Category Archives: Funeral Home

Clarksville, TN funeral home

Choosing Flowers for Military Services at Funeral Homes

Flowers have always been a part of the funeral home tradition in Clarksville, TN and beyond. Bringing flowers as a gift for the bereaved is very common, especially when it comes to military funeral services.

But what kind of flowers are you supposed to bring to a funeral? To begin, it’s a good idea to learn more about the different kinds of traditional funeral flowers so you can put a bit of thought into your purchase, as each one represents or means something different. Roses, for example, have a lot of different meanings depending on their color. Pink roses are all about grace, friendly love and appreciation while red roses are for romantic love, courage and respect. Yellow roses, on the other hand, are for friendship. There are tons more to choose from.

Carnations are a common funeral flower because, like roses, they mean different things based on color. Red carnations mean affection, pink remembrance and white innocence. Orchids signify lasting, eternal love as they live for much longer than the average potted flower. Lilies, on the other hand, are the most traditional funeral flower as the signify innocence and peace. Many people believe that lilies help give peace to the soul of the deceased.

Chrysanthemums, or mums, are the exclusive funeral flower in Europe and many parts of Asia as they are believed to represent grief and truth while also the uplifting celebration of the deceased’s life. Looking for something more light and cheerful? Choose tulips or daffodils as both of these sunny spring flowers represent fresh starts and renewals. They are usually sent to bring cheer to someone in grief. Yellow tulips signify cheerfulness while white tulips signify forgiveness.

Finally, while hydrangeas don’t have a known meaning or representation, they are an incredibly beautiful and popular funeral flower. Some people like to think of them as a flower of thanks or understanding as they are easy to maintain and bloom for many years when cared for well.

These are just a few of the many different kinds of funeral flowers you can bring to military services at a funeral home. Use your heart when choosing which type you want to bring, as its really the thought that counts. No matter which you choose, the bereaved will greatly appreciate the sentiment.

Clarksville, TN funeral home

After all, they’re going through a loss and will be busy dealing with the ins and outs of the funeral. However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t put thought or effort into the flowers, especially since it’s the thought that really counts in these kinds of situations. Bringing flowers shows that you care, and that you are thinking about the bereaved in their difficult time.

Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory is here to help if you need more guidance on which funeral flowers you should bring to a Clarksville, TN funeral home for a military service. 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. After all, your lost military service member deserves the best.

funeral homes in Clarksville, TN

Funeral Homes and Pet Therapy

Many funeral directors are choosing to implement pet therapy programs in funeral homes in Clarksville, TN and the rest of the country. In some cases, grief-therapy dogs even attend funerals. But what is pet therapy? And how do these animals, like dogs and cats, help people cope with loss and grief? Keep reading to learn more about this new funeral trend that is helpful and almost always very adorable.

Pet therapy programs were first initiated in the 1980s and involved volunteers bringing their pets to schools, hospitals and care homes for interaction with children and patients. There are pet therapy programs all around the world now, but it’s been only recent that funeral directors have begun using pet therapy in their funeral homes to help patrons deal with grief and loss. Grief therapy dogs first started popping up in the United States in the last few years. These dogs are usually owned by the funeral director and are brought to funerals and memorial services when requested by the bereaved.

Pet therapy has been used in schools, hospitals, care homes and universities all around the world. Pet therapy, often referred to as animal assisted therapy or AAT, is when a trained animal interacts with a human with a specific mood or cognitive goal in mind. The animals, most often dogs, cats, lambs, and Shetland ponies, are thoroughly trained and are usually accompanied by a handler. These therapy animals are chosen for their positions based on friendly and calm personalities as well as comfort interacting with strangers. There are even famous therapy pets, such as Norbert, an American therapy dog.

There are also new businesses and volunteer programs in which services will bring dogs to funerals when requested. A grief therapy dog’s main job is to be a calming presence at the funeral. They are especially helpful in calming and distracting children that may not have ever been to a funeral before or may be afraid of the proceedings. Grief therapy dogs can also support the bereaved through hugs, snuggles and even calming walks when things get hard.

funeral homes in Clarksville, TN

Grief therapy pets, like dogs, are only allowed to attend funerals when specifically requested. There are always signs posted when a dog is in attendance at a service to warn guests that might have allergies or might be afraid of dogs. If you are considering having a grief pet at a funeral, think about the guests. If there are many attendees that would be distressed by a dog, it’s not an appropriate choice. However, if many guests would be helped by the dog, it is a worthwhile investment.

Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory is here to help if you are interested in learning more about pet therapy or about your options for Clarksville, TN funeral homes. We offer a range of funeral home services. Please 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 home in Clarksville, TN

Veterans Services and the Holidays

While the holiday season is usually all about festivity and celebration, there are those that face loss during this time of year. Whether it’s a recent loss with a funeral at a funeral home in Clarksville, TN, or an anniversary of a past death, losing a loved one around the holidays is hard. This is especially true when the lost loved one was a veteran that bravely served our country.

However, there are ways to make a holiday visit to a funeral home much easier.

For example, you can continue the spirit of the season. Celebrating and remembering a lost loved one doesn’t have to end at the funeral home, even during the holidays. There are lots of ways bereaved can continue the spirit of the season and remembering the deceased at home, such as setting up a vase of the deceased’s favorite flowers, leaving an empty chair at the table, having a moment of silence before a meal, or putting up a special ornament on the tree.

The holidays are traditionally about celebration and happiness, so it’s important to set aside time for grief. Whether this grieving time is at the funeral home or memorial service, or if it is a more private or informal moment at home or with family, it’s a good idea to make it know that it’s OK to be sad and grieve even during the holidays. You can observe a moment of silence, share memories of the deceased, or just spend a few simple moments remembering. Make a holiday funeral or memorial service more meaningful and personal by adding personal touches. You can send everyone home with fresh baked holiday cookies, hang up festive decorations, sing seasonal songs, or take a moment to acknowledge the season.

Giving back to your community is another great way to celebrate the season as well as turn your grief and loss into something positive. Grief can make you feel helpless, so doing community service or volunteering can bring back a feeling of control and positivity. There are tons of ways to volunteer around the holidays. Try caroling at a local retirement home, write notes to troops serving oversees, or host a toy drive for underprivileged kids.

funeral home in Clarksville, TN

Open the service to those from the community that knew the deceased or might want to offer support to the bereaved. Use various methods to promote the service and make it know that its open to the community. You can post on social media, post flyers or make calls. An open service fosters seasonal goodwill and allows everyone that was touched by the deceased to acknowledge their loss and pay their respects.

If you have more questions about what to do with funerals and veteran services around the holidays, or want more information about Clarksville, TN funeral homes in general, Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory is here to help. We have years of industry experience that we would love to put at your disposal in your time of loss. Please visit us or give us a call for more information on what we can do for you.

funeral home in Clarksville, TN

Non-Traditional Next of Kin Relationships

It can still be challenging for those with non-traditional next of kin relationships when it comes to planning a funeral at a funeral home in Clarksville, TN, even though our laws and perceptions of what it means to be a family are becoming more inclusive.

The most common non-traditional relationships are same-sex couples, Common Law marriages, and separated but still married couples.

There are three criteria that have to be met in order to couples to be considered legally married under general Common Law. If you are married under Common Law, it’s important to know that it might be tricky for a funeral home or service to validate a Common Law Marriage after one of the people passes away. Unless a Declaration of Informal Marriage has been filed by a county clerk, many funeral homes will ask a different next of kin person to sign the necessary funeral documents as there are penalties involved in allowing a non-documented marriage to serve as legal standing to be a next of kin. To avoid any concerns or issues after a death, Common Law couples should file with the county clerk before a death.

Marriage is a complicated relationship, and oftentimes married couples are separated but not legally divorced. In this scenario, the spouse would be still be responsible for making all necessary funeral arrangements and paying for them. Unless there is a clear legal proof of divorce, the marriage is still valid, and the spouse is the next of kin. This is more common than you might think and is a confusing situation that causes a lot of delays in making funeral home or cremation plans.

Thanks to modern legislation, legally married same-sex couples have the exact same rights and next-of-kin spouse status as heterosexual couples. However, the this is only the case if the couple is legally married at the time of death. Without proof of a legal marriage, the funeral home or service will have to look to a different member of the family to take on final disposition responsibilities and decisions.

funeral home in Clarksville, TN

Be sure to look into the specificities of your state law or reach out to a lawyer for the most up-to-date information and guidance. This way you will be as prepared as possible. These days, most states have a process in place for getting around difficulties with next of kin relationships. Depending on the state, there is usually a form that people can fill out, sign and file to give a specific person the responsibility of all death-related decisions. This form allows you to choose who you want to make your funeral arrangements and is valid at the vast majority of licensed funeral homes and cremation providers.

Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory is here to help if you have more questions 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 or of preplanning.

funeral home in Clarksville, TN

Personalization of Military 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. There are tons of ways you can choose personalization for military services 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

funeral home in Clarksville, TN

Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory is here to help if you have more questions about personalized funerals or Clarksville, TN funeral homes. We offer a range of funeral, cremation and military services. 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

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.