Category Archives: Funeral Home

funeral home in Clarksville, TN

Personalizing Veteran’s Services at Funeral Homes

From making the event a celebration of life to using modern technology, personalized funerals are the way of the future. They are popular because they allow the bereaved to both grieve their loss and celebrate the unique life of their lost loved one, especially if that loved one was a veteran. There are tons of ways you can personalize a veteran’s service at a funeral home in Clarksville, TN.

Here are a few interesting facts about personalized funerals in funeral homes and beyond to give you more information:

  • Religion is on its way out – According to the National Funeral Directors Association, the percentage of people that think religion is an important part of a funeral has gone down by more than 10%. More people are placing personalization over religion.
  • Most families don’t want a traditional funeral – According to a recent study, 71% of families do not want a traditional funeral as they see them as gloomy or dark. Most families want something unique that reflects the special qualities of their lost loved one.
  • Funerals are a celebration of life – Funerals are no longer sad and gloomy events. People want to celebrate their lost loved ones in special ways, remembering them for their unique qualities and happy memories.
  • People want a party – In another recent study, 500 participants were asked to name something they really want at a funeral. The top 5 answers were music, family, people, beer and flowers. When put all together, these 5 things equal a celebration.
  • Traditional burials are out – Traditional burials are now thought of as wasteful and bad for the environment. For example, in one year in America, burial puts enough embalming fluid into the ground to fill an Olympic swimming pool.
  • Memorial videos – Memorial videos put modern technology to good use. They allow families to make personalized tributes for the deceased for people to enjoy at the funeral and beyond.
  • Webcasting – The internet is also allowing families to be a part of funeral services even if they can’t be there in person. Funeral webcasting is becoming very popular all across the US and is only getting cheaper which makes it more accessible for everyone.
  • Cemeteries are overcrowded – About 2.7 million Americans die every year. That’s the entire population of Chicago. With so many deaths, it’s no wonder cemeteries are too crowded. That’s why many people are opting for non-traditional ways of putting their lost loved ones to rest.
  • Digital obituaries – Since most obituaries are now placed on memorial websites rather than printed in traditional newspapers, they are becoming more and more important, thorough, and personalized.

funeral home in Clarksville, TN

Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory is here for you if you have more questions about personalized funerals, veteran’s services or Clarksville, TN funeral homes. We offer a range of funeral and cremation services designed to help you in your grief. Please feel free to stop by and visit us or give us a call to learn more about the different ways to personalize a funeral, or for more information about what we can do for you in your time of loss.

funeral home in Clarksville, TN

Busting Funeral Home Myths

There are a lot of myths and half-truths circulating about funeral homes. These myths can have a negative effect on bereaved as they search for the right funeral home in Clarksville, TN, or make important funeral planning decisions.

Rather than just believing everything you hear, get to the truth of the matter so you can be prepared when planning after a recent loss or preplanning for your eventual passing. The following list of funeral home myths and their truths will help shed some light on common misconceptions so you can know the truth about funeral homes:

  • Funeral home products like caskets and cremation urns have to be bought from the funeral home. There’s actually a law that prohibits that! The Federal Trade Commission’s 1984 Funeral Rule protects consumer’s right to purchase funeral products from any source.
  • Funerals homes are sad, depressing places. While this may have been true in the past, funeral homes have changed a lot. Funerals themselves can be very joyous occasions as loved ones celebrate the deceased’s life. In a typical modern funeral, laughter and music coexist with tears and ritual.
  • Funeral directors only want to make money. Like any other professional in customer services, from doctors to florists, funeral directors do charge for their services but strive to make those services worthwhile. There are some funeral directors who are “bad apples” but they are few and far between.
  • Funerals are expensive. You can spend as little or as much as you like when planning a funeral. Services vary in cost depending on location.
  • The law requires embalming and burial vaults. The law does not require embalming in most situations. There are some circumstances that vary by state in which embalming is required. However, these are rare. Some cemeteries require burial vaults, but there are no laws that require them. Check with your cemetery to make sure you understand their requirements before the funeral.
  • Cremation is the only environmentally friendly alternative to burial. While cremation can be greener than burial, that’s not always the case. There are also lots of other green alternatives out there, and you can choose to have a green burial where there are no embalming fluids, chemicals or unnatural casket materials.
  • A high-quality casket and vault will preserve remains forever. Caskets and vaults that are well made with durable construction and high-tech seals help keep water and dirt out, but they will never stop decomposition entirely.
  • There are strict laws governing the disposition of cremated remains. Laws about cremated remains vary greatly from state to state, but they only deal with burial or scattering. Some states have regulations on where ashes can be scattered, but there are no federal laws. Be sure to double-check your state’s laws before scattering remains.

funeral home in Clarksville, TN

Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory is here to help if you want to learn more about Clarksville, TN funeral homes. Please stop by and visit us or give us a call for more information on what we can do for you in your time of loss or of preplanning.

funeral home in Clarksville, TN

How to Act in a Funeral Home

It can be hard to know how to act at a funeral home in Clarksville, TN, but it’s vital that you are up to date on what personal, religious or cultural considerations you need to make for the deceased’s family and friends. If you need a bit more guidance on what to do and what not to do in a funeral home, keep reading.

Be sure to do the following:

  • Find out the Gift Preferences: Its tradition to bring some sort of gift for the deceased or the family. Usually flowers are the best choice, but sometimes the family requests charitable donations in lieu of flowers. Always be sure to include a note or a signature so the knows who the gift is from.
  • Offer Sympathy: It’s almost always appropriate to offer sympathy to the deceased’s friends and family. Oftentimes a simple “I’m sorry for your loss” is all you need. Always remember to be respectful, but feel free to offer your own personalized condolences.
  • Sign the Book: The registry book may seem silly, but it can be an important way for the family to look back and enjoy who came to honor their lost loved one. Include your name and relationship to the deceased for easy identification in the future.
  • Reach Out: Don’t be afraid to reach out to the family after the funeral. A simple phone call may go a long way in comforting them in their difficult time.
  • Inquire About the Dress Code: Black is the classic funeral color, but sometimes the event or the family calls for a different look. If you’re unable to discover the family’s wishes, dress conservatively and avoid bright colors.

funeral home in Clarksville, TN

Be sure not to:

  • Avoid the Family or Receiving Line: A quick hug, hello, or “sorry for your loss” goes a long way with a grieving family. Never skip the receiving line, even if it’s long.
  • Leave Your Cell Phone On: Turn your phone to silent! Also, never check your messages during the funeral service. It can wait.
  • Bring Overactive Children: Loud or disturbing children have no place in a funeral home. It’s all right to bring the kids if they understand how to be respectful, but if not, leave them with a sitter.
  • Overstay Your Welcome: Don’t feel like you have to stick around the funeral home for too long. Sometimes a quick condolence is enough.
  • Stifle Your Emotions: Its ok to laugh and cry at a funeral home. The deceased’s life was filled with emotion, so it makes sense for his or her funeral to be too.

What’s considered proper etiquette is changing all the time. This includes funeral home etiquette. With all the changing rules, it’s hard to know what to do. Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory is here to help if you want to learn more about Clarksville, TN funeral homes and proper etiquette. You can visit us or give us a call today for more information about what we can do for you in your time of loss.

Funeral homes in Clarksville, TN

Funeral Home Traditions from Around the World

There are tons of funeral homes all across the globe that have their own unique, memorable and honorable traditions. Funeral homes in Clarksville, TN have lots of traditions, too, each one offering comfort and honor in the time of grief and loss. While we may never get to experience these other traditions from around the world it’s a good idea to learn about these traditions as they can inspire our funeral homes with creative and unique ways to honor our deceased and ease our grief. Here are some of the many:

  1. South Korea Departed Beads – South Koreans have started using loved one’s cremated ashes to make colorful beads that they then display in decorative dishes or glass containers. Though the beads can range in color, they are most commonly pink, blue, or black. This practice has become more popular in recent years as cemeteries are filling, and South Koreans need new ways to honor the dead.
  2. Japan Ruriden Columbarium – Tokyo is one of the densest urban areas in the world, making it hard for the Japanese to find places to bury their dead. The colorful and high tech Ruriden Columbarium is a solution to this problem. It features thousands of crystal Buddhas, each representing a recently deceased. The ashes are interred in the columbarium for 33 years before being moved to a communal burial site beneath the temple, allowing people to grieve in the traditional way before making space for others to do the same.
  3. Italy Capsula Mundi – The Capsula Mundi is an eco-friendly burial container that uses cremains to fertilize and seed a new tree. The Latin name refers to a proverb that states, “transformations of our body between the mineral, vegetal and animal worlds: the three key elements of life on Earth.” Italians are embracing this new tradition as a way to remind everyone that death is not forever, as the death will breed new life in the form of a tree.
    Funeral homes in Clarksville, TN
  4. Tibet Sky Burials – The ground in Tibet is much too rocky for burial, so instead Tibetans lay out their deceased as offerings to the local giant griffon vultures. Though this sounds grotesque, it is a normal part of life for Tibetans, and is a main part of their Buddhist beliefs as it is said that this practice makes it easier for the dead to move onto their next life.
  5. Ghana Fantasy Coffins – In Ghana, most people believe that life continues after death, and therefore funerals should be celebratory. To embody this idea, the Ga people make fantasy coffins in unusual shapes and colors. Each coffin is one of a kind, and usually represents the deceased’s life or career in some way.

If you want to learn more about Clarksville, TN funeral homes and traditions, please reach out to Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory by visiting us or giving us a call today. After all, these are just a few of the many funeral home cultures and traditions from around the world.

funeral homes in Clarksville, TN

Save Money for Military Services in Funeral Homes

Military services at funeral homes in Clarksville, TN, do cost money. From caskets and flowers to basic embalming and fees, funeral services can be out of some people’s budgets. What can you do if you want to honor your servicemember but are working with a smaller budget?

If you are working with a smaller budget, you can use these tips to get help paying for or lower the cost of a funeral and associated services for your military member. Remember, there is no shame in asking for help when you need it, especially in a sensitive time after a loss. Don’t be embarrassed or feel guilty for using these tips to help save money at a funeral home.

Start with fundraising. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your community, neighborhood, friends or other family. You’d be surprised how quickly people will chip in. Get creative with fund raising like car washes or bake sales, church groups or donations, memorial funds at the deceased’s workplace or bank, as well as crowd funding websites like GoFundMe.com or GiveForward.com. Social media is also a great tool to make your need known and get more people involved. Don’t be afraid to share any fund raising or write posts about your need. If you still can’t get enough funding, there are tons of low-cost funeral and cremation options you can choose from, including:

  • Memorial service at home or a community center
  • Pot-luck food for the service
  • Service at a church or other religious establishment
  • Body donation to a medical school or other organization (Science Care is the world’s largest body donor program)
  • Direct cremation
  • Burial on family land or a family plot

Don’t forget about to look for preplanning, too. Check the deceased’s papers and information to see if they made any plans to help pay for their funeral. They might have put in place things such as prepaying programs, funeral insurance, life insurance, and payable-on-death bank accounts.

funeral homes in Clarksville, TN

Finally, there’s government assistance, especially for military service members. Local, state and even federal government programs can help pay for funerals and cremations. Check with your local social service, county treasurer, or public fiduciary to see if any systems are in place. These programs have varying requirements, especially since local government budgets are tight, and they are making such programs more difficult to qualify for. Be sure to double check that you are eligible. The Social Security Administration can also provide assistance. Call to report a death and you may be eligible for a lump sum of $225 or other survivor benefits. Other federal programs that can help include Medicare, Medicaid, The Bureau of Indian Affairs, The Railroad Retirement Board, and the Veteran’s Administration.

Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory is here to help if you want more tips on how to save money on military services at a funeral home, or would like to learn more about Clarksville, TN funeral homes. Please stop by and visit us or give us a call.

funeral home in Clarksville, TN

Make It Meaningful for Your Veteran

Losing a loved one is never going to be easy, especially if that loved one was a veteran of the United States Armed Forces. A lot of people think that speeding through the funeral home in Clarksville, TN funeral arrangements will make the process easier and less painful.

However, mental health professionals and grief specialists agree that taking the time to plan and execute a meaningful funeral service can help people cope, accept, and eventually move past the loss of a family member or loved one – especially in the case of losing a veteran. Properly planned and executed meaningful funeral services provide an opportunity for families and friends to express feelings, connect with one another, and move towards healing as a unit.

But what makes a meaningful veteran’s funeral?

Most meaning funerals have an emphasis on the deceased’s relationships. People always say that relationships are the most important part of life, so the best way to have a meaningful funeral service is to have focus on the relationships the deceased had with friends and family. Take a moment to remember special events, fond memories, or everyday moments that embody what made the deceased’s relationships special. Use these memories to enhance your funeral services so they can best honor the deceased.

Meaningful funerals can also include more concrete things like:

  1. Tribute Videos – Modern technology offers a unique way to remember the deceased. Take your home videos, photographs and memoires and create an especially unique tribute video. Put in graphics and music for even more personalization.
  2. Memorial Websites – Make the meaningful funeral services accessible to the world with a memorial website. Websites are beautiful and useful. They help connect family, friends and acquaintances online for easy funeral announcements and communication. They also can display the video, obituary, photos and more online so everyone has easy access long after the funeral is over.
  3. Customized Prints – Order customized prints for the funeral. These prints range from photo collages and blown up portraits to bookmarks, programs, boards and even books. Put special quotes, Bible verses, poems or artwork on the prints. You can also print out the obituary, or even the deceased’s favorite sayings. The prints serve as decoration for the funeral and can be taken home by hosts and guests as keepsakes.

funeral home in Clarksville, TN

Remember, there is no right or wrong way to plan a funeral that honors a deceased veteran and helps the bereaved grieve. These are just ideas to give you inspiration, as what is meaningful to you about the deceased might be different than what is meaningful to someone else about their lost loved one. You knew the deceased, and you know the best ways to honor his or her life through meaningful funeral services.

Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory is here to help if you would like more information on how you can plan a meaningful funeral for your lost loved one, or would like to learn more about Clarksville, TN funeral homes. You can stop by and visit us or give us a call to learn more about what we can do for you in your time of loss.

funeral homes in Clarksville, TN

Why Do We Have Funerals for Veterans?

Funerals at funeral homes in Clarksville, TN have been around for a long time. These traditions may seem random, but in reality, funeral homes are very important, especially for veterans.  

Funerals are part of the grief and healing process for any family going through a loss, but especially for a family that has lost a veteran. Funerals and all associated services have five main benefits:  

  1. Honoring the Deceased: Your deceased veteran deserves respect, care and dignity in death. The entire funeral event is a tribute and celebrates her life in a positive and healing way. By hosting a funeral, you can feel you’ve done right by the deceased by remembering her and her sacrifice in a meaningful way.  
  2. Connection: Funeral services bring loved ones together. The support of family and friends is imperative to a healthy grief and healing process, and funeral services provide the chance for people to lend that support.  
  3. Healing: Funerals provide the opportunity for expressing grief in a healthy and supported way, which is crucial to the healing process. Grieving openly with others who understand and are probably feeling what you are feeling is encouraged at funerals. This sharing helps you begin to heal after a loss.  
  4. Saying Goodbye: Funeral services allow family and loved ones a chance to say their final goodbyes. This provides a small amount of closure, which can greatly help the healing. Funeral services offer a way for you to say your piece and begin to move on from the death.  
  5. Ritual: The formal funeral service is a ritual that holds cultural and religious significance. It helps family and friends deal with loss in a safe and stabilized way while also providing an opportunity to honor the deceased and help support the family, community and friends.  

These benefits, however, don’t come with any old cremation or funeral service. Hosting a meaningful ceremony makes a big difference, so when planning funeral services, you must take time to remember, reflect and carefully choose details that will help make the service one to remember. 

funeral homes in Clarksville, TN

Personalization will make your loved one’s funeral meaningful, special and memorable. Making the service a unique and special tribute to the deceased is the best way to get the most out of a funeral. Meaningful funerals can have lots of different aspects, from music and poems to special locations, flowers, photos, and everything in between. As long at the funeral is a tribute in some way to the deceased’s life and impact, anything goes.  No matter what you choose, you can’t go wrong if you put a little thought in.  

Funeral services are an important part of the healing process and can have a great impact on your ability to move forward after a death. If you want to learn more about funerals, how they benefit the healing process, or about your Clarksville, TN funeral home options, especially services for veterans, Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory is here to help. Please visit us or give us a call for more information on what we can do for you in your time of loss 

funeral homes in Clarksville, TN

Do You Need an Estate Planning Attorney for a Military Service?

No one wants to think about funeral homes in Clarksville, TN, especially those that have serviced in the military. However, its important to plan and protect your family in case anything should happen to you before your time, or in the event of your eventual passing. An estate-planning attorney might be able to help you do that.  

Estate planning attorneys help guide you through the process of deciding how you want to divide your assets, gathering and preparing necessary post-life documents, and making sure your wishes are carried out after you’re gone. These lawyers are important because sometimes, without proper legal advice, affairs are left up to family members that are unsure of your wishes, or, in the worst case, might fight over the decisions. Estate lawyers can help you draft, review, and authorize important documents such as last will and testament, trust, durable power of attorney, medical durable power of attorney, and beneficiary designations 

These documents are especially helpful for military service members. However, like all other lawyers, estate-planning attorneys charge fees. They generally charge a flat rate for prepping your desired documents and a per hour rate for more complicated tasks like handling disputes or carrying out the will. The exact rates depend on where you live and what caliber of lawyer you wish to procure. Be sure to decide on rates up front with your lawyer to protect yourself from getting over charged.  

But do you really need an estate-planning lawyer? For most people, the answer is generally no. You don’t really need an estate planning unless:  

  • Your net worth is more than $5 million. If you have a large net worth, your estate might be subject to estate tax. In that case, it’s a good idea to consult a lawyer to make sure that your beneficiaries get what you wish as opposed to it being taken by taxes.  
  • You have special circumstances. From being a military service member and having children with disabilities to foreign property or heirs, special circumstances and finances are tough to navigate. A specialized estate-planning attorney can show you the way to get through such special circumstances.  
  • You own large or many properties. Dividing up property can be tricky as titles are held in many ways and there are often confusing technicalities that you might be unaware of. In some cases, you might not even have the right to bequeath certain properties. An experiences lawyer can help guide you through these confusing laws to make sure your property is dealt with appropriately.  

funeral homes in Clarksville, TN

If you’re unsure if you need an estate-planning lawyer, it couldn’t hurt to get a consultation. Remember, most lawyers do charge fees even for consultations, but sometimes peace of mind is worth the small cost.  

 

If you have more questions about estate planninor want to know more about preplanning for your passing, Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory would be happy to help. We offer Clarksville, TN funeral home services with a specialty in military servicesPlease give us a call to learn more about what we can do for you. 

funeral home in Clarksville, TN

Four Important Documents

Rather than avoid the fact that you will die eventually, why not instead be as prepared for your eventual death and subsequent service at a funeral home in Clarksville, TN? One way to prepare for your passing is by gathering these four important documents while you still can:

  1. HIPAA Release – The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) stipulate that all medical records are confidential between the patient and the healthcare provider. If you want a family member to have access to your records in case you pass away or become incapacitated, you need to fill out and sign a HIPPAA Release form.
  2. ICE Book of Important Documents – While an in case of emergency (ICE) book isn’t a formal document, it’s a major help for families to gain access to important documents when a loved one passes away or is incapacitated. Make one and keep it in a secure yet obvious place in the event of your death. Include documents in your ICE book like:
    • Tax returns going back 5 years
    • Bank accounts
    • Medical and dental records
    • Insurance information
    • Birth certificate
    • Social security card
    • Important passwords
  3. Will – Your will is a document that states who will receive your assets and belongings after you pass. Wills must meet some important criteria to be valid, so it’s always a good idea to consult an attorney. Make sure your will clearly identifies itself as your personal will and clearly lists your name, date of birth, and social security number. It should also name an executor to make sure your exact wishes are carried out, from cremation to dividing the assets; clearly list and identify the heirs, name all your assets, from bank accounts to estates and everything in between, designate which heir will get what percentage of each asset, and is signed by you and two or three witnesses. You can also draw up a living will in the event you become incapacitated in some way. Different than a POA or a will, a living will helps you lay out your end of life wishes in the event you become terminally ill and unable to communicate your wishes.
  4. Healthcare Power of Attorney – A healthcare power of attorney (POA) document appoints someone to make your medical decisions for you if you ever become unable. This document is good to have in the event of any medical problems from terminal illnesses and loss of brain function to temporary unconsciousness. Choose someone you trust to be your healthcare POA. Some states require a POA to be notarized with additional witnesses, but all states require the document to be signed by all involved parties.

funeral home in Clarksville, TN

Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory is here to help if you want more information on these documents, or other ways you can prepare for a Clarksville, TN funeral home. Please visit us or give us a call today to learn more about what we can do for you in your time of loss or preplanning.

funeral home in Clarksville, TN

How to Help a Friend After the Loss of a Veteran

Loss is never easy, but oftentimes the pain of death is compounded when the deceased was a veteran. Whether you’re at a funeral home in Clarksville, TN or long after the service is over, how can you help a friend that’s lost a veteran?

These tips for how to help a friend after the loss of a veteran can help:

  • Let Them Cry: Crying is an important part of expressing grief, so never say “don’t cry.” Its ok to just be there when someone is crying, offering a hug or tissues, or even just a calming presence.
  • Support Past the Funeral: Grief doesn’t stop after the bereaved leave the funeral home, so your support shouldn’t either. Keep checking in in the following weeks. A phone call or a text of support is great. Don’t be offended if they don’t want to talk, as grief can make concentrating or talking difficult.
  • Don’t Avoid: It may feel easier to avoid a grieving friend, but it’s the worst thing you can do. A hug, kind word, or a supportive presence can go a long way. If you can’t think of what to say, a simple “I’m sorry” is all you need.
  • Share: It can be helpful to hear similar bereavement stories; so, don’t be afraid to share. It makes people feel better to know that others have gotten through the grief.
  • Don’t Talk About A Dead Pet: Never compare their loss to your loss of a pet. It’s not comparable and can be very insulting.
  • Help with Everyday Tasks: Grief is physically and mentally debilitating, so it can be hard to accomplish seemingly easy tasks like cooking or cleaning. Help out by offering to cross things off the to-do list like grocery shopping, cooking a meal, or mowing the lawn.
  • Provide Funeral Help: It can be hard to plan and host a funeral, and help is always welcome. Even a small thing like bringing flowers or offering to go with them to sign the death certificate is meaningful.
  • Mention the Deceased: Don’t be afraid to talk about the deceased. You might make them cry, but that’s ok! It feels good to know that the deceased isn’t gone from everyone’s thoughts and memories.
  • Mark Big Dates: Note important dates like birthdays or anniversaries and be sure to reach out around those times for extra support down the line.
  • Remind Them Grief Isn’t Short: Be sure to express that you understand the grieving process is lengthy, and that you will be there throughout. Bereaved can feel lonely or even abandoned after leaving the funeral home, so make sure they know you’re still there.
  • Let Them Bring Up Religion First: Don’t make it about religion until the bereaved do. Everyone has different beliefs, and you don’t want to accidentally offend.
  • Laughing is Good: Don’t be afraid of making them laugh. Offer up silly stories of your day, or even happy memories of the deceased.

funeral home in Clarksville, TN

Do you want to learn more tips on dealing with the loss of a veteran or get more information on Clarksville, TN funeral homes? Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory is here to help. Call today.