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Scale Of 1-10, How Religious?

“On a scale of 1-10; how religious would you like this Celebration of Life?” This is a question I ask each individual or family when we discuss the components of a Celebration of Life.  Most often, the answer shouted out is a consensus such as zero, one, five, ten,...

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What to Do After a Death Occurs

When a death is sudden and unexpected, such as an accident, homicide or suicide – it’s hard to know what to do first. Our brains want to make sense of what happened, put some logic to it and our hearts are shattered with sadness. So many unanswered questions and now...

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Graveside Service Before Celebration of Life

In the past, tradition has been to have the Funeral or Celebration of Life first, then have the burial or Graveside Service. Recently, I have seen a flip in this tradition and surprisingly, I like it better. Some families are choosing to have the Burial first, then...

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Family Estrangement at a Funeral

The word “estrangement” is strange in itself, isn’t it? Definition: “Estrangement is the state of being estranged from someone or the length of time for which you are estranged.” When meeting with families after the death of a loved one, I have seen estrangement in...

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It Takes a Village: Transcending Fatherhood

Written by Gretchen Kodanaz.  Daughter of Rachel Kodanaz.  Gretchen’s natural father passed away when she was 2 years-old.  In honor of Father’s Day she wrote this meaningful and heartfelt blog. The first time my adoptive father, Taner, tried to teach me a lesson was...

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Her Funeral, Her Way

Although Cheryl had never smoked, she was dying from Lung Cancer.  Her only symptom was a nagging cough for years that didn’t seem to go away. She dismissed it until her voice became hoarser and she started losing weight. Cheryl was stunned by the diagnosis from her...

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Family with Different Faiths

Dawn entered into her heavenly experience just shy of her 50th Birthday. She is survived by her Mother, three sisters, six children, and fourteen grandchildren (with another one on the way).  Her family met with me to talk about her Funeral. The conversation began...

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Remembering Rose

Typically, I change the names when writing these Blogs, but this time I wanted to use her real name and it was Rose. I met Rose when she was in her late 80s (this just goes to show that you can meet new people and make new friends at any age). I take my little dog...

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How to Make a Photo Tribute

Sorting through photographs after someone you love dies can be an overwhelmingly emotional task. Memories and emotions surface with every photo. Since you may have many offers to help you with “anything” – this may be the perfect opportunity to engage friends or...

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A Funeral That Failed

We arrived at the church a little after 10:00 on a Monday morning for a Funeral that was listed in the obituary to start at 10:30. The Funeral was already in progress and we learned the time was printed incorrectly in the obituary. We weren’t the only ones who were...

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Your Lasting Legacy

Everyone leaves a lasting legacy. What will yours be? Bring to mind someone who died and how their memory lives on in your head and heart. That is their legacy. Maybe you think of them every day or every so often. We all want to know that our life mattered and that we...

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Oh, How I Love a Great Funeral!

Al died at age 42 in a car accident. It was sudden, unexpected and he did not have a Will in place. He never wanted to talk about death or dying, so his wife had no idea what to do.  She definitely preferred to call it a Funeral and did not want it to be traditional...

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