Category Archives: cremations

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.

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.

cremations services in Owego, NY

Why the Grieving Process is Important

One of the cremations services in Owego, NY is grief support, including grief resources. The grieving process is important. When we lose someone we love to death, it can a shocking blow that makes us feel like our feet have suddenly been taken out from under us. We experience emotions of despair, sadness, disorientation, vulnerability, and even, sometimes, relief (because our loved one is no longer suffering).

These are normal emotions and feelings and the grieving process helps us to work through them and set our worlds back upright again, even though our lives will never be the same and the loss never goes away.

If we don’t allow ourselves to experience the grieving process, we miss out on important opportunities to learn, to grow, and to become more kind, gentler, more compassionate, and more empathetic people. We also just delay the process that will eventually have its day in another time in the future in an unhealthy way.

Although we associate loss and death with the grieving process, there are other losses in life that we experience that can cause us to grieve.

Disenfranchised losses have no graves, no community support, and no fellowship to mourn them. Because the people are still alive, whether they be friends or family members, nobody acknowledges the losses that have occurred.

Examples of disenfranchised losses include divorce, addiction, mental illness, family dysfunction, and life transitions like losing a job, home, or health, empty-nesting, and retirement.

Part of the grieving process is protective and that is often the first stage. We go numb emotionally and shut down. We know a loss has happened, but we can’t go there emotionally.

Yearning and searching is also part of the grieving process. This can weave in and out of the entire process, as we look back to the way things were – or we wish they were – before and we try to find that good part again in other people, things, or places.

The grieving process also includes despair, disruption, and anger. This too can come in and out of the grieving process. If we carry resentment with our anger, the grieving process can get a lot more complicated, and for some people who experience complicated grief, this can be where they get stuck.

Anger is often a manifestation of the underlying sorrow we feel for the loss. Anger is often easier to deal with because it’s definitive in its starting and ending points, while sadness can feel confusing and disorienting because there’s no door we opened to get in and there’s no door we can open to get out.

At some point in the grieving process, we reach a point where we can talk rationally, without getting dragged back down into the black hole of sorrow, about the loss. At this point, our emotions about the loss are easier to feel on some level, and we can find words to describe that and integrate that into who we are. This is the strengthening part of the grieving process because we know ourselves better and we are more self-aware than we were before the loss. That strength gives us the ability to accept the loss.

The last stage of the grieving process is the one in which we build anew after the loss. It doesn’t mean the loss has gone away or we’ve forgotten, but at some point, we realize we’re still breathing, so life still has to go forward as long as we are.

If you’d like information about cremations services in Owego, 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.

cremations services provided in Elmira, NY

An Example of a Great Obituary

Helping families write obituaries is among the cremations services provided in Elmira, NY. Some families, though, seem to have a knack for writing tributes to their loved ones that are amazing and give real insights into who these people were when they were alive.

An excellent example is the obituary that the children of Marie Bogus-Apichell wrote after her death (excerpts follow): “There’s a precise moment in the early mornings when the temperature reaches its coldest point and a ribbon of pastel pink clouds kiss the tops of the evergreens.

It is at that specific time when the cold Elysburg mornings coaxed our blue-eyed Polish Mom to rise and head to work.

She was the first one up every morning having her coffee, toast and jelly and the last one home. She was up and out the door by 6:30 a.m.; home by 4:30 p.m..

Born on March 1, 1925, in Coal Township to a large Catholic family, Marie Bogus-Apichell (nicknamed Binka) shared a large house on Spruce Street with six brothers and five sisters. A mining accident claimed the life of her father at a fairly early age and her mother passed away a few years later. These circumstances forced Marie to quit Coal Township High to take on household responsibilities and look after her younger brothers and sisters.

She subsequently married in her twenties and gave birth to four children. Raising the family in Elysburg, her children attended local Catholic schools. Employed as a seamstress at the Arrow Shirt factory, she provided for her family through enormous sacrifices to make mortgage payments on the Elysburg house, to keep food on the table and to give her children the opportunity to attend college.

Her culinary specialties included pigeons, pierogies, spaghetti and meatballs, and her three-layered, pudding-filled chocolate-frosted poppy seed cake that was absolutely out of this world. We couldn’t wait for that birthday cake.

As a frugal bargain hunter and die-hard shopper, she would never pay full price for anything or walk away from a bargain…

Marie was an avid reader of the Shamokin News-Item. On a daily basis, after coming home from work or church, she would sit in her favorite upholstered chair and read the entire paper. Anytime the neighbors wanted to know about a specific person or the latest news, they would just ask Marie. She knew the comings and goings on in all of Elysburg, Shamokin and Coal Township. She was disappointed every time inclement weather prevented the paper from being delivered…

Marie appreciated everything anyone would do for her…She taught us the value of honest work and the importance of saving money.

At the age of 92, on January 27, 2018, Marie passed away of old age-her tires were well-worn and she was ready to see her maker. She lived a long, simple, quiet and comfortable life in her little white house, breathing her final breath in her sleep.

Elysburg and her neighbors will never be the same without Marie. She truly was a beautiful person and loving mother. Even while confined to her wheelchair, she made efforts to socialize with her neighbors over a bowl of vanilla ice cream or a few brewskies or a backyard barbeque…

We are proud to have Marie as our mother who made us better and stronger human beings. We will never forget her loving ways. She truly was a best friend.”

If you’d like information about all the cremations services provided in Elmira, 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.

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.

cremations in Waverly, NY

Emotional Overeating after Death

Before and after cremations in Waverly, NY, the relationship between bereaved people and food can become quite complicated. Death creates a lot of anxiety and stress, and grief taxes us emotionally, mentally, and physically. When people are under these conditions in life, they generally respond to food in one of two ways.

Some people can’t eat at all when they are stressed and anxious. They simply stop eating and they are not hungry. Other people, however, go to the opposite end of the spectrum when they are experiencing extreme emotional upheaval and they compulsively eat, whether they are hungry or not.

Emotional overeating is common among people who, under normal circumstances, try to eat healthy diets, exercise regularly, and maintain other good health habit, but who, emotionally, throw all of that out the window in times of intense stress.

Part of this tendency to overeat when stressed comes from the dopamine high that eating comforting foods – which are usually full of fat, full of sugar, and full of carbohydrates – can provide. So if a scoop of Ben & Jerry’s Peanut Butter Cup ice cream hits the spot and temporarily takes the edge off of grief, then the brain says, “Imagine how much better I will feel if I eat the whole container!”

That’s how overeating works. It’s a stress reducer and it numbs the pain and other emotions temporarily, but it can also, if done long-term, create more issues than the temporary salve it’s putting on intense grief.

One issue that may come from extended overeating to assuage emotional trauma after the death of a loved one is unwanted weight gain and the creation of health issues, such as cardiac problems, high blood pressure, and Type 2 diabetes, related to the weight gain.

Another issue that arises from habitual and long-term overeating is that shame, and guilt suddenly join grief and anxiety to create even more stress, which can drive the overeating engine into a vicious cycle that is difficult to break.

Extending overeating may also produce constant fatigue. A diet that’s saturated with fatty foods, high sugar foods, and carbohydrates wreaks havoc with glucose levels, which when out of balance can create extreme fatigue.

Mood swings are also a common issue that arises with long-term overeating. Part of this is related to glucose levels, but it is also related to the stress/grief/shame/guilt cycle that overeating can produce.

Binge eating is a common form of overeating. Binge eating is consuming a lot of food, not because the person is hungry, but simply because it’s there and they want to eat it all. Binge eating is very unhealthy because it can lead, because of the guilt/shame emotions, to eating disorders like bulimia.

Emotional overeating usually begins with a trigger. To get a handle on it and break the cycle, the person has to know what their trigger(s) are. Since grief is complex, it’s wise to consider counseling (it doesn’t have to be specifically grief counseling) to help understand the emotional overeating triggers (identify them) and come up with effective and healthy ways to manage those.

If you’d like information about grief resources after cremations in Waverly, 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.

Elmira, NY cremations

Distancing Ourselves from the Inevitable

With Elmira, NY cremations, people have died. But what were the years, or months, or weeks, or days, or hours before their deaths like? Were they active, vibrant, independent, and living life to the fullest or were they confined to assisted living or skilled nursing facilities, perhaps with limited or no mobility, staring at four walls every day? This was at least on the days when they weren’t at the doctor’s office get new (and probably more medication) or hospitalized on a regular basis for health issues and illnesses.

Even if we knew these people well, as family members or friends, we may have distanced ourselves from death itself, and, particularly, their deaths, because we’re told by science, technology, and medicine that it’s life that’s important and that’s what we should focus on.

So we may not have visited them often if we weren’t in caregiving role because dying and death can be depressing. If we were in a caregiving role, we were the ones constantly taking them to doctor’s appointments and to the emergency room when a more serious issue arose, and then staying with them throughout each hospital stay that was designed to keep them alive.

This focus on living at all costs has impact the way most of us deal with dying and death. We don’t want to talk about it. We don’t want to think about it. And we certainly don’t want to be around it, whether it’s someone else or ourselves going through it.

Even the nature of funeral and memorial services reflects this focus on life, as the traditional mourning and acknowledging the death and loss of people is increasing giving way to contemporary celebrations of life, where death and dying are not discussed, but only happy memories from deceased people’s lives.

But what is the cost of this change to a focus on life?

One cost is that although people may be gaining quantity of life, it’s at the expense of quality of life. One can’t contemplate this without thinking about 90-year-old Norma Bauerschmidt’s decision to forgo cancer treatment – which would have prolonged her life, but would have taken the quality away – and, instead, use the time she had left to travel with her son and daughter-in-law across the United States – which gave her a quality life, until she died a year later. She experienced a lot of firsts during those 12 months and she became a social media celebrity with her own Facebook page named Driving Ms. Norma.

Another cost of changing to a focus on life is that we aren’t prepared, don’t know how to handle, and are terrified of death. It seems like an anomaly when it happens, when, instead, it is the biological cycle of nature. We begin dying the day we’re born, and although we usually don’t hit full stride until we get a life-threatening illness like congestive heart failure, a terminal illness like cancer, or just the wearing out of the body after living for many decades, it’s a process that is with us from the beginning.

It’s time to get closer to death. It will make our living years more meaningful because we’ll realize they’re finite. We can say, “No” to excessive overtime, we can say, “Yes,” to vacations and family time, and we can make the time we have remaining more meaningful by serving others.

If you’d like more information about Elmira, 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.

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.