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.

 

 

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.

 

 

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

How the movie inside out offers important lessons for grieving children and adults

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Inside Out Offers Important Lessons for Grieving Children and Adults

Originally posted by Whats your grief

If you’re wondering whether Pixar’s newest movie Inside Out will make you cry, the answer is maybe. I know because I saw it a few days ago, thanks to Discount Tuesdays at the local movie theater and two very bored children (we’re on week two of summer vacation people, things are not looking good).

I’m not a particularly weepy person save for the occasional down day, random reminders of my deceased mother in the grocery store, when I get all the way home before realizing I picked up the wrong carry out order, and when watching an especially rousing musical number. So you see, I only cry for the best most important reasons.

Being the tough girl that I am, I didn’t think Inside Out would make me cry. I managed to hold strong for about 95% of the film, but there was this one part….well…I won’t spoil it for you, but it made me very sad. My 5-year-old noticed the tears running down my face and immediately notified her 8-year-old sister. Obviously, they were both horrified. For the remainder of the movie every time something even remotely sad happened my kids would sneak looks at me, making sure I had myself under control. So yes, you too may cry in front of your children and that’s okay.

I typically don’t like writing about movies, but the message of Inside Out is so spot on for anyone who’s experienced a loss or gone through a tough transition that I almost feel like covering this movie is in my job description. Before our adult readers dismiss what I have to say, I want you to know this movie falls among a handful of movies that transcend what you typically expect from animated movies.

On the surface these movies are made for children with their beautiful animation and funny characters, but on a deeper level they really effectively tackle themes and issues around growing up (Inside Out, Toy Story), death, loss, and grief (Up, Big Hero 6), and even existential themes (that’s you again, Toy Story). In doing this, they often allow grown-ups to see these concepts from a younger more innocent perspective in ways that are thought-provoking, disarming, and profound.

I’m horrible at summaries and synopses (that’s the plural of ‘synopsis’, I looked it up), but I want to convey to you why this movie is great for children who’ve experienced losses of any kind. I’ll try not to include many spoilers but proceed with caution if you want to see the movie with completely fresh eyes.
There are different emotions and they have names

Even adults can struggle to name their emotions from time to time. In my experience, children are seldom cognizant of the ebb and flow of their feelings or the idea that they have many different emotions rattling around in their cute little brains. Inside Out is essentially told from the perspective of the main character 11-year-old Riley’s emotions who are personified as the characters Joy, Fear, Sadness, Anger, and Disgust.

Of course humans experience a broader range of emotions than just these five, anyone who’s been through grief can attest to that. The director and his team had to identify a few key emotional players so they called in an expert psychologist, Paul Ekman, who helped them hone in on their main characters. These characters represent 5 of the 7 emotions which Ekman says have universal facial signs (the two they excluded were surprise and contempt).

Despite an incomplete line-up of emotions, the movie, which depicts the emotions interacting with one another from a control center in Riley’s mind, helps to frame the emotional juggling act that occurs inside our brains and how emotions can influence our perceptions, actions, and reactions.

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Sad is not bad

This is an actual plot line, not some abstract concept that grown-ups pick up on if they’re paying attention. For the majority of Riley’s life, the emotion Joy has been in the driver’s seat. As she grows older and moves away from her childhood home, to the horror of all the other emotions Sad starts coloring some of her memories. Everyone wants Riley to be happy, even Sad, and the emotions all believe they need to protect her from sadness and pain at all costs. So, as they always have in the past, the emotions look to Joy to save the day.

You know the type of person who is always telling you to “be positive!” and “look on the bright side!”? This is the person who is really uncomfortable with things like tears and sorrow and they believe it’s personally their job to take away your pain. Well, that’s Joy and everywhere you look she’s there chasing Sad away. But Joy isn’t able to control things in the way she has in the past and throughout the movie Joy, along with the audience, has to learn that it’s not only okay to feel sad, but sometimes its an important and necessary part of being able to feel joy.

P.S. – For those of you who’ve ever had someone try to comfort you in your grief by minimizing your sadness or by suggesting you find the positive, there’s a scene in here you’re going to love. That’s all I’m going to say, let me know what you think after you’ve seen it.

P.P.S. – In part of the movie both Joy and Sad leave the control center of Riley’s brain and so she can only feel fear, anger, and disgust. I love that they depicted how disconnected, isolated and confused someone can feel due to the absence of certain emotions. This could be an interesting conversational starting point for any child impacted by depression.
Memories can be both happy and sad at the same time

A main crux of this movie is how emotions impact Riley’s memories. Memories are represented by colored balls and the balls are colored depending on the memory. So a happy memory is yellow, a sad memory is blue, a disgusting memory is green, you get the picture. Throughout Riley’s childhood, most of her memories appear to be happy, but then she has to move and say goodbye to her friends and her home and many of the memories turn blue.

This is one of the movie’s most poignant details for children who have experienced a death or other type of loss. One of the most difficult things about losing someone we love is that happy memories we shared with that person become colored with a tinge of sadness. Joyful memories are still happy, but they also become a little painful because the person is gone. The depiction of happy memories becoming a little blue is one that children impacted by loss may be able to relate to.

Conversely, the movie also teaches us that moments which start out a little sad can have positive value in that they lead to moments of love and support, lessons learned, and personal growth. One of the final memories Riley makes in the movie is a mix of both blue and yellow and finally the characters were all able to see the inherent okayness of this.
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The beginning of a dialogue

Emotions are really tricky; they defy definition, there’s no consensus on how many there even are, and they constantly change. Also, as adults it’s difficult to remember how our emotions were felt or understood when we were children. Inside Out simplifies this concept and illustrates emotions in a way that makes it really easy for us to talk to kids about their feelings and how their feelings might influence their behavior.

Children won’t always pick up on the more complex and subtle messages of a movie so it’s always helpful for adults to make the most of these teachable moments. Although afterwards it was easy for my children to identify who drives their emotions in different scenarios, when I asked my older daughter why might someone’s memories be both happy and sad she seemed a little unsure. I had to offer the example of my own memories of my mother being both happy because I love her and sad because she’s gone in order for Evelyn to have a little a ha! moment. We wrote a post a while back on making the most of teachable moments in different Disney movies, you may want to check it out.

Lifestyle in the Second Mile

What we do living in the second mile…..

Every company has a motto, a creed or credo…something they believe in. It’s different everywhere. It could be about service, or manufacturing a good/product. When asked what do we believe in recently I knew my answer….Life in the second mile.

What is the second mile? Go the extra mile, it all stems from roman times where a solider could ask you to literally carry his pack for one mile. It was a law that whomever they asked were required to do so. Some compatriots were even known to carry the pack a second mile by choice.

The first mile is what is required of you. This could be at your job, inside your home life, what you must give to have a relationship with some one. The second mile on the other hand is freedom, it is entirely by your own design because it is above and beyond what you were called upon to do. The second mile is your legacy. It is what people will remember you for.

What do we believe? We believe in the lifestyle inside the second mile whether it is inside your home or your office. It does not mean that we don’t fail sometimes but everyday that we have life we are given an opportunity to get up and try again. We are given the opportunity to build your legacy by design.

The second mile is simply being thoughtful. Going above and beyond. It does not have to be grand gestures but simple kind thoughtful moments. This can change your life. Your career.

We believe in this life and I am more than proud to be a part of a family and team that believes in this effort. Happy New Years…here is to life in the second mile in the new year.

#secondmile

Happy New Years! From the Williams Family

Happy New Years! From the Williams Family

“We’re Just Going to Have a Party (Later On)”

Alan Wolfelt Phd How many families have walked through your doors in recent years requesting not a funeral, but a “celebration” or a “party?” Quite a few, if the conversations I regularly have with my friends in funeral service are any indication.

http://funeralhomeconsulting.org/best-practices/were-just-going-to-have-a-party-later-on/