cremation services in Penn Township, PA

Ideas for Out-of-Town Memorial Guests

It’s common for memorials after cremation services in Penn Township, PA and other locations are much more than one-day events. This is especially true if people are traveling from out of town for the service. But the question is: how will you occupy everyone’s time beyond the memorial itself? After all, you want your friends and family to have a nice time while they travel, even if it’s for a somber event like a memorial. There are tons of different activities you can set up for your funeral service guests before or after the service itself, such as these ideas.

Try shopping at local shops or hitting an amusement park. Bring guests to a local mall, shopping area, main street, or wherever there are lots of fun and unique stores and boutiques. Who doesn’t like a little shopping? This is a good idea because everyone will get some time to explore on their own plus pick up a souvenir or any last-minute items they might need for the service. You can also try taking in the arts. Out-of-town visitors almost always enjoy art and history. Plan a trip to a local art gallery or museum so your guests can enjoy the arts. Try an art museum or science museum, antique shop, or art gallery.

Got lots of time? Why not try and take in all three! What about picnics or local foods? Most towns have lovely local parks full of sunshine, green grass, and shady trees that just scream picnic. Have your guests pack their own lunches and then tell everyone to meet at a certain area of a local park for a picnic, some relaxing, and even a few lawn games. After busy days of shopping and sightseeing, your guests will probably be hungry. Set up reservations or make recommendations for all the must-eat restaurants and bakeries in the area so everyone can refuel and treat themselves to something delicious. If there’s an amusement park in your area, be it a Universal Studios or a Six Flags, your guests will be in for a nice break from grieving and thinking about the loss. Even if everyone doesn’t like rollercoasters, amusement parks generally have other kinds of activities and attractions like shows, carnival games, and even face painting.

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See a show! Who doesn’t like live theater? If there’s a theater in your area, set up a night where everyone goes and sees a show. Bonus: many theaters offer group discounts, so try and buy all the tickets at once. If there’s no live theater in your area, go see a movie instead. You can also go on hikes. People will want to stretch their legs and get some activity in while they’re traveling or grieving. So, plan a hike! Choose a nearby trail or walking path that’s not too difficult so everyone can participate.

These are just a few ideas for activities you can do with your funeral guests from out of town. Do you want more tips on Penn Township, PA cremation services? We are here to help. Call or visit us today to learn more about what we can do for you in your time of loss or of preplanning.

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What Do You Know About Embalming?

Whether you’re having a cremation or a service at a funeral home in Ponte Penn Township, PA, it’s helpful to be aware of the basics of embalming.

Embalming is the preservation of human remains to slow decomposition and disinfect the body. The process is thought of as both an art and a science as it requires great skill and experience. Bodies are usually embalmed so they’re suitable for a viewing before a cremation or funeral service. They are also used to preserve bodies for medical purposes, whether for a laboratory or a medical school.

Embalming is frequently required by state law or funeral home regulations. Some states legally require refrigeration or embalming if a body is not cremated or buried within a certain period of time after a death, while other states leave the requirements up to the funeral homes. While the exact laws and regulations vary, best practices are to bury or cremate a body within a few days of death or embalm it.

There are two main kinds of embalming, arterial and cavity, but both are usually used in the standard embalming process. Arterial embalming involves removing the blood from the veins and replacing it with the embalming solution. In other words, the blood is flushed out of the veins and arteries by the fluid. Cavity embalming is when the internal fluids are removed with tools called trocars and aspirators. While each embalming expert might have his or her own preferred technique, here are the general steps of the embalming process.

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The first step is to wash and disinfect the body. The embalmer will also massage the arms and legs to ease rigor mortis and perform any necessary shaving. Next, it’s time to set the features. The embalmer sets the body’s features by closing the eyes and positioning the mouth. The eyes are often held shut by plastic caps and the mouth is usually wired or sewn shut. The next step is to inject the embalming fluids and cavity embalming.

An incision is made in the right common carotid artery and the right jugular vein in order to pump about two gallons of a formaldehyde solution through the body. As the solution is injected, it pushes the blood out of the veins and into a drain attached to the jugular. Bodily fluids and remaining gas are removed from the internal organs, like the bladder, intestines, and stomach, by a suction hose and a trocar. 

A trocar is an instrument with a three-sided point attached to a tube for removing fluids. After the fluids are removed, the embalmer injects embalming fluid to preserve the body and help it hold its shape. Finally, the embalmer then closes up any incisions made in the embalming process, gives the body a bath, and then dresses it. After about 24 hours, he will return to seal the incisions with a bonding adhesive to prevent leaks, apply makeup, and fix the hair. 

Do you have more questions on embalming or Penn Township, PA funeral homes? We’re happy to offer our expertise and compassionate services. Call or visit us today to learn more about what we can do for you in your time of loss or of preplanning. 

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What is Abbreviated Grief?

Did you know there are different kinds of grief? Whether you’re planning a funeral or a cremation service in North Versailles, PA, you should be aware of the different kinds of grief and how to handle them, like abbreviated grief.

Abbreviated grief, like the name signifies, is mourning that doesn’t last a long time. Though its short, or abbreviated, this kind of grief isn’t any less real than other kinds. Abbreviated grief is most common when there isn’t a close relationship with the deceased or when there’s an immediate replacement of the deceased. For example, it can occur when a widower remarries quickly after the death of his spouse, or when a distant relative dies.

It can also occur after a terminal illness because of a phenomenon called anticipatory grief, which is when you do part of your grieving before the person actually dies so you don’t grief as long after a death. Here are some fast facts about abbreviated grief to help you better understand and cope with your own loss.

To begin, children often feel abbreviated grief. Its normal for children to feel abbreviated grief depending on their age and relationship with the deceased. Also, abbreviated grief is grief. While this kind of grief may not seem real or standard, it’s still very real and does happen often. Plus, everyone grieves differently.

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Abbreviated grief can affect your health. No matter how short or long, grief has been shown to affect health by causes issues like increased blood pressure, poor sleep, physical aches and pains, trouble concentrating, and even heart palpitations. There is no shame in seeking help for physical grief manifestations. Though abbreviated grief is short you still need to remember to take care of yourself. Eat, sleep, and exercise if you can, as keeping your body healthy will make it easier for you to feel better. Also, feeling your grief is always best. While it may be very tempting to numb your grief and pain with drugs, food, alcohol, or distractions like work, it’s always best to feel your feelings. It might be uncomfortable or painful, but you won’t be able to properly heal if you don’t allow yourself to truly grieve.

It’s important to note that you don’t need to lose a loved one to grieve. People can experience abbreviated grief, and other kinds of grief, after a loss that isn’t a death. These can include divorce, loss of a friendship, job loss, or learning you can’t have kids. Finally, don’t feel pressure to prolong your grief or feel guilty over the length of your grief.

Everyone mourns differently and in their own time, so don’t feel pressure or judgement because of how you feel. Remember, everyone grieves in their own unique way and in their own unique timeframe. Don’t compare your grief to someone else’s or judge another person for the way they mourn, even if you or they are dealing with abbreviated grief.

Do you want to learn more about grieving or about North Versailles, PA cremation services? We are here to help. Call or visit us today for more information on what we can do for you in your time of loss or of preplanning.

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Last Wishes Documents

Your last wishes are your requests for what you want done after you die, generally regarding funeral or memorial arrangements and final disposition, and a last wishes document is how you can tell your loved ones what you want done after you die, from a cremation service to a funeral at a funeral home in North Versailles, PA.

Everyone dies eventually, so, no matter how uncomfortable it might be, it’s a good idea to be as prepared for the eventuality as possible. It’s always best to tell your loved ones about these wishes in addition to writing them down. That way you can make sure they understand what you want, and they can ask any questions they may have. Here are some common last wishes questions and their answers to give you more information on these important documents. 

To begin, what should you include in a last wishes document? Your last wishes can include anything you want, including funeral or cremation preferences and plans, body disposition preferences, obituary information, messages to your loved ones, requests for your final days, and personal information like where your will is. Some people also choose to include what they want for the time leading up to their death as well, like who they want to see, if they want to pass at home or at a care facility, or even what they want their surroundings to be like in a last wishes document. 

Are last wishes the same as a will?  Last wishes are not wills. Wills are legal documents that deal with your estate, belonging, or finances, while last wishes are non-legal documents that deal with the funeral or service arrangements. It also does not make sense to include your last wishes in your will as the will is generally read after the funeral, thereby making your last wishes useless.

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Are last wishes legally binding? Last wishes documents are not legally binding, but most family members or loved ones at least feel morally obligated to see your wishes done. How do you make a last wishes document? You don’t need to do anything fancy to write down your last wishes. The document should include your name, the details you want your loved ones to know, and who you want to tell them to. It can be a few sentences or several pages, typed and printed, or just written down in a notebook.

Just be sure it’s kept in a safe place and that the people it addresses know about it and where it is. Is a last wishes document the same as an advance directive? Advanced directives are legal documents that details someone’s wishes when they are terminally ill. Last wishes are not legally binding and deal more with how you would like to be remembered, what you would like to say to your loved ones, and other practical things.

It’s always best to be prepared. Do you want to learn more about last wishes or North Versailles, PA funeral homes? We are here to help. Call or visit us today for more information on what we can do for you in your time of preplanning or of loss.

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Can You Have Pallbearers with Cremation Services?

While pallbearers are traditionally used when the body is buried in a casket, people can choose to have pallbearers carry the casket at a funeral before a cremation service in Monroeville, PA They can also carry or walk alongside the urn before or after a memorial service.

Were you asked to be a pallbearer for someone’s service before or after a cremation service? Here’s everything you need to know about pallbearers in order to help prepare you.

  1. How Many Pallbearers are There? While there can be as many or as few as desired, there are traditionally six to eight pallbearers. If there are six, three stand on each side of the casket. If there are eight, the extra two stand on the front and back.
  2. Who Can be a Pallbearer? Pallbearers can be anyone the bereaved or deceased choose. However, they are usually close family or friends like siblings, older children or grandchildren, colleagues, or friends. And yes, women can be pallbearers even though it doesn’t happen very often.
  3. What is a Pallbearer? A pallbearer is someone that helps carry or officially escorts a casket during a funeral or service. Their duties traditionally consist exclusively of carrying the remains from the hearse to the church or funeral home before the service, and then back into the hearse after the service. If the remains are to be buried or inurned, the pallbearers also carry them from the hearse to the final resting place.
  4. How Heavy is a Casket? Caskets can weigh as little as 60 pounds up to 400 pounds or more depending on the type of casket and the size of the remains inside. For example, pine caskets generally weigh about 150 pounds, while mahogany can weigh up to 250. Metal caskets, on the other hand, can weigh between 160 to 200 pounds depending on the kind of metal and the metal gauge.
  5. What Is an Honorary Pallbearer? An honorary pallbearer is someone who will not actually carry the casket but is still recognized in some way. This title is usually used for older friends or relatives who might not be able to physically carry the casket. Sometimes people even choose to have deceased friends or family members as honorary pallbearers, as they don’t have to carry the casket or even be physically present to have the honor.
  6. What Should Pallbearers Wear? Its best for pallbearers to dress conservatively, ideally in a dark suit and tie, dress, or pantsuit. However, be sure to wear clothing that is comfortable enough for you to move and lift in. Don’t forget to wear flat or low-heeled shoes so you don’t trip while carrying the casket.

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As intense or scary as this job seems, being a pallbearer is not as overwhelming as you might think. We are here to help if you have more questions about pallbearers or Monroeville, PA cremation services. Call or visit us today to learn more about what we can do for you in your time of loss or preplanning.

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All About Body Processing After a Death

As troubling as it might be to consider what happens to a body after death, this information is good to have if you’re planning a cremation or a service at a funeral home in Monroeville, PA.

Here is a breakdown of what happens to a body after death, from death pronouncement to final decomposition.

  1. Pronouncement of Death – The death pronouncement is when the person is officially declared dead by a medical professional. It can be different from the actual time of death as sometimes doctors are not present when the person actually dies. Instead, the death pronouncement is given after the doctor examines the body and determines that passing has occurred.
  2. Body Transportation – After a death, someone has to notify the funeral home or cremation provider and then have someone come to the place of death and transport it to the funeral home or cremation location.
  3. Preservation – There are several ways bodies are preserved before a cremation service or funeral including refrigeration and embalming. Bodies are kept cold with ice, dry ice, air conditioning, or refrigerators. They can also be traditionally embalmed or eco-embalmed, which is a method that does not use formaldehyde.
  4. Various Memorial Events – Most people choose to have some kind of memorial event for their lost loved one. The most traditional events are viewings, visitations, and wakes. A viewing or wake is when the embalmed body is present, and a visitation may or may not have the body present. Viewings and wakes are also generally more religious than wakes. There are also traditional funerals, which are services in which the body is present in a casket. Funerals are also usually religious events held at funeral homes or churches. Families can also choose to less traditional and host a memorial. Memorials are services at which the body is not present, either because the body was cremated or because the body was already buried.
  5. Service Before the Final Disposition – The body’s final disposition is where the body will be put to rest. Whether the body is buried or interned in a tomb or mausoleum, the service for final disposition is called a committal. When a body is cremated and placed in an urn or scattered, the ceremony is called a cremation ceremony or a scattering service.

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Next comes the final disposition. There are many different ways to put a body to rest, but the most common include burial and cremation. Bodies can be buried in the ground at a cemetery, above-ground in a mausoleum, entombment in a lawn crypt, or naturally buried in other locations. Final disposition options for after cremation include cremation with burial in a cemetery, above-ground burial in a columbarium, scattering of ashes, and inurnment with the urn kept at home. There are also alternative disposition methods such as alkaline hydrolysis, burial or scattering at sea, and body preservation.

We are here to help if you want to learn more about the process or Monroeville, PA funeral homes. After all, this is just a short explanation of what happens to a body after a death. Call or visit us today for more information.

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Do You Know How a Body Prepared for Cremation?

Learn the different steps a body goes through, from processing and identity verification, to be prepared for a cremation service in Penn Township, PA after the death of a loved one. Here are all the details of how a body is prepared for a cremation:

  1. The Funeral Home or Crematory Picks Up the Body – After the death, the funeral home or crematory of your choice will usually pick up the body and bring it to the funeral home or crematory. Once there, it will be placed in a prep room or in refrigeration.
  2. Planning the Service – The bereaved will then meet with a funeral director or cremation provider to plan a service, if desired, and determine the cremation details. During this time, the body is kept in a refrigeration unit between 36 and 39 degrees to slow decomposition. If the deceased or bereaved chose direct cremation, the body will stay refrigerated till the cremation. If they chose a public viewing, the body will be placed in a prep room for embalming.
  3. Preparing the Body – The cremation provider will prep the body by removing all jewelry, pacemakers, or medical devices in order to prevent melting or explosions during the cremation process. Jewelry is returned to the family and medical devices are often recycled or returned to the family. If the family or deceased chose direct cremation, there is no other preparation required. If the family chose a public viewing, the body will be embalmed, bathed, dried, dressed, and put in a casket.
  4. Verifying the Identity – A family member or next-of-kin will complete and ID Verification form after preparation to signify that the body has been properly identified and is ready to be cremated or viewed at a service. Each facility and state have different procedures, but your funeral director or cremation provider will walk you through each step.
  5. The Cremation Itself – After the body is identified and after any chosen service, the body is then placed in a cremation container. Cremation containers can be solid wood caskets designed for cremation or corrugated cardboard boxes also designed for cremations. The cremation container with the body inside is then put into the cremation chamber and heated between 1400 and 2000 degrees for about two hours. Some crematories allow family members to view the cremation itself. If you wish to view the cremation, speak with your provider.

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After the cremation, the remains are cooled for about an hour and then processed through a machine that grinds the remaining bones into powder. These powdered remains are returned to the family in an urn of their choice or in another kind of container.

We are here to help if you want to learn more about the cremation process or Penn Township, PA cremation services in general. Stop by and pay us a visit or give us a call today for more information on what we can do for you in your time of loss.

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Must-Read Pallbearer Tips

A pallbearer is someone that helps carry or officially escorts a casket during a funeral at a funeral home in Penn Township, PA. If you were asked to be a pallbearer for someone’s funeral or service before a cremation service, you need these tips for serving as a pallbearer for guidance and inspiration. Hopefully these tips will help you calm your nerves and make sure you are ready to take on this honor:

  • Wear Sensible Shoes – You really don’t want to trip when carrying the casket. Be sure to wear sensible shoes that will help keep your feet firmly planted on the ground and will be supportive when you lift the casket.
  • Being Nervous is Normal – It’s true that all eyes will be on you when you carry the casket, so it’s OK to be nervous. Just follow the instructions, breathe deeply, and you’ll be alright.
  • What Does a Pallbearer Do? – Pallbearer’s duties traditionally consist exclusively of carrying the remains from the hearse to the church or funeral home before the service, and then back into the hearse after the service. If the remains are to be buried or inurned, the pallbearers also carry them from the hearse to the final resting place. Here are more tips:
  • Turn Off Your Phone – It would be horrifying to have your phone ring during the service or, even worse, when you’re carrying the casket. Turn off your phone completely or leave it in your car or at home.
  • Consider Your Attire – Pallbearers need to dress appropriately. Unless the bereaved specify otherwise, men should wear dark, solid suits with white shirts and conservative ties, and women should wear dark pantsuits or dresses.

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  • Be Prepared to Lift – The main job of a pallbearer is to lift and carry the casket, so prepare yourself. Remember, it’s OK to turn it down if you’re asked to be a pallbearer by can’t physically do the job.
  • Stay Back and Support the Family – Don’t rush out as soon as the service is over. Hang around for a bit to offer support, comfort, and assistance to the family.
  • Follow Instructions – Always follow the instructions of the family, bereaved, and the funeral direction. This is true even if you’ve been a pallbearer before or have different ideas of how things should go. It’s not your time to shine, it’s your chance to be respectful and honor the deceased.
  • Be On Time – You need to arrive at the funeral home or service location at or even before the time specified. This way you can be as prepared as possible and not rushing or worried after a late arrival.
  • Serving as a Pallbearer is an Honor – Being chosen as a pallbearer means that the bereaved trust you and care about you. It’s a privilege, so do your best to treat the honor with dignity and respect.

Do you need more guidance when it comes to pallbearers or Penn Township, PA funeral homes? We are here to help. Call or visit us today to learn more about what we can do for you in your time of loss or of preplanning.

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Preplanning Questions to Ask Your Loved Ones

It never will be easy to talk to your loved ones about their after-life plans for cremation services in North Versailles, PA. Though it’s impossible to be completely prepared for the death of a loved one, you can be somewhat prepared by having a plan. Even though talking about death is never easy, these conversations are essential. When you’re ready to have the discussion, you can use these questions to help guide you and make sure you get the information you need.

To begin, ask if they have a will. According to a study done in 2020 by Trust & Will, only 32% of all adults have a will or living trust, and only 36% of adults with children under 18. Wills are vital documents that make sure a person’s last wishes are followed in the event of their death. Create a will with your loved ones, or make sure that they have one of their own, and keep it in a safe but accessible place. You also need to ask about financial information. Financial institutions are strict about giving people access to other people’s accounts, even if they are a spouse or close relatives. That’s why it’s important for your loved ones to have their financial information written down so that you know where it’s kept. They should include sources of income and liabilities, accounts receivable, bank accounts, real estate, assets, securities, and personal property.

You should also discuss how they would like to be celebrated. Perhaps the most important part of the after-life discussion is how your loved ones would like to be remembered and celebrated. Do they want to be buried or cremated? Have a funeral, memorial, or celebration of life? Asking about this now ensures your loved one’s wishes will be honored after their death. Ask about who will take care of their pets and what you should do with their online accounts. Most people love their pets like children and will therefore have specific wishes as to how they should be cared for upon their death. Make sure these wishes are written down in a safe place. Some people choose to keep their online presence as a digital memorial upon their death, while others would prefer that their digital presence is removed. Either way, make sure you have a list of their online accounts and passwords so you’re able to carry out their wishes when they pass.

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Don’t forget to ask about Powers of Attorney or Health Care Powers of Attorney. Power of Attorney is a document that gives a designated person the power to make legal decisions for another person if they become unable to make them for themselves. A Health Care Power of Attorney does the same, but for medical decisions instead of legal ones. These documents can be essential if your loved one is getting older or suffering from cognitive disorders like Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia.

We are here to help if you have more questions about preplanning, or would you like more information on North Versailles, PA cremation services. Call or visit us today.

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Summertime Wakes After Funeral Home Services

With everything from gorgeous weather and bright sunshine to vibrant flowers, summer wakes can be truly beautiful and meaningful, summer wakes after services at funeral homes in North Versailles, PA is very popular. However, the summer also comes with variables that can quickly turn a wonderful wake into a disaster, like thunderstorms, heatwaves, and lots and lots of bugs. Here are some tips for planning a summer wake that will help you enjoy all the benefits of the season without fear of any pitfalls.

To begin, make a backup plan. If you still want to have your wake service, scattering event, or other kinds of meaningful moments to honor the deceased outdoors, you definitely need a backup plan in case of rain or other problematic weather. Think about where you can have the ceremony if you have to move things inside or get creative with other solutions like umbrellas or fans. What about serving cooling refreshments or skipping the soup course? Most wakes these days start in the heat of the day, so your guests will want something to cool them down when they arrive and during the service itself.

You could also host the wake indoors. Indoor wakes are always a safe bet, but especially so in the summer. You don’t have to worry about pesky bugs swarming the food, heavy rain turning the greeting line into a mud pit, or an unexpected heat wave sending your guests in search of air conditioning. You can also give out helpful handouts. Think about helpful favors or handouts you can hand out to your guests to help them beat the heat, like fans or koozies to keep drinks cold. You can even order programs that list the agenda for the wake service that double as fans.

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Try serving cooling welcome refreshments right when the guests arrive so they stay comfortable and cool for the service and into the reception. Many people choose to serve food at the reception following a lost loved one’s wake. While a warm bowl of soup might be delicious, it doesn’t really work with the summer season or the summer heat. Instead, opt for more summer-friendly dishes like salads, fresh fruit, or a cooling gazpacho.

You can still enjoy parts of the wake outdoors to take advantage of the beautiful season, but having the reception inside will save you a lot of headaches and worry. One of the best parts of summertime is the abundance of bright, colorful flowers and rich greenery. Summer is the perfect time to go overboard with florals, especially when you’re bringing the outdoor feel indoors for an indoor reception after an outdoor wake service. You can also ask your florist about what’s locally in the season to save some money on the centerpieces, flowers for scattering, or other florals you may want for the wake.

We are here to help if you want to make your lost loved one’s service the best it can be or do you want more information on North Versailles, PA funeral homes. Call or visit us today.