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You can find our latest posts on this page. Click on the calendar to review postings from prior periods and remember to check back here often!

What to expect at a funeral

Published: January 10, 2020

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We’ve all been there. Going to a funeral can be a little daunting, especially if it’s your first or if it’s been awhile since you attended one. Let’s talk a little bit about some of the terms you will hear and what you can expect in general.

There’s a great deal of variety in funeral service today. The funeral home works with the surviving family to help them choose service options that reflect their lifestyle and belief system. The spouse, parents, or children of the deceased determine the content of the service.

The service typically includes:

  1. A gathering or visitation
  2. A religious ceremony
  3. Burial or placement in a final resting location (committal)
  4. A luncheon, brunch, or wake

The gathering may be held the evening before the service or the same day as the service.

The religious part of the service may be held in the funeral home chapel or in the family’s place of worship.

At the conclusion of the service, a procession will usually travel to the graveside where the casketed body will be buried. Cremated remains may be buried, placed in a niche, presented to a family member for keeping, or scattered.

The committal service is often followed by a meal at the church, the funeral home’s celebration center, the family home, or a restaurant.

If you are attending a gathering or visitation that takes place before the service, the body may or may not be present. When the body is present in an open casket, attendees will usually approach the casket briefly and silently say a few words of farewell or prayer.

The family may choose to receive their guests informally and casually engage in conversation as they circulate among those attending or they may choose to receive guests in a more formal receiving line. 

If you are attending a memorial service, the body will not be present. A memorial service may take place weeks or even months after the passing and may or may not include the presence of cremated remains.

The family may choose to have a memorial service for a variety of reasons. Some religions require that the body be buried immediately, necessitating service after burial. Some families just need more time to come together.

How we celebrate a life is often less formal today.

The service may include pictures and music that reflect the lifetime of the deceased. Work or interests of the deceased are often reflected in objects placed in the room or favors shared with attendees.

Attendees may participate by sharing memories of the deceased. A family member or celebrant may also tell the life story in the form of a eulogy.

Funerals are an important part of the grief journey that all families must travel when they lose a family member.

We attend to support and help the family members transition their thoughts from the cause of death to the life’s legacy. This is so they can begin their long healing process.

Your attendance is appreciated and important.

 

www.kempffuneralhome.com

Happy New Year 2020

Published: January 3, 2020

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Wow, it’s hard to believe we are twenty years into the new millennium. Twenty years ago, as we moved from 1999 to 2000 people were stock piling all manner of survival goods. There was widespread panic over what would happen as the clock ticked down to the new year. It was called the Y2k glitch. We worried. Would computers fail to read the 00 correctly? Would the entire power grid shut down?

As midnight approached, we all wondered and watched. Thankfully the lights stayed on and life continued to move forward. Leading up to the year 2000, books were written that predicted we would be obsessed with home security, we would have watches that provided health information, and we would watch movies at home instead of going to the theatre. It all seemed far-fetched then, but now in 2020 it’s our reality.

So, what about this year? This gift of a new year. What will it bring? For sure there will be challenges and triumphs, sadness and happiness, and opportunities. We will take some of those opportunities and act on them and let others go. It’s all about choice.

Will you sit in the chair and watch TV or will you go for a walk and smell the roses? Will you eat the carrot or the chips? Will you speak to the person at the grocery checkout or ignore them? Will you vote or stay home and complain? Will you help or hinder? Will you smile or frown? Will you be kind or be a bully? So many choices.

Every choice we make has the power to change our lives. We make our year.

“Your life changes the moment you make a new, congruent, and committed decision.” —Tony Robbins

What do funeral directors do?

Published: January 1, 2020

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It’s late, why is the light on at the funeral home?

Today, there was a funeral. People cried. Tissues were crumpled and left on the tables.  Flower petals fell to the floor. Now, the cleaning staff is making things tidy for the family who will be here tomorrow.

 

It’s late, why is the light on at the funeral home?

Someone in our town died away from home, the funeral director is traveling many miles to bring him home and into the funeral home’s care. The light is on in anticipation of his safe return.

 

It’s late, why is the light on at the funeral home?

Hospice called. The teacher who taught the funeral director -- and you -- in the third grade isn’t expected to make it through the night. He’s catching up on paperwork while he keeps vigil. Soon he’ll be called to the home and it will be his turn to take care of the teacher.

 

It’s late, why is the light on at the funeral home?

There are computer problems. The video tribute file a family sent won’t work. We’re staying late to make it right for their service.

 

It’s late, why is the light on at the funeral home?

It was a busy day today and we still need to notify Social Security and the Veteran’s Administration of Mr. Smith’s death.

 

It’s late, why is the light on at the funeral home?

There’s been a terrible accident. We’re doing our best to make a loved one presentable so that they can say goodbye with dignity.

 

It’s late, why is the light on at the funeral home?

The obituary the Jones’s gave us for their father is full of misspellings. We need to correct them and get it to the paper.

 

It’s late, why is the light on at the funeral home?

We’re reviewing all of the details for tomorrow’s service. When will the celebrant arrive? Do we have drivers for the cars? Who will be the pallbearers?

 

It’s late, why is the light on at the funeral home?

We’re checking tomorrow’s weather in case we need the umbrellas.

 

It’s late, why is the light on at the funeral home?

The light is on because your neighbor, the funeral director, is pacing the floor. He can’t sleep. Tomorrow, he will oversee the service for his daughter’s classmate.

Sometimes death is just too close, even for him.

 

www.kempffuneralhome.com

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