Author Archives: Ferdie Tan

funeral home in Clarksville, TN

Busting Common Grief Myths

Most people don’t understand grief at all even though everyone will experience grief after a service at a funeral home in Clarksville, TN at some point. There are many myths surrounding loss and grieving that muddy the waters and, in many ways, make it difficult for people to deal with loss in a healthy way.

Staying Connected to the Deceased Makes You Crazy

How many movies have you seen where the widow is worried over and considered “crazy” for holding onto her dead husband’s shirts or talking to him at his gravesite? This couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s healthy to continue your connection with the deceased. In fact, many cultures around the world have a deep tradition of connecting with the deceased through rituals, songs, conversations, songs, and keepsakes. The book Continuing Bonds: New Understandings of Grief says, “remaining connected seemed to facilitate the bereaved’s ability to cope with loss and accompanying changes in their lives.”

Remembering the Deceased Means Staying in the Past

Remembering a loved one doesn’t mean staying in the past, it can mean connecting to them in a new and meaningful way that changes as time goes on. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that the only way to stay connected to the deceased is to remember past times. But your relationship with the deceased doesn’t have to stay the same. Continuing Bonds: New Understandings of Grief states, “Instead [of a static relationship], they evolve and mature right along with us”. A healthy way of grieving a loss is to keep the deceased part of new experiences and new memories.

A Death is a Loss

While people often refer to death as a “loss”, death doesn’t mean that someone is gone forever. Their memory, goodness, and even wisdom can live on through the people they met and loved in life. After all, how can you lose someone when you hold them dearly and deeply in their heart?

You Need to Move on from the Loss

Oftentimes those in mourning feel a societal pressure to move on from the loss. However, there isn’t really a way to move on or detach from a loss. Grief doesn’t go away. Instead, it changes. In the early months you might grieve by sitting in the dark and crying, but as time goes on you might grieve by lighting a candle once a year. Also, there shouldn’t be any pressure to leave the deceased behind. The deceased can, and often should, always be a part of you and your life, even though that part may change with time.

Grief Eventually Ends in Closurefuneral home in Clarksville, TN

This couldn’t be further from the truth. Grief is non-linear and generally has no end or “closure” when you can sign and move on completely. Grief can change over time, but it won’t ever completely go away. Eleanor Haley from What’s Your Grief says, “Grief isn’t something you go through, it’s something that becomes a part of you. It’s forever.”

Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory is here to help if you want to learn more about grief or Clarksville, TN funeral homes. Call or visit us today for more information.

cremation services in Clarksville, TN

Military Cremation Services on a Budget

While all of the more expensive memorialization and military cremation services in Clarksville, TN are lovely, there are plenty of less expensive options that are just as comforting and respectful such as:

  • Memories – Memories of the deceased are free and plentiful. Put out a jar or dish at a memorial service and have guests write down their memories of the deceased to place in the jar. Then, read them one by one on special occasions or whenever you need some comfort in your grief. You can even make this idea digital and have people send memory emails to a special email address.
  • Photographs – It’s likely that you already have lots of pictures of the deceased. Turn those pictures into a memorial by making a scrapbook, gallery wall or another display dedicated to your lost loved one.
  • Jewelry – If your loved one was cremated you can easily carry them with you at all times with jewelry. For example, you can put their ashes in a locket with a photo.
  • Charitable Giving – If your lost loved one was dedicated to a certain cause, why not make a donation in their honor? It doesn’t have to be a large donation for it to be meaningful and to do some good. You can also ask funeral or memorial guests to make donations instead of bringing flowers.
  • Listen to Music – Music can be very powerful. Listen to the deceased’s favorite song or artist or find a kind of music that is soothing to you in your time of loss. You can create a mix or a tape of the comforting music to play when you’re sad or to give to others who are feeling the same loss.
  • Plant a Garden – Plant a memorial garden in the deceased’s honor. Seeds and flowers are very cost-effective, plus gardening is a constructive way to release grief. You can always add a memorial bench or stone.
  • Repurpose Belongings – Instead of donating or storing your lost loved one’s belongings, see if you can repurpose some of them into remembrance items. Sew a shirt or dress into a pillowcase you can keep on your bed or on the couch or patch up their jeans to give to younger generations.
  • Write a Memorial – While you may not feel like a poet or an author, sometimes the act of putting your feelings into words can be very comforting and honoring to the deceased. You can write short stories of their life, create a poem to honor their memory, or just write downcremation services in Clarksville, TN how much they meant to you.

You don’t have to spend a ton of money to honor your lost military servicemember as long as you act from the heart. Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory is here to help if you’re looking for more tips or information on Clarksville, TN cremation services and military services. We have years of funeral and cremation experience we would love to put at your disposal, so give us a call or pay us a visit today.

funeral homes in Clarksville, TN

What About Wills?

There are different kinds of wills just like there are different kinds of funeral homes in Clarksville, TN Do you know which kind of will is best for you and your needs?

  • Holographic Will – A holographic will is simply a handwritten will that you sign and date. These wills are not witnessed. While this may seem like a simple and cost-effective option, a holographic will can present a few issues. For example, these kinds of wills aren’t officially recognized in many states. Plus, as many people don’t have legal backgrounds, these wills might be missing important will components and legal language. However, holographic wills are better than no will at all.
  • Online Platforms – There are several online platforms that help you create your own official will. These platforms, like Willful, allow you to tailor your will to your exact needs while still maintaining your status as official and legally recognized. These platforms are a good idea if you have a simple estate and won’t need any legal advice, or if you want to get started early on your will and come back to edit it later on in life. These platforms do charge for their service, but most include free will updates in the initial cost.
  • Will Kits – Similar to online platforms, will kit are fill-in-the-blank documents that allow you to fill in information about your estate to create a simple will. These documents are one-size-fits-all and don’t offer much space to customize or personalize your will, so they probably aren’t a good solution if you have a complex estate or specific needs. Also, you will have to purchase a new will kit every time you need to make changes because you get married, have children, get a divorce, or any other big life event.
  • Lawyer Drafted – The best kind of will is one that’s made with the help of a lawyer. Hiring a lawyer to handle your will is best because it means the document will not only be official but will also be customized to fit your specific needs. Making a will with a lawyer is also best if you have a complex estate, like if you have assets in multiple countries, a child with a disability, or are separated but not divorced. It’s important to note that hiring a lawyer to draft your will can get pricey – with many lawyers charging over $800 for a basic will service. However, in the long run, the money might be worth it to know that your affairs will be properly handled after you’re gone.

No matter which kind of will you want, be sure to choose one. Unfortunately, many people passfuneral homes in Clarksville, TN away without leaving a will. If this happens, the government will use its estate laws to handle your estate and will appoint its own executor to take care of the details. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, most people prefer to have control over their own affairs rather than leave things to the state.

Do you want more information on wills or Clarksville, TN funeral homes? Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory is here for you.

cremation services in Clarksville, TN

Medicaid and Cremation Services

Did you know that you can use Medicaid to help pay for funeral or cremation services in Clarksville, TN?

The first step is to use Medicaid to pay for funeral and cremation expenses is to establish a trust. The trust should establish your chosen funeral home or cremation provider as a beneficiary to make sure that they receive the money upon your death. The best kind of trust you set up is an Irrevocable Trust, as this form protects the money you set aside just in case you need Medicaid to help cover any long-term care costs. Be wary of Revocable Trusts, as Medicaid set seizes money from Revocable Trusts if you have already depleted your other assets and you need help paying for medical or long-term care costs.

The best way to make sure you use Medicaid to pay for funeral and cremation services properly and protect your money is to work with an estate attorney. If you’re covered by Medicaid you can set aside money for cremation services, but trust and estate attorneys know the ins and outs of Medicaid, insurance, and trusts and can best advise you on how to proceed in your specific circumstances. Another reason to hire an attorney is that Medicaid and cremation expenses rules vary from state to state. You need an expert that is familiar with your state’s rules to best advise you. You can also get in touch with your state’s Medicaid department, local Medicaid office, or an attorney in your area for more information.

In many states, Medicaid trusts need to have been in place for at least five years for the funds to be accessible, so you also need to make sure that you establish your trust enough in advance. Your chosen funeral home or cremation provider with most likely have established protocols that they prefer you use when you create a trust to pay for future funeral and cremation expenses. Be sure to talk to your funeral home and your estate attorney to get a recommendation on the type of trust you should set up to pay for cremation service arrangements.

There are other ways to prepay for funeral or cremation expenses beyond Medicaid and trusts, like funeral insurance. You can purchase an insurance policy that lists the funeral home or cremation provider as the beneficiary so when you die, the funeral home with getting thecremation services in Clarksville, TN money from the insurance company to put towards your funeral. Again, your local funeral home will most likely have a preferred insurance provider. Some might even be able to sell you the insurance directly. Keep in mind, though, that most life insurance policies do not cover funeral or cremation expenses.

Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory is here to help if you want to learn more about Medicaid, funeral homes, and preplanning. We offer a range of Clarksville, TN cremation services with the experience and compassion necessary to help you. Call or visit us today for more information on what we can do for you in your time of loss or preplanning.

funeral homes in Clarksville, TN

Funeral Homes Services for Veterans in the Time of COVID

Large gatherings have been banned all around the world have as large gatherings could spread the COVID-19. However, just because we’re isolated from one another doesn’t mean death and funeral homes in Clarksville, TN has stopped.

Is it possible to have cremation or funeral services that honor our lost veterans when we’re in isolation? These are just a few ideas of how you can honor a lost loved one in this time of isolation.

While most indoor gatherings are limited in size or even prohibited, outdoor gatherings are still mostly allowed. This makes it easy and ideal to host a scattering ceremony to scatter your lost loved one’s cremated remains. Invite an appropriate amount of people according to your local guidelines and host the event in an outdoor space large enough for social distancing.

You can also pay it forward. If the deceased was committed to a certain cause, why not make donations in their name? You can share the chosen charity on social media and ask others to participate in the donations to honor your lost loved one. Get creative! Ask family, friends, coworkers, and others that knew the deceased to send you photos, stories, and handwritten notes. Put them all together into a memory that you can keep for yourself or share on social media. Small keepsakes are often a great source of comfort in times of loss. You can send cards, photographs, jewelry, plants, or other keepsakes to those in grief to honor the deceased and give them comfort.

Try cooking the deceased’s favorite meal. Share one of the deceased’s favorite recipes and ask those interested to cook the meal on a certain date and time. Participants can share photos and talk about their various experiences surrounding the cooking and the meal. Or, as technology has made a lot of things easier included staying connected, you can have a virtual ceremony. Thanks to streaming, recording, and social media technologies, it’s never been easier to have a virtual funeral or memorial service. Many cremation and funeral providers can assist families with planning and executing a virtual service.

What about virtual vigils? Vigils have long been a way to honor the deceased, so why not have a virtual one? Invite those that knew and loved the deceased to log onto a Zoom meeting, post photos or videos in a social media group, or even just light a candle and listen to a playlist at afuneral homes in Clarksville, TN given time. Finally, cremation allows a lot of flexibility in when a service can be held as the body is not on an embalmment clock. Unless your religion or faith dictates, there are no rules about when a memorial service needs to be held. If you chose, you could cremate your loved one and hold a memorial later on when this crisis has smoothed out.

Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory is here to help if you want more tips on Clarksville, TN funeral home services. After all, there are still many ways we can honor our lost veterans even though we’re apart. Call today to learn more.

cremation services in Clarksville, TN

Overseas Deaths

Most people do have some arrangements preplanned for cremation services in Clarksville, TN for themselves or their loved ones. It’s a good idea to plan, but almost no one plans on having to deal with a death or bringing a body home.

If you lose a loved one while they’re traveling, the stress of that death is usually compounded by the question: “what do I do now?” Generally, the local embassy of the country where the person died will contact the United States State Department, who will in turn notify the appropriate next of kin. That’s when it’s time to get moving with an executed and signed Next-of-kin Affidavit and a Letter of Instruction that details your wishes for the body’s repatriation.

There are some instances in which confirmation of the deceased is tricky, so the next-of-kin may be asked to provide dental or medical records to assist with confirming the identification of the body.

The exact process of body repatriation can differ slightly from country to country, but it’s important that you follow the laws of the country where the death occurred. There are generally three different methods of body repatriation. There are Preparation and Return of an Embalmed Body. In this method the body is embalmed at a funeral home in the country where the death occurred and then returned to the USA. Sometimes the embalming standards of the local country are not at the same level as American embalming, so a viewing of the body will not be advisable. Keep in mind that the next-of-kin will be responsible for all body repatriation costs as the US government does not have funds set aside for these instances. Embalming prior to repatriation is the most expensive, with local cremation and local burial coming behind. Also, it’s important to note that there might be extensive delays in body repatriation if the deceased was a victim of a crime as the local police will need to investigate.

There is also Local Cremation and Return of Cremains. Cremation is usually available in most countries. However, cremation might be more costly or less available in countries that are predominately Muslim or Catholic. You can also choose Local Burial. Local burial is possible if the country in which the death occurred allows for burial of foreign nationals. The local embassy will generally make burial arrangements and send the next-of-kin the details.

The process of bringing a body home, called body repatriation, can take a long time and acremation services in Clarksville, TN mountain of paperwork, so it’s best to get started as soon as you can. Move quickly and efficiently to make sure that you stay on top of all that needs to be done.

If your family is put in the unfortunate situation of losing a loved one overseas, you need a funeral home you can count on. Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory offers Clarksville, TN cremation services with the compassion and expertise needed to help you through this difficult time. Call or visit us today to learn more about what we can do for you in your time of loss.

funeral home in Clarksville, TN

Death Certificates and Funeral Homes

A death certificate is an official document that formally declares a death. They usually list the date, time, location, and cause of death as well as some other personal information about the deceased. You will need to get a death certificate for almost any service at a funeral home in Clarksville, TN, including military services.

There are a lot of different reasons why you might need a death certificate, but they all have to do with proving a death. Some of the most common reasons you would need a death certificate are to access insurance policies, Social Security, property ownership, Veteran’s benefits, safety deposit boxes, last will and testaments, post office accounts, bonds, stocks or brokerage accounts, pension plans, treasury bills, IRAs, and tax records.

No matter what the reason you need a copy, there are a few different ways you can order a copy of a death certificate: through the funeral home that did the service or cremation, in person at your state’s vital statistics office, or online at your state’s vital statistics website. It’s important to note that not just anyone can access death certificates and copies. The only people that are eligible to get a copy of a death certificate are immediate family members like spouses, parents, children, siblings, or grandchildren or legal guardians, representatives, state agencies, and federal agencies.

Though death certificate laws can vary slightly from state to state, they generally are required to be registered with a state’s Department of Health and Vital Statistics. If you need a copy of a death certificate you can visit your state’s vital records office to be issued a certified copy. Death certificates are not free. Their exact cost depends on your state and how you order them. For example, the cost of extra death certificate copies from the funeral home is probably different than the cost of copies from the office of vital statistics or the state’s website. You can make it easier to obtain death certificates quickly and affordably by having your funeral home or cremation provider order several directly from the state office.

You must submit proof of relationship to the deceased when applying for a copy of a death certificate with your state’s registrar. Proof of relation could be a birth certificate, legalfuneral home in Clarksville, TN document, or a letter stating how the applicant has legal representation rights to the deceased. There are some cases in which someone needs a copy of a death certificate, but they are not one of eligible relations. For example, a cousin of the deceased might be eligible for death benefits but cannot access the death certificate. In these instances, the person must ask an eligible person or party, like a life insurance holder, to request the death certificate for them.

Do you want to learn more about death certificates or Clarksville, TN funeral homes? Call or visit Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory today for more information on what we can do for you in your time of loss, especially for military services. We are happy to do whatever we can for you.

cremation service in Clarksville, TN

Cremation Services, POAs, Executors and Guardians

Do you know what executors, guardians, and people holding powers of attorney are? Or what do they have to do with planning a memorial or a cremation service in Clarksville, TN? If you don’t, it’s ok. You’re not alone. Many people are confused about what these different things, jobs, and people are and what they have to do with end-of-life planning. Executors, guardians, and people holding powers of attorney (POA) are similar in many ways, but they all have unique roles to play when it comes to planning cremation services, funerals, and other death-related matters.

Guardians are given legal control to make personal and financial decisions for someone else when that person, the ward, is deemed unable or unfit to make such decisions for themselves. Guardians may or may not have control over the final disposition. This is determined case-by-case and depends on the powers given to the guardian in probate court. Guardians are usually the ward’s spouse or adult child, but anyone can be appointed a guardian if the court believes he will act in the ward’s best interests. In some cases, if there is no next of kin, a Public Guardian appointed by the state will make funeral arrangements.

A Power of Attorney is not a person. A POA is a legal document in which one person, the principal, gives another person, the attorney-in-fact, the power to act on their behalf in financial and legal matters. Most POA documents are financial, legal, or both and are only applicable when the principal is still alive. If the document is financial, the attorney-in-fact does have the power to preplan and prepay for the principal’s funeral, cremation, or another death-related service. However, the attorney-in-fact cannot make any death-related arrangements after the principal has already died. The attorney-in-fact is also not able to make funeral plans for another person on the principal’s behalf, such as a spouse or a child.

And finally, an executor is the person that has control over a deceased’s assets. Though many people believe executors have control over the details of a deceased’s final disposition, this is not true. In fact, an executor’s main, and often only, role when it comes to disposition is tocremation service in Clarksville, TN inform the funeral agent or director of their particular role in the deceased’s will. An executor is mostly intended to deal with more financial matters from locating the deceased’s property and opening an estate checking account to probating the will, paying bills, and filing all necessary tax forms. The executor’s job is over after the estate is divided up and closed.

To begin, some of the laws surrounding these roles vary from state to state, so be sure to research your local laws. Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory is here for you if you want to learn more about Illinois death-related law or your options for Clarksville, TN cremation services. We are happy to offer you our services in your time of loss or preplanning. Give us a call today.

funeral home in Clarksville, TN

Mourning Rituals and Veteran’s Services

Mourning rituals are symbolic activities that help ease the pain of loss and the heavyweight of grief. Mourning is an important part of grief after a veteran’s service at a funeral home in Clarksville, TN, and you should look into forming rituals of your own.

Mourning rituals help those in grief connect with others over the loss and find support in one another. They are traditionally based on religion, like the catholic funeral service or the Jewish shiva. However, as classic religion is on a decline, many people are looking to other places for their mourning rituals. Are you looking for inspiration for a ritual of your own?

You can try burning sage. Sage burning is another very traditional ritual. Sage has long been associated with cleansing and can therefore help you feel like you’ve aided the deceased in their passing or can assist in cleansing away negative emotions. You could also carry a remembrance item. You can carry an item that belonged to or reminds you of the deceased and help you remember that they are always with you. Remembrance items can be anything, such as a watch, handkerchief, lighter, or piece of jewelry.

Food brings people together, especially in hard times. Cooking the deceased’s favorite meal and then sharing it with others allows you to honor their memory and connect with those that are also grieving the loss. What about lighting a candle? Candles have a long history of being associated with both rituals and grief. Take this tradition and make it your own by lighting a candle for the deceased at a certain time of day, a special date, or whenever you need to feel connected to them.

Some ancient cultures would host a “giveaway” in which they would each take a piece of the deceased’s possessions to use as their own. You can do a modern version of this in which you go through and donate the deceased’s possessions to other grieving people. There are often many things left unsaid when someone dies. A healthy way to say those unsaid things is to write a letter to the deceased. You can bury the letter with your loved one, burn it to release the feelings, or hold onto it for later remembrance.

Coloring a picture, painting, or sculpting is a wonderful way to release feelings of grief and loss. Create in the deceased’s memory in whatever medium feels comfortable to you. Though altarsfuneral home in Clarksville, TN are traditionally more Eastern, they have recently become more and more popular in Western cultures. An altar for your lost loved one can be anything from a collection of meaningful items to an array of photos, candled and incense.

These are simple yet powerful mourning rituals you can use after a loved one’s death and veteran’s service. Do you want more information on mourning rituals or Clarksville, TN funeral home services? Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory is here to help in any way that we can. You can stop by and visit us or give us a call today for more information on what we can do for you.

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Common Cremation Service Questions and Their Answers

Perhaps you’ve looked at your wardrobe before going to a memorial and wondered what in the heck you’re supposed to wear. Or maybe you’ve been to a memorial after a cremation service in Clarksville, TN, and wondered who that person in the dark suit was. You’re not alone. Many people have lots of questions about cremations, funerals, and other related topics!

Luckily, this list of common cremation service-related questions and their answers can hopefully help shed some light on your queries:

  • Should Kids Come to the Service? – The memorialization process is very important for mourning and dealing with grief in a healthy and constructive way. This is true for kids just as it is true for adults. Childcare experts say that children should have a say in the matter of whether or not they should attend a funeral. Ask your child if he wants to go to the memorial service and make every effort to respect his choice.
  • What Does “In Lieu of Flowers” Mean? – “In lieu of flowers” is often the phrase used in a service program, death announcement or obituary when the bereaved request that mourners memorialize the deceased in other ways besides sending flowers. This could mean a donation to a charity or even a gift of food for after the event.
  • What Do You Wear to a Funeral or Memorial? – This question has a tricky answer, as it really depends on the service. Some funerals and memorials are more traditional with guests wearing black clothing to honor the somber feel of the event. But other services are more modern and celebratory, making it OK for guests to wear color or more casual clothing. Use the location of the service as a clue to the type of clothing you should wear. A funeral at a church? Black, more formal attire is best. A memorial at a beach? Casual is most likely just fine.
  • What do Funeral Directors Do? – Funeral directors are, first and foremost, in charge of preparing a body for burial or cremation, but they also help with a ton of other things from arranging memorials and funerals to providing transportation to and from the place of disposition.
  • What’s the Difference Between a Memorial and a Funeral? – The main difference is thecremation services in Clarksville, TN presence of the body. A memorial is when the body is not present at the gathering to celebrate the life of the deceased, and a funeral is when the body is present at the service. Generally, memorials happen after cremation service or other instances that would prevent the body from being present, like when the body is donated to science.
  • Should I Send a Sympathy Card? – Sending a card is just one of the many ways you can show support for the bereaved. If you do send a card, send it within two weeks of the death. If you don’t want to send a card, you can reach out in another way like a phone call, email or visit.

Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory is here to help if you want to learn more about these topics or Clarksville, TN cremation services.