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.
October 30th, 2012
Many people find the holiday season to be a particularly difficult time of the year, especially after someone they love has died. But, three upcoming community presentations – in Windsor, Vernon and Avon – will offer ways to help Greater Hartford residents cope.
The free programs, entitled “Coping with Grief and Loss during the Holidays”, will be presented by Carmon Community Funeral Homes, by Mary’s Place, A Center for Grieving Children and Families in Windsor, and by Avon’s New Day Counseling Center.
• The first program will be held on Friday, November 2 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Windsor Community Center in The Caring Connection at 330 Windsor Ave in Windsor.
• A second similar program will take place on Tuesday, November 6 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Visiting Nurse and Health Services of Connecticut on 8 Keynote Drive in Vernon.
• A third program is set for Wednesday, November 7 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Avon at Carmon Family Center of 301 Country Club Road.
“The speaker at all three programs will be Joe Colletti of East Granby, a consultant and author who himself suffered the loss of a teenage daughter,” explains Lisa Peluso, R.N., Director of Mary’s Place, a Center for Grieving Children and Families in Windsor. “He knows personally what the holidays are like, and will suggest ways to make the holidays easier for families. There will be an opportunity for people to ask questions,” adds Peluso, “And refreshments will be served.”
All Greater Hartford residents are invited to attend any of the three programs, but people are requested to reserve a seat in advance:
- For the November 2 Windsor or the November 6 Vernon programs, call Mary’s Place, a Center for Grieving Children and Families at (860) 688-9621.
- For the November 7 Avon program, call Avon’s Carmon Funeral Home & Family Center at (860) 673-8610.
October 16th, 2012
Planning your funeral arrangements in advance comes with many emotional and financial benefits to you and your family. Today, we would like to these benefits with you.
More time to consider your options
There is no pressure or feelings of being rushed when you pre-plan your arrangements. You and your family have time to research your options, and think about what you really want, resulting in making a well-informed decision.
Sense of accomplishment
Many feel a sense of accomplishment after pre-planning, knowing that these arrangements have all been taken care of.
Relief of burden on your family
Quite possibly the biggest emotional benefit is relief of the burden that would have been on your family at the time of passing. Your surviving family members will have less to worry about in the event of your death. The arrangements will be completed ahead of time, giving your family members time to grieve without the worry of making the “right” choices for your arrangements.
In addition to the emotional benefits, there are also some financial benefits, as well. There are several payment options available. Our funeral directors can work with you to determine which payment method or investment option best suits your needs.
Lower price for services
A great benefit to preplanning is that if you do pre-pay for your arrangements, you can lock into today’s price, saving you and your family potentially a significant amount of money. At the time of death, your family will be able to keep more, because there will be no outstanding balance on your funeral expenses, giving your family more of your assets and insurance proceeds.
No need for immediate payment in full
You can also budget accordingly to pay for your services when you pre-plan. This allows you to allocate the appropriate funds needed for your services over a period of time, vs. all at once.
Less last-minute expenses
Lastly, when you pre-plan, your family will be less likely to incur last minute expenses at the time of the services.
In addition to all these reasons, is quite possibly the most important reason you should consider pre-planning your funeral. When you pre-plan your funeral, it can be exactly how you’d like it to be; it can be a reflection of your personality and who you are. By pre-planning, you are deciding on what you want and do not want for your services, leaving the pressure of making the “right choice” off of your family.
If you’d like to further discuss pre-planning options and benefits, please let us know.
September 18th, 2012
Pictured Above: John C. & Linda Carmon present the 2012 Avon Dollars for Scholars’ Carmon Funeral Home & Family Center scholarship funds to Sarah Hudak (center). Their annual scholarship, based upon academic excellence and community service, is presented to a graduating student, and Avon resident, who is pursuing a career in a caregiving profession. John is President of Avon Dollars for Scholars. (Photograph taken by Michael Miller II)
Nearly one hundred Avon high school graduates are continuing their education this fall, thanks to scholarship funds from Avon Dollars for Scholars. In June, the volunteer-based, non-profit organization awarded a total of $80,700 in scholarships to 94 local high school graduating seniors who now are beginning their first year of post-secondary education.
“This is the largest sum of funds that Avon Dollars for Scholars has ever been able to present in a single year, and we thank scores of local residents, businesses and organizations for generously stepping up to make it possible,“ explains John C. Carmon, President of the nonprofit Avon Dollars for Scholars. “Since our establishment 34 years ago, this organization has awarded a total of more than $1,030,000 in scholarships to 1,274 local students.”
At the organization’s annual Awards Ceremony earlier this summer, many of the scholarship awards were presented by donors, in honor or memory of specific individuals. One of those scholarships was presented in memory of Bernard Cole who worked hard to provide for his family from an early age, and valued the importance of a good education and strong work ethic. His impact influenced his daughter, Stephanie Eason, to become an educator. Eason, a special education teacher at Avon High School, presented six awards in his memory to students who have overcome a significant challenge during their high school years, demonstrating maximum academic effort, perseverance and determination. In addition, a special award of thanks was presented at the awards ceremony to Leslie Chaput of Avon, who was honored for more than 30 years service on the Avon Dollars for Scholars. Guest speaker Superintendent of Avon Schools Gary Mala presented remarks about Leadership.
Members of Avon Dollars for Scholars work year-round with local residents, businesses and foundations to raise money so scholarships can be provided to qualified students. To be eligible to apply for funds from Avon Dollars for Scholars, students must be residents of Avon, regardless of which high school they attend: public; private; magnet; parochial; or technical school. Scholarship funds are awarded based upon exceptional community service, citizenship and merit, or financial need.
Established in 1978, the Avon chapter of Dollars for Scholars is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization and contributions are considered tax-deductible. Contributions of any size are accepted year-round by Avon Dollars for Scholars. A donation of $300 or more entitles the donor to have a scholarship presented in the name of his or her choice – a perfect way to remember deceased loved ones or friends. All donations may be sent to: Avon Dollars for Scholars, P.O. Box 706, Avon, CT, 06001.
To learn more about Avon Dollars for Scholars or to make a donation, visit www.avondfs.org or its President John Carmon at (860) 673-8610.
August 14th, 2012
Funeral director Gary W. Mather, CFSP, recently received a special 2012 award from the Connecticut Funeral Directors Association (CFDA). Mather was recognized by CFDA for 25 years as a licensed funeral director and for his service to the community. The East Windsor, Conn. resident is a funeral director at Ladd-Turkington & Carmon Funeral Home in Vernon, Conn. which was honored for 76 years of operation.
The Connecticut Funeral Directors Association is a 123-year-old professional organization that is committed to the promotion and advocacy of high ethical standards in funeral service. The association represents funeral directors at more than 220 funeral homes in Connecticut. For more information about the Connecticut Funeral Directors Association, call (860) 721-0234 or (800) 919-2332 or visit www.ctfda.org.
With the 2012 Connecticut Funeral Directors Association awards are Gary W. Mather, CFSP, and Carmon Community Funeral Homes’ Frank W. Carmon, IV, CFSP.
August 9th, 2012
Have you ever been unsure of certain aspects of a funeral? Do you have questions, but you aren’t sure whom to ask? Questions such as whether you should attend a wake, what to say, what to wear, whether or not to send flowers? We would like to answer these questions in hopes of helping you in deciding what action is best for you to take as it pertains to funerals.
Should I attend a wake?
Many people avoid going to funeral services because of the emotional nature of them. If you aren’t sure whether or not you should attend a funeral, we recommend you do try. The family will appreciate your presence and kind words.
Often times there are calling hours or a “wake” prior to the funeral service. If you knew the deceased person or someone who was close to the deceased person, you should really try to attend. The funeral or memorial service is typically attended by family, friends, co-workers, neighbors and all others who had a relationship with the deceased. It is acceptable to attend the wake, and not the funeral, if you did not have a relationship with the deceased.
I never know what to say when I attend a service. What should I say?
If you are having trouble coming up with what you will say, you should remember that the most important thing is your presence. Expressing sympathy can be done in a variety of ways, including sharing your thoughts on how kind the deceased person was, sharing a story or fond memory of the deceased, letting the family know how much the deceased meant to you, and how much he or she will be missed. Speak from the heart.
What should I wear to a funeral service? Do I have to wear black to the funeral?
In the past, it was tradition to wear black to a funeral. This has since changed. Dark colors are acceptable. Dress in conservative attire, such as suits, ties and dresses. Colors should not be bright and clothing should not be revealing.
Should I send flowers?
It’s almost always acceptable to send flowers, regardless of your relationship to the family or deceased, unless the obituary notice specifically says not to or if the family is Jewish or of a faith background where flowers are not part of the religious tradition. In some cases, a family will request that a donation to a charity be made in lieu of flowers, in which case, you should respect their wishes.
Many florists offer special arrangements for funerals. If you are unsure where to purchase the flowers from, most funeral home websites offer a list of florists in the area that they recommend.
You should order flowers as soon as you’ve heard of the passing as flowers will need to be delivered to the funeral home on the day before or day of the wake and service. Make sure to write a message on the card, and stay away from clichés; instead, write a sincere message from the heart.
Even if you do not do everything perfectly, the family will appreciate and be comforted by your presence and the fact that you care enough to be there. Don’t worry about the exact words you use, and instead listen to and speak from your heart.
If you have any other questions pertaining to funerals and funeral etiquette, please post a comment below.
August 4th, 2012
With the start of August, summer is officially in full swing. Today, we’d like to remind you of summer safety to keep you and your family safe all summer long.
• The sun’s UV rays can be very hazardous to skin. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends applying sunscreen thirty minutes before going out into the sun and again throughout the day, especially if you are outdoors for an extended period of time, after swimming, and after exercise. Sunscreen should be applied to all exposed skin, especially sensitive areas such as ears, shoulders, back of knees and legs. If you would like more information regarding proper sunscreen applications, please visit: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5104a3.htm
• Ticks, hornets and other insects are very prevalent during the summer months. Be sure to check for hornet and wasp nests in wooden places, under railings and on or around porches. When outside for extended periods of time, especially in wooded or grassy areas, be sure to check your body for ticks.
• Pool safety is extremely important especially with young children. The number one cause of injury-related death in children ages one to four is drowning. Protect your children, and keep your pool safe by having an enclosure around the pool with self-closing and self-latching gate. Pool gate alarms are also available. If you own a pool, you may want to learn CPR. And as always, keep eyes on young children at all times.
• Many would say that the beach is one of the most fun places to be in the summer. But there are precautions to be taken at the beach as well, including hot beach sand and rip currents. If you are unfamiliar with rip currents, educate yourself prior to going swimming in the ocean.
• Burning wood or brush in fire pits and bonfires are also much more common during the summer months. Check with your local fire department prior to burning to ensure that the appropriate safety measures are met.
Sometimes taking precautions is not enough, but taking these steps, among others to keep your family safe should minimize the risk of injury. We hope this blog entry helps you enjoy a fun and safe summer!
July 23rd, 2012
How ironic that a man who was a “symbol of values” was buried with no ceremony just five hours after his recent death. The family noted that this was “just the way he wanted it.” Sadly, as more and more people plan to do it “Andy’s way,” we are reminded that if the profession of funeral service does not educate the public about why we have funerals, nobody else will.
Close your eyes and remember the Andy Griffith Show: the little post office, the fishing hole, the general store, the barbershop, the jail—and the funeral home where people gathered when a member of the community died. Everyone knew and looked out for each other. Kids could play in the street (even though Barney would sometimes ticket people for jaywalking), and there were white picket fences. People gathered on front porches, and there was no Facebook, cell phones, or instant cheeseburgers to be found anywhere in Mayberry.
While even in its prime the show was a step backward in time, the Griffith family’s decision about Andy’s funeral is a glimpse into the potentially tragic future of funeral service. As people are reflecting on the Andy Griffith that they knew and loved, they are describing him as the emblem of the 20th century values they often say they prize most. During the run of the Andy Griffith Show (1960-1968), we observed the very best of humanity—people who cared, people who cried, people who included children in important life events, people who gathered together for meaningful funerals when someone died.
Decades later the spirit of Mayberry lives on in Andy’s hometown of Mount Airy, North Carolina. Again, how ironic that Mount Airy’s annual fall festival, Mayberry Days, attracts thousands of people who come together to honor the memories that Andy and his cast of characters inspired—yet there was no opportunity to gather and pay tribute to the man who made it all possible.
Yes, change is a constant, but I suggest not all change is good. While we as Americans profess to want friendly communities anchored in excellent core values, we also want funerals that are easy, fast, and cheap—if we want them at all. I don’t suspect the folks in Mayberry would approve of how Andy was “laid to rest within five hours” with no public gathering. You see, those folks understood that you always have to say hello before you say goodbye. They understood that darkness was the chair upon which light sits. They understood the need to have authentic funerals, not to quickly dispose of the dead body.
You may think you should not have to educate people in your community about the value of funerals. But the truth is that people just like Andy Griffith’s family all across these United States are questioning the very need for funerals. So, I challenge you to consider: What is your funeral home’s cause? Why do you do what you do? And if your why is grounded in the essential healing reasons we as people have had funerals since the beginning of time, remind yourself that even as you face your day-to-day work challenges, you must also keep inspiring the people you come in contact with to learn the value of funerals. If you need help, consider checking out my recent collaboration on the new website meaningfulfunerals.com, which teaches about the importance of the elements of death ceremonies. Or, see my new poster titled “Why We Have Had Funerals Since the Beginning of Time,” available at centerforloss.com
This blog post was written by Alan D. WOlfelt, Ph.D. We have been granted permission to post this on our blog. Dr. Alan Wolfelt is the director of the Center for Loss and Life Transition in Colorado. He teaches and writes about the importance of creating meaningful funeral ceremonies and is the author of numerous books on death, grief, and life transitions. He can be reached at DrWolfelt@Centerforloss.com, or, 970-217-7069.
July 20th, 2012
Welcome to our blog. We are very much looking forward to sharing information, insight and experiences with you through our blog posts. We plan to offer information on a variety of topics pertaining to grief, the mourning process, cultural and religious beliefs, Hospice, and trends within the industry.
Additionally, we look forward to sharing information on seminars we are hosting, as well as other events we are participating in. We look forward to informing you through our blog, about all that is happening within our funeral homes and the communities we support.
We will also be offering answers to questions you may have regarding death, funerals, etiquette and other related topics. If you have a question, please comment on a blog post, or send an email, and we will be sure to respond with an answer, and post it to our blog for others to read (keeping you anonymous).
We’d like to begin by thanking you for reading our first blog entry. We look forward to sharing more with you very soon. Welcome to the Carmon Funeral Homes Blog.
January 11th, 2012
We are happy to announce that our new blog program has just been activated. It is our hope that it will facilitate and improve our communications with the Families we serve.
If you have any comments or feedback on the new blog, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below this post, or use our ‘Contact Us‘ form to let us know.