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June 2016

Honoring the Memories of a Lifetime

Around The Town Enewsletter

 

Planning For Your Digital Afterlife

Grief: It’s Not Just Emotional

History Of Funeral Flowers

4th of July Parade


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Planning For Your Digital Afterlife


Digital AfterlifeThe important discussion around preplanning to give yourself and your family peace of mind usually focuses on funeral or memorial service details; what type of music will be played, who will speak at the service and where it will be held. One aspect that frequently gets overlooked is your digital afterlife.  

 

What is a Digital Afterlife?


Your digital afterlife is the electronic trail you leave behind. It includes everything from important online financial accounts, bill-paying accounts, social media accounts, as well as online photo and music collections. These items are no longer stored as paper but instead are kept in the cloud and can only be accessed with a username and password. All of this information could be lost, if you don’t leave details of your account access information.


There are some online accounts that may be easy for family members to login to by resetting passwords or contacting the company who manages the account. Other online providers don’t permit access, even if you have a death certificate. This would mean your family would be locked out of any information stored on these accounts.


So what do you need to do to make sure your family has access to your digital life? You could write a document that includes all of your device passwords, but with the amount of online accounts nowadays, this might be tedious. Another option is to use a password manager program that only requires one password to gain access to all account information. You can leave this master password with instructions in a sealed envelope, or – if your password manager supports it – set up emergency access so family members can obtain the information they need. Another option is creating a spreadsheet with all of your accounts and logins and save that on a disk or USB drive.  


Regardless of how you do it, making sure your digital logins are accessible will make things much easier on your loved ones.

 

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Grief: It’s Not Just Emotional

The physical impact of grief on the body


Woman CryingAnyone who has ever experienced the loss of a loved one knows that this can be a life-shattering experience. Making it through day-to-day can feel overwhelming and impossible. Most people talk about grief’s emotional effects. What they don’t usually discuss is what grief can do to a person physically.

 

Because of the physical toll, a grieving person is more likely to suffer a heart attack. Grief can increase blood pressure, heart rate and clotting. So, when people say that someone is suffering from a broken heart, they may be telling the truth. “Broken Heart Syndrome” also known as takotsubo cardiomyopathy is real. It happens when the left ventricle of your heart suddenly gets weak and is not able to pump as efficiently as before. While it can happen to men, it’s more common to occur in women.

Other problems you may experience while grieving are sleepless nights and stomach troubles. This is caused by your adrenal glands pumping more cortisol than normal during the period of grieving. These physical symptoms can last for 6 months or more. Additionally, the extra cortisol circulating throughout your body can cause your immune system to weaken. This can make you more susceptible to colds, flus and other infections.

In addition to the health issues that grief can bring about, it can also affect your brain. While grieving, a person can often only focus on the person they lost. Not being able to concentrate can cause memory lapses that affect every day activities and interactions.

It is important to understand how grief can affect your physical well-being so that you are aware of the signs. Also important is knowing that taking simple steps like maintaining a healthy diet, getting exercise and staying hydrated can help keep you well. Making sure you get outside into the sun for 15-20 minutes a day can help raise the serotonin levels in your body which have a direct impact on your mood. Lastly, if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, seeking help from a professional is extremely important. A doctor can help make sure your health doesn’t get worse and someone like a grief specialist can give you a safe place to express and deal with your grief.

The emotional part of the grieving process is difficult enough but these physical symptoms can make it that much more overwhelming. Asking for help from loved ones or a professional can help move the grieving process along. Taking care of yourself both emotionally and physically during this time is extremely important.

 

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History of Funeral Flowers

 

Funeral FlowersIf you are going to a funeral, you will most likely see flowers in the room. For years, people have sent flower arrangements to grieving families as a way of showing their love and support for the family’s loss. So, when did sending flowers become the norm?

The history behind using flowers at funerals and burial sites dates back to as early as 60,000 BC. According to The Funeral Source archaeologists found Neanderthal burial sites that had pollen and flower fragments next to the corpses. While some researchers’ theories about why the flowers were used vary, many believe they were a part of the burial ritual.


Another reason for the early use of flowers was to help mask the odors of death. Embalming did not become a common practice until the 1800’s, so flowers also help to mask the smell of decomposition. Once embalming became common, the use of funeral flowers evolved from being used as a deodorizer to being more symbolic. They are now used as a way to show support to those grieving the loss of someone they loved. This evolution also meant that flowers themselves took on more meaning.


The lily is associated with funeral services because they symbolize the innocence that has been restored to the soul of the deceased. The gladiolus flower embodies strength of character, sincerity, and moral integrity. Some flowers, such as the chrysanthemum, take on a different meaning based on the culture. In some European countries, such as France, Italy, Poland, and Croatia, chrysanthemums are symbolic of death and are only used for funerals or on graves. In China, Japan and Korea, white chrysanthemums are symbolic of mourning and death, whereas in the US, they symbolize truth, loyalty, and love.


Even though some of the reasons for using or sending funeral flowers have changed, it is still a nice recognition of the person and a beautiful and meaningful gift to the grieving family.  

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4th of July Parade

 

Flag & FireworksBuch-Heisey Funeral Home and Cremation Services employees and family are excited to be participating in the 2016 Lititz Lion’s Club Patriotic 4th of July Parade on Friday, July 1st at 6:30pm. We will be sponsoring a float featuring the Penn’s Woods Pickers band. Be sure to wave as we go by!

 

The Penn’s Woods Pickers play blue grass & country songs and will be performing many old-time favorites. There will be entertainment following the parade at Lititz Springs Park. For more information about the 4th of July celebrations, visit the Lititz website.

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