Grief in the Silver Screen

What grief looks and feels like varies from person to person. One way to understand grief from different perspectives is by watching movies. Movies always mirror real life, some better than others. There are movies about preparing for the death of a loved ones, the journey on the final days of a loved one, or the journey after the death of a loved one. Have some tissues ready because here is a list of movies who capture grief perfectly:   Up (2009) This animated film stirred up more feelings in the first 15 minutes than any other movie at the time. If you had a chance to watch it in theatres you probably heard a lot of sniffles. This story is about how Carl, an old widow, refuses to leave his home he shared with his beloved wife. The adventure he takes helps him grieve for his wife. This film teaches different lessons about life. Lullaby (2014) Lullaby shows the journey of a family who has to come to terms that their father has chosen to die after a long battle with cancer. This film sparks the conversation of assisted death and how it affects everyone around you. The Descendants (2011) George Clooney plays a father who has to make some tough life choices after his wife ends in a coma after a horrible accident. He faces the challenges of trying to connect with his daughters who are also coping with their mother’s possible death. He goes through anger and sadness. A Monster Calls (2016) This movie shows the coping mechanisms a child uses to cope with the possible death of a loved one. A Monster Calls is an adaptation of the novel of the same name.  This movie gives the perspective of what a looming death looks like to a child. My Sister’s Keeper (2009) Watching this film makes you wonder if it is based on a true story. This movie tells the story of a young girl who wants to become emancipated from her parents who conceived her to be a bone marrow donor for her older sister. This movie demonstrates how hard death can be when you see it knocking at your door. P.S. I Love You (2007) P.S. I Love You shows the long journey of grieving. This movie does a great job showing how grieving can take longer than a year for some. It...
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Advance Funeral Planning

The thought of walking into a funeral home is terrifying. Most of the time you only set foot in a funeral home after someone you know has passed. The days following a death of a loved one are chaotic. There is a lot of planning that needs to be done for the funeral. Money must be gathered and decisions need to be made within a few days. Often these decisions are driven by grief and guilt rather than a sound mind and rationalization. Advance funeral planning helps cut down the stress and pressure a loved one goes through when planning a funeral. The best part about prearranging is that you get to pick everything for your own funeral. From the music, to the clothing even the verses you want read and who to invite. Prearranging is simple and truly lifts a burden from you family. Your loved ones will be able to focus on you and your life. The pressure of worrying if the decisions made for you about your funeral arrangements would please you, will be gone. By prearranging your funeral, you would also eliminate the financial burden for the ones left behind and in most cases, save a significant amount of money as well. The first step in planning your ceremony is setting an appointment with a funeral director. You do not have to start planning right away, but this initial meeting will help guide you through the process and look at your options. The next step is deciding how much you want to preplan. You can decide everything from the music playing and programs to flowers arrangements. Or you can just choose the most common items like a casket. Overall you have final say on what exactly you would like to prearrange. Advance funeral planning is beneficial for you and your family. Help your loves by contacting McMahan’s Funeral Home to set up an Advance Funeral Planning...
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Funeral Services Etiquette

Do you ever have questions about the do’s and don’ts of a funeral service? Well each religion and culture have different customs. Here are the most common ones that will help you feel more at ease when attending a funeral. Isn’t a funeral and a memorial service the same thing? A funeral service has the body of the deceased present. While a memorial does not have the body present. Sometimes a memorial is just a service remembering the deceased. In some cultures it is accustomed to hold memorial services every year on the birthday of the deceased. Do you have to go to the viewing? No. You are welcomed to attend to show respect but you are not forced to. If you still want to attend but don’t want to see the body there a simple solution. When you arrive you can either go to another room or sit in the back. The viewing in some cultures is the time when people pray in silence for the deceased. Do I sign the register/guestbook? Do I sign it twice? The register/guestbook is for everyone who attended the viewing or the funeral. It is not limited to just family. There is only one guestbook so if you signed it at the viewing it is recommend not to sign it again at the funeral. The guestbook is for the family to look back and see who all attended. Sometimes families send out thank you cards based on who signed the book. What if the funeral service is at a church and I’m not religious, can I go? Yes! A funeral service is not just for religion. A funeral service is the time where people gather to celebrate the life of the deceased. You don’t have to participate in the customs of the church because you are there. Remember everyone is there for the same reason. Where do I sit? Typically the first two rows are for the immediate and extended family. The closer the person was to the deceased the closer they tend to sit. If you don’t feel like it’s your place to sit close you don’t have to. Do I bring a gift? Gifts are always welcomed especially if the family asked for one. A common gift is flowers. If they are sent before the service they can be used to decorate the viewing, funeral and/or memorial. Sometimes the family...
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When a Friend Loses a Loved One: What to Say and What Not to Say

When someone goes through a loss, it can be very difficult to know the right thing to say. You know you can’t end their pain, and you can’t quite understand what exactly they are going through. You may have endured a similar or even the same loss, but no two people experience pain or loss in the exact same way. One thing that everyone needs when they are going through a difficulty like this is love and support from the people around them. Here is what you should say to someone experiencing loss: Although it can feel awkward, acknowledge the situation: “I heard about your ___ dying.” Using the word “dying” or “died” shows the person that you are open to talk to about how they really feel, rather than tip-toeing around the situation. Express your concern. Always include something like, “I am so sorry this happened to you.” Offer your support. “Is there anything I can do for you?” or better, “please let me know what I can do.” Ask how he or she feels. Like we said before, even if you have experienced something similar, never assume you know how the bereaved person feels on any given day.   And just as importantly, here are examples of what to avoid saying to a grieving person: “I know how you feel.” It can seem natural to say this because typically it can be comforting to know that someone understands you. But in this case, especially if the loss is fresh or recent, it can be counterproductive. Even if you each lost the same family member or something to that effect, you can never quite know what that person may be going through. “It’s part of God’s plan.” No matter how religious, this can make people very angry. Even if they believe it is true, it’s not what they want to hear right now. “Look at what you have to be thankful for.” Being thankful for other things in their life does not negate the severity of this particular thing. “He’s in a better place now.” The person may or may not believe this. It is safer to keep your views to yourself unless asked. And again, even if they do believe it, they would still prefer that the person had remained right here, in this place. “This is behind you now; it’s time to move on with your...
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Myths vs. Facts about Grief

Dealing with the loss of a loved one can be incredibly difficult. It is a part of life that leaves pretty much everyone, appropriately put, at a loss – we don’t know which way is the right way to deal with it. The truth is that there is no “right way” of dealing with death because everyone processes it differently, and that’s okay. There are several myths that we sometimes tell ourselves in the face of grief which aren’t necessarily the case: Myth: Ignoring the pain will make it easier and go away faster. Fact: Pushing your pain to the backburner or ignoring it completely will, in fact, only make it last longer – and make it much worse to deal with in the long run. In order to truly heal, we must face our loss head on and actively deal with it. Myth: It’s necessary to “stay strong” when dealing with death. Fact: Feeling sad, lonely, or lost are natural responses to loss. Crying isn’t a sign of weakness! You don’t owe it to anyone, even your friends and family, to put up a brave front. This is your pain, and showing it can help them help you. Myth: If you don’t cry, it means you’re not really sad. Fact: Crying is a normal reaction to sorrow, but it isn’t the “right” or only one. Those who don’t cry may very well be feeling the loss just as deeply as those who do, they just show it in a different way. Myth: Grief should last about a year. Fact: There isn’t a right or wrong time frame for your grieving process. Each person goes through the experience differently, and it doesn’t mean anyone is stronger than another based on how long it takes. Dealing with loss is painful any way you slice it, but we can take comfort in knowing that there is no wrong method of coping. The key to healthy grieving is letting yourself feel, in order to truly...
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Preneed Services

We get it; nobody wants to think about their death. While it may be a grim subject, there are many important questions that need to be addressed in case the time comes. What are you doing to make sure that you are properly remembered? Is your family going to struggle with the payment of your funeral? Sorting these things out now can help ease the stress on your family at a time when they need the stress the least. That is why preneed service exists for your funeral needs. Funeral homes are able to get everything taken care of before you pass on, lightening the load for your...
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