The Living Urn is a concept born of the life cycle. It is specifically designed for families who choose cremation.  These tree pods house your loved ones cremated remains and come with a young tree to be planted in the ara of your choice.

You are able to choose which type of tree you would prefer based on the area

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that you intend to plant the tree. Here in Tennesse, we are given the option of about 20 different breeds of trees that grow in our climate well.

The biopod urn can be purchased in advance, and the tree ordered later at the time you would prefer to plant.

These trees can also be planted in some cemeteries, in our area both Polk & Pinecrest Memorial Gardens allow them.

If you would like more information on our Living Urns, please contact us.

 

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Living Urns

Turning Your Loved One’s Facebook Account into a Memorial Page

imagesWe have often been asked how does social media know when someone has passed? Or, how do you turn Facebook into a memorial page for a loved one?  We have included in this blog a step by step video and directions attached at the bottom on how to do just that.

 

 

Courtesy of Facebook:
Memorializing the account:
Memorialized accounts are a place for friends and family to gather and share memories after a person has passed away. Memorializing an account also helps keep it secure by preventing anyone from logging into it.
If Facebook is made aware that a person has passed away, it’s our policy to memorialize the account. Learn more about what happens to a memorialized account.
Please keep in mind that we can’t provide login information for someone else’s account even under these circumstances. It’s always against Facebook’s policies to log into another person’s account.
To report a profile to be memorialized, please contact us.
Removing the account:
Verified immediate family members may request the removal of a loved one’s account from Facebook.

VRISM

 

What is VRISM  and how does it affect you? The Tennessee Department of Health has undertaken a project to upgrade the system our state uses to maintain death, birth, marriage, and divorce records.  The project, called (VRISM) stands for Vital Records Information System Management will result in a user-friendly system that allows for electronic communication between the Tennessee Office of Vital Records and those partners who help to register vital events that occur in Tennessee. The new system is a web-based, electronic system and will replace the predominantly manual, paper-based process currently in use.

 

The new system will significantly reduce the time between the occurrence and registration of vital events.

Via: https://www.tn.gov/health/health-program-areas/vital-records/vrism.htmldeath-certificate-state-by-state-default-750_41

 

This information, of course, is straight from the department of vital records. See article above for the entire explanation. While the system will be of great use to funeral directors and families it is currently going through new launch pains.  State trainers are working hard to train funeral home staff as well as doctors. However, it has been proved to be slow and flawed. While some funeral homes use it, some doctors do not. It has caused an untimely lag in the production of death certificates.

The state has the best of intention for this program and is our hope in the next few months it continues to improve.  As for the moment, however, there is to be some expected downtime between the funeral home submitting a death certificate, and it returned signed.

This can be a problem when preparing paperwork for cremation. While a death certificate does not have to be certified we do have to have signed copies and permits in place to do the cremation.

In the future requesting all vital records forms will not only be more accessible for the funeral homes but also for the families they serve. In the meantime, the transition will continue to take time to be done correctly.

 

 

Think about the major life events you’ve celebrated: weddings, births, anniversaries – at the center of it all is usually food that brings comfort and invokes memories.

Despite this, we have found some Columbia families are surprised to learn that in addition to our funeral home facilities, we also have our own reception center – the Blevins Hall Reception Center. When we tell families this is an option for them with a funeral, we often hear the question: Why would a funeral home serve food?

There are a number of reasons why we decided to offer receptions. First of all, we knew it would be a space our community could put to use for many life events. With its resort-like décor, our neighbors in Picture1Columbia use it for family reunions, holiday parties, or professional events. Since we can seat 80 inside and up to 120 people when using our “rain or shine” covered patio with an outdoor fireplace, it’s the perfect space for nearly any event. And if you choose to have a non-funeral related event here, we can make a separate entrance into our reception center available to your guests. Looking to host a larger event like a wedding? We can accommodate up to 300 by utilizing our chapel as well.

But beyond what Blevins Hall Reception Center means for the community, it means so much more for families saying farewell to a loved one. Here are just a few of the reasons why families say they appreciate the convenience of our on-site reception center:

Stress Relief
Since we’re there for families in the first moments after a death, we have seen firsthand the kind of pressure they face during the planning stage. By offering a beautiful and comfortable reception area, we make it easier for them to gather without having to worry about booking a restaurant for a large group or cooking for a crowd. We wanted to be able to handle every detail for families from beginning to end – whether it’s the menu, dishware, set up, linens, and beyond. Having our own reception facility allows us to take care of your family.

There’s something about sharing food that brings people together and provides comfort. It can even change your mood. Having a reception before or after the visitation or service gives you a moment to connect with others who loved your friend or family member and talk, remember, laugh, and even cry together. It also gives you the chance to connect with family and friends that perhaps you have not seen in some time.

Use a Reception to Tell Your Loved One’s Story
Imagine serving your grandfather’s favorite meal – barbecue brisket and slaw– or treating your guests to your grandmother’s famous chess pie, and then passing out recipe cards afterward. Playing a moving video tribute on our 80-inch televisions. And our state-of-the-art A/V system, including microphones, make sharing your thoughts a little bit easier. Want to host a champagne toast? We can help you make that happen. Just a few more ways a funeral reception can help you tell your loved one’s story.

Thank Your Support System
People can come from all over Tennessee, and even the country, to pay their respects to a family member or friend. Sharing a meal is one way to thank them for their support and let them know how much their presence is appreciated.

We have helped thousands of Maury County families plan their funeral service ahead of time, and we always encourage them to consider including reception services in their 2plans. It’s a wonderful gift of love to give to your family – relieving the burden of entertaining their guests as they grieve your loss. It also gives you the chance to express your own personality. Whether you’re the type of person who prefers an elegant, sit-down dinner, or a simple “coffee and cookies” type gathering, the expert hospitality team at Williams Funeral Home & Crematory can make it happen for you and your family.

We invite you to tour our facilities any time by viewing our virtual tour online. But really the best way to see it is in person. Stop by anytime – we always have a fresh pot of Starbucks coffee on, and we’d love to share a cup with you.

Find Joy – and Healing – in Eating Together

Do kids belong at funerals?

We here at the Williams Funeral Home are asked many questions about what children should or should not be involved in when it comes to funerals. For many reasons we hesitate to give answers to those questions because there are many opinions about what may be right or wrong about the effects on children. What we can do however are share some ideas that we have read.

July 1, 2015 –Reblog from the Washington Post

imrs(Photo credit to Jamie Davis Smith)

The same feeling socks me in the gut every time I walk into a wake or make a shiva call:  “I don’t want to be here. This is sad and uncomfortable.” Then my heart and my head take over, and tell me, “You should be here. Take care of the mourners. Honor the deceased.” And that I know how to do, because I’ve been attending funerals since I was a small child.

My children’s great-grandfather passed away last week at age 90.  Just as surely as we took our 9, 7, and 4-year-olds to visit him (though not enough – it’s never enough), we took them in hand to Great-Grandpa’s wake and funeral.

Why?

·        My kids got to see their extended family at its best and closest: telling stories, crying and laughing together, holding hands. The family was a strong, united One over those days, and we were part of that One. My children belong to something bigger than our little family of five.
·        They have a chance to see their relatives as whole, complex people. They can learn to empathize, and to provide comfort, instead of seeing Nana only as the bearer of fun and gifts. She had a Daddy too. It was hard for my children to see her sad, but it was also inspiring to see her strength.
·        Children provide hope. Immediately before the funeral, we made our last prayers at the casket and gave Great-Grandma hugs.  As my wide-eyed 4-year-old tumbled towards her for an embrace, Great-Grandma exclaimed, “Precious girl!” and she meant it. Sometimes we need to see something whole and young and perfect when there is sadness all around us, and that’s what a (well-behaved) preschooler can offer at a funeral.           ·        They don’t need to be protected — usually. Kids know about crying. Many of them do it every day. Usually we want them to stop, because it’s uncomfortable for us, and we very badly want our children to be happy. But hard feelings are important too, and we can learn to guide kids through feeling sorrow and discomfort and coming out okay on the other side of those emotions. I would think carefully before bringing my children to an especially tragic funeral, perhaps one for a child or a young parent – something that could be truly frightening – but the funeral of an older relative? This sadness they can manage, and it will strengthen them.
·        They need practice with funerals. Nobody likes them, but they have to happen. Wakes and funerals can be foreign territory with their singular requirements for etiquette, dress, and behavior.  Better to get practice early, when it’s someone the child isn’t as close to, than to layer a sea of funeral-manners confusion on top of truly deep mourning. Just a few months ago, my kids stopped with us at the wake of a quiet, kind man our family knew from church, just to quickly pay our respects. The children didn’t really know Elmer, but they learned what to do and say, and because we’d gone to his viewing, Great-Grandpa’s body wasn’t the first one they’d seen in an open casket.                                                             ·        In learning about death, children learn to treasure human life. My kids’ normal experience with death is throwing a dead tree in a brush pile or squashing ants on our kitchen floor. Perhaps some families also have small goodbyes for beloved pets. But the elaborate ceremony and seriousness of human funerals says something else:  This is different, and this is big. We are not trees or ants. In respectful loss, we pass to children a reverence for the irreplaceable gift of each human life.
·        Funerals connect generations, past and future. Great-Grandpa was a World War II veteran, and uniformed Navy came to his graveside and performed a beautifully moving flag ceremony. It ended with a presentation of the flag to Great-Grandma, and the heart-stopping words: “On behalf of the President of the United States, the United States Navy, and a grateful nation, please accept this flag as a symbol of our appreciation for your loved one’s honorable and faithful service.” Afterwards, I reminded my 9-year-old that in 80 years, he will be able to tell his grandchildren the story of honoring his great-grandpa who served in that important, tragic war that will then be 150 years past.  He was just as awed as he should have been by this fact.

It’s not easy going to funerals, nor taking kids to them. But it is not our job to make our children’s lives easy, and it is our job to parent and guide through the hard things too. You can do it, and so can they.

 

 

Original Article can be seen here.

 

 

 

Vatican: Don’t Scatter Cremation Ashes, And Don’t Keep Them At Home – By Rebecca Hersher

We will post a follow-up blog about niches, and columbarium burial and why we believe like the Catholic Church does that burial is best even if cremated.

gettyimages-525487949-41962c3b6826a0b070ccdf63a738d4f5ee6f16ba-s800-c85.jpgThe columbarium where cremated remains are kept at Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.Godong/UIG via Getty Images

The Vatican has issued new guidelines recommending that the cremated remains of Catholics be buried in cemeteries, rather than scattered or kept at home.

“Following the most ancient Christian tradition, the Church insistently recommends that the bodies of the deceased be buried in cemeteries or other sacred places,” state the guidelines released Tuesday by the Vatican.

The guidelines do not represent a change the church’s overall policy on burial and cremation, but rather underline “the doctrinal and pastoral reasons for the preference of the burial of the remains of the faithful and to set out norms pertaining to the conservation of ashes in the case of cremation” in light of the increasing popularity of cremation in many countries, according to the introduction of the document.

Cremation has been steadily growing in popularity in the United States. According to the Cremation Association of North America, an industry group for cremation-related businesses, nearly half of all people who died in 2015 in the U.S. were cremated, up from about a quarter in 2000.

The newly articulated ash norms include not storing human cremains in the home and refraining from scattering ashes “in the air, on land, at sea or in some other way … in order that every appearance of pantheism, naturalism or nihilism be avoided.”

The creation of jewelry and other ash-containing mementos is also explicitly prohibited by the guidelines.

Since its founding, the Roman Catholic Church as an institution has always preferred burial to cremation. For periods, cremation was outlawed entirely. However, since the Second Vatican Council, the official position of the church has been that cremation, while not preferable, is also not banned.

The new recommendations reiterate that policy, quoting the church’s canon law in stating: “The church continues to prefer the practice of burying the bodies of the deceased, because this shows a greater esteem towards the deceased. Nevertheless, cremation is not prohibited, ‘unless it was chosen for reasons contrary to Christian doctrine.’ ”

Reasons contrary to Christian doctrine, the church says, include “a denial of Christian dogmas, the animosity of a secret society, or hatred of the Catholic religion and the Church.”

“The Church raises no doctrinal objections to this practice, since cremation of the deceased’s body does not affect his or her soul,” the guidelines continue, “nor does it prevent God, in his omnipotence, from raising up the deceased body to new life.”

 

Reblog: To see the original content  Click Here

 

The Funeral Crowd. What should you say or not say?

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Reblog from the Coffeelicious by Pratima Sutar

How do you console someone in the time of death? People always seem at a loss of words whenever confronted by these situations. A few of the responses I heard….

“Its okay. You will get over it. Life goes on.”

This is the tried and tested phrase used for all kinds of losses when you are trying to cheer someone up. Somehow, it is horribly inappropriate during a funeral and even imagining that as a way to console someone riles me up. Obviously, death is not okay. And yes, I will get over it in the future but that person is not going to be a part of my or anybody’s future. That’s what I am sad about.

“I’m sorry for your loss.”

A downpour of sympathy. This statement evokes only one feeling. Utter helplessness. Facing a sudden loss is like someone slapped you in the face and didn’t even bother to wait and watch how you took it. You are still reeling with the shock of it and simultaneously accepting condolences from everyone. You just nod along to such responses because they don’t really mean anything to you at that moment. But they do help you. They act as a balm for the shock and help the actuality to sink in.

“Be strong. What will happen to xyz if you are so disheartened?”

 

This is usually being said to the spouse/children of the deceased, in reference to each other. I can understand the whole intent behind this statement and the kind of self sacrifice it demands. In other words, they are asking you to fast-track your grief. A subtle reminder that your responsibilities are doubled now. Come through fast before this horrible reality catches up and starts mutilating other aspects of your life.

The harsh reality either pains the bereaved so much that they are howling for it to stop or has numbed them into silence with a vacant look in their eyes. Something about watching that entire scenario makes me tear up, which has nothing to do with the deceased. After all, it didn’t affect me so when the body was actually laid on the pyre and lit up. It is the state everybody is left in. Some are still in the primitive stage of denial. Some are left wondering, how will life ever go on again? And all this while, a few brave ones are already picking up the pieces of their shattered lives….

Why Do People Send Sympathy Flowers To Funerals?

Reblog from funeralone by Rilee Chastain

 

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It’s a gesture so tried and true that we never even think to question it… When someone loses a loved one, their friends often show love and support by sending flowers. Flowers and funerals have gone hand-in-hand for ages, and the simplest explanation is that it’s tradition—sending sympathy flowers is just a nice thing to do. Flowers add something beautiful to a difficult situation when they decorate the service and casket.

But why do we do this, really? Why flowers instead of, say, warm baked cookies or balloons or nothing at all? What purpose do flowers serve, and do they actually do any good at all when someone is grieving the loss of a loved one?

As it turns out, there’s more to this time-honored tradition than, well… tradition alone. Sharing sympathy and support in the form of flowers actually does go a long way.

The History of Funeral Flowers

It won’t be shocking to hear that gifts and gestures of support are helpful to people in their time of sadness and need. It’s an almost instinctual response to someone else’s grief. As it turns out, this compulsion to send flowers for a funeral dates back longer than the modern calendar. A 1951 cave excavation in Iraq revealed that people have been buried with flowers possibly as long as they’ve been buried at all.

This may very well be because flowers speak a language that the English language can’t always convey. Where words fail us—or we, as humans, fail to find acceptable words—a gesture of giving flowers fills in all the gaps. For example, lilies are most commonly associated with funerals, because of their elegant yet unobtrusive shape and aroma and the symbolism we have come to attach there. White blooms in particular remind us of purity and innocence which we hope for our loved ones after their life is lived.

The Healing Power of Flowers

In more contemporary research, a Rutgers University study found that gifted flowers have an immediate effect on a person’s mood, triggering happiness and feelings of satisfaction. Flowers reduce stress, and help to usher in a period of healing. It’s no wonder they go hand-in-hand with funerals, which are so crucial in the healing process after losing a loved one!

Flowers also represent support, compassion, sympathy and friendship. Sending flowers to a person navigating loss—whether an initial loss or the anniversary of a tragic day—helps them feel supported, know they are cared for by friends or family, and reminds them that their hardship is not theirs to bear alone. Flowers add beauty and elegance to moments of tragedy, and there is little quite as life-affirming as the scent of a fresh bouquet coming into bloom.

But the tradition of sending flowers extends beyond the decoration of the funeral home or memorial site, and beyond the day of the service. Sending flowers to say “I’m thinking of you,” “You’re in my thoughts,” “You are not alone in your grief,” and “I know you’re in need of some support right now” is a gesture that can be made any day of the year, long after burial and healing has begun. Because the truth is, losing a loved one is never forgotten, and support is always helpful in navigating life after loss.

And do you want to hear the most amazing thing? “People who live with flowers report fewer episodes of anxiety and depressed feelings,” according to psychologist Nancy Etcoff, Ph.D. of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. It really is a small, inexpensive gesture that goes so far in aiding the healing process after loss.

 

 

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When Suffering Ceases To Be Suffering

Tom Neal PhD – Jan 19, 2016

 

I was speaking the other day with man who was sharing with me his recent struggle with serious depression.  He said that the most difficult part of depression is the loss of a sense of meaning in life.  “It’s as if the whole world is suddenly drained of all its color and seems to be just grey, flat,” he said.  “And the future, well it just evaporates.  The word ‘tomorrow’ just seems like fog; like a fantasy that is not real.”  He said that when he finally got help, and found the support he needed, and things got better, he suddenly realized what he had been missing.  “Hope. That’s what I saw I’d lost.  When you don’t believe the next day, or any day, will ever be better, you just don’t have anything to hope in.  So you think, what’s the point?”In his once-popular book, Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl said, “In some ways suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning, such as the meaning of a sacrifice.”  One of the greatest gifts faith in God offers is a sense of meaning that transcends the ups and downs of life.  And that meaning gives birth to hope.  For those faith traditions that hold faith in an afterlife, hope can give a sense of trust and peace in knowing there is life beyond death.  But faith can also remind us that the greatest meaning of life is for the here and now, not just for later.  Faith in a provident God laboring to draw good from every evil opens the possibility of hoping against hope when all seems lost; of discovering redemption in the seemingly irredeemable.  Faith in such a just and merciful God defines a meaningful life as one lived for others, making a life of love to be the measure of all things.

Allowing for the welcoming of one’s faith into the dying process, Five Wishes opens up a sacred space for discovering hope-filled meaning at life’s end.  Instead of surrendering to the dark void of meaninglessness, the sufferer can surround herself with the networks of support and sacred symbols that sustain faith in a God who speaks light into the darkness and life into death.

The acquaintance I spoke with of his depression, referring to the role played by his faith, “Even at my darkest point, I had my faith.  I knew God was with me.  For all my Good Fridays, I’ve got just as many Easter Sundays.”

Tom Neal, PhD is Academic Dean and professor of Spiritual Theology at Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans, Louisiana and author of the popular blog Neal Obstat.

Re-blogged From 5 Wishes; by Tom Neal, PhD

When Suffering Ceases To Be Suffering

4 Ways To Think Outside The Box When Honoring Loved Ones

Funerals and memorial services should be more than a series of speeches. Here are a few out of the box ways to make a funeral as unique as the life lived.

“I was supposed to live to be 102 and be shot by a jealous husband,” one man’s tombstone reads. Another’s says, “Here lies an atheist. All dressed up and no place to go.” And a psychic’s reads, “I knew this would happen.”

It’s not disrespectful to be creative, even funny, when dealing with end of life matters. In fact, it’s likely to help cope with the grief.

Obituaries don’t have to be dry or formulaic. “After 96 years of laughing, loving, shouting, learning, teaching and building, Henry passed away,” began one in the January 31st issue of The New York Times. The writer described the deceased the way a good author constructs a character – showing, rather than telling. It went on to say, “Although he over salted everything, he managed to live to 96.” In these simply, short lines, we truly got to know Henry and understand why he will be missed.

That’s what a funeral service should truly do – tell the amazing, personal, detailed story of a person’s life. This means both the good, the bad, the funny and the sad moments. And sometimes, it means that you have to go out of the box to truly honor the life lived.

Focus On Moments That Will Kickstart The Healing

A 68 year-old woman was grappling with what was to say at her mother’s funeral. Their relationship had been strained until the last few months, when the 92 year-old matriarch finally gave her daughter the approval and love she’d craved.

When it came time to prepare her mother’s eulogy, she thought back on their relationship and she knew what she would most like to hear to help her heal and move forward… she didn’t sugarcoat her mother’s memory. “I will be grieving the mother I had these last few months,” she told the small gathering, “and I learned that it’s never too late to make things better. I intend to use my remaining years to do that with my own children.”

Their eyes filling with tears, her two daughters stepped forward and linked their arms through hers, remaining that way while the 23rd Psalm was recited. Instead of simply paying tribute to the dead, the eulogy served to communicate with the living and launch a healing process. Reminded by death that time is finite, we may be inspired to forgive and ask for forgiveness.

When It Comes To Memories, Show, Don’t Tell

Funerals, wakes and memorial services should be more than just a series of speeches. Photos, videos, music, activities, and personalized products can all make a service distinctive. Here are a few out of the box ways to make a funeral as unique as the life lived:

1. Share the loved one’s prized possessions

Are your families often concerned that they will be too choked up to speak? If so, suggest that they begin the service with the favorite song of their loved one. For example, a family who lost their grandfather played the Yiddish songs he’d loved at the start of his service. Not only was this a great way to inject his personality into the service, but the family also had some extra time to reflect and compose themselves before the eulogy.

 

Another great way to add some personal elements into a loved one’s service is share the things that meant the most to them – literally. If in the eulogy you talk about what a great cook grandma was, give everyone a copy of her famous lemon cake recipe after the service. This helps to add a personal element into the service that will really help everyone reflect on the meaningful moments in a person’s life, and it will help their legacy live on.

2. Make the loved one the star of their funeral

If the loved one was the center of the party in life, why not help them be the same at their funeral? “Extreme embalming” is not widely available and may be too offbeat to have wide appeal, but many families have used this unique service as a way to truly make their loved one a part of their own funeral. For example, one flamboyant New Orleans woman got to attend her own funeral, having been embalmed and posed sitting at a table with a glass of beer and cigarette, a disco ball glittering above her head while another, an 83 year-old socialite was similarly done up with a pink boa and holding a glass of champagne. Others have been placed on a favorite rocking chair, motorcycle and in a poker game.

3. Lay loved ones to rest in a personalized way

Was grandpa or dad an enthusiastic handyman? Help your families really become involved in the funeral service by having them embrace their loved one’s do-it-yourself-mindset, and share with them this YouTube video that teaches them how to build their own coffin. Or maybe their loved one had another hobby that they were enthusiastic about, like music, skateboarding, ballet or bible study. One British company called Crazy Coffins will create a quirky final resting place that truly reflects the life lived, whether it’s a coffin shaped like a guitar, a Bible, or even their favorite sports car.

And just because your families may choose to have their loved one’s cremated doesn’t mean that they can’t personalize their final resting place. Une Belle Vie creates beautiful urns that resemble a resin handbag, which is perfect for fashionistas. Another company, Personalized Urns, works one-on-one with families to choose colors and photos that best represent their loved one (and even their pets), to turn an ordinary cremation urn into a mosaic work of art that tells the story of a life lived.

4. Create memorials for all friends and family – not just those at the funeral

Because of the fast-paced nature of funerals, not every family member or friend has time to take off work or arrange travel to their loved one’s funeral…. especially when family members are spread across the country. This is why there is a great need for services that bring outside family and friends into the funeral service itself. Life Tributes’ webcasting software allows you to share the private viewing of memorials happening at your funeral with those all around the world – over the internet, in a safe secure location. The webcast can even be uploaded to the loved one’s tribute page on your website, alongside obituary information, messages of support and their Life Tribute video – creating a complete and lasting memorial page that family and friends can forever look back on.

Reposted From – Source: funeralOne Blog » Blog Archive 4 Ways To Think Outside The Box When Honoring Loved Ones

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