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A Guide to Funerals for Blended Families

Funeral Home Lakewood

In recent years, second and third marriages have become more and more common. This trend has resulted in more blended families, and it’s common for members of these families to have questions about funeral planning and etiquette. Keep reading for advice on attending a funeral service as a member of a blended family.

When You Want Your Children to Attend
In the case of blended families, it’s not uncommon for kids to be invited to events and not the separated parent. If your children have been invited to attend a funeral, but you have not, then start by deciding together if they should attend. If you and your children agree that they should attend the funeral, then consider reaching out to a trusted family member who will be attending the funeral and ask him or her to act as their guardian.

When You Are Invited and Don’t Wish to Attend
Another common situation for members of blended families is to be invited to a funeral service that they would feel more comfortable not attending. If you have been invited to a funeral, but you don’t wish to go, there are still several ways in which you can show your respect to the grieving family. For example, you can send a flower arrangement and sympathy card or make a charitable donation.

When You Are Invited and Plan to Attend
Displaying proper funeral etiquette can be particularly challenging for blended families. Many blended families have at least some tension between some of their members, but a funeral is not the place to argue, open old wounds, or dishonor the deceased and the grieving family because of personal differences. When attending a funeral as a member of a blended family, it’s best to show your respect to the bereaved individuals by setting aside any differences that you and other family members may have.

If you need advice for arranging a funeral service in Lakewood, Washington, then please contact Mountain View Funeral Home, Memorial Park & Crematory by calling (253) 584-0252.

What Is the Difference Between Funerals and Memorial Services?

Funeral Home Lakewood

The terms “funeral service” and “memorial service” are often used interchangeably, but they’re not quite the same. The primary difference between the two is that a casket is often present at a funeral service, but not at a memorial service. A memorial service is usually held after burial or cremation has taken place.

In some traditions, the funeral service is a religious ritual that ushers the deceased into the afterlife. These rituals vary by religion but are often held in a church or temple.A memorial service is typically more casual and personalized than a funeral ceremony and may take place in a funeral home, hall or restaurant. A memorial service is designed to celebrate the life of the deceased and may include religious or secular music, poetry and stories and tributes from friends and family.. While the timing of a funeral may be dictated by religious custom, a memorial service may take place days or even weeks after the death.

Mountain View Funeral Home, Memorial Park & Crematory in Lakewood, Washington helps families design truly unique memorial services for their loved ones. Call (253) 584-0252 or tour the serene grounds of our memorial park.

Take These Steps If You Can't Attend a Loved One's Funeral

It isn’t always possible to attend a funeral service, but you can still provide emotional support to the bereaved family. Order a floral arrangement and send it to the funeral home. Standing sprays and wreaths are always appreciated. If you’re sending flowers to the family’s home, consider sending a floral basket, vase arrangement, or potted plant. If the family is Jewish, do not send flowers to either location, as it is against Jewish custom.

When you watch this video, you’ll hear some more thoughtful ideas for showing that you care. Gifts of food are always welcome after a death in the family. It’s also customary to send a sincere sympathy card.

Visit the online Sympathy Store from Mountain View Funeral Home, Memorial Park & Crematory to send beautiful floral arrangements, gifts of food, or memorial gifts to the grieving family. Or, if you need to arrange a funeral, you can contact our funeral home in Lakewood, Washington at (253) 584-0252.

Tips for Expressing Condolences When You're Not Religious

Funeral Home Lakewood

The nuances of language can be tricky, especially when you’re trying to find the right words to convey your sympathy for someone’s loss. Fortunately, there are plenty of thoughtful, genuine ways to express your condolences without using religious language. Remember that your presence in the funeral home is more important than what you say.

Knowing What to Say
After a death, the bereaved family will hear plenty of people say, “You’ll be in my thoughts and prayers.” This expression is used so often that many people say it without necessarily intending to pray for the deceased or the family. You can shorten it to, “Your family will be in my thoughts.” If you want to avoid using a well-worn phrase, speak something from the heart. If you’re close to the family, you could offer a hug and say something simple like, “I have no words. I’m so sorry.”

Attending a Religious Funeral Ceremony
Attending the funeral ceremony is a respectful and gracious gesture.Even if you’re uncomfortable in a house of worship, you can take a seat toward the back and sit quietly, without participating in prayers. If it’s a Catholic service, expect the congregation to stand, kneel, and sit back down again at frequent intervals. When it’s time for communion, simply remain in your seat.

Providing Ongoing Support
It’s common for the reality of the loss to set in long after the funeral. Be there for the bereaved family. Don’t push someone who is grieving to talk, but do let him/her know you’re there to listen or help. If your friend is a theist and wishes to talk about religious topics, listen attentively and offer a comforting touch. Your friend might ask something like, “I think I felt dad’s presence last night. Do you think I’m crazy?” While not getting into a theological discussion, you can still be reassuring by smiling and saying something like, “I don’t know what you felt but I do know your father loved you very much..”

Mountain View Funeral Home, Memorial Park & Crematory provides thoughtfully designed funeral services in Lakewood, Washington for families from all walks of life. Our personalized memorials can reflect secular values. Reach us at (253) 584-0252 and let us know how our funeral planning professionals can help your family.

What Are the Symptoms of Complicated Grief?

Funeral Home Lakewood

Psychologists recognize both simple and complicated grief. It’s normal for all bereaved individuals to experience very strong emotions that may sometimes conflict with each other. During the funeral planning process, they may feel numb. Later, anger, sadness, and depression may develop. Simple and complicated grief can both begin this way. However, while simple grief tends to diminish with time, complicated grief grows worse over months and years. Simple grief isn’t a mental health disorder, although grief counseling can help. In contrast, complicated grief is considered a mental health issue that can be debilitating.

Depression
The depressive symptoms that begin after the loss typically won’t improve without treatment in a person with complicated grief. Mourners can be intensely sad and bitter. They aren’t able to enjoy life. They might not participate in the activities they once loved, and they may not be capable of performing basic self-care tasks for themselves. If the bereaved individual worked, he or she will likely suffer a loss in productivity and performance, and job loss may result. It’s not unusual for the bereaved individual to feel as though life no longer has any meaning, and that there’s simply no point in doing anything. Suicide ideation is a possibility, and it requires emergency care at a hospital.

Obsessive Thoughts
Obsessive thoughts about the deceased and the way life used to be can afflict the complicated mourner. He or she may be unable to relocate or discard any of their loved one’s belongings. The intense longing may lead the mourner to obsessively daydream about life before the loss.

Physical Changes
Mental health can significantly affect physical health. Complicated grief goes hand-in-hand with chronic stress. Mourners may unintentionally gain or lose weight, lose muscle tone due to lack of exercise, and suffer from malnutrition. They might not sleep enough or sleep too much, and they are more susceptible to illnesses.

Grief support services are available in Lakewood, Washington, from Mountain View Funeral Home, Memorial Park & Crematory. Our online grief counseling is available 24/7, and we also invite bereaved families to attend our support groups. Call our funeral home at (253) 584-0252 to inquire about current group meetings.

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