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.

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Easing the Impact of Grief During the Holidays

There’s something about the holidays that brings out the best memories and, in turn, reminds us of what (or who) is missing. When grieving, it may seem like the rest of the world is light-hearted and joyful, which can amplify a sense of loss.

The effects of this season are understandable and normal. They also open the door for making space, both for self-care and new traditions. The following are some suggestions for dealing with grief during the holidays and allowing others to lend their support. Continue…

What Happens to My Facebook Account When I Die?

Facebook account when I die

If it hasn’t happened to you yet, it’s likely that it will only be a matter of time: You logon to Facebook to find a notification that it is a dear one’s birthday, and would you would like to wish them well. Your heart catches in your throat for a split second and a wave of sadness ripples through your body; your dear friend is actually among the dearly departed.

As you catch your breath and begin to scroll through your feed, you find a smattering of mutuals are, in fact, posting birthday wishes to your friend’s wall… And you wonder if you should too. But moreover, you wonder: What does happen to my Facebook account when I die?

Why It Matters…

For many of us, social media, and Facebook in particular, is the go-to resource to learn about what is happening with our friends and family. This makes Facebook a natural resource when it comes to letting the public know about the passing of a friend or colleague.

You should always make every attempt possible to let family and close friends know before making a death announcement on social media. No one wants to learn of their closest friends and family passing away on Facebook. Continue…

El Día de los Muertos

Día de los Muertos

From candy skulls and costumed processions, to candlelit vigils in local cemeteries, El Día de los Muertos, or The Day of the Dead, offers a way for family and friends to honor the spirits of those who have departed this life.

Born from  pre-Columbian times, El Día de los Muertos combines pre-Aztec ritual with post-Conquistador Catholicism, and has been celebrated in Mexico and various South American cultures for centuries. Recently, however, Día de los Muertos has grown in popularity throughout Texas and the Southwestern United States, and has begun to infiltrate the popular culture surrounding Halloween. People from all backgrounds and ethnicities are embracing the idea of a colorful, spirited, and positive way to honor the lives of those who have gone before us. Continue…

The Comfort of Words: A Reading List for Loss and Grief

As the weather outside becomes colder and the nights longer, some people find reading to be a sensible distraction, an opportunity for learning, and an avenue of connection – particularly when the author’s experience mirrors one’s own.

When working through a major loss, books can provide that shared experience, the validation of feelings, struggles, and thoughts common to the grieving process. Well-written books have the power to provide keen insights or simply act as a caring “aha” when you think you must be the only one feeling this way.

Books also provide some pragmatic suggestions or tools for recovering from loss. Daily meditations or reflections, for example, might be just the right amount of quality reading for some, while others may prefer to read weighty religious or spiritual books, from the bible or Koran to new age or metaphysical nonfiction. Continue…

Hospice Care: A Choice For Hope, Support, and Quality Of Life

_DSC0033The journey between diagnosis and treatment can be arduous… Full of roadblocks, stormy weather, and unnavigable terrain, this part of life can be fraught with pain or doubt. But what happens when treatment doesn’t work, or when a cure is unattainable?

Hospice care is a suitable choice for people with a prognosis of less than a year, but choosing it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the end of the journey. In fact, it’s not uncommon for some people with limiting illnesses to live longer than expected – a reality thanks, in part, to the compassionate expertise of end-of-life care providers. Continue…

When the Roles Have Switched: Caring for Elderly Parents

My mom and dad mean the world to me!With the increase in life expectancy, coupled with the high cost of most nursing facilities and independent living residences, many American families are opting to move their parent or parents into their homes. Not only does this offer a more cost-effective solution to senior care it also allows younger generations to get to know their grandparents.

This trend upholds a tradition that once existed – that of caring for elderly parents at home, rather than in institutions.

And while the benefits are many, there are some additional considerations that can be challenging if not carefully planned. Continue…

10 Mistakes To Avoid When Planning A Funeral

Female mortician comforting and advising a woman in blackFuneral planning requires a unique combination of time, attention, and specialized interpersonal communication skills. Indeed, it can be a complicated endeavor, and it’s certainly more difficult when inexperienced or bereaved.

Miller Funeral and Cremation Services understands the inherent challenges that individuals and families face when planning a funeral. It’s never an easy task, but when the most common mistakes are avoided, the services you seek will have the most meaning.

Integrity Matters

We strive to go the extra mile with each and every client we have the honor to serve. Our combined years of experience allow for every intention (no matter how detailed) to be realized, and hope that we exceed your expectations. Continue…

Celebrity Deaths: Why Do They Make Us So Sad?

iStock_000006417178_LargeThe recent bulk of high profile celebrity deaths seem to have left our nation reeling. Many people are surprised to find themselves deeply shocked and saddened by the death of a beloved actor or musician, and many more are wondering how the death of someone they never knew can affect people at such a profound level.

Celebrities Feel Like Family

In a sense, many of us have “grown up” with our favorite celebrities. TV, movies, radio, and now the internet gives us nearly unlimited contact with actors, pop stars, musicians, and even politicians. When a public figure dies, it can feel like someone we know personally has died as well. If a celebrity’s particular art form was special or important to us, we may feel as though we have actually lost a close friend. Continue…