Death is coming. It’s easier to not think about it at all, but when the dreaded diagnosis or the irreversible decline from age comes it’s hard to avoid.
Still, we can keep busy in a number of ways bypass thinking deeply about death. There are always surgeries, procedures, medications, and other medical interventions that offer hope. Sometimes these help, or at least delay death. But ultimately it is a false hope. Death inevitably comes. When we spend all our time and effort looking for the perfect cure, death seems to hit even harder.
We can also get sidetracked by an agenda or list of tasks. Plan the funeral, finalize the will, keep the lawn mowed, donate stuff, get the medical bills paid, check off items on a whirlwind bucket list. Adding more and more tasks is a good way to avoid thinking about the fact that you and your loved ones are going to die.
But maybe that isn’t you. Perhaps you realize that death is coming, and you want to address it and face it head on, with clear eyes and full hearts. You recognize that death is a natural part of life, and you want to die well. You want to take care of your family, leave behind a meaningful legacy, and have your own or your loved one’s final wishes fulfilled in an honorable way.
Written by Caitlin Doughty, who worked as a crematory operator and is now an “alternative” funeral director, author, and YouTube personality, the theme of the book is not really cremation or funerals or gory details, though it definitely includes that. The main theme is death itself. Specifically, how our culture interacts with death (or tries to avoid it), and what things might be like if we looked death – in all of its messiness – straight in the face.
In large part a memoir of Ms. Doughty’s first six years working in the funeral industry, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes functions in turns as an exposé of the funeral industry, a defense of a healthy interest in death, and an inside look at interesting funeral and memorial observances of various individuals, families, and cultures, as seen through the eyes of a crematory worker.
These things are all tied together by a question: Does the contemporary funeral industry help us die well?
There are few things more powerful, encouraging, and comforting than singing a beloved and Christ-exalting hymn in the midst of a difficult time.
When a Christian dies, they have the solid hope of being together with the Lord, free from sin and pain and the troubles of the world. Yes, it is a grievously sad day, but it is not a sadness without hope. Those of us who remain, including the believer’s family and loved ones, can draw much comfort while expressing our hope and grief through a well-chosen hymn sung in faith. Continue reading 21 Beautifully Christ-Centered Funeral Hymns
The loss of a pet is deeply affecting. Pets hold a special place in our lives and hearts, and their death creates a gaping hole that causes real, true grief. On top of this, pet owners are responsible for properly and legally disposing of the pet’s body.
So you want to know how to bury or cremate a pet while also allowing you and your family the time and opportunity to grieve the loss of your furry friend. This is where a DIY pet funeral can be helpful.
How do you ensure that your funeral plans are followed? This can include big decisions like whether to be buried or cremated, which funeral home to use, an eco-friendly natural burial or a big bold marble sarcophagus, services led by a pastor or a close family member.
Your wishes for your funeral can include smaller touches as well. Perhaps it is important to you that those who attend the service receive a “funeral favor” such as an engraved coin, a packet of forget-me-not seeds, or a bag of your favorite tea. Maybe you have a favorite hymn you would like sung, or a favorite poem you would like read.
To get more traffic to your funeral home website, it will take time, effort, technical know-how, and a dash of creativity. However, the good news is that with a bit of research and digital elbow grease you can steadily and effectively grow your funeral home’s online presence.