Healing the Heart: Grieving the Loss of a Pet

loss of a petResearch has shown what many pet owners have felt – that the loss of a pet can be as devastating as the loss of a human loved one. The human-animal bond goes deep, and the death of a companion pet can result in the same stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

During this time of grieving, it’s important to have supports and resources to heal from the loss. Creating a personalized memorial service, sharing stories and photos with others, and keeping cherished mementos are effective ways to deal with sadness and other strong emotions.

Your friends at Miller Funeral Services have some suggestions to help you cope with the loss of a beloved pet companion.


Death Rituals and Celebrations Around the World

death ritualsHalloween, (or All Hallows’ Eve) has historically been a time of observing the change in seasons, from the abundance and light of summer to the eventual decay and darkness of the coming months. Metaphorically speaking, this transition has been equated with the faithful departed as a time to honor the dead.

What we know today as Halloween may have originated as a Celtic or Gaelic tradition. There are many countries, however, that have their own liturgical or ritual observation of the passing of light into darkness. While this may sound ominous, most of these annual death rituals are celebratory. They’re about memorializing or even speaking with the ancestors through prayers, offerings, costumes, parades, and music.


What Should You Do With Your Loved One’s Cremated Remains?

cremated remainsThere are many reasons people choose cremation. Certainly, the process is perceived as more affordable or eco-sensitive, but it also offers people more options in regards to a final resting place.

Whether you feel moved to scatter ashes in a special outdoor ceremony or create something lasting to hold your loved one’s cremated remains at home, we’re always here to help you navigate the various choices.


A Coordination of Care: Hospice and the Funeral Service

hospiceFor centuries, the mission of hospice care has been to provide support, manage pain and discomfort, and offer a place of understanding and refuge during an end of life transition. Hospice offers terminally ill patients and their loved ones the professional care needed to make the final journey easier for all involved.

Many times when it comes time to plan a memorial or funeral service, the funeral home works in partnership with the hospice care team. Not only does this partnership alleviate some of the stress and worry for the patient but also provides assistance and guidance to family members. Such is the case here with our funeral services.


Choices and Considerations When Scattering the Ashes of a Loved One

scattering ashesLosing someone is very painful, and keeping the cremated remains at home or in close proximity can offer comfort to those in mourning. Instead of storing them at home, however, (or burying them, as many people do), another common option is to scatter the ashes of your loved one in a special place. While scattering the ashes of a loved one can be meaningful and touching, this outdoor experience must involve careful preparation and permission from specific authorities before you proceed.


A Growing Trend: Should You be Pre-Funding Your Funeral?

per-funding your funeralMany people plan their own funerals ahead of time, as well as how they’d like the event to be carried out. While pre-arranged plans and wishes are committed to and fulfilled whenever and wherever possible, associated costs still have to be paid. Family members and friends are grieving the passing of a loved one, and the last thing they want to think about is the bottom line–the cost. That’s why pre-funding your funeral could be the last gift you give to those you leave behind.

The Heart of the Matter

Pre-funding your funeral is not required to pre-plan, but there are certain benefits to the concept, such as:


A Life Remembered: Essential Guide to a Memorable Funeral Eulogy

funeral eulogyThe eulogy tends to be the most memorable part of a funeral. Not only is this speech a special opportunity to list the accomplishments of the departed, but it gives attendants a much-needed moment to reflect on specific, obscure, or even surprising details that were carefully curated over a lifetime.

Indeed, a funeral eulogy can offer a type of liveliness to an otherwise somber event. However, unless you are an experienced writer or public speaker, offering a eulogy can present a daunting challenge.

Forest Through the Trees

It can certainly be difficult to write a memorable funeral eulogy, and the challenge can feel overwhelming when you’re grieving. Writing a funeral eulogy, however, can potentially help you work through sadness and in turn, help others through their grief with your words. It’s not only an honor to provide a picture of a life that has passed, but it’s a shared experience that lends itself toward communal healing.


Military Funeral Honors: Paying Respects to Those Who Served

One of the most distinct, powerful, and moving funeral ceremonies involves the playing of Taps, followed by the resounding fire of a rifle salute. There is an innate sense of honor and pride in this act of acknowledging the dedication and bravery of a United States veteran. To this day, military service earns one of the highest forms of recognition and respect.

For family members and loved ones, accessing this service for the departed is a priority, and many wonder exactly how to secure military funeral honors.

The team at Miller Funeral & Cremation Services is here to assist you and answer common questions to help you provide this dignified, moving tribute to your loved one.


Funeral Etiquette: Do’s and Don’ts for the Modern Age

While it’s not a particularly pleasant experience, the fact remains that the majority of us will attend a funeral or memorial at some point in our lives. For many of us, knowing what to say or how to support the bereaved can be an elusive and intimidating topic. The last thing we want to do is say something clumsy or upsetting, or unwittingly commit a funeral faux pas.

In this digital age, etiquette and traditions can seem confusing as methods of communication and sharing change. The use of technology has especially challenged the way we used to pay our respects. Video, live streams, and other forms of electronic media, for example, are more commonly utilized as a way to include loved ones in a funeral service who are unable to attend. This may seem odd and even inappropriate to some, but come across as a loving gesture to others.


Raising Questions, Easing Fears: What to Expect at a Death Cafe

Many people approach the concept of death – and the process of dying – with a fascinating list of unending questions. Some keep all of this wondering deep within themselves because they fear that discussing this sometimes “taboo” subject might be perceived as morbid or unhealthy. Others, thankfully, embrace the mystery behind the transition from life to death and give their questions the time and energy they deserve. This is exactly the point behind a death cafe, a safe space that cultivates awareness and acceptance.

The Power of Authenticity

The idea of the death cafe evolved from the Swiss sociologist Bernard Crettaz. He believed that openly discussing death leads to authenticity, then launched cafés mortels in 2004. He traveled throughout Switzerland hosting these public conversations before moving the idea to Paris in 2010.