Reducing Stress When Planning a Funeral

Posted on Mar 12, 2018

Planning a funeral for a loved one can be incredibly stressful and frustrating if you’re not careful. While this process won’t likely be enjoyable, there are steps you can take to reduce your stress level and avoid frustration.

Plan Ahead

The more time you have to plan, the easier it will be. As your loved one begins to age and their passing becomes more and more evident, you can start making preliminary funeral plans. You can even take this time to ask for input from your loved one if you feel like they will be receptive to that kind of conversation.

Don’t Do it Alone

Don’t be afraid to delegate certain tasks to other family members or friends. This will allow others to have their voices and input heard during the planning process and it takes duties off your plate so you don’t feel so overwhelmed.

Ask as Many Questions as You Want

Funeral directors are a great resource to use when planning a funeral. They are particularly good at answering all your funeral related questions, so don’t worry about asking too many. If you’re unsure or curious about something, don’t hesitate to ask.

Talk to Someone

The combination of planning a funeral and dealing with the death of a loved one can take a toll on your emotional state. Cura-HPC offers bereavement counseling for a patient’s family that is available for 12 months after the patient passes. This service can help you deal with the emotions you’re going through and process what you’re feeling.

If you’re looking for a Tulsa hospice provider, call Cura-HPC. 

Making a Legacy Video

Posted on Feb 28, 2018

Thanks to advances in technology, making a high-quality home movie is easier than ever. This means graduations, little league games, family reunions, and Christmas mornings can all be documented and preserved for generations to come. Easy DIY home videos have also increased the popularity of legacy videos.

What is a Legacy Video?

In lieu of a scrapbook, some families have started making short documentary-style movies, called a legacy video, to document their aging parent’s life and achievements. These videos will normally consist of casual interviews with the aging parent, their children, and their friends. It can also include some old photos along the way to illustrate their life.

How to Make a Legacy Video

The first step is to get your equipment squared away. Using your smartphone will be the easiest option, but you can upgrade to a DSLR camera with a video function if you want. Regardless of the camera, you’ll probably want to invest in a good mic and tripod. These two pieces of equipment will make a huge difference in the quality of your video, and you can pick up both for a pretty reasonable price. They even make tripods and mics for phones! Here are some quick tips for shooting great iPhone footage.

Next, you’ll want to make a list of people you want to interview. It’s best to give your interviewees a list of questions and prompts you’ll be asking them ahead of time so they can plan their answers. Scheduling interviews around holidays and family gatherings is an easy way to knock out a lot of interviews in one day.

While you’re working on getting all the interviews, you can also ask people for photos and memorabilia. This can take a while so it’s best to start this process early. Ideally, you’ll want to get photos of the events and stories that are being discussed in the interview.

Now the only thing that’s left to do is put it all together, which isn’t as easy as it sounds. Before you start, it’s best to think about all the stories you’ve heard and try to write out a rough outline of the narrative you want to tell in the video. This will save you a lot of time sifting through footage.

Legacy videos allow families to remember their loved ones after they pass, and they can even help the grieving process. Getting to hear their voice again and learn about all the great things they did in their life can be a great comfort. 

How to Write a Eulogy

Posted on Feb 21, 2018

Fear of public speaking is among the most common phobias in Western culture, often coming in ahead of dying. So the combination of death and public speaking can easily rattle a person’s confidence. When putting together a eulogy, it’s not uncommon to struggle. The good news is that there’s no right or wrong way to start. You can take your eulogy in just about whatever direction you feel. However, it can be helpful to have a bit of structure to follow when putting pen to paper.

Here are a few guidelines you can use to write a eulogy.

Start with the Introduction

It might seem unnecessary, but it’s normally a good idea to start by introducing yourself and defining your relationship with the deceased. Talk about how long you’ve known them and how you met.

Pick a Direction

This can be the hardest step to complete. As previously said, there are a lot of directions you can take a eulogy. You can tell your favorite story about the deceased that you feel best describes them. You can talk about what you admire most about them. Or you can say what you’ll miss most about them. When picking the direction, just ask yourself ‘what’s the one thing I want everyone to know about them?’ Once you’ve answered that question you can figure out what style offers the best solution.

Pick a Theme

Now that you know the style of eulogy you’ll be using, pick a theme. You can use a central theme to tie all the stories, introductions, and images you plan on talking about. The theme could be an answer to a question, the deceased favorite catchphrase, a defining moment in your relationship, or whatever you feel best defines their life.

Practice and Have a Backup

Once you’ve finished writing, make sure to do a few practice runs. It might feel strange, but saying the eulogy out loud at least once will help you iron out any awkward phrasings. No matter how confident you feel the day before, ask someone to be your backup just in case you can’t make it through the entire speech. 

Why We Shouldn’t Compare Grief

Posted on Feb 14, 2018

In an effort to sympathize, empathize, or just relate to grieving friends and family, we often compare their grief to a time in our own life when we were grieving. This process can yield some helpful results such as common ground or lessons learned from past experience, but all too often the results and side effects aren’t great.

When we compare grief it’s very easy to compare timelines as well. We want to compare our grief to others to see if the way we’re handling the current situation, or handled the past situation, was in line with cultural norms. The only problem is that you’re comparing apples and oranges because no two grief stories are the same.

The circumstances surrounding the death might appear to be similar, but the relationship individuals have with the deceased are never the same, nor are the ways our personalities have been conditioned to handle grief.

Say one of three brothers passes away. The other two brothers will deal with the loss in two very different ways, even though it appears they went through the exact same situation. One brother might be closer than the other, one brother might be more naturally prone to depression, and there’s a long list of other factors that contribute to how we process grief.  

Comparing grief can cause us to be frustrated with others who don’t get over it as fast as we do or feel weak because we’re taking longer than others to adjust. Neither situation is conducive to coping with grief, so it’s best to avoid this practice.

Instead of comparing grief, try to focus on the why. Why are others dealing with grief the way they are? Why are you dealing with grief the way you are? You must answer these questions independently of each other. Only focus on one grief at a time. 

Making a Life Book

Posted on Feb 07, 2018

Families often look for ways to commemorate and memorialize their loved one’s life when they enter hospice care. One great way to do this is by creating a life book. These books are made up of a person’s life history, heritage, cherished stories, and advice for posterity. Making a life book not only gives the family a tangible keepsake to remember their loved one by, but the process of putting the book together can also be very therapeutic.

Make the Framework

The first step is to create a loose framework of the outline of the information you want to include in the book. Get a list of questions together and major events you think might paint a good picture of your loved one’s life. Remember, this is just a framework, and you’re likely to find more information you didn’t think of after talking with your loved one, so don’t hold on to this framework too tightly.

Some good general categories to start with are: where they grew up, what their childhood was like, where they went to school, how they met their spouse, what it was like to raise children, what they did for a living, the most important advice they ever heard, the happiest moment of their life, the craziest thing they ever did, favorite hobbies, and how they hope to be remembered.

Start with What You Already Know

Now that you have a framework, start filling it in with what you already know. Once you fill out everything you know, start asking friends and family to help fill in the gaps. This is also a great time to ask others if there are any other bits of information they think would make good additions to the book.

Set Up the Interview

After talking with friends and family it’s time to schedule a sit down with your loved one and talk with them about their life story. You’ll want to pick a time when you can have their full and undivided attention. It’s also a good idea to break up this interview process into a couple meeting so no one gets overwhelmed. Run through your list of questions and carefully write down or record their answers.

Putting it Together

You have two basic options when you’re putting all the information together – digital or print. If your tech savvy enough, you can use a variety of web-based memory book making services. These programs usually don’t charge you to put the book together, just to print it. If computers aren’t your thing, then head to the craft store and stock up on construction paper and scrapbooking supplies. Whichever way you go, it’s best to tell the story in chronological order and try to get as many pictures as possible.