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1 02, 2018

Overcoming Grief: Moving Forward Without Letting Go

When a loved one dies, it can be hard to imagine life without them in it. But somehow, life continues whether you are ready for it to or not. This fact is never more present than when we start a new year. But how do you move on when you’re grieving the loss of a loved one?

Moving on doesn’t mean letting go

When you are grieving it’s almost impossible to imagine life without your loved one. But as the days go by, you’ll see that daily activities resume, and people seem to be going about their lives. Work responsibilities return, children’s school and extracurricular activities require your involvement, birthdays and holidays are celebrated, trips are planned. Life is continuing without your loved one.

For many, there tends to be guilt tied to moving on. But continuing with your life doesn’t mean forgetting. It’s simply learning to live without that person in your everyday life and taking their memories with you. It’s your chance to pay tribute to your loved one and honor them as you begin the healing process of living without them.

You take their memories with you

While life continues, your desire to stay put can be stronger than ever for fear that you will forget not only the loved one you’re grieving for, but the way you lived your life with them in it. But part of the healing process tied to moving on is learning to live again – happily and productively.
It’s important to remember that while their constant presence will be gone, their memory and the love you shared will always remain. These memories and feelings will provide you the strength you need as you begin the next chapter of your life.

You do it in your own time, in your own way

No matter if your loved one died 4 years ago, 4 weeks ago or 4 days ago, the healing process is different for everyone. Some may be ready to take the next step into their new life sooner than others. There is no timetable and no rule telling you when to move on. Only you will know when you’re ready, keeping in mind that moving on doesn’t mean that your grief or pain is gone. Some days will be easier than others and some days will be especially challenging. The grief process is about learning to live again, and it doesn’t happen overnight. It’s more about moving forward […]

1 12, 2017

Top Ten Tips for Surviving the Holiday Season

How can you get through the holidays after the loss of a loved one?

The holiday season is a time typically spent with family and friends. While usually seen as a joyous occasion and a time to reconnect, for those who have lost a loved one the holiday can also be a challenging one.

For those who are experiencing the loss of a loved one, the holidays seem to compound the grief and the sense of loss. How can you get through the holiday season without your loved one?

Every person grieves differently. The holiday season can bring this grief to the forefront. But one thing you should remember, especially during this time of the year, is that you’re the only one who can decide how best to handle your grief. Here are some tips that might make things a little bit easier:

1. Socializing may be the last thing on your mind. Sometimes being around those who care about you can help in the grieving process. Other times, being around family and friends without your loved one present can intensify the pain. You may choose to attend some events and not others. You may go to an event, only to leave immediately after your arrival. Whatever decision you make, don’t be too hard on yourself as there is no wrong decision.

2. Remember your loved one with a prayer or dedication. Light a candle in their memory.

3. Decide how you want to spend the holiday – do you want to keep with tradition or create a new one.

4. Shop early or shop online. Not only will this keep you out of the stores, where the holiday spirit is all around you, it will also take away some of the stress and anxiety tied to the holiday.

5. Tell a story or share a special memory. When you try to forget, it tends to only make things worse. Most likely you will not be the only person thinking of your loved one and the stories shared can help in the healing process.

6. Alter the routine – holidays are steeped not only in tradition, but repetition. Families tend to do the same types of things every year. Try something different this year and mix things up a little. It will take some of the pressure off everyone who is trying to re-create an event that will never be the same again.

7. Remember that you are not alone. […]

27 10, 2017

Choosing Cremation Over Burial

Cremation is gaining popularity in the United States. Every year, more and more people choose cremation and this year, for the first time, more than half of all deaths in the United States ended in cremation at 50.2 percent.

Why the change? Why are more people than ever choosing cremation over burial? There are many reasons for the changing trend, but the biggest shifts can be tied to changing attitudes toward memorial services, religion and costs.

Changing Views Toward Cremation
Many families are moving away from traditional funeral services and moving toward more joyous events celebrating the life of the deceased, often called a “celebration of life”. A recent CNN story reported that the number of people wanting a complete funeral with visitation has declined from 26.6 percent to 14.1 percent in just the last 3 years. Families who once mourned the loss of a loved one in a religious ceremony now may opt to honor their family members with a small private ceremony at a favorite restaurant or in their own home. Not to mention, families aren’t as tied to an area as they once were, so the family burial plot seems to have lost favor and been replaced with an urn as a better way to keep family members close by.

Religious Acceptance of Cremation
Many religions have long found cremation to be an acceptable, and even preferred practice.  Several eastern religions have long cremated their dead.  But for many, cremation has only recently been accepted into their religion; and with that acceptance, the increase in cremations. The Catholic church has seen a steady increase since it was given the cremation green light in 1963.

Affordability
Cremation can be a much simpler, more cost-effective choice. There are less costs involved than with a burial that requires a casket, embalming, the plot of land and other services as well. While you can add to the costs of a cremation when you purchase additional items such as a niche, which is like an indoor vault for an urn, at its simplest, cremation is typically the lowest cost approach.

Other Cremation Considerations
Geography also plays into the equation when choosing cremation. The top three states to choose cremation in 2016 all favor this choice by more than 70 percent — Washington (76.4%), Nevada (75.6%) and Hawaii (74.3%). Why western states? According to the National Funeral Association, it goes back to looser religious ties, higher education rates and the transient populations […]

29 09, 2017

Walk. Run. Celebrate.

Lightbridge 5k

Accu-Care Cremation is proud to be a sponsor of this fundraising event. In its 9th year, the Lightbridge 5k raises critical funds to support the foundation’s hospice programs in the San Diego area.

Hospice Care

Hospice provides terminal patients with the support and care they need as they are nearing the end of their lives. It also takes the healthcare role out of family members’ hands, a job that they all too often aren’t prepared to provide.

Hospice Care Options

There are a wide variety of hospice services that help reduce the burden and relieve the pain and stress that comes with a terminal illness. Hospice patients are cared for by teams of doctors, nurses, social workers, aides and volunteers around the clock. Individual programs are planned to maximize the comfort of every patient. The care is compassionate and nonstop.

Community Support

The LightBridge Hospice Community Foundation in San Diego is an organization that provides additional hospice services and programs that are not typically provided by Medicare and other insurance providers. Some of the unique patient programs include:

Simple Gifts – Fulfilling dreams and wishes

Veteran Honor Ceremonies – Recognizing patients for their military service to our country

Integrative Therapies – -Providing supportive music, pet therapy, aromatherapy, etc.

Music and Memory Therapy – Bringing personalized music to those challenged by dementia and other diseases that cause cognitive impairment

Day of Respite – Giving care to caregivers

Care for Those in Need – Providing for those who otherwise have no hospice benefit

Find out more about this organization, their efforts and the important role hospice provides patients and families in their greatest time of need.

7 06, 2017

Funeral Etiquette 101

There is a first time for everything and attending your first funeral comes with many questions.  What is the appropriate attire?  Should you bring a card or flowers?  Where should you sit? There are often more questions than answers and the last thing you want to do is embarrass yourself or your family at this somber occasion.

Much of what determines appropriate etiquette following the death of a loved one or the loved one of a friend or family member is your relationship to the deceased.  Your role in the family’s life will dictate what is expected of you.  A simple phone call may be all that’s needed, or you may find yourself helping the family with the arrangements.

Call, Don’t Text: If you are not very close to the family or the deceased, a quick phone call is a simple and appropriate way to offer your support and condolences.  You might wonder what you should even say when you call.  Your best move is to simply say you’re sorry for their loss, and offer your support.  Don’t be over the top with grief, but also don’t rush off the phone.  Be sure that you don’t keep the person on the line for too long keeping in mind they have many important matters to handle.

Express Your Condolences in Person: If you are fairly close to either the deceased or their family, it’s a good idea to pay a visit to the family.  You can bring food, but it’s not required, and if you are going to bring food, ask ahead of time what’s needed.  Too often families find themselves in possession of more than their refrigerator can handle.  Fifteen minutes should suffice to extend your condolences for their loss.  That said, if you are a close friend of the family, you might pitch in, help put out food and make tea or coffee to help relieve the burden of hosting for the grieving family.

Public vs. Private Services: Funerals can be either public or private and you should never try to attend a private funeral to which you are not invited.  Remember that funeral services are about the deceased and their family’s wishes, so being respectful of their choices is most important.

Be Early: You should always try to arrive about 15-20 minutes early to the funeral.  Few things are more embarrassing for you and distracting to the family, than walking late into a […]

19 04, 2017

Handling Social Media Accounts Following the Death of a Loved One

There are many questions after the death of a loved one, and a new issue over the past several years is how to manage the social media accounts of the deceased. The average American internet user has more than 5 social media accounts, leaving us asking who is responsible for managing or closing these accounts after death?

There is no simple, straightforward answer, but in most cases, the executor of the estate is responsible for handling the decedent’s online or digital assets. These accounts are generally considered assets and are treated like any other, putting their management in the hands of the executor. You should research your specific state to understand the laws and guidelines for where you live. Another great resource is your funeral coordinator or attorney.

Each social media network has its own guidelines. Here are the basic guidelines for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube, along with links to their respective help pages.

Facebook

Facebook offers you the option to memorialize or delete your loved one’s account. A memorialized account is kept open for friends and family members to leave comments and remember the deceased. The word “Remembering” is shown next to the person’s name on their profile, and the account is secure because no one can log into it.
If you prefer to remove the account, Facebook does require documentation to prove that you are an immediate family member or the executor of the estate. The fastest way for Facebook to process the request is by providing the death certificate, but there are a number of other documents the company will accept. You will need to prove your relationship to the deceased, as well as prove their passing.

Twitter

Twitter does not offer the option of memorializing the deceased’s account, but you can have it removed. Like Facebook, you have to prove that you have authority to remove the account, and also that the person has passed away. The company provides a form that you complete, and then contact you with more instructions and how to submit the required documentation. You will need to give them your ID, and typically a copy of the death certificate.
LinkedIn

LinkedIn

LinkedIn also has their own form to complete for the account of someone who has died. They require several pieces of information, most of which are simple to provide such as the person’s name and your relationship to them. They also like to know the deceased’s […]

14 02, 2017

Understanding Veteran Cremation Services

The period following the death of a loved one is a difficult time.  There are many decisions to be made, and navigating all the options available to honor the life of a veteran can be confusing.  That’s where Accu-Care comes in.  Planning a funeral or memorial service for a veteran who has chosen cremation comes with its own set of questions, our veteran’s specialists will help guide you through the process.

What cremation benefits do veterans receive?

The specific benefits awarded a veteran vary based on several factors including the years of service, and whether they died while on active duty or after the completion of their service.  Accu-Care’s specialists explain these benefits with compassion and respect.

The cost of a cremation and an urn is not covered by veteran’s benefits, nor is transportation.  For those families who wish to have a grave marker, that is provided, however, a spot for placement is only provided at a national military cemetery.  Placement of a military provided grave marker at a private cemetery may come at an additional cost.

Where can military honors be performed?

Many families who choose cremation question where exactly they can have military honors bestowed upon their loved one.  The good news is that the honors can be performed just about anywhere.  Accu-Care can assist with all the arrangements to ensure your veteran receives all the honors their service deserves.

Honors include the playing of Taps and the presentation of the flag by a representative of the veteran’s branch of service.  Accu-Care helps arrange these items and others such as scheduling and obtaining your Presidential Certificate.

Why is Accu-Care my best option?

A former marine who served in the middle east operates Accu-Care and has a deep understanding of how to provide the compassionate and respectful service veterans and their families deserve.  We guarantee the lowest cost cremation services in the Southern California and Arizona areas and have worked closely with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs for over 20 years. We allow you to focus on what’s most important, grieving your loved one. We manage the details of arranging the cremation and military services.

We have specialists available 24 hours a day to answer your questions and ease the transition for you and your family.

17 10, 2016

Funerals in 2016: Not An Ordinary Black Attire Service

Funerals in 2016 are more than your ordinary black attire services. According to Funeral One, the “Baby Boomers see funerals as a “crowning” performance and that means you’ve got to set the stage for them to celebrate life.” Funeral Director and Writer, Thomas Lynch, once wrote, “a good funeral gets the dead where they need to go and the living where they need to be.” Funerals today are more interactive and far from your ordinary funerals that we are accustomed to. These interactive funerals allow families to feel more involved in the celebration of their loved one’s life. The healing process begins sooner when you allow families and friends to engage in the services.

Great examples of interactive funerals are memorial stone stations, where family and friends can write their names and a small message to honor their loved one. These stones can be used to help the family heal as well as they can place the stones in a garden or somewhere close to them in their home. From Lego caskets for kids to adding Band-Aids to a nurse’s casket to commemorate her life and service to her patients, themed funerals are growing every day. And the decorating of caskets is just the tip of the iceberg.

Themed funerals have become more popular in 2016; in Townville, SC people arrived dressed in superhero costumes to Jacob’s funeral. According to Fox News, Jacob’s family had a blue casket decorated with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle stickers and a bright floral spray on top included large Ninja turtles and Captain America figurines. A man dressed as Batman led a prayer rally in memory of the six-year-old, Jacob Hall. Friends and family were all able to engage in this themed funeral, again opening the doors to healing and commemoration Jacob’s life.

TLC’s reality series “Best Funeral Ever” in January 2013, reported on the death of a man who loved the holiday season which was inspired by a Christmas-themed funeral featuring dancing, reindeer, snow, and a coffin on a sleigh, in Dallas, TX . These types of funerals can turn into an entire production with rehearsals and actors which are usually family and friends. Themed funerals help the healing process for those in mourning.

More people are asking to be life-like posed at their funerals. “In April, Mickey Easterling, a New Orleans socialite who passed away at the age of 83, was celebrated one last time […]

1 09, 2015

What Is A Direct Cremation?

As evidenced by the rapidly increasing popularity of cremation, most people possess at least a familiarity with the practice. Where we at Accu-Care Cremation & Funerals find confusion enters into the conversation is when they must decide between a traditional cremation and a direct cremation. Today, we will discuss direct cremation and how it may be the best option for your friend or loved one.

As a friend or family member of one who is recently deceased, the end-of-life arrangements may have fallen to you. Never is this more true than when, for whatever reason, preplanned arrangements have not been made. It is in this situation that most people begin their research and learn about direct cremation and its many benefits over a traditional cremation.

To begin, a direct cremation is usually preferred for individuals who live in a location different than many of their family members. Due to the logistics in having distant family members and loved ones travel out for a traditional cremation ceremony and memorial, it is usually easier to opt for a direct cremation and then later transport the remains to a more accessible location for a memorial service at a later date.  […]

22 08, 2015

The Increase of Cremations For Members of Our Fur Families

It is true that we at Accu-Care focus our attentions on attending to families and individuals who require an immediate cremation for a friend or family member who had not preplanned their own cremation arrangements. However, we are addressing in this blog post a cremation trend that is growing, not just here in the United States, but across the globe. More and more people are choosing cremation as a way to keep their pets with them after they have died.

According to the Cremation Association of North America, an advocacy group that highlights the advancement of cremation in Canada, Mexico, and the United States, the pet memorialization market is one of the fastest growing segments of the industry in both Canada and the United States. As demand continues to increase for this service, more and more traditional cremation providers are exploring if and how they should responsibly offer it as a service they provide.  […]