in the obituaries of their loved ones.

When Dr. Paula Sandler committed suicide in 2015, her family began her obituary this way: “Dr. Paula Margery Sandler, 62, died at home in Memphis on April 20, 2015, of suicide. We ask that you open your heart and offer compassion without judgment for those that suffer from illness rooted in stigma, trauma or shame; this was how Dr. Sandler practiced medicine. Sadly, she succumbed to severe depression, leaving behind bereaved friends, patients and colleagues.”

This obituary is an example of the trend toward removing the taboo and stigma surrounding suicide that has shrouded many deaths in mystery in the past. The reason that people are doing this is because they want people to know that suicide happens. It happens to wealthy people. It happens to successful people. It happens to children. Suicide is no respecter of persons.

By raising the awareness of suicide, these families who have lost loved ones who took their own lives are hoping to get help for or save others. One of the most common things that people will say after they find out that someone took their own life is, “I didn’t know anything was wrong.”

Sometimes, this is because other people aren’t paying attention, which sadly we can all be guilty of from time to time. Other times, the person who committed suicide simply put on a mask to hide the turmoil and pain they were feeling inside.

For information on funerals at funeral homes in Horseheads, 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.