Click on the questions below to reveal each respective answer.
Before the Farewell and During Relational Needs
The Acute Loss Period is the time between the event of death and the onset of grief. We help you understand The Acute Loss Period so you can be empowered to help yourself and those you care about during this difficult time. This understanding will help you cope with the loss and then begin the journey of grief and healing.
For parents, the task of telling their children that a loved one has died can be anxiety provoking. It can also be hard to know how to include children in the gathering and Community Farewell. To address this need, we offer the 20-25 minute STAR Class to every family with children ages 3-15. The class, provided at the beginning of your private family time, helps children learn about death and teaches them practical ways to participate in this life event. During the class, the children make a special STAR for their loved one. This STAR serves as a transitional object, providing an important task and sense of security as they rejoin your family and see their loved one when the class is completed.
Have you ever wondered why we have funerals? Most people have. The Adult Loss Class is based on the STAR Class, but is designed to help adults understand the Acute Loss Period and to strengthen one's ability to participate in meaningful and intentional ways throughout the loss experience.
When we see a deceased loved one, their death is made real to us. Without it being made real, we can’t begin to cope, grieve and heal. This is usually the time when a family's emotional and relational needs are most poignant. We are trained and prepared to respond, care for and actively coach each generation of your family during this important and difficult time.
The Family Farewell is usually followed by a public time of gathering with family and close friends. When they arrive, you may be feeling emotionally vulnerable but having a plan can make this transition easier. We provide specialized instruction to you and your family to equip you with practical ways to manage this transition and confidently connect with others as you reflect on your loved one’s life with those who come to the gathering.
People often ask, “What do you say to someone who has experienced loss?” Friends and family attending your public gathering will receive encouragement and instruction on how they can help you and your family during this time. Our Healing Farewell Guides invite them to Connect, Reflect, and Celebrate with you and thank them for providing their most important gift—their presence.
Your memorabilia will serve as gathering points for family and friends to help them share stories and remember your loved one’s life. We display these treasured items in a way that provides easy access, enjoyment and intimacy. The best way to invite others into your loss is to share a story about your loved one. This gives others permission to tell you their stories as well.
During Relational Needs
This questionnaire will help prompt memories of your loved one’s life. These memories are collected and shared with the clergy or celebrant, as well as with other family members and friends, to help them prepare for creating and participating in a memorable and meaningful Community Farewell. These memories should span the course of your loved one's life and include the funny, memorable and significant events in their life and in the life of your family.
We help you create an online and/or printed obituary with a memorial photo. Beyond facts, the Community Farewell Notice should reflect your loved one’s life and legacy and share important information about your family and the Community Farewell.
Family and friends will be able to leave their names and messages on an easy to use online registry. A printed copy of this registry will be delivered to your family following the Community Farewell.
We provide a toll-free number that can be used by your family and friends to leave audio recordings of memories and thoughts about your loved one. These recorded Messages of Comfort will be saved and delivered to your family.
This heartwarming memento for family and friends includes a photograph, personalized design and verse. These memorial folders are often kept in desks, dressers and chests for years following a death and provide everyone with a cherished keepsake.
Our Healing Farewell Guides serve as your host/hostess and are prepared to provide for your every need during your family's gathering time. Because we believe in preserving the sanctity of your loss experience, we are prepared to respond at a moment’s notice to any situation that may distract from your experience. At the conclusion of the evening, your Guide will complete a final list of important details for the next day’s Community Farewell.
The Connecting Circle is the area immediately around the casket or memorial table. This is a place with few words and much love. Many quiet moments of connection with close friends and family are shared within this circle. We will give special attention to this sacred space so the connections there can be as meaningful as possible.
Small notecards will be placed on tables throughout the gathering room to allow friends and family to write down a memory or a thought they would like to share with your family. The notes will be collected and displayed on an easel during the Community Farewell and then given to your family after the service.
As you share your favorite photographs of your loved one, you allow those who gather to remember happier times and to reflect on the things that matter the most in life. Pictures are the primary catalyst for the reflective thinking that occurs at every Community Farewell.
During Spiritual Needs
For those unable to attend a Community Farewell, our webcast provides the opportunity to watch and listen to the service online. We provide you with a DVD that includes the video of the Community Farewell.
As others share their memories and photos, we understand more fully the legacy of those we love. Our Face to Face memorial wall provides an interactive online experience and the latest in social media connectivity. Friends and loved ones can light candles, select icons, leave messages and share photos or videos, all from a single memorial page.
We will compile the messages and memories from the Online Guestbook, Message of Comfort, “What I Remember Best” Notes, and Farewell Memories questionnaire, and provide that information to the clergy or master of ceremonies. This will help the clergy or master of ceremonies more accurately reflect your loved one's life to those who gather at the Community Farewell.
A picture paints a thousand words.” Images can creatively tell a life story. Using photos provided by you and your family and a music background, we will produce a DVD that spans the life of your loved one. In the midst of our loss, as we reflect on the meaning of their lives, we want to be inspired and make space to be touched by joy. The Farewell Tribute accomplishes this by weaving the pieces of Sharing, Gathering, Connecting, and Reflecting into an inspiring experience for those who attend the Community Farewell.
The Community Farewell draws from each Healing Support Service to create a meaningful and unique public ceremony that empowers the family, engages friends, inspires community, celebrates life, and nurtures healing.
The dove, with its powerful symbolism, can be a moving part of any service. Many who have attended a Community Farewell have told us that the Dove Release was the most meaningful part of the service for them. A Dove Release is provided April 1 through November 30. Through the winter, the Dove Release is replaced by an indoor tribute.
After the Community Farewell & through the conclusion of the Acute Loss Period
A photo is taken of each floral arrangement and provided to you as an aid to help you acknowledge those who sent flowers.
We recognize that the day after the Community Farewell is your first day of managing life without your loved one. We offer grief support services to assist your family in beginning a healthy grief experience. Grief is unavoidable, but grieving well now, rather than postponing your grief, will enable you to return to life and establish a new norm.
We provide a confidential session with an attorney to answer the legal questions that arise when closing an estate.
This guide lists the activities you may need to consider when closing an estate. It includes formats for letters to creditors as well as checklists to keep you on task during each important step in the process.
This Facebook community provides families with the resources to face acute loss including inspiring stories of recovery and healing.