• A Day Like No Other: Memorial Day at Mountain View

    Memorial Day is an important holiday set aside to honor the sacrifices of the men and women who have died while serving in our nation’s armed forces.

    It began in the days following the Civil War, when there was a push to designate a day to decorate the graves of fallen soldiers on both sides of the conflict. Decoration Day was designated for that purpose in 1868. The term “Memorial Day” began to be widely used in the 1880s, but it wasn’t until 1968 that Memorial Day was officially established as the last Monday in May, honoring troops from all of our nation’s wars.

    Memorial Day is especially important to Mountain View Memorial Park. Established in 1915, this is the final resting place of thousands of veterans, many of whom gave their lives in service of our country. There are five burial sections set aside for veterans, and those who have been honorably discharged are provided with complimentary burial spaces.

    Monuments at Mountain View reflect all branches of the military, and there is a Veterans Memorial on the grounds. In addition to a Garden of Honor, this space holds monuments to Army General John Shalikashvili, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Supreme Allied Commander from 1993-1997, and Army Sergeant Llewellyn Chilson, the second-highest decorated enlisted soldier in World War II.

    Veterans are held in high regard at Mountain View and are entitled to special honors at their funerals, including honor guard members, a flag-draped casket, and a rifle volley. One of the most memorable moments in a veteran’s funeral is the folding of the flag before it’s presented to the family. The meaningful and solemn ceremony in which the flag is carefully folded 13 times is a final honor for a veteran’s life. When the flag is folded on Memorial Day, it is especially reminiscent of this beautiful gesture.

    Mountain View Memorial Park and the Pierce County Veterans’ Advisory Council invite all members of the public to the official 2018 Joint Services Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 28 at 2pm in the Garden of Honor.

    For those who would like to use the opportunity to decorate a veteran’s grave, flowers will be available for purchase on Monday. Free hot dogs will also be provided. For more information about Memorial Day or to learn more about the services available at Mountain View, call 253.948.9895 or visit our website .

  • Signature Services℠: Capturing the Essence of Your Loved One

    At Mountain View Funeral Home, Memorial Park and Crematory, we understand that losing a loved one can be an extremely painful experience. When you’re planning a funeral or memorial, part of working through that pain is creating a service that honors and celebrates the person you knew and loved. Your loved one lived a unique life, and their service should reflect that.

    To help create a memorable end-of-life ceremony, we are pleased to offer a variety of Signature Services SM :

    • Flight Home ® ceremony: This beautiful dove release represents the soul soaring free to greet loved ones who have gone before. A symbol of love, peace, and faith, the dove has been a meaningful part of tradition for centuries.
    • DVD memorial tribute: At Mountain View, we offer the services of a dedicated video designer to create a unique video for your service. In addition to compiling photos, the designer will spend time with your family, striving to truly understand the essence of your loved one’s life and personality in order to design a meaningful tribute. This DVD can include not just photographs but also video clips and sound bites.
    • Internet webcast: Part of what makes a funeral or memorial service meaningful is the gathering of friends and family. If your loved ones are spread across many miles, this can be challenging. Fortunately, we have the technology available to live stream your service so that it’s available from any internet connection in the world. This video stream is available for a year after the service, but we also include two DVD copies of the service with the webcast package.
    • Musical tributes: Do you want an unusual and meaningful musical tribute at your service? Consider having a bagpiper or harpist create an ambiance conducive to reflection and remembrance.
    • These Signature Services SM are just a part of what we have to offer. Talk to us about your ideas for a life-honoring tribute, and we’ll show you how much more we can do to make the day truly memorable.

    At Mountain View, we know that giving your loved one a send-off that truly reflects the unique life that was lived is an important part of beginning the healing process. Whether you have an immediate need because of the death of a loved one or you are planning for the future, Mountain View can help make your service one of a kind. Contact us today by calling (253) 218-1012 to learn more.

  • End of Life Conversations: Why Preparation is a Gift of Love for Your Family

    Too often, we’re uncomfortable talking about death. It’s painful thinking about losing someone we love or imagining them losing us, but it’s important to talk about it and make preparations. When you discuss your end-of-life arrangements with family members, you’re doing something very beneficial, making sure they’re prepared for the inevitability of a final goodbye.

    • Make sure your family knows where your documents are kept. Perhaps one of the most important things you can do for your family is to share the location of things such as your will, legal documents, financial information, insurance policies and other important papers. You don’t know if a time will come in which you’re incapacitated and need someone to take charge. Before you are in a position to need it, create a power of attorney and designate who will be in charge of your affairs.
    • Preplanning is another considerate step you can take for your family. When you preplan, you let your family know your wishes and relieve them of stress. They’ll be free from the guesswork involved in planning someone else’s funeral, and they’ll have the time and space to comfort each other and begin to heal.
    • When everyone is on the same page, you can be confident things will be handled in accordance with your wishes . In addition to providing answers for your family members, preplanning gives you the peace of mind that comes with knowing things will go smoothly, even after you’re gone.
    • Taking the time to preplan reminds us of how precious life is, allowing us to focus on being with our loved ones while we’re still here . No one knows what the future may hold. When you spend some time thinking about your future and how you’d like things handled when you’re gone, it can help you realize how much the people in your life mean to you. Focusing on what will happen after you die can often lead to a greater awareness of what you should be doing while you’re still alive.

    At Mountain View Funeral Home, we make it easy to plan ahead. The compassionate professionals on our staff have the necessary experience to help you create a meaningful ceremony that truly honors the life you have lived. Contact us directly at (253) 218-1012.

  • Don’t Let Later Become Never: Show Love While You Can

    When someone we love dies, we often realize too late how much that person meant to us. At the funeral, we express feelings we wish we could have shared, but it’s better to take the time to express our love and concern while the people we love are still alive. This benefits them, but it also benefits us: they feel our love and we don’t feel as though we are left with unfinished business.

    There are many ways to show the people you love that you care:

    • Write letters and maintain frequent contact. In the modern world, we rely on phones, texts and emails to keep in touch. Although those things can be an important part of communication, it’s also extremely meaningful to have handwritten communication from beloved family members. A thoughtful card or letter can brighten someone’s day and may be something to treasure forever.
    • Set aside a day for whatever your loved one wants to do. Giving someone a full day of your attention makes that person feel special and loved. It doesn’t have to be extravagant or elaborate. A day in the park is a great way to spend time in a loved one’s company.
    • Make time for them on a regular basis. Even if you don’t have a full day to set aside, a regular coffee date or weekly phone call can make a person’s day. Think of ways to create regular moments that bring you closer to those you love.
    • Make a scrapbook or photo album and reminisce . Memories are very powerful, and going through photos is a wonderful way to strengthen the bond with someone you love. It also allows for a deeper understanding of family history through the sharing of stories and family lore. You may discover things you never knew or impart knowledge of your legacy to someone you love.
    • Simply listen. Sometimes the most important gift you can give someone you love is just to listen to what that person has to say. Especially as people grow older, it’s meaningful for them to be able to share their stories with those they love.
    • There are also ways to reach out to younger members of your family who will someday be missing you . You can give attention to older family members who may be lonely, and you’ll get the benefit of hearing their stories and learning about their lives. When they are gone, you’ll have those memories to keep their presence strong in your life. On the other hand, someday you will be gone as well. Sharing your interests, passions, hobbies and stories with younger family members will allow them the same kind of memories of you.
    • Tell your stories. When you share anecdotes from your life, you leave memories of family history that will be cherished for generations. Your stories will become part of the fabric of your family history, retold as years go by.
    • Show up for their events . Being there for the dance recitals, soccer games, school plays and band concerts may not seem like a big deal to you, but it can mean the world to a child or to an important young person in your life. Make the time to be there for these events, and you’ll have a positive impact on their self-esteem. You will also create memories that last for years to come.
    • Instead of leaving things to them, give them away while you’re still alive . Sure, you could leave that necklace and those figurines to your loved ones in your will. How much better is it, though, to see their faces as you offer them these meaningful gifts?
    • Preplan so that your family can focus on grieving their loss instead of guessing at what you would have wanted. One of the best gifts you can give your family is preplanning. Not only does it allow you to plan exactly the funeral service you’d like to have, it also eliminates guesswork for your loved ones.

    At Mountain View Funeral Home, we make it easy to give your loved ones the gift of preplanning. Our caring and compassionate staff will help you plan a truly meaningful service that honors your unique life. Call (253) 218-1012 today to learn more.

  • How Do You Want Your Life Honored? End-of-Life Ceremonies that Reflect How We Live

    In the past, you may have been to funerals that were somber and tense, which may have created some resistance to planning one for yourself. In truth, so much has changed. These days, funerals can be customized to suit the people whose lives they commemorate, which is how it should be. Your life is unique, and it should be honored in a ceremony that reflects the life you lived.

    Anyone can have an end-of-life ceremony tailored to meet their needs:

    • The Veteran : The flag-draped casket, the honor guard at attendance, the three-volley salute and the playing of taps all represent the respect we owe our veterans. A veteran’s funeral is a beautifully moving service, offering an appropriate tribute for a true hero.
    • The Music Lover : From strings and choirs to soloists, harps and bagpipes, the music at a funeral can be a meaningful representation of the person being honored. If you preplan for your end-of-life service, you can choose the music you want, incorporating your favorite hymns and other songs.
    • The Enthusiast : When people are passionate about a hobby, career or activity, it permeates their entire lives. Their reading material, photographs, décor and memorabilia can all reflect their interests and passions. When preplanning your own service, you can work these things in through displays, a video tribute or the designation of charitable donations.
    • The Family Man/Woman : Is your family the central focus of your life? Plan for your family mementos to be displayed, including photos, important religious scriptures, knick-knacks, and other representations of how much your family means to you. You can also decide ahead of time how your beloved family members can take part in the service.
    • The Environmentalist : If you’re eco-conscious in life, you may decide to follow through on your convictions, even in death. A green burial allows for the body to be reunited with nature and can be part of a very meaningful service.
    • The Free Spirit : A dove release symbolizes the soul soaring free, joining with other loved ones who have gone before. Because the dove has long symbolized love, peace and hope, this can be an extremely moving moment in a ceremony, bringing comfort to those who are mourning.
    • The Great Communicator : If you were the person who united people in life, why not plan to bring them together across the miles at your funeral? It’s easier than ever to include far-off friends and family because technology allows for a webcast of the service.

    Ultimately, the sky is the limit when it comes to planning an end-of-life ceremony. The readings and music can be chosen ahead of time, you can designate the people you’d like to participate and you can decide how best to represent the story of your life. Preplanning is a wonderful way to be proactive about your final send-off, giving your family a memorable way to say goodbye.

    At Mountain View, we make preplanning easy. Our experienced and compassionate staff can help you make choices that represent your life and personality in a truly beautiful service. Call (253) 218-1012 or come by to learn more or to request a preplanning guide.

  • How to Talk to Your Family about Preplanning

    Often, people don’t think about funerals until after a loss has occurred. Then, while they’re navigating the unfamiliar terrain of grief, they’re faced with planning a service and making decisions about how their loved one should be memorialized.

    Preplanning is a much more efficient way to work out the details of these decisions, but families are often reluctant to talk about death. Unfortunately, refusal to acknowledge the reality doesn’t make it easier to face a loss once it happens. That’s why it’s important to explain to your family that you want to make your passing less stressful for them through preplanning.

    • Preplanning makes it easier for families to focus on what’s really important . After you die, you don’t want your family trying to muddle through the details of your memorial. You want them to spend their time and energy comforting each other, remembering you and beginning to heal.
    • When you preplan, you can make sure your wishes are known. You can plan the kind of end-of-life celebration you want by picking the music, the readings and even the dress code. You can also add signature services such as a video tribute or a dove release, and choose to display memorabilia that reflects what’s important to you. .
    • Planning in advance protects your family financially. Preplanning is a smart financial move because it locks in today’s prices for a future need. Your death may be many years in the future, but when you pre-plan, your family won’t have to worry about inflation.

    It may be difficult to engage your family in a discussion about preplanning, but it’s important because it allows you to make end-of-life decisions at a time that’s not stressful or emotionally charged.

    At Mountain View Funeral Home, we’re experts at preplanning, with advisors who can help you make a plan that’s right for you. If you aren’t living near us at the time of your passing, your plan is transferable to any affiliated location in the United States. Call us today at (253) 218-1012, or visit our website to request a free preplanning guide.

  • Planning a Veteran’s Funeral

    Veterans dedicate themselves to a lifetime of service and are willing to die for the ideals our country holds dear. That’s why veterans’ funerals should be life-honoring tributes that respect and honor the sacrifices they’ve made.

    Whether the death was related to service or happened years later, there are certain honors to which veterans are entitled.

    • Flag-draped casket : It’s traditional for the casket of a veteran to be draped in the American flag. After the service, this flag is folded in accordance with tradition and presented to the veteran’s family. It’s a moving tribute, honoring the veteran with an important symbol of our nation.
    • Honor guard: Members of the armed forces play a ceremonial role in the service, acting as pallbearers for the fallen veteran. It’s very meaningful to a veteran’s family to see these men and women in uniform paying their respects.
    • Three-volley salute: A rifle party of 3-7 service members will typically fire a three-volley salute. The number can vary, depending on the rank of the veteran. High-ranking officers might have an 11-, 14- or even 17-gun salute.
    • Taps: At the end of a graveside service, a final salute is given, and Taps is performed by a lone bugler or an audio recording, 30-50 yards from the grave site. In some cases, a muffled drum roll accompanies the bugler.
    • Some veterans are entitled to additional honors. A funeral director will be able to help you determine exactly what is appropriate for your veteran.

    At Mountain View Funeral Home, Memorial Park & Crematory, we’re proud of our nation’s veterans. That’s why we honor and respect all veterans for their service, providing honorable and dignified arrangements. Honorably discharged veterans and their immediate family members may also be entitled to discounted or complimentary burial space in selected areas. We can help you plan a service for your veteran with all the appropriate honors and benefits. Call us at (253) 218-1012 or visit our website to learn more.

  • Celebrating a Life Well Lived

    Until recent years, funerals were very somber affairs. People typically wore black. The music was often sad. Long speeches were delivered in solemn tones. If you haven’t been to a funeral in recent years, you might be surprised to learn how much has changed. Today, many funerals focus on celebrating a life well lived.

    If you’re planning a funeral for a loved one, it’s possible to create a memorable and even uplifting event.

    • It’s easy to incorporate your loved one’s personality into the service. Choose music, readings and even a setting that honors the way your loved one lived, spotlighting hobbies, passions and what was truly important to that person.
    • Photos and memorabilia can spark happy memories. By displaying family photos and things your loved one prized, you’ll be reminding others of what they knew and loved about the person. You might even hear some stories you didn’t know.
    • Music that your loved one enjoyed can make the mood lighter. The music at a funeral or memorial can be uplifting. Incorporate your loved one’s favorite song, perhaps even making it part of a video tribute to help people remember and smile.
    • Don’t be afraid to tell funny stories and laugh. The most memorable funerals are often those at which there is laughter. Your loved one’s life was a gift, and sharing memories of that gift can help in the healing process.

    Mountain View Funeral Home, Memorial Park & Crematory has been serving families in this community since 1942, helping plan countless funeral and memorial services. We can help you plan the perfect life-honoring tribute to your loved one. Call (253) 218-1012 to learn more.

  • Grieving When the Relationship was Difficult

    The loss of a family member is always difficult, but when the relationship was troubled, it can be more complicated. You may have complex feelings about the loss. You might be uncomfortable with how the relationship was when the person died. You may feel things were left unsaid and wish you’d had a more time to work through some of the challenges.

    You’re not alone. Here are some strategies for navigating your grief when your relationship was less than ideal:

    • Find someone to talk to. This may be a friend or family member who understands the situation and can help you work through your feelings. It might also be helpful to seek professional counseling. A grief counselor has the experience to help you navigate this difficult time and direct you to a support group where you can find additional help if necessary.
    • Consider rituals or activities to help you work through “unfinished business. ” You might find it helpful to write a letter to the person who has died, expressing things you were never able to say in person. Journaling can also be helpful as a way to put your emotions onto paper. Sometimes writing things down can help you gain a new perspective.
    • Be gentle with yourself. Make sure to practice good self-care, get enough sleep and eat a healthy diet. Don’t worry about expectations about what you “should” be feeling, and remember that grief is unique to each individual. Instead of berating yourself about how you could have handled situations differently, treat yourself as gently as you’d treat another person experiencing this kind of conflicted grief.

    At Mountain View, we’re more than just a funeral home. Since 1989, we’ve reached out to members of our community with grief support services that help people in a safe, supportive environment. We also provide aftercare to the bereaved at no cost. Visit our website to learn more and find resources to help you through this difficult time. You can also call us at (253) 218-1012 to learn about our facilities, preplanning and all the ways in which we serve the community.

  • How a Support Group Can Help Someone Overcome a Loss

    Losing a loved one is always difficult, and it can be very tempting to shut yourself off as you grieve. The idea of hiding in your house, cocooned from the outside world, may seem appealing. However, it’s actually much better to connect with other people.

    Everyone experiences grief differently, but sharing that pain can lessen the burden. Suffering in silence is not the best solution.

    You may have a loving and supportive family or a strong network of friends and community ties. If you already have someone you can talk to about your loss, that’s wonderful. However, if you aren’t comfortable talking to someone you know well, or you feel your family and friends are growing impatient with your grief, you might want to consider a support group. This can be an important part of the healing process because you are surrounded by people who understand what you’re experiencing.

    There are different support groups for different kinds of loss. For example:

    • Widows and widowers: Being with people who are experiencing the same thing can help you navigate your new reality.
    • Loss due to suicide: Talking about suicide can make people uncomfortable, and often someone who has experienced this kind of loss feels isolated or judged. Meeting others who have experienced the same kind of loss can help you find new coping strategies.
    • Loss of a child : The loss of a child is so devastating that marriages sometimes don’t survive. It’s vitally important to find a safe space to talk about your feelings so you can work through them and start to heal.

    We understand that a support group isn’t for everyone. Some people can feel overwhelmed in the face of so much grief, and some can feel pulled down by others’ negative emotions. Others might feel judged or that they’re being given advice that doesn’t apply to them. If the first support group you visit doesn’t seem like a good fit, don’t give up on the idea. Grief shared is grief lessened, and if you can find a group that works for you, it can help you on your own journey of healing.

    At Mountain View, we are committed to helping people heal after a loss. In addition to helping you plan a life-honoring memorial service, we offer a safe, supportive environment where you can connect with others and share your grief. Additionally, our online grief support assures that you’re never alone, but have access to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Visit our website, or call us at (253) 205-8672 to learn more.

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