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3 Tips To Help You Maximize Your Funeral Etiquette

Posted by on Jul 21, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Tips To Help You Maximize Your Funeral Etiquette

Attending a funeral service or visitation with members of your family is the proper way to offer your condolences to the family members of someone who has recently passed away. Even if your intentions are to do the right thing, this often high-stress environment has the potential to make you or someone in your family slip up and make an etiquette miscue. On your way to the funeral home, it’s a good practice to go over some basic funeral etiquette rules to ensure you meet them. Here’s a breakdown of three things to avoid. Leaving Too Quickly Many people struggle with exactly how long they should remain at a visitation. You don’t want to leave too quickly, which might give the grieving family the impression that you are unsympathetic about the situation. Conversely, you don’t want to stay too long, which can make the family’s members feel that they should spend time talking to you when they have other pressing priorities. In general, aim to attend the visitation for about 15 minutes. This duration gives you the chance to offer your sympathies and show your support. Of course you should always be flexible; a visitation that’s heavily attended could mean that you’re at the funeral home longer than 15 minutes. Saying The Wrong Things Trying to find the right words to say to the grieving family can be challenging. You don’t need to overdo your approach in this situation. A short expression of sympathy and an offer to help the family is adequate. The more you talk, the more it can be easy to accidentally say something that the family takes the wrong way. Many common funeral-related sentiments can actually be hurtful. For example, telling the family that their loved one is in a better place is little consolation, given that the family would rather its loved one was still alive. Other sentiments such as “It will get easier in time,” “I know how you feel,” and “God has a plan for everyone” aren’t overly helpful, either. Standing Out For The Wrong Reasons Any funeral-related event is strictly an opportunity to support the grieving family. It’s not a time to get noticed for any reason. Although your attire doesn’t have to be as formal as funerals held several decades ago, dressing conservatively is still ideal — now isn’t the time to test out your new head-turning outfit. Avoid drawing attention to yourself by leaving your cellphone in the car or turning it off and ensuring you arrive on time. Trying to sneak in after the service has begun is not only poor etiquette, but also detracts from the proceedings and can be hurtful to the family. For more information, you might consider contacting a funeral home like Krowicki Gorny Memorial...

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Finding Adoptive Parents for Your Baby

Posted by on May 28, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Finding Adoptive Parents for Your Baby

If you are pregnant and you are positive you are not ready to become a mother at the moment, you are most likely experiencing a ton of different emotions. An unplanned pregnancy is hard, but there are options available to make sure the life you are carrying is appreciated and that the baby will be well cared for after it is born. Here is a quick summary of how to go through the adoption process, so that you are aware of the procedure should you decide to give another family the chance at having a son or daughter of their own. Seeing a Doctor Regularly It is extremely important to see a doctor regularly when you are pregnant. Even if you know you are not going to keep your baby, but are planning on having an adoption done, you need to continue seeing a doctor to make sure the pregnancy progresses properly and that the baby is healthy. The adoptive parents will pay for your medical expenses. Eat healthily, get enough rest, and try to stay stress-free so that the baby has a better chance at being born without problems. Speaking with an Adoption Agency When you decide that you are not going to keep the baby to raise yourself, you will want to speak to an adoption agency to start the process of finding appropriate parents right away. Let your doctor know that you are planning on having someone adopt your baby. Your doctor will be able to help lead you to a reputable adoption agency to help you start the process. It is best they are aware of the situation early on, so they will be able to support your decision and will know how to handle procedures when the baby is born. Evaluating Applicants The adoption agency you select will have a list of applicants that wish to adopt. You will be asked your preferences regarding the type of upbringing you wish the baby to have and you will be able to select which parents suit your desires. The adoption agency will give you information about applicants they believe would be a good match for your baby. You will be able to meet with applicants to interview them before the baby is born, if you wish.  The amount of contact and information you are provided with after the baby goes to their new home will be up to you. You have the right to keep in contact with the parents, depending on the type of adoption, and many adoptions done today allow the birth parents to get updates, pictures, and even visits with the child, if desired. Living with Your Decision After you decide who you wish to take care of the baby after delivery, you will have paperwork to sign stating that you are giving up parental rights to the baby. You will be able to decide if you want the adoptive parents at the birth or if you would rather they were not present. After you give birth, you can see the baby and spend time with it alone, if desired.  After you have the adoptive parents take the baby to their home, speak to a counselor about your feelings. The first few weeks after the birth are a bit rough, but with the proper support system you will soon see that you have made a miracle happen...

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Writing An Obituary 101: Common Questions And Answers

Posted by on Mar 27, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Writing the obituary for a friend, family member, or loved one can be especially difficult if you’ve never written an obituary before and aren’t aware of the conventions and expectations. This FAQ is designed to answer any questions you may have and help you get started on the road to writing a good obituary. Who should write the obituary? Different newspapers have different requirements about where the obituary should come from. Some newspapers will only accept obituaries from funeral homes; some newspapers will insist that their staff write all obituaries, and some newspapers will accept obituaries that have been written by family members. To find out the expectations of your local newspaper, speak with a representative from the funeral services you have chosen. The representative from your funeral home will either be able to help you personally or will be able to give you the contact information for the newspaper staff member who can assist you.  If I am to write the obituary myself, what is an appropriate length? The length of an obituary will vary. The newspaper will have guidelines regarding the acceptable length of an obituary. Once you know the maximum word count, you can extend or shorten your obituary. While there is no minimum word count for obituaries, you’ll want to ensure that, at the very least, the obituary announces the death and mentions the funeral services.  What is the difference between an obituary and a eulogy? The obituary is the death announcement that will appear in the newspaper, and the eulogy is the speech that is delivered at the funeral. Both are biographical in nature. Often obituaries are more concise and shorter than eulogies. The obituary may contain information that can be used as an inspiration for the eulogy and vice versa.  What kind of information should I include in the obituary? If the funeral services and visitation are open to the public, include the date, time, and exact location of the funeral and visitation. A typical obituary will include basic biographical information such as the birthplace, deathplace, cause of death, alma mater, name of the spouse, and name of the former employer. Many obituaries will briefly mention the deceased’s surviving family members. Some obituaries are so detailed tha,t they will discuss hobbies, pets and interests of the deceased. Can I include a picture of the deceased? Many newspapers will print a picture of the deceased, but will have specific size and formatting requirements. Speak with a representative from your funeral home or newspaper to find out about these requirements.  Once you know what information to include, writing the obituary should be relatively straightforward. If you’re still not comfortable writing the obituary for your loved one, take a look at the obituaries being published by your local newspaper. Pick an obituary you like and use it as a template. This will help make the task easier, so you can get on with the task of planning the funeral services and making other necessary...

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Putting The Fun In Funeral: Your Celebration Of The Dearly Departed

Posted by on Dec 5, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Losing someone you love is always a sad occasion, but sometimes a somber funeral just doesn’t seem right when you are celebrating the life of someone who was a joyful and fun loving soul. Here are some ideas for a funeral that doubles as a celebration.  Hobbies What did your loved one do with free time? Maybe the person you loved enjoyed model trains, collecting antique toys or camping outdoors. Incorporate this theme into the memorial service or funeral. Decorate the church or service space with the person’s prized possessions and pictures of the person engaging in the hobby.  Music Honor someone who loved music with live performances of the person’s favorite songs and music styles. Invite guests to dance and enjoy the music as they remember the person whose life meant so much. You can also include recordings of the person singing or playing a musical instrument.  Art Celebrate a painter or photographer with an exhibit of favorite works. Have exceptional or sentimental pieces framed, and hang them in a room in the church or funeral home. You could even rent space in a local gallery and showcase the art there.  Antique Cars Remember someone who loved classic cars with an auto parade past the church, funeral home, cemetery or other venue. Contact a classic car organization, and you will find people who would be happy to drive their cars in a procession to honor your loved one.  You could also use this idea for a motorcycle enthusiast or a cyclist.  Sports When planning a funeral for a dedicated sports fan, consider using colors from the person’s favorite team. You can subtly incorporate colors into flower arrangements or ribbons, or you could be bolder and actually drape the casket with a pendant or flag featuring the team’s logo.  You can honor a person’s beloved college or other special organization in this way as well.  A Memory Book Ask guests to write down a favorite memory of the person they have lost, and then put these memories into a book that everyone can read. This will encourage guests to talk about the person and remember special times. The laughter that will surely come from talking about happier times will be healing for everyone. After the memorial, you can keep the book or give it to the person’s spouse or child.  There are many ways to remember someone who has died, and they don’t all have to be sad. Adding a personalized touch to a funeral or memorial service will honor the unique and wonderful life of your loved one.  For more information, contact Conboy-Westchester Funeral Home Inc. or a similar...

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Supporting Your Pregnant Teen

Posted by on Oct 13, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Just last year you were certain that your teenage daughter only found boys a fun, flirty distraction. You were sure she had no interest in becoming sexually active. But recently there was a change you didn’t notice and now your baby is pregnant with a baby of her own. What should you say? What should you do? How do you navigate this new and overwhelming territory? Whatever your initial reaction was when she told you, there are some key things to keep in mind as you move forward. Stay Calm You may be incredibly angry or disappointed that your daughter is pregnant, but that doesn’t change the reality of the situation. She’s likely very scared and perhaps even disappointed in herself. Try to imagine what she is feeling. Put yourself in her shoes for a moment. What does she need from you? Reassurance – Express that you love her and care for her and that any anger or disappointment you feel in no way changes that. Support – As tempting as it is to feel that if she’s old enough for sex, she’s old enough to deal with the fallout on her own, that simply isn’t true. Ask her to tell you about her relationship with the father and how she’s feeling emotionally and physically. Allow her to air her fears and worries. You’ll likely find they are similar to some of your own. Guidance – Your daughter is still young. Now that she’s told you, she may well be looking to you for some guidance about what comes next and initially, you may not know the answer. Try looking in your community for an organization that specializes in assisting teens who are grappling with an unplanned pregnancy. They will be able to help you both. Discuss the options While you may have a very strong opinion on your daughter’s options regarding her pregnancy, it is important to remember that ultimately, it’s her baby and her pregnancy. Try not to force what you think she should do onto her. Instead, discuss the options available to her. Raise the baby – Your daughter could choose to give birth and raise the baby herself. Things you may want to discuss would include: finances daycare living space your involvement in raising the baby the father’s involvement and his family’s involvement in raising the baby your daughter’s continuing education Adoption – Your daughter may choose to give birth, but to give her baby to a loving home. This discussion should include questions like: Does she want to be kept informed about the baby as he/she grows? Does she wish to be involved with the adoptive family? Would she prefer there be no contact with the adoptive parents? What are the laws regarding adoption in your state? What are some of the emotions she might expect if she gives her baby up for adoption? Abortion – Your daughter might decide to end her pregnancy. If so, she should be aware of: Potential emotional ramifications What the procedure entails for her and the baby What some of the physical side-effects might be after the procedure is over Support her decisions Whatever your daughter decides about the outcome of her pregnancy, support her on the road she chooses. Drive her to the necessary appointments. Make sure she eats right, rests and gets...

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Facing The Unexpected: Working With A Pregnancy Counselor

Posted by on Oct 1, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

An unexpected pregnancy can catch you off guard, but you don’t need to face it alone. A pregnancy counselor is part confidant and part adviser. She can help you navigate the uncharted, and sometimes stressful, waters of coping with your situation so you find the solution that’s best for you. Select the Best Counselor Pregnancy counseling is typically offered as a free service through community groups, although your doctor may refer you to a counselor affiliated with his practice or hospital. Don’t just pick a counselor from the phone book or from a quick internet search. Instead, take a few minutes to research your best options: Is the counselor affiliated with a religious organization? Although not a deal breaker, keep in mind some counselors may not offer unbiased information on services like abortions if it is against their religious creed. Is there a cost? Most counseling services are free, although those offered through doctor’s offices and hospitals may have a fee associated with them. If there is a fee, is it covered by your insurance? Is the counselor skilled at working with women in your situation? There are counselors available that specialize in specific issues, whether it’s teen pregnancy, single mothers, or mother-to-be with chronic illness. Look for a counselor with experience working with other women in your specific situation. What are the counselor’s qualifications? There are no licensing requirements for pregnancy counselor’s, although some may hold counseling licenses in other family therapies. Find out the training, education, and background of a counselor before you visit. Gather Your Information Your counselor is better able to help you if you’re prepared. You will be asked a lot of questions or will need to fill out a short questionnaire upon arrival. This allows you counselor to advise on the best options for your specific situation. Important information to bring includes: Date of your last menstrual cycle. Insurance information, if applicable. Income information if you need to qualify for low-income services. Personal and family health history. Make a List Chances are you have a lot of questions, whether a pregnancy is planned or unplanned. Make a list of your questions in the time leading up to your visit so you don’t forget anything important. Examples of common questions and information you don’t want to overlook include: Are there personal health risks that could harm you or your child? Do you need help for alcohol or substance abuse? Don’t hide this information from your counselor, they can help. Is your home a safe place for a child or yourself? Are there any programs available to help you with care or treatment costs, and how can you qualify? Do you feel pressured by anyone to make a decision about your pregnancy that is not your own? What to Expect Although counselors vary in their methods, most will perform a pregnancy test to verify you are pregnant before you meet with the counselor. Once you meet with the counselor, you will be asked questions to determine whether the pregnancy is planned or unplanned, and whether you plan to continue the pregnancy and to keep the child. After some discussion, you will be offered information on the options available to you, which include: Continuing the pregnancy and keeping the child. Abortion. Closed adoption. Open adoption. You...

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