Embalming and Funeral Homes
Embalming is the preservation of human remains to slow decomposition and disinfect the body. The process is thought of as both an art and a science as it requires great skill and experience. Bodies are usually embalmed so they’re suitable for viewing before a cremation or funeral service. They are also used to preserve bodies for medical purposes, whether for a laboratory or a medical school. Whether you’re having a cremation or a service at a funeral home in Shelby, NC, it’s helpful to be aware of the basics of embalming.
Embalming is frequently required by state law or funeral home regulations. Some states legally require refrigeration or embalming if a body is not cremated or buried within a certain period of time after death, while other states leave the requirements up to the funeral homes. While the exact laws and regulations vary, best practices are to bury or cremate a body within a few days of death or embalm it.
There are two main kinds of embalming, arterial and cavity, but both are usually used in the standard embalming process. Arterial embalming involves removing the blood from the veins and replacing it with the embalming solution. In other words, the blood is flushed out of the veins and arteries by the fluid. Cavity embalming is when the internal fluids are removed with tools called trocars and aspirators. While each embalming expert might have his or her own preferred technique, here are the general steps of the embalming process
The first step is to wash and disinfect the body. The embalmer will also massage the arms and legs to ease rigor mortis and perform any necessary shaving. Next, it’s time to set the features. The embalmer sets the body’s features by closing the eyes and positioning the mouth. The eyes are often held shut by plastic caps and the mouth is usually wired or sewn shut. The next step is to inject the embalming fluids and cavity embalming. An incision is made in the right common carotid artery and the right jugular vein in order to pump about two gallons of formaldehyde solution through the body.
As the solution is injected, it pushes the blood out of the veins and into a drain attached to the jugular. Bodily fluids and remaining gas are removed from the internal organs, like the bladder, intestines, and stomach, by a suction hose and a trocar. A trocar is an instrument with a three-sided point attached to a tube for removing fluids. After the fluids are removed, the embalmer injects embalming fluid to preserve the body and help it hold its shape. Finally, the embalmer then closes up any incisions made in the embalming process, gives the body a bath, and then dresses it. After about 24 hours, he will return to seal the incisions with a bonding adhesive to prevent leaks, apply makeup, and fix the hair.
Do you have more questions on embalming or Shelby, NC funeral homes? We’re happy to offer our expertise and compassionate services. Call or visit us today to learn more about what we can do for you in your time of loss or of preplanning.
What Are Last Wishes Documents?
Your last wishes are your requests for what you want to be done after you die, generally regarding the funeral or memorial arrangements and the final disposition, and a last wishes document is how you can tell your loved ones what you want to be done after you die, from a funeral to an aquamation service in Boiling Springs, NC.
Everyone dies eventually, so, no matter how uncomfortable it might be, it’s a good idea to be as prepared for the eventuality as possible. It’s always best to tell your loved ones about these wishes in addition to writing them down. That way you can make sure they understand what you want, and they can ask any questions they may have.
Here are some common last wishes questions and their answers to give you more information on these important documents. To begin, what should you include in a last wishes document? Your last wishes can include anything you want, including funeral or cremation preferences and plans, body disposition preferences, obituary information, messages to your loved ones, requests for your final days, and personal information like where your will is. Some people also choose to include what they want for the time leading up to their death as well, like who they want to see, if they want to pass at home or at a care facility, or even what they want their surroundings to be like in a last wishes document.
How do you make a last wishes document? You don’t need to do anything fancy to write down your last wishes. The document should include your name, the details you want your loved ones to know, and who you want to tell them to. It can be a few sentences or several pages, typed and printed, or just written down in a notebook. Just be sure it’s kept in a safe place and that the people it addresses know about it and where it is. Are a last wishes document the same as an advance directive? Advanced directives are legal documents that detail someone’s wishes when they are terminally ill. Last wishes are not legally binding and deal more with how you would like to be remembered, what you would like to say to your loved ones, and other practical things.
Are last wishes the same as a will? Last wishes are not wills. Wills are legal documents that deal with your estate, belonging, or finances, while last wishes are non-legal documents that deal with funeral or service arrangements. It also does not make sense to include your last wishes in your will as the will is generally read after the funeral, thereby making your last wishes useless. Finally, are our last wishes legally binding? Last wishes documents are not legally binding, but most family members or loved ones at least feel morally obligated to see your wishes done.
Do you want to learn more about last wishes or Boiling Springs, NC aquamation services? We are here to help. Call or visit us today for more information on what we can do for you in your time of preplanning or loss.
Do You Need Pallbearers with Aquamation Services?
While pallbearers are traditionally used when the body is buried in a casket, people can choose to have pallbearers carry the casket at a funeral before an aquamation service in Kings Mountain, NC. They can also carry or walk alongside the urn before or after a memorial service. As intense or scary as this job seems, being a pallbearer is not as overwhelming as you might think.
Were you asked to be a pallbearer for someone’s service before or after an aquamation service? Here’s everything you need to know about pallbearers in order to help prepare you.
- What is a Pallbearer? A pallbearer is someone that helps carry or officially escorts a casket during a funeral or service. Their duties traditionally consist exclusively of carrying the remains from the hearse to the church or funeral home before the service, and then back into the hearse after the service. If the remains are to be buried or inurned, the pallbearers also carry them from the hearse to the final resting place.
- How Heavy is a Casket? Caskets can weigh as little as 60 pounds up to 400 pounds or more depending on the type of casket and the size of the remains inside. For example, pine caskets generally weigh about 150 pounds, while mahogany can weigh up to 250. Metal caskets, on the other hand, can weigh between 160 to 200 pounds depending on the kind of metal and the metal gauge.
- What Should Pallbearers Wear? It’s best for pallbearers to dress conservatively, ideally in a dark suit and tie, dress, or pantsuit. However, be sure to wear clothing that is comfortable enough for you to move and lift in. Don’t forget to wear flat or low-heeled shoes so you don’t trip while carrying the casket.
- What Is an Honorary Pallbearer? An honorary pallbearer is someone who will not actually carry the casket but is still recognized in some way. This title is usually used for older friends or relatives who might not be able to physically carry the casket. Sometimes people even choose to have deceased friends or family members as honorary pallbearers, as they don’t have to carry the casket or even be physically present to have the honor.
- How Many Pallbearers are There? While there can be as many or as few as desired, there are traditionally six to eight pallbearers. If there are six, three stand on each side of the casket. If there are eight, the extra two stand on the front and back.
- Who Can be a Pallbearer? Pallbearers can be anyone the bereaved or deceased choose. However, they are usually close family or friends like siblings, older children or grandchildren, colleagues, or friends. And yes, women can be pallbearers even though it doesn’t happen very often.
Do you have more questions about pallbearers or Kings Mountain, NC aquamation services? We are here to help. Call or visit us today to learn more about what we can do for you in your time of loss.
Must-Read Pallbearer Tips
A pallbearer is someone that helps carry or officially escorts a casket during a funeral at a funeral home in Boiling Springs, NC. If you were asked to be a pallbearer for someone’s funeral, you need these tips for serving as a pallbearer for guidance and inspiration:
- What Does a Pallbearer Do? – The pallbearer’s duties traditionally consist exclusively of carrying the remains from the hearse to the church or funeral home before the service, and then back into the hearse after the service. If the remains are to be buried or inurned, the pallbearers also carry them from the hearse to the final resting place. Here are more tips:
- Serving as a Pallbearer is an Honor – Being chosen as a pallbearer means that the bereaved trust you and care about you. It’s a privilege, so do your best to treat the honor with dignity and respect.
- Follow Instructions – Always follow the instructions of the family, and bereaved, and the funeral directors. This is true even if you’ve been a pallbearer before or have different ideas of how things should go. It’s not your time to shine, it’s your chance to be respectful and honor the deceased.
- Turn Off Your Phone – It would be horrifying to have your phone ring during the service or, even worse, when you’re carrying the casket. Turn off your phone completely or leave it in your car or at home.
- Consider Your Attire – Pallbearers need to dress appropriately. Unless the bereaved specify otherwise, men should wear dark, solid suits with white shirts and conservative ties, and women should wear dark pantsuits or dresses.
- Be Prepared to Lift – The main job of a pallbearer is to lift and carry the casket, so prepare yourself. Remember, it’s OK to turn it down if you’re asked to be a pallbearer by can’t physically do the job.
- Wear Sensible Shoes – You really don’t want to trip when carrying the casket. Be sure to wear sensible shoes that will help keep your feet firmly planted on the ground and will be supportive when you lift the casket.
- Being Nervous is Normal – It’s true that all eyes will be on you when you carry the casket, so it’s OK to be nervous. Just follow the instructions, breath deeply, and you’ll be alright.
- Stay Back and Support the Family – Don’t rush out as soon as the service is over. Hang around for a bit to offer support, comfort, and assistance to the family.
- Be On Time – You need to arrive at the funeral home or service location at or even before the time specified. This way you can be as prepared as possible and not rush or worry after a late arrival.
Hopefully, these tips will help you calm your nerves and make sure you are ready to take on this honor. We are here to help if you need more guidance when it comes to pallbearers or Boiling Springs, NC funeral homes. Call or visit us today to learn more about what we can do for you in your time of loss or of preplanning.
Getting Through Grief After Funeral Home Services
The death of a loved one, their service at a funeral home in Kings Mountain, NC, and the subsequent grief will never be easy. However, there are ways you can help ease the pain and help yourself heal. Use these ideas to soothe your pain and grief after the loss of a loved one, such as seeking help from a professional.
Be aware of clinical depression and watch out for complicated grief. It’s natural to feel depressed after a loss. In fact, many common symptoms of grief are the same as those of clinical depression. However, there is a difference between grief and clinical depression, and clinical depression does require professional help. Be on the watch for signs of clinical depression like your sadness does not subside over time, you feel hopeless or even suicidal, as though life will never get back to normal, you’ve pulled further and further away from your friends and family, and no grief-coping strategies seem to have worked for you.
Complicated grief is when you’re unable to move on after a loss. While grief does not have a fixed duration, it does generally ease with time. Complicated grief, however, involves prolonged and painful symptoms that prevent you from accepting the loss and living a normal life again. If you feel you might have complicated grief, seek help from a professional. Speaking with a mental health professional like a therapist or counselor can be very helpful and comforting in a time of loss and grief. If you’re unsure if you need to speak with a professional, take a moment, to be honest with yourself and your situation. There is no shame in getting help. You also need to take care of yourself. It’s easy to let self-care fall by the wayside when you’re grieving. However, you shouldn’t add physical ailments on top of your mental pain. Take care of yourself by eating regularly and healthfully, getting plenty of rest, exercising when you can, sharing your feelings with others, and allowing yourself to cry.
Try interacting with friends, family members, or other people in your community to remind yourself of the love, support, and positivity that surrounds you. If you can, fight the urge to isolate yourself. Even if you don’t want to talk about your grief, just spending time in silence with others can be helpful. If you’re not comfortable looking to friends or family for support, you can try a local support group. Don’t forget to seek support. The feeling of loneliness is very common after a loss. In fact, they’re natural. While it’s noble to try to stand on your own during this difficult time, you don’t have to do it alone. In reality, it’s actually better to lean on others when you’re going through a loss.
Remember, just as no two people will grieve the same way, not all of these tips will help everyone with their grief. Do what works for you and what makes you feel healthy and happy, and that you’re moving towards healing. We are here to help if you have more questions about grief or Kings Mountain, NC funeral homes.
Have you talked about preplanning? It never will be easy to talk to your loved ones about their after-life plans for aquamation services in Shelby, NC. Though it’s impossible to be completely prepared for the death of a loved one, you can be somewhat prepared by having a plan. Even though talking about death is never easy, these conversations are essential. When you’re ready to have the discussion, you can use these questions to help guide you and make sure you get the information you need.
To begin, ask if they have a will. According to a study done in 2020 by Trust & Will, only 32% of all adults have a will or living trust, and only 36% of adults with children under 18. Wills are vital documents that make sure a person’s last wishes are followed in the event of their death. Create a will with your loved ones, or make sure that they have one of their own, and keep it in a safe but accessible place.
You also need to ask about financial information. Financial institutions are strict about giving people access to other people’s accounts, even if they are a spouse or close relatives. That’s why it’s important for your loved ones to have their financial information written down so that you know where it’s kept. They should include sources of income and liabilities, accounts receivable, bank accounts, real estate, assets, securities, and personal property.
You should also have a discussion about how they would like to be celebrated. Perhaps the most important part of the after-life discussion is how your loved ones would like to be remembered and celebrated. Do they want to be buried or cremated? Have a funeral, memorial, or celebration of life? Asking about this now ensures your loved one’s wishes will be honored after their death. Don’t forget to ask about Powers of Attorney or Health Care Powers of Attorney. Power of Attorney is a document that gives a designated person the power to make legal decisions for another person if they become unable to make them for themselves. A Health Care Power of Attorney does the same, but for medical decisions instead of legal ones. These documents can be essential if your loved one is getting older or suffering from cognitive disorders like Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia.
Finally, ask about who will take care of their pets and what you should do with their online accounts. Most people love their pets like children and will therefore have specific wishes as to how they should be cared for upon their death. Make sure these wishes are written down in a safe place. Some people choose to keep their online presence as a digital memorial upon their death, while others would prefer that their digital presence is removed. Either way, make sure you have a list of their online accounts and passwords so you’re able to carry out their wishes when they pass.
Do you have more questions about preplanning, or would you like more information on Shelby, NC aquamation services? We are here to help. Call or visit us today to learn more.
All About Caskets and Funeral Homes
If you’re planning a service at a funeral home in Shelby, NC, you will most likely need to choose a casket for your lost loved one. But where do you start? The best place to begin is learning about the most common types of caskets, casket features, and casket materials.
To begin, there are wood caskets. Generally, wood caskets are made from solid hardwoods like mahogany, walnut, cherry, maple, oak, and pecan. Much like furniture made from harder wood is more expensive, the harder the casket wood the more expensive the casket will be. Other woods such as pine, poplar, and willow are generally the most affordable, and the least expensive wood casket option is wood veneer, pressed wood, and cloth-covered fiberboard. There are also metal caskets. The most common metals used to make caskets are bronze, copper, stainless steel, and carbon steel. Bronze and copper are the most durable as they will not rust over time, but they do tend to cost. Stainless steel and carbon caskets come in different thicknesses, each with its own price point. Metal caskets are usually more durable than wood, which is why they’re often marketed as “protective.” Though they do come with a rubber gasket to seal the casket, they do not slow down the decomposition process.
Cremation caskets are used to support the body while it’s being cremated and therefore need to be combustible and cannot have any metal parts. In fact, unless you would like a casket because you have a funeral before the cremation, you don’t have to have a true casket at all. You can choose a cremation container, or simple box, in which to cremate the body.
Don’t forget to think about additional features like lining, memory drawers, and casket corners. Casket interiors, or linings, come in a variety of materials. The most common are crepe, velvet, satin, linen, and velour. Memory drawers are special compartments built into the casket that hold small personal items you wish to bury with the deceased. These are special attachments to the outside of the casket that help denote the deceased’s life in some way, like a golfing or fishing symbol.
You also need to consider the size of the casket before you commit to choosing one. A standard casket is generally 84 inches long, 28 inches wide, and 23 inches tall. While the length of a casket is rarely an issue – as most bodies comfortably fit within the standard size – you may need to look at an “oversized” casket that has an extra width of 31 inches. What about features? Caskets come with two basic types of lids: half couches and full couches. Half Couch refers to a two-piece lid that’s usually partially opened (from the deceased’s waist up) for a viewing. Full Couch refers to a one-piece lid extending the length of the casket.
There are a lot of different caskets out there, all in different materials, shapes, sizes, and price points, so it can be hard to get started on choosing one for your lost loved one. We are here to help if you want to learn more about caskets or Shelby, NC funeral homes.
Supporting Someone in Grief from A Distance
Even though no one likes to see their friends, loved ones, or family in pain after a loss and aquamation service in Boiling Springs, NC, it can be awful to see loved ones grieving when you’re far away from them, either in a different town or even in a different country.
If you’re looking for ways to be there for someone in grief even from halfway around the world, these tips are here to help inspire you. Why not plan a visit? You might not be able to see and help them in person right now, but you can certainly plan a visit. This is especially helpful since the grieving process doesn’t end once the service is over, so the bereaved might need extra love and support a few months down the line after other people have moved on.
You can also use technology. We are so lucky to live in a modern world with almost endless ways of staying in touch with people despite physical distance. From Facebook and Instagram to video chatting, and even the classic telephone, use technology to reach out to the bereaved. Reach out when you can so they know you’re available, but don’t be pushy. Also, don’t feel like you have to talk or have meaningful words of encouragement. The best thing you can do for your friend is just to listen.
What about donating or ordering deliveries? Aquamations and funerals do cost money, and it might be very helpful for you to donate money to help the bereaved with some of the costs. You can also make a donation in the deceased’s memory. Choose a cause that was important to the deceased and let the bereaved know about your donation so they can feel something good has come from their loss. Even a small gesture can mean a world of difference to someone in grief. And, thanks to modern delivery services, it’s never been easier to send those small gestures even from across an ocean.
Place an order for grocery delivery so they don’t have to worry about shopping or order them some food from their favorite take-out place. You can also send flowers, candy, gift baskets, thoughtful gifts like books, gift cards, and a whole host of other delivery items to show you care and are thinking about them in their time of loss. Finally, don’t ask what you can do. The last thing someone in grief wants to do is field a bunch of questions. So, instead of asking what you can do to help, just do it. Be proactive, whether that means sending over a cleaning service, flowers, or food or paying for grocery delivery.
While it’s never preferable to be far away from someone when they’re grieving, it is possible to provide some comfort even though you’re apart.
We are here to help if you want to learn more tips or information about Boiling Springs, NC aquamation services? We can offer you more information beyond these tips for how to help your family member or friend when they’ve lost someone. Call or visit us today to learn more about what we can do for you in your time of loss.
Affordable Monuments For After Funeral Home Services
Memorials have long been used to memorialize the deceased. They are usually permanent fixtures like large headstones or statues however, there are other monuments that are just as special but more affordable. Many people want to set up a monument to their lost loved one after a service at a funeral home in Boiling Springs, NC, but can’t afford the more traditional structures. Need some inspiration? This list of ideas for affordable monuments can help you memorialize your lost loved one while staying on budget:
- Write a Memorial – Even if you’re not a gifted writer, it can still be meaningful to write some kind of memorial for your lost loved one. Try writing a poem, memoir, short story, or even just an essay about how you feel about their life and loss.
- Repurpose Belongings – You can repurpose almost any of your lost loved one’s belongings as a memorial. For example, you can turn a shirt or blanket, pillow, or stuffed animal.
- Make a Playlist or Mixtape – Music is very powerful and can help us work through difficult emotions. Make a playlist or a mixtape that reminds you of your lost loved one so you can listen whenever you’re thinking about them or you miss them. Don’t forget to share it with family and friends.
- Memories – Your memories of your loved one are always with you and are also completely free. Use your memories as a monument to the deceased by telling stories about them to younger generations and by asking friends, family, and other loved ones to share their stories as well. Make these memories more permanent by asking people to write them down in a journey or, for the more tech-savvy, making a video compilation of them telling their memories.
- Cremation Jewelry – Cremation jewelry takes part of the deceased’s cremains and turns it into jewelry that you can wear or carry with you at all times.
- Photographs – Everyone has many pictures of loved ones, so it’s easy to use photographs as a monument when someone you love passes away. Simple framed photos and scrapbooks are equally meaningful and help you remember them.
- Give to Charity – One of the best ways to honor the deceased is to help their good legacy live on through charitable giving. Even a small donation will go a long way toward helping a cause that your lost loved one believed in or cared about.
- Plant a Memorial Garden – Flowers, trees, bushes, and other living things are always a beautiful reminder that life goes on and there can be beauty in the wake of loss. Plant a memorial garden for your lost loved one at home in your yard or work with your local authorities to plant a garden or even a tree in a public place.
These are just a few of the many ways you can memorialize your lost loved one without spending a large amount of money. We are here to help if you want more tips on memorialization or information on Boiling Springs, NC funeral homes.
Planning Green Memorials After Aquamation Services
Eco-friendly memorials and funerals have been on the rise, whether they’re at churches, halls or after aquamation services in Kings Mountain, NC. Everyone wants to do their part when it comes to the environment, and this includes hosting an eco-friendly funeral or memorial service for a lost loved one.
These tips and tricks can offer guidance and inspiration if you want to plan an eco-friendly service for your lost loved one.
Like lighting. If you’re having the service at night or in a dark venue, it can go through tons of energy. Try and use more eco-friendly LED lights to use less energy or invest in candles that you can re-sell or hold onto as keepsakes after the event. You can also host a daytime funeral or memorial and skip the lights altogether. Don’t forget to shop seasonally? If the wake or memorial service will have food, make seasonal produce a priority when planning the menu. Seasonal produce is dramatically less harmful to the environment than out-of-season food and is also easier to get fresh and in bulk. This is because seasonal produce uses fewer preservatives and fertilizers and doesn’t require lots of refrigeration or greenhouse heating. Plus, in-season fruits and veggies are almost always more delicious and flavorful than other options.
You also need to recycle and repurpose. Try using repurposed or recycled items for any decoration you may want for the service or wake. You can easily put together beautiful and meaningful decorations while being considerate of the materials and their sources. Try using clean materials like jute and cotton or make flower arrangements from fabrics to cut back on flower use. You can also choose to use recycled or organic fabrics instead of synthetic ones. Also, shop local. There are a lot of emissions involved when it comes to transporting goods long distances. If you choose local supplies and vendors for the funeral or memorial, you can greatly reduce the event’s carbon footprint. Not to mention that supporting local vendors is great for the local economy and can also save you some money.
What about being mindful of paper? Funerals and memorials use a lot of paper. From invitations to programs, menus, and even fans, a lot of this paper goes into the garbage after the service of over. Make sure the paper products you use are recycled after the event or save on paper items by choosing creative substitutes. Do a chalkboard sign as opposed to programs or send out invitations via email as opposed to postcards. Also, be aware of what you’re burying with the deceased so you’re not releasing harmful or non-biodegradable materials into the environment. Finally, think about the guest list. The more guests you have, the bigger the funeral’s carbon footprint will be. If being eco-friendly is important to you, try and cut down the guest list to a smaller number. Plus, the smaller the guest list the more intimate and respectful the deceased will be.
We are here to help if you want to learn more about eco-friendly memorial services or Kings Mountain, NC aquamation services. Stop by and visit us or give us a call today.