June 30th, 2015
Music can effect our emotions in both positive and negative ways. Research shows that events of high emotion stimulate the brain to remember not only the event, but all the other things that were happening at that specific moment. Our brain connects sounds, smells, and feelings to the event that occurred and links them together. In the event of a tragedy, if there is a specific sound involved, you may find yourself experiencing the feelings associated with the tragedy every time you hear that sound.
This is why certain songs can create emotional responses. And, why the songs we may hear at funeral services may stimulate a feeling of sadness or other feelings. These emotions can often escalate to a physical response, as well, such as crying.
Songs do not affect everyone in the same way. This is because each person’s brain makes the connection between song and emotion in a different way. A song that may create sadness for one, could give another person the strength they need to help them through the grieving process.
TAPS is a commonly played song during a military funeral. For many, this song creates a sad emotion. But for others, their brain may have linked this song to the memory of how courageous their loved one was, and the song may give them a sense of pride, or comfort, or even strength.
There is something about music that evolves over time, as do emotions. When we hear a song we re-live the emotional sequence that happened when we heard it previously. When you start looking at the songs you listen to, pay attention to your emotions. You might be surprised at how much songs can effect your emotions. Think of the songs you heard at the most recent funeral you attended? Is there an emotional response to any of those songs?
December 12th, 2014
As the holidays quickly approach, we understand that a recent loss can make it very difficult for you. Here are some ways to help cope during the holiday season:
§ Allow yourself to grieve
The holiday season can be a very difficult time. Whether you have experienced a loss this year, or several years ago, allow yourself to grieve. It is common during this time of year that we remember and miss our loved ones more than ever. Do not suppress these feelings. Allow them, embrace them, and realize that grief tells no time.
§ Take care of yourself both emotionally and physically
It’s important to take time for yourself, whether it is talking with a grief specialist, getting a massage, exercising, going away for a long weekend, or simply taking a hot bath. Remember during this time that it is essential that you take care of yourself physically, mentally and emotionally.
Take a moment and do something special in memory of your loved one. Visit the cemetery or memorial site, or find a new tradition in remembrance. A family we served a few years ago, started a tradition the holiday season following their loss. Every year since, they begin their holiday celebration with the lighting of a candle and a special prayer followed by each member of the family taking a turn in sharing a special memory or thought. Whether you involve your family, or simply take a moment on your own, taking this time to remember your loved one can help you find comfort during the holidays.
§ Share your memories with others
Sharing your happy memories and remembering the life of your loved one can also be very comforting. Warmth may be found in sharing the stories and the joy that was had with your loved one.
§ Do what’s right for you
Lastly, it’s important not to force anything. Know yourself, and do what feels right. You may find that you are not ready to share memories with others, but you can take time for yourself and find comfort in other ways. Listen to yourself, and do what feels right for you.
Please remember that we are always here to assist you, should you need us. We hope you find comfort and warmth this holiday season
May 23rd, 2014
As we enter Memorial day weekend, which many refer to as the unnoffical beginning of summer, we remind you to take a moment to remember the reason for this day. Memorial day was established as a day all military personnel are honored, to commemorate those who died in military service and pay tribute to their great sacrifice.
There are a number of ways for you can remember a fallen soldier or veteran during Memorial day weekend celebrations. You can send a letter or thank you note to someone serving to express your appreciation. Even if you don’t know a soldier personally, asking friends/family, chances are, they know someone.
If you know a fallen soldier, consider setting up a small memorial at your barbecue, by placing flowers with a message stating “Today we remember”. Many also like to create a memorial garden to pay tribute to their loved one. This is a great way to remember your loved one not only on Memorial day, but throughout the entire summer.
There are often many memorial day parades or celebrations in our community. Consider attending one of these events in recognition of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.
Regardless of how you choose to spend the Memorial holiday weekend, enjoy and celebrate , while remembering those who have made great sacrificies for the freedoms we have. This weekend we will take a moment to remember and honor our fallen service personnel as well as all others who have already and currently serve our country. We encourage you to do the same. Happy Memorial Day!
February 20th, 2014
Hospice is not only designed to assist the patient, but also the caregiver and loved ones of the patient. As a close family member of the patient, you may find yourself in a caregiving role. Hospice is available to assist you.
It’s important to take care of yourself when caring for a loved one under Hospice care. If you are the primary caregiver, you will find that it is rewarding, but is also hard work, and can become exhausting. Remember that you cannot take good care of another, if you don’t take care of yourself.
Hospice can offer you help, allowing you to take breaks from caregiving. Volunteers can come and sit with your loved one. This allows you to take time away and for yourself. Volunteers can also help with chores or errands to help make things easier for you. Hospice volunteers are always here to help you, and will do their best to accommodate your needs. Be sure to share your thoughts on where you need help with Hospice volunteers and staff, so that they can better assist you.
Respite care is also available if you are feeling like you are emotionally or physically drained from caregiving. It offers you a break from daily caregiving while ensuring quality care for your loved one. Respite care can vary, but is typically for a few days and is not always covered by insurance. Be sure to ask your hospice organization about respite care, and also check with your insurance on coverage.
Following your loved one’s death, Hospice offers grief and bereavement services. Hospice is there to comfort and support you and your family for at least one year. There are a variety of bereavement services available, including telephone calls, visits, grief and support groups, and individual counseling, among other services.
Check with your local hospice organization to learn more about services offered to your loved one and for the family/caregiver.
Our next blog will conclude our series on Everything about Hospice. We will share the topic of Hospice volunteering. We look forward to sharing more information on this topic. Be sure to read our previous posts on Hospice if you haven’t already done so:
February 9th, 2014
This post is the second in a series of posts about Hospice care. To read our first article, please visit: Everything Hospice – What You Should Know. Today, we are sharing myths about Hospice and clarifying many misconceptions on the topic.
Possibly the most common myth is that Hospice is what you turn to when you are “giving up”, when “nothing else can be done”. Often times, people believe that it will shorten the patient’s survival. But it is quite the contrary. Referral into hospice is a movement into another mode of therapy, which may be more appropriate for terminal care. Additionally, a recent study suggests that those under hospice care lived longer. The average survival length was 29 days longer for hospice patients than for non-hospice patients in a study of 4,000 patients.
Many also believe that Hospice care is only for cancer patients. This is untrue. Hospice care is available for all individuals who are terminally ill, regardless of illness. Common diagnosis include congestive heart failure, lung disease, and dementia, as well as cancer.
Another myth is that you must pay for Hospice care and it is not covered by insurance. Medicare and many insurance agencies cover hospice care. In the event that your insurance does not cover this type of care, there are many hospice organizations that do not deny care due to lack of insurance. If you are looking for hospice care and do not have coverage, we encourage you to contact local hospice organizations to determine what your options are and if they offer any programs for this circumstance.
Lastly, there is often misperceptions on the length of time an individual can receive hospice care. Although the patient diagnosis must be six months or less, most insurance companies, as well as medicare will pay for hospice care as long as the individual meets the medical criteria, which may be longer than six months. Some individuals have improved while on medicare and can be discharged from hospice. If necessary, the patient can re-enroll at a later time.
Our next blog will focus on services and benefits to family and friends of the Hospice Patient. And will finish with the fourth and final post on Hospice volunteering. We look forward to sharing more on Hospice with you.
January 23rd, 2014
Hospice may be different from what you think it is. We have found that there are many misperceptions. This post is the first in a series on helping you understand everything about Hospice.
Today we would like to help clarify what it is and what it is not. We hope that this article helps you in determining if Hospice is right for you or your family, if the need should arise.
“Hospice is a holistic approach to caring for people who are terminally ill. It involves a team of trained professionals, available 24 hours a day, who provide medical attention, pain management, and emotional and spiritual support tailored to an individual’s needs and wishes. It’s not a place — it’s a concept of care that can be provided anywhere. Along with attending to the patient, hospice teams also provide compassion and support to grieving loved ones during the illness and beyond.”
Anyone can receive Hospice care, regardless of they type of illness, ethnicity, age, gender or financial status. In order to qualify for Hospice, a physician must give the individual a prognosis of six months or less, and the individual must certify that he or she doesn’t wish to pursue curative treatment. Hospice caregivers and physicians will work closely with your doctor to determine the best plan of care.
How Hospice Works
The physician makes a referral to hospice. Hospice staff conduct an assessment of the patient’s overall needs and establish a care team. Together with the primary caregiver and the patient, the Hospice care team will outline an appropriate care plan.
There are many services available to a patient when he/she enters hospice care. These include: physician services, nurse home visits, counseling services, medical equipment, medical supplies, pain management and symptom control, and volunteer support to assist caregivers and family members.
A hospice nurse and doctor are on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to give you and your family support and care when you need it.
A hospice doctor is part of your medical team. Your regular doctor or a nurse practitioner can also be part of this team as the attending medical professional to supervise your care.
Most hospice patients get hospice care in the comfort of their home and with their families. Depending on your condition, you may also get hospice care in a Medicare-approved hospice facility, hospital, nursing home, or other long-term care facility.
Hospice care is provided in addition to the standard care received in a skilled nursing facility or a residential care facility. The hospice team delivers specialized services for end-of-life care.
Considerations when choosing a Hospice Organization:
According to Medicare.gov, it is important to consider the following aspects when selecting a hospice organization:
• Is the hospice program certified and licensed by the state or federal government?
• Does the hospice provider train caregivers to care for you at home?
• How will your doctor work with the doctor in the hospice program?
• How many other patients are assigned to each member of the hospice care staff?
• Will the hospice staff meet regularly with you and your family to discuss care?
• How does the hospice staff respond to after-hour emergencies?
• What measures are in place to ensure hospice care quality?
• What services do hospice volunteers offer? Are they trained?.
We hope you find this information helpful to you. In our next blog post, we will share myths about Hospice.
Our blog series includes the following topics:
*What is Hospice? How It Works and Selecting a Hospice Organization that is right for you.
*Myths about Hospice
*Hospice services for family, friends and caregivers of the patient
December 17th, 2013
As the Christmas season quickly approaches, we remind you to stop and take a moment to breathe, even if it’s only long enough to read this post.
Think about the time since Thanksgiving, the time between now and Christmas, as well as your Christmas plans. You are probably very busy. Since Thanksgiving, you may have found yourself immersed in Thanksgiving clean-up, preparations for decorations, and most likely some shopping expeditions. From now until Christmas, chances are, you have a substantial list of things to do, including decorating, shopping, wrapping, cleaning, preparing for guests, packing for travel, meal planning, etc. Then of course, the series of places you are expected to visit on Christmas eve and Christmas day, or warming your home for guests visiting you.
When do you have the opportunity to stop and smell the roses? Be sure to make some time to do this. Evaluate the events you are participating in. Think of the ideal “Christmas” or holiday season for yourself. Is there anything you can do to avoid getting caught up in the chaos and instead truly enjoy the holidays? Really take some time to think it through. Life is too precious to be caught in the chaos that can come with this season. Your quality of your life can be one that is much more relaxing and joyful.
We hope you find peace, comfort and, most importantly joy and relaxation this Christmas. Happy Holidays to you and yours!
December 10th, 2013
December 5th, 2012
The Internet has become a common place to express thoughts and feelings. Whether it is via a social media platform, like Facebook or Twitter, or through a blog post, many use these websites as a sounding board and to connect with the community.
But when it comes to grief, is the Internet world an appropriate place to share feelings? Is there a benefit to sharing grief online vs. the more traditional in-person methods?
• Some find it more comfortable to share emotions from behind a computer monitor, where no one can see their pain and tears. You may not be ready to deal with grief in the real world quite yet, and could even be feeling the pressure of having to “move on”. Social media platforms give users the ability to express these feelings.
• The Internet also provides a means of communication to spread the word about a death quickly, without having to make numerous phone calls to family and friends.
• Lastly, the Internet makes it easier for others to reach out and share their words of comfort with you. The sense of community on Facebook and Twitter are certainly not something to be under-valued. Often times, people who have not spoken in years, connect on these platforms and express their support during hard times.
Additionally, Social media platforms, are taking steps to encourage sharing feelings, thoughts and grief on their sites. For example, Facebook has adopted a “memorial” status as a way for friends and family of the deceased to express their grief. This seems to be well accepted across the Facebook community.
But even before this “memorial” status was developed, it was not uncommon to come across a post from someone sharing their memories and messages of their loss. Even on Twitter, there are some very encouraging and supportive tweets that have been compiled within the 140 character limit.
Returning to our original question: Is the Internet the place to share grief? Our answer is that it is an acceptable place to express grief, but ultimately, the choice is yours. Do what you feel is most comfortable.
We would love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Please comment below, or tag us in a tweet @carmonfuneral.