Category Archives: cremations

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.

cremations in Waverly, NY

Planning Gatherings Before or After Cremations

As part of cremations in Waverly, NY, you can have funeral services or memorial services for the deceased person. It’s a healthy way to gather family and friends in one location to facilitate and support the grieving process.  

First decide what kind of service you want for the deceased. Funeral services are held before cremation and may or may not have the deceased present. If the deceased is present, the body will be either in the cremation casket or a casket that is rented from the funeral home for the service, after which the deceased is transferred to the cremation casket (must be completely fully combustible, and contain no metal). If the deceased is not present, there is no need for a casket other than the cremation casket.  

Visitations are usually held before funeral services. These are designed to give friends and family a chance to offer the grieving family condolences, support, and comfort. Many times in visitation, the deceased will be present, but other times the deceased will not be present. Visitations are recommended regardless because they’re an invaluable part of taking care of a bereaved family after a death has occurred.   

The funeral service itself is more structured ceremony with someone presiding over the order of events, which often including secular and/or religious readings, eulogies, a sermon (if religious), and music.  

Often, if the funeral service is during the day, a reception with food and drinks is held after the service to let people more informally interact with the grieving family and offer care and concern.  

Memorial services, on the other hand, are held after cremation. These gatherings can be held at any time, which can help people from all over plan to come together to remember the deceased. Memorial services can also be held anywhere, and are often less structured and more focused on interactive conversations with stories and memories of the deceased. If memorial services are held in the funeral home, an urn with the cremains of the deceased will usually be displayed.  

Both funeral services and memorial services can be highly customized depending on what the family and deceased would have wanted, so take that into account when planning either service. Do make sure to ask the funeral home if they can record the service, in case there are friends and family members who are unable to attend because of distance, health, or other circumstances. You can copy the file of the service, which is in a standard format that most computer video players can play, to flash drives and send them to those who were absent.  

The next decision with cremations is planning a gathering around the final disposition of the cremains. There are many options for final disposition of cremains, but the most common are: permanent possession (the family keeps the cremains in a decorative container in their home); scattering cremains; and burial of cremains (next to a loved one in a cemetery).   

Some families choose to scatter or bury cremains privately, while others plan a more open (although it’s usually invitation-only) ceremony.  

It’s also common to create permanent memorials for the deceased after cremation. It might be a marker in the cemetery or a tree planted in the deceased memory. These enable family and friends to gather any time to remember the deceased.   

After cremations in Waverly, NY, our empathetic and knowledgeable staff at Roberts Funeral Home can help you with funeral or memorial services. 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

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.  

cremations in Wavery, NY

How to Preplan Cremations

With cremations in Wavery, NY, the body is cremated and the cremains become ash. Cremains can be buried in the ground, put into a columbarium (a building or room with slots where funeral urns are stored), retained by the family in an urn, or scattered somewhere.  

By preplanning your cremation, you can decide how you want your cremation to be. Generally, services for people who are cremated are held before the cremation or after the cremation.   

If the service is held before the cremation, it is often very much like the service before a burial. There can be a viewing and then a funeral service within a few days after death. You can either purchase your own cremation casket – it must not contain any metal and it must be 100%-combustible – for the viewing and funeral service or you can rent a casket for the viewing and funeral service from the funeral home for a minimal cost, after which the funeral home will transfer the body to a fully-combustible casket for cremation.  

Services held after cremations are memorial services and they can be held at any time, in any place, and can have any format. Some people prefer memorial services because it gives friends and family time to get time off of work, make travel arrangements, and often meet at a place that is special to the deceased for the service and, perhaps, to scatter the cremains. You can designate where and how you want your memorial service to be done. It can be a get-together, where stories and memories are shared, or it can be a meet-up for a favorite activity, or it can be a party. The choice is yours.  

When you’re preplanning a cremation, you get the opportunity to decide how you want the cremains to be handled. They can be buried in a cemetery (it is not unusual for spouses who have a spouse that predeceased them and is buried to have their ashes buried with their spouse or scatter at the spouse’s grave), kept in an urn by the family, or scattered at a favorite spot.  

One of the choices you’ll need to make is how you want the cremains to be returned to your family. The funeral home will provide a basic container with your cremains, but you can purchase a wide variety of urns and other types of containers that are specifically designed for this purpose.    

The other part of preplanning cremations usually includes paying for everything up front or giving the funeral home your burial/funeral policy, if you have one, to use to cover the costs at the time you die. These costs will include casket rental (if you plan a visitation and funeral and do not want that to be in a cremation casket), a cremation casket, funeral home services, the cremation, and disposal of the cremains.  

Once you’ve preplanned your cremation with the funeral home, be sure to record everything to keep with your important papers (include burial/funeral policy information that you’ve given to the funeral home), and then make sure your entire family knows all the details, so everybody is on the same page.  

If you’d like more information about preplanning cremations in Waverly, NY, our caring and experienced staff at Roberts Funeral Home can give you the assistance you need. You can visit us at our funeral home at 279 Main St., Wellsburg, NY 14894, or you can call us today at (607) 734-7811.  

cremation in Horseheads, NY

Cremation Service Planning Advice

As a loved one of someone who has passed on, it can be a difficult time. You are grieving and then there are funeral arrangements to make and details to attend to. If your loved one wanted cremation in Horseheads, NYat least you know that much. However, you can still go through with a variety of cremation services. Here’s some advice to help you get through the process with as much ease as possible.  

Understand The Choices 

There are several different cremation choices and you will want to know the differences so you can make the right decision. Direct cremation, for example, occurs when the deceased is cremated right away after their death without any services prior to the cremation. Cremation can also happen later, after a traditional service. Find out about the cremation options before you move forward with one too quickly.  

Look For Documented Wishes 

Your loved one may have had a will and if so, they might have instructions in it to cover their cremation services. Look for documents that show their wishes and if you can’t find anything in writing, and they haven’t planned ahead with a funeral home, then the decisions are up to you and your family members. Try to do what they would have wanted and what your family needs at the same time.  

Involve Others 

Even if you know your loved one wanted to be cremated, you might not know what type of memorial service they wanted. In that case, your family can be a big help. What do they want or need to further their grieving process? Honoring their wishes would definitely be something your loved one would want, so take their feelings into consideration as you plan as well.  

Consider Cost 

It’s hard to bring up price when you are planning a cremation, but it’s natural to want to know what things will cost and the prices can definitely vary. The cremation service itself is less expensive than a traditional burial and that could allow you to have a nicer memorial service later based on the savings you accrue. When you know the costs behind everything, you will more easily be able to choose the services you want—and you can afford.  

When you are arranging a cremation in Horseheads, NY for a loved one who has recently passed on, there’s no reason to feel alone. The experts at Roberts Funeral Home are here to help you every step of the way. This isn’t something you deal with on a regular basis, but we do and we’re here to guide you through it. Give us a call at (607) 734-7811 or visit us at 279 Main St., Wellsburg, NY 14894 to get started on the process. We want to relieve you of as many burdens as possible during this difficult time. Your loved one was special and their cremation services will be treated as such, with honor and respect to them at all times.

cremation in Elmira, NY

Cremation After A Home Death

Sometimes, someone you love might get ill and pass away in the hospital. Other times, perhaps they pass away in their sleep, or are allowed to die in their home after a long illness. There are certain steps that need to be taken to move forward with cremation in Elmira, NY and other funeral arrangements.  

Death Pronouncement 

If the death is unexpected, you will call 911 so paramedics can come help you with the situation. If your loved one is already gone, or has a do not resuscitate order, the paramedics can pronounce them dead officially and help you obtain death certificates. If you are getting hospice care for a loved one, the nurse on duty can help with the official pronouncement. If you were in a hospital, there would always be a doctor on duty to do the official pronouncement, but at home, it’s different.  

Notify Proper Parties 

You will want to contact the funeral home or crematorium that your loved one wanted to use. They will ask some basic questions and, if you don’t already know, you can talk about pricing over the phone. You will also want to notify other immediate family members who should know about the death right away. The funeral home can take care of transporting your loved one and beginning the cremation process, if that is what they have chosen. They can also put final services together for you once you choose the specifics.  

Clean Up Service 

While you might not want to deal with this right away, at some point, it might be a good idea to hire a clean-up service to take care of the room in which your loved one passed on. You could do this yourself, but it’s often hard to deal with this portion of the responsibilities when someone close to you has passed away. If they were in hospice care, the nurse can take care of the medical equipment and other details. But you might be left to get rid of the hospital-like bed and other items yourself. There’s not necessarily a rush on this and sometimes it’s better to wait until after the final services are complete and things aren’t quite as raw.  

If you experience a death in your family and it happens in your home, contact Roberts Funeral Home for help with the next steps. We can do cremation in Elmira, NY and we can help transport your loved one from your home, to our facilities as well. Once your loved one is in our hands, we will treat them with nothing but honor and respect throughout the process. Give us a call as soon as you need us at (607) 734-7811. We understand what a difficult time you are going through right now and we’ll treat you with nothing but compassion. We’re located at 279 Main St., Wellsburg, NY 14894 and we’re here to help, whatever you need. Death is never easy, but we’ll relieve you of as many burdens as possible. 

Horseheads, NY cremation

Cremation Urn Buying Guide

Cremation is more popular today as a final disposition and because of that, there are a number of urns on the market to consider. If your loved one is going through a Horseheads, NY cremation, you will need an urn of some kind. You will want to keep a number of things in mind as you look through the options and begin the purchasing process.  

The Budget 

Urns come in just about every price range and you will want to have a budget in mind when you start to look so you don’t get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of options. You can narrow down the choices just with your budget. You might have a budget in mind if you are paying for the urn yourself or, if your loved one left money behind, that might dictate how much you have to spend on this element of the final services.  

The Size 

Many people think an urn is an urn, but that’s not always the case. Not all cremated remains will fit in the same sized urn. People who weighed more than average might need a larger urn, for example. There are also companion urns that can fit two people if a married couple wants to be placed together. There are also smaller, special urns for children’s remains.  

The Function 

You will need to think about how you want the urn to function as you go about buying the right option. Some urns are just used to carry the remains from the funeral home to the final resting place, where the remains will then be scattered. In those cases, you can buy something less expensive since it won’t be on display. If you are going to display the urns in your home or at a memorial service, you will want a nicer urn that is meant to last. There are even biodegradable urns for burial in the ground or water burials. Those urns break up and are more environmentally friendly. If several family members would like to have part of the remains, there are special urns in picture frames, jewelry, and other options to consider.  

Choosing the right urn for your loved one takes a little time, effort, and research, but if you know your budget, the size you need, and how you want the urn to function, you can narrow down your search quite a bit. Roberts Funeral Home is here to help after your loved one goes through Horseheads, NY cremation as well as before and during that process. We want your family to have everything they need, and we can certainly offer options and suggestions for the right urn to suit your needs. Contact us at (607) 734-7811 to ask questions or to get started arranging a cremation. You can also stop by and see us at 279 Main St., Wellsburg, NY 14894. We’ll treat you with nothing but the utmost compassion during this difficult time.