Should children attend the funeral service?
Thursday, December 29th, 2016

Many families wonder if it is appropriate to bring their small children to the funeral services. At Anderson-McQueen we encourage you to bring your children to our services because like all grief specialists say, if a child is old enough to love their old enough to grieve. However, these children should do it in small doses.

At Anderson-McQueen, we have our Children’s Play Centers so that if children need to get away from the service for a while and just be kids they can do so. They can watch movies, play in the ball pit, write letters to heaven.

If you or your family are wondering about how to discuss grief with your child, please come visit us as we have plenty of resources available to you, or call us at 727-822-2059.

This has been an educational moment by Anderson-McQueen with host, Bailee McQueen.

Bring Healing to Your Grief With Christmas Memories
Thursday, November 18th, 2010

 

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Christmas and grieving don’t fit together. Christmas is supposed to be joyful, lively, cheery, warm, and filled with family and friends. Grief, on the other hand, is a painful, difficult and often lonely journey that can shake you to your core.

 

The reality is that when you have lost a loved one, grieving becomes an inseparable part of your Christmas celebration and remembrances. For the first year, the death of your loved one will affect your usual family traditions and celebration in many significant ways. Grief is an extended journey, and as you face a second Christmas, then a third, and later ones, too, you realize that the holiday has been changed forever by your loved one’s death. During what used to be among the happiest times of the year, you’re feeling a persistent ache in your heart.

 

 

 

The comforting and wonderful fact is that within Christmas itself lies a powerful way for you to move through your grief. Your memories of Christmases past can soothe your hurt, make the spirit of your loved one present and help you integrate your loss into your life. Here are some suggestions for using your Christmas memories to heal your grief:

 

•     Accept the memories as they come; your first impulse may be to avoid memories altogether. Thoughts of your loved one as part of past holiday festivities may seem nearly unbearable at first.

•     Memories point us forward as well as back. Through memory, you evoke the joy you once knew, and remembering helps you heal and travel a healthy grief journey.

•     Plan a remembrance ceremony or find a special way of honoring your loved one.

•     Share favorite holiday stories or memories with other family members.

•     Look at photos or videos from past holidays, do some reminiscing.

•     Serve that person’s favorite food or holiday dish.

•     Offer a toast; say a prayer or blessing at the start of a family meal.

•     Hang a stocking for your loved one; pin a picture on the outside and let family include notes of remembrance to be put in the stocking.

•     Hang a special ornament.

•     Light a candle at home or in church.

•     Adopt a needy family or donate to a favorite charity in your loved one’s memory.

 

Let your remembrances give you hope that someday you will move through your grieving and know joy once more. Be comforted by the Christmas message of life and grace, and know that your loved one’s spirit endures. Let Christmas be a gift for your grief.

                                  

Some content used from “How Christmas Memories Bring Healing to Your Grief” by Karen Katafiasz

Life After the Loss of a Spouse
Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

The death of a spouse may be the most heartbreaking experience an individual will ever face.  Shock and anguish, mixed with an uncertainty about the future, can understandably paralyze one’s ability to take control of their own life.  However, the only way to deal with death, no matter how painful it might be, is to accept it.   You must continue living your life with the realization that your spouse would have wanted you to be happy and productive, with or without them.

joysadness_sm blogPerhaps the most difficult aspect of life as a widow, is the newfound feeling of loneliness.  Indeed, the quiet in a home of two people is much different than the quiet found when you are left alone.  However, in addition to family and friends, there are a number of other resources available to help new widows deal with their grief.  Public libraries have entire sections of books and guides devoted to widows, many of which are aimed at answering the difficult questions and issues that arise from the burdens that often accompany such an unexpected life change.  Also, most churches and synagogues have outreach programs that help connect those in need to the very support groups that were created with them in mind.  Finally, you might consider joining a club or taking a class that interests you.  By becoming part of a group that holds the same interests and desires, you are taking one of the first steps in creating a new life on your own.

           

In reaching out to new people, you might find someone whose company you especially enjoy.  In that event, you might begin to wonder how long you should wait before dating again.  While there is no single answer that will work for everyone, the best strategy is simply to do what feels comfortable.  That could be several months, or it could be years, but only you can decide when you are ready to begin that new chapter in your life. 

           

Finally, for many people widowhood brings a number of new financial responsibilities.  Indeed, if your former spouse always handled the banking, taxes, and investments, then whether you like it or not, you have some important work to do.  Also, you might also have questions about your financial future.  How will the death of your spouse affect both your own lifestyle, and that of their loved ones?  If you were not the primary source of income for the family, will you need to take on a more demanding job?  These are all important questions, and finding the answers is a necessary step as you begin your new life.

           

Life cannot be the same again after you lose a spouse, but it can be enjoyed and treasured. With time and friendship, you may carve out a new and comforting path not only of contentment, but happiness as well.

Personalizing a Funeral With Music
Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

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            There are a variety of ways to incorporate music into a funeral: you can have music playing while guests are entering prior to the service; you can set personal music to a DVD of still pictures of the deceased; you can even take breaks throughout the service to play different pieces of funeral music.  Regardless of how you choose to incorporate it into the funeral or memorial service, music – like all particulars of the funeral – should reflect the individual personality of the deceased.

 

            Finding the right songs for a funeral or memorial service is often a difficult task, because most families are in shock or are overwhelmed by the need to make other final arrangements.  However, there are some basic concepts you can follow to make the process of selecting funeral music go more smoothly. 

 

                First of all, in order to provide funeral music that will reveal the taste and personality of the person you wish to honor, look to that person’s music collection. You will undoubtedly find clues as to the type of music the deceased most enjoyed, and even particular albums, tapes, or CDs by specific artists.  In some instances, the deceased has left instructions, either verbal or written, to play a song that was important to them in their lives.  In that case, a close family member or friend will likely understand and be able to share the relevance of that song with others gathering to mourn the loss of the deceased. 

 

               If no such instructions were left, then you should think about your ultimate goal in choosing a piece of music for the funeral.  Are you trying to soothe or inspire those present?  Are you trying to conjure up specific memories of the deceased?  Do you simply want to provide a general representation of the deceased’s personality?   Asking these questions should help you in the process of selecting the perfect music for the funeral or memorial service.

 

            Funeral music can provide mourners with a powerful and important opportunity to reflect, share their grief, and create a new and final memory that can be drawn upon in the potentially difficult and sad times ahead.  So, although it may seem difficult at first, selecting the right funeral music will be well worth the time and effort, as it will inevitably benefit all who attend the service.

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