Grief Counseling: Is It For You?

Processing grief is a process that is unique to each individual. Some experience a large range of emotions when grieving including a sense of meaninglessness, anger, relief, confusion about missing a painful relationship, regret, guilt, sadness and much more. Grieving behaviors are also unique and can include: crying, laughter, talking a lot, not speaking at all, participating more in physical activities like running, and much more. Each person has their own stressors, an event or experience that can cause stress, that can bring their grief to the forefront. For example, hearing a song on the radio that takes you back to a particular memory. If you ever feel like you are not coping with your stressors properly or your grief is getting more difficult to deal with, try reaching out to a grief counselor or a grief support group. If you are not sure if therapy is for you look over the following list. If any of the statements fit you, you might benefit from grief therapy. Do you feel uncomfortable with yourself or find yourself unable to function normally? Do you feel like you have no control over your reactions? Do you wonder if your responses are normal, or if they’ve gone on too long? Do feelings of guilt? Did you feel no grief reaction at all after a major loss? Do you have a history of mental illness, drug or alcohol abuse? Do you have anyone to talk to? Do you feel like suicide is your only option to move over grief? A grief support group is generally a group of individuals who discuss their grief and tell stories about their lost loved ones. If you would like to meet others who understand what you are going through, a support group may be for you.  These groups help those who need to talk about their feelings and find relief in reciprocal sharing. If you give a support group a try, do go to more than one meeting. See if you feel comfortable with the facilitator and the group of mourners in your group. If that particular group is not your fit, it is okay to leave and join another one. If are looking for individual guidance, then grief therapy is your route. You can seek a counselor who will listen and teach you coping mechanisms to handle your grief. It is important to deal with your grief...
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Not Your Standard Funeral

We have all at one point in time heard or been part of the debate, cremation vs burial. But have you heard about a green burial? The purpose of a green or natural burial is to reach complete decomposition of the body, so the land can return to just soil.  To do so only biodegradable materials are used without a concrete burial vault. Not only can a green burial be cheaper, but it also helps reduce the amount of damage we cause to the earth. By choosing a green burial we are helping decrease the number of resources we use for a typical funeral. Every year cemeteries bury over 30 million board feet of hardwood, 17,000 tons of steel and copper in vaults, 90,000 tons of steel in caskets and 1.6 million tons of reinforced concrete in vaults. Green funerals, depending on your area, can be cheaper than a standard funeral because no fancy caskets, concrete vaults or embalming is involved. Some families even supply their own coffin or shroud to further cut down on cost. Another route families choose is to opt out of using a cemetery. Some choose to bury their loved one on their own land. Each state and county have their own regulations for home burial, but it is possible. Even though green burials are becoming more popular, it is important to remember that this option is not completely new. This is the way our ancestors used to bury their loved ones. In fact, some cultures still use “green” methods for their funerals. What do you think, will you go...
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Digital Inheritance: Who Gets Your Facebook Account?

When you visit a financial planner, they help you plan your tangible assets like money, real estate, personal possession, etc. But what happens to digital assets like your online banking information, email and social media accounts? The first thing you should do is make a list of every website and online accounts you have including PayPal, Netflix, Shutterfly and any other websites you visit. Step two: decide how you want each site to be handled after your death. You should decide if your accounts will be deleted, forwarded to a loved one or memorialized, if available. Step three: deciding who should handle your digital affairs. Lastly, make sure to keep your list of accounts in a safe place and make sure it stays updated. If your electronic devices like laptops or phones are locked, make sure at least one person you trust knows the password. If you are unsure what you want to happen to your online accounts, read each site’s policy. Google allows you to set a timeframe of inactivity before your information deletes or is transferred to someone of your choosing. Facebook also allows you to decide what happens to your account. It is important to start to think about how you want your digital presence to handle after your passing because a lot of our personal information is now online. Who do you trust to handle your digital...
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Continuing your Family Legacy through Food

What is the meaning behind a family legacy? When close friends, family and loved ones pass away they leave with us gifts that remind us of them even after they’ve passed. From photos, journals, and even handwritten recipes passed down through generations. The tradition of food has always brought people together; during the best of times, and the worst of times. Often some of our strongest memories revolve around food – whether it be homemade biscuits and gravy that you made alongside with your Grandma on a Sunday morning or enjoying any number of homecooked meals growing up. Saving old family recipes can sometimes be a daunting task. All depending on the quality of saved recipes. If you’re gathering recipes, and planning on making them into a book, check out these resources to get you started: Cookbook software resource – This source provides an excellent option for making your very own cookbook’s adding in recipes, photos, etc. Making a cookbook using Microsoft Word – This set of instructions walks you through how to take and convert recipes to electronic form. While there’s a lot to be said about converting recipes into digital form it’s important to pay tribute to all the originals; like adding in ‘pinches’, ‘dashes’, and ‘scoops’ to make the perfect nostalgic meal from your childhood.  Bringing your family recipes to the digital age is important as well. To ensure they are saved and can be enjoyed by future generations to...
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How To Prepare Your Loved Ones For An Inheritance

Dealing with the loss of a parent is already a confusing and an emotional time. Real life isn’t like the movies as when you die you take all your worries with you and your kids easily receive your inheritance. There are fees, taxes and much more your child will have to deal and sort through. Help make the process easy for them by preparing your finances and talking to your children. Schedule a meeting with a financial advisor and begin the process of choosing your beneficiaries. Your advisor will explain to you what exactly are your options. Once you have made your decisions set up another meeting with your advisor and your children. It will be extremely helpful if they exchange information because your advisor will be able to walk your children through the process once you are gone. They will be able to explain IRA rollover and be updated on any new changes that might have occurred. Your advisor might suggest for you to visit with a lawyer to set up a will. A will isn’t necessary but it will make everything go much smoother after you have passed. You will be able to decide how your family will handle your properties and belongings. If there is a special painting you want a niece or cousin to have, you can put that in your will and they will be able to receive it. You can add any funeral preplanning details you have done into your will. A will saves your family from arguing over how to handle your affairs. Talking to your loved ones about how to handle your estate after you are gone, isn’t signing your death certificate. It is alleviating them from having stress and arguing with loved ones in the future. If you have any questions about preplanning give our office a call,...
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Dealing with the Unexpected Holiday Grief

The holiday season may not be so jolly for most. At any time, grief can sneak up and magnify your emotions. The realization of your loved one not being there for another part of your life is difficult; it sucks. The question of “should you hide your grief or let it out” is one that needs to be answered. How you choose to grieve during the holidays is up to you. It is healthy to speak about the loved one who died. It is healthy to lose your motivation to put on a cheery face. It is also healthy to reminisce about the good times. If you ever feel your way of dealing with grief isn’t healthy, talk to someone. Understand that if you need a day apart from everyone, take it. Just be careful to not completely miss the chance of creating new memories with others. If it is painful to do old traditions, change them a little bit. You will not be dishonoring your loved one. In fact, you can add a new tradition to honor them. Adding or creating a new tradition has helped many to deal with grief during the holidays. If you are grieving during the holidays, know that you are not alone. It is okay to feel weird going through the holidays without that special someone. After a loved one dies, everything changes. It is up to us to rebuild our lives and live through the...
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