• Unique Funeral for a Unique Woman: The Legacy of Barbara Bush

    Modern funerals can be tailored to fit a unique personality and honor the unique life that was lived. Recently, there have been some wonderful examples of this in the funerals of public figures: notably, former first lady Barbara Bush who passed away in April.

    Although she never held office, the legacy of family she leaves behind is extremely powerful. Her longstanding marriage to President George H.W. Bush has been well documented. He was her first kiss, and their 73-year marriage —the longest of any presidential couple — produced four sons and two daughters. Having lost a daughter to leukemia in childhood, the family pushed through this tragedy and went on to be one of the most powerful families in the United States. While first lady, Bush worked tirelessly to promote the cause of literacy, and at her funeral, her husband wore socks with books on them as an acknowledgment of the work that was so important to her.

    Barbara Bush was a beloved public figure, so it’s not surprising there was so much interest in her memorialization. A public visitation was attended by nearly 8,000 people, with many wearing blue, Bush’s favorite color. The funeral was attended by 1,500 guests, including heads of states, dignitaries, former US presidents and first ladies, and the current first lady, Melania Trump. Political differences were set aside as people came together to honor a woman who was well respected by all.

    The service itself was touching and planned to perfectly reflect the life she lived. Held at her home church, St. Martin’s Episcopal in Houston, it featured a choir singing My Country Tis of Thee. Bush’s pastor spoke, as did her son, Jeb, who read a love letter she’d once received from her husband, George. There were also eulogies by her biographer and a longtime friend. There were tears as well as laughter as family and friends recalled the former first lady’s good-natured humor.

    During the service, an ivory pall graced her casket. At the viewing and after the service, it was adorned with a large spray of her favorite flowers, including pink and yellow roses, snapdragons and hydrangeas. Her eight grandsons were pallbearers, and the final song of the service was Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee, sung by the congregation. Bush was laid to rest in a gated plot at her husband’s presidential library at Texas A&M University, just outside Houston.

    Not every funeral will be as elaborate as Barbara Bush’s, but each can be tailored to honor the unique life that was lived. At Mountain View, we’re happy to help you preplan your end-of-life services. Call 253.948.9895 today to make an appointment with a preplanning advisor, or visit our website for your free preplanning guide.

  • Why is a Reception Important?

    For many of us, being uncomfortable about death means that a funeral service is something to be endured instead of a meaningful time to reflect and say goodbye.

    Some people don’t want a funeral service at all and don’t understand why a reception matters. In reality, the reception can be a vital part of the healing process.

    The funeral itself typically happens very quickly, and the planning can be extremely stressful as family members work through their grief while trying to make decisions they hope would please their loved one.

    Ideally, the service will be meaningful and life-honoring, but it is often so emotional that family members may feel they’re collectively holding their breath until it is over. At the reception, they finally get a chance to breathe and have time to look around and appreciate the people who have come to pay their respects in a setting that’s far more relaxed than the visitation or funeral service.

    The reception provides an important opportunity for connection, serving as a family reunion of sorts for loved ones who may not see each other often. As they come together to support each other in a time of grief, they’ll tell stories about the person who has died. New bonds will form, old connections will be reinforced, and the family will benefit from hearing the memories of others who had a different perspective on a cherished family member. This interaction can help people begin to find closure, and set them on the path toward healing.

    At Mountain View, we understand the importance of a funeral reception. We have beautiful, comfortable reception areas and a wide range of catering options so that you can plan a meaningful gathering. Call 253.948.9895 to learn how we can help you plan a personalized reception.

  • Funeral Flowers: Is It Possible to Get Them Wrong?

    Sending flowers after someone has died is a thoughtful gesture as well as a longstanding tradition. The right flowers are very meaningful and can be comforting to the bereaved family.

    But is it possible to get it wrong when you’re sending funeral flowers? In a word, yes. The missteps people sometimes make include:

    • Sending an inappropriate arrangement. Large standing sprays and showy arrangements are only appropriate if you’re a close friend or family member, or if you’re sending the arrangement on behalf of the company for which the person worked. If you’re an acquaintance or coworker, it’s best to stick with a vase arrangement, flowering plant or gift basket.
    • Forgetting to send a card. It can be hard to know what to say when someone has lost a loved one. It’s important, though, to say something, even if it’s just a heartfelt, “I’m sorry for your loss” or “My thoughts are with you during this difficult time.”
    • Thinking you can only send flowers to the funeral home. Funerals happen quickly after a death, and there are cases in which you might not even know about the funeral until after it has passed. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t still send flowers. They’ll be comforting to the family if you send them to the house after the service is over. In fact, flowers that come to the house are often more fully appreciated after the initial rush of attention is over. Feel free to think beyond cut flowers, perhaps sending a gift basket or a potted plant that can be enjoyed for years to come.
    • Neglecting to think about the person you’re honoring. When you’re ordering flowers, never lose sight of the person whose memory you intend to honor. If you know the person’s favorite colors or flowers, incorporate those aspects into the arrangement. If you are familiar with favorite songs or poems, use a line or two in the card if it’s appropriate. The most comforting thing for a bereaved family is to know that people truly cared about their loved one.
    • Using a florist unfamiliar with the funeral home. It can be tempting to order from a “big box” florist, but local florists who create and hand-deliver fresh arrangements are far preferable to corporations that ship from warehouses. Often, the funeral home will be able to point you in the right direction and may even be able to help you order the flowers.

    At Mountain View, we understand the importance of choosing the right flowers to send to a funeral. We can help you choose the perfect arrangement, and we make it easy to order right from our website . Call 253.948.9895 to learn more.

  • Your Loved One, Remembered: Life’s Journey Biography

    Funeral Home Lakewood

    At Mountain View Funeral Home and Memorial Park, we are committed to helping families honor their loved one’s lives. It’s why we provide Signature Services℠ that allow you to customize end-of-life services in a unique, life-honoring way. With services ranging from musical tributes to keepsake jewelry, one of our favorites is the Life’s Journey Biography.

    We offer Life’s Journey Biography as a complimentary service for families who would like to have a written history of their loved one’s life, along with pictures and video that will evoke happy memories while preserving special memories for generations to come.

    The Life’s Journey Biography is professionally written and based on information we gather from family members and friends of the person who has died. It’s easy to share because it’s presented online as well as hand delivered in a booklet. When you’re planning your loved one’s funeral, be sure to ask your counselor about this meaningful complimentary service. You can also incorporate it when preplanning for your own end-of-life service.

    Preplanning is just another way to ensure that your ceremony truly reflects your life and personality, and it’s easy to incorporate Signature Services℠ that you find meaningful. Preplanning will also make it easier on your family because they won’t be faced with challenging decisions during an already stressful time, and they won’t have to wonder what kind of service you would have wanted.

    At Mountain View, we’re proud to offer unique touches such as the Life’s Journey Biography. Call us at 253.948.9895 to learn more about what we have to offer. You can also visit our website for more information and to request your free preplanning guide.

  • 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.