When Celebrating The Life of a Loved One Memories Matter

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Like other ceremonies in our lives, a funeral is a rite of passage, an opportunity to recognize the “passing on” of a loved one. It also offers the family and friends the time to share experiences and emotional support and to help one another find closure and adjust emotionally to the loss of an important person in their lives.

”It’s very important. No two lives are the same so no two funeral services should be the same,” said Jeff Olson, Funeral Director at Cress Funeral and Cremation Service.

Olson works to help find ways to comfort families and personalize the service.

“Well, you have to make families feel comfortable. In one case, I met with a family who’s loved one had passed away and the mother said that the children would be too upset to see their father in a casket. So I came up with the idea of more of a rest bed and we brought his comforter from home and his bed pillow. Then I also had a table set up with crayons and markers and they drew pictures and wrote a letter to their father and they placed that with him,” Olson recalls.

“The funeral can take many forms, lasting from minutes to days, and is very often influenced by the lifestyle and values of the bereaved family and friends.”I feel it’s really important to listen to the small things when I’m meeting with a family,” said Olson.

Numerous decisions and choices will be made under the funeral director’s care and guidance. These choices will be discussed and clarified at the arrangement conference. Often several family members will attend the conference, possibly even a friend of the family or a valued clergy member.

The funeral director will need certain documents and information in assisting you and your family to plan a meaningful service of remembrance. These documents will also be used in the preparation of legally required documents.

Consider gathering the following items for the arrangement conference with your funeral director:

  • Discuss types of service options with family members
  • Call any family members who may be traveling out of town
  • Contact clergy regarding availability and to help plan the ceremony
  • Biographical information for the obituary notice.

This information will also assist in the preparation of the death certificate and other necessary documents. Please include:

  • Maiden names
  • Social Security number
  • Veteran’s discharge papers
  • Cemetery information if selections have already been determined
  • Life insurance and employee benefits information that may apply
  • Select clothing for burial or cremation
  • If a viewing is desired, consider bringing glasses, lipstick, perfume, nail polish or jewelry
  • Select a photograph or a collection of photographs that could be used in the newspapers, video tribute, photo boards, memory candle or memorial cards.

Some of these items can also be gathered after the conference for your convenience.

”We are available 24 hours a day and people can reach out to us any time when they need us,” Olson said.

For more information visit https://www.cressfuneralservice.com/.