The FCA (Franklin Cemetery Association) publishes newsletters for local residents and businesses to keep them informed on the latest events and announcements.
See below for the latest activities:
ARTICLES AND LINKS FROM LUCILLE ROSETTI
HOW I STAYED HEALTHY AND SANE AFTER MY MOTHER DIED
My mom died when I was 31. I had a toddler and a nine-month-old baby. I was not ready to be an orphan with no one to guide me on how to parent my boys. It was hard, but I could not let grief overtake me because I had two lives that depended on my health and sanity. It’s been more than a decade, and I still reflect on all of the things I did in those early days that helped me through the worst. Today, I would like to share those with some help from Franklin Cemetery.
I FOCUSED ON MY KIDS
When I got the call that my mom died, I was walking in the door with my three-year-old after shopping for a Christmas gift for his baby brother. I hit the floor, and things went dark. This complete disconnect from life lasted for about three seconds before my motherly instincts kicked in. At that moment, I knew that I had to focus on my kids. It was easy when they were little; maintaining these relationships has been more difficult with age, but the challenges have been worth it. My boys are now teenagers, and they continue to help me every day to process being a mom without a mom.
I CLEANED - A LOT
Considering that I had a baby and a toddler, my house was a bit of a wreck. We were living a fairly carefree life, and it didn’t really bother me that ride-on toys and rattles were scattered throughout the house. But after my mom’s funeral, I decided I needed my house to be cleaner and more organized. While I did keep a few rooms for the kids to make messes, I completely decluttered the living room, cleared the closets, and purged the pantry. I also turned our downstairs guest room into my “cry room,” where I could sit in solitude and focus on my feelings, similar to meditation.
I THOUGHT ABOUT CREATING A SCHOLARSHIP FUND OR STARTING AN NPO
Something that I did not do that I wish I had started a scholarship or a nonprofit in my mom’s name. She was a nurse that came from a poor, rural home, and I thought setting up an NPO or scholarship fund for others in her position might make me feel better. I did the research, and I even figured out how to start a nonprofit so that I could apply for grants. I went as far as writing bylaws and imagining how I would hold board meetings and handle voting and other issues. Calvin Rosser actually has a lot of good information on setting up a scholarship fund, which I think might have actually been more difficult than starting a nonprofit.
Another vital step for nonprofits is marketing, of course. These days, social media helps a lot, but you can still do yourself a big favor by creating your business cards online using free templates that you can customize as needed. These are a great, tactile supplement to your digital advertising.
I CHANGED MY DIET
I was on the tail end of my breastfeeding journey with my second when my mom died. But I wasn’t eating as well as I should, even if I was eating as much as I should. About a month after she passed, my son self-weaned, so I started writing down everything I ate. I also started eating more fruits and vegetables, and I cut beef completely out of my diet. Actually, Vanderbilt Medical Center recommends a lot of the same changes that I made.
I ACCEPTED MY MOM'S TOXIC TRAITS
I loved my mom. She was my only parent and the only person in the world that I ever thought looked out for me as a child. But she was also insecure, self-centered, and highly inflexible. I inherited all of those traits. It’s taken years, but something that has helped me stay sane and emotionally healthy is accepting that my mom wasn’t perfect and acknowledging that I could not raise my children in the same type of toxic environment that I grew up in. I still struggle with my inner turmoil on this but knowing that my children don’t deal with the same range of emotions as I did helps.
Some say that grief goes away, but it doesn’t. It’s always there in the back of your mind like the uncomfortable tag of your otherwise favorite sweater. But there are many things that I did that have helped me learn to manage my grief and stay healthy and well for the last 10+ years. Keeping my house clean, prioritizing my children over my pain, and accepting my mom’s bad behavior have all helped. If I could go back and do it again, I may have channeled some energy into memorializing the best parts of her with an NPO or scholarship. And, who knows, I still just might.
Franklin Cemetery is here to serve our community with dignity and respect.
Questions? Please call (248) 200-9493.
HOW TO DEAL WITH PRE-GRIEVING AND HONOR YOUR LOVED ONE
It's an unavoidable part of life, yet it haunts us the most. What do we do as a loved one comes to the close of their life? Pre-grief is a process similar to grief, only the loved one has not yet passed away. And there can be drawn out consequences if you don't take care of yourself and process that pre-grief, or anticipatory grief. That’s why Franklin Cemetery has put together some resources to help you through your struggles with this rarely discussed aspect of grief.
LEARN ABOUT THE CONDITION
If you're in the early stages of pre-grief, or if your loved one has just been diagnosed, research as much as you can about the condition your loved one suffers from. The more knowledge you have about the coming situation, the more you can prepare. The more prepared you are, the less shock you may feel as things happen.
Being educated and prepared can give you more of a sense of control over the situation, whereas feeling helpless and unable to provide comfort can contribute to feelings of depression. Familiarize yourself with the signs of pre-grief. From sadness to anger to loneliness and fear, the symptoms are similar to post-death grief. Grief can also produce a host of physical symptoms such as weakened immune response and heart problems. The more you are aware of what you're experiencing, the more you can begin to process.
Sadness can lead to depression if left unchecked. It is important to realize that the symptoms may be similar, but are not identical, to post-death grief. You may be mourning the loss of the life you've had with your loved one, not yet the death. You may desperately miss the little things you did with your loved one, as well as the bigger things. If you expect yourself to have adjusted to the idea of life without them, once your loved one passes, you may find yourself spiraling into depression.
One of the best things you can do during this time is to reach out to those you love for support. It may also be beneficial to find a counselor, someone who is trained and can remain objective as you manage your grief. They may recommend a support group, and you may find comfort in the fellowship of those in similar situations.
HOW TO HONOR YOUR LOVED ONE FOR A LIFETIME
This may be the perfect time to understand the final wishes of your loved one, so you can pay tribute to the life they lived. You may want to place a plaque in one of their favorite places, like a bench at a park or by the sea. You could also set up a non-profit that does work honoring the memory of your loved one. You may want to start a blog or journal about their life, as a testimony to them. You can hold conversations with them, talk to them about your life or things that made you think of them throughout your day.
Make your chosen tribute as public or private as you like. Simply find something that is meaningful to you and fills you with peace, joy or love. By finding ways to remember them, to honor your loved one, you’ll not only achieve a sense of closure, but you can remind yourself of the love you had for each other.
Anticipating the loss of someone close to you presents its own kind of grief. Recognizing the unique challenges and opportunities in such a situation is critical in managing your own well-being during this difficult time. With a little help, you can and will transition through this difficult period.
4 FINANCIAL ISSUES WIDOWED SENIORS FACE (AND HOW YOU CAN HELP)
As couples move through their lives together, they know that one day, one of them will have to face the loss of the other. No one wants to imagine life without the person they love the most, but it is an unavoidable reality.
If you have a senior loved one who has recently lost their spouse, they probably wish they could simply take time to grieve - but instead, they have a long list of financial duties that they need to fulfill within a short timeframe. You can take an active role in helping them manage their finances to lighten their load. Franklin Cemetery shares a few important tasks that you can assist your senior loved one with if they recently became widowed.
In some cases, you or another reliable family member may be able to act as a legal advocate for your loved one. For example, your loved one may be dealing with a chronic illness that inhibits their capabilities and prevents them from making important decisions. In this case, your loved one likely has a living will already written that lays out their wishes, and they can name someone as a power of attorney to act on their behalf.
Their spouse may have named your loved one as executor of their will, but if not, another relative is likely taking on this important role. Going forward, you will likely have to discuss any important financial and legal matters with the executor of the estate.
According to Legacy.com, a traditional burial and funeral service can cost over $8,000. It’s common for people to be shocked at the price tag when it comes to making funeral arrangements for a loved one. If your senior is trying to figure out how to cover the cost, help them get in touch with the funeral home and come up with a payment plan, or decide which services to prioritize.
After their spouse’s death, your loved one may come into some money. For instance, if their spouse had a life insurance policy, they would receive payments. They might also receive some money through the estate settlement process. If their spouse generally managed the household finances, they may not be sure of the smartest way to invest or spend this money.
Schedule a meeting with a financial advisor who can steer your loved one in the right direction. Take time out of your day to attend the meeting with them and discuss their plans afterwards.
Your loved one may be responsible for paying back their spouse’s credit card debt or medical bills. If so, work together to come up with a repayment plan. According to US News, your loved one may be able to negotiate with the hospital billing department to reduce their bills.
Navigating these systems can be complicated and intimidating. Be there with your loved one while they contact their credit card companies and health insurance provider - they may have lots of questions, and you can help them wade through any confusion.
For many seniors, losing their spouse will be one of the hardest things they ever go through. As their loved one, one of the most supportive things you can do is help them handle their new financial responsibilities. They will be grateful for your guidance during this difficult time.
AN ACT OF KINDNESS: MAKING END-OF-LIFE DECISIONS IN ADVANCE
Nobody wants to think about their death and what happens afterward, but failing to do so can leave a confused mess for your loved ones to figure out. That’s not a great idea because the ones you leave behind will be emotionally compromised, and the last thing they’ll want to do is make last-second arrangements about matters such as cremation or burial, graveside service or full-service funeral home service, and viewing of the body or no viewing. Not knowing your wishes, your family may feel uncomfortable not knowing whether they’re handling things the way you’d have wanted. That’s one reason it’s important to overcome a natural reluctance to discuss death and make your final dispositions ahead of time.
Making your end-of-life arrangements ahead of time is about more than just deciding what hymn should be played at your funeral service. You’ll need to make arrangements for end-of-life care, which should include discussing options concerning life-sustaining treatments; determining what treatments an individual would or would not desire if facing a life-ending condition; and making official advance directives in case you’re incapacitated. Advanced care planning discussions and arrangements are helpful to healthcare providers as well as family.
Determining funeral arrangements in advance takes the burden off your loved ones, but you may not want to prepay for a funeral. If your plans change or you leave the state where you purchase a funeral plan, you stand to lose your money in cancellation fees. Instead, set aside money for the purpose so you can comparison shop when it’s time to make your final arrangements.
Think about expressing to your loved ones how you want to be remembered and honored. Memorializing can help your loved ones through the grieving process. It can be simple, like keeping your ashes in a beautiful urn displayed at home. Or, it can be creative; for example, if you love the ocean, you can ask that your ashes be incorporated into a coral reef to help nurture it. If you love to cook, your loved ones can have your recipe cards printed onto an apron. If you love nature, and a loved one has space in their backyard, you can ask them to create a memorial garden.
HAVE THE DISCUSSION
Don’t expect your family to be any more enthused about discussing death and funeral arrangements, but it’s an important discussion to have. Those closest to you need to understand your wishes, so be very clear and frank with everyone so there’s no misunderstanding and to minimize the likelihood of a conflict arising among family members once you’ve passed away. It may help to make loved ones part of the planning process and ask for help in determining the best and most cost-effective options. If family members are involved in the planning, they’re less likely to contradict decisions you’ve made.
Assigning individual responsibilities is an important part of the planning process and very necessary so that those you leave behind have the authority and legal right to make decisions about you and your estate. That’s why people give a trusted individual power of attorney to act on their behalf when they’re unable to, someone to administer a living will, and someone to deal with social security, life insurance issues, selling your home, and legal forms once you’re gone.
Joining a memorial society puts you in touch with the necessary information to make financially sound decisions when it comes to funeral planning. You can access price surveys of funeral homes and receive guidance in funeral planning. In some cases, they’ll negotiate discounts for members at local funeral homes. Considering the savings (and that it costs less than $100 to join), membership is well worthwhile.
Ultimately, making end-of-life arrangements is an act of love and consideration for your family. Not leaving anything to question will make the grieving process easier for your loved ones. It’ll be a rough time, so do your loved ones a favor by taking difficult decisions out of their hands.
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
Coping with grief during a loved ones terminal illness by Lucille Rosetti:
Helping seniors cope with the loss of a spouse by Lucille Rosetti:
END-OF-LIFE SEMINAR (POSTPONED)
Date: SCHEDULED FOR A LATER DATE
Few people have taken the necessary steps to be prepared for their eventual death.
Oftentimes, that failure produces problems, making it more difficult for patients and their families to handle end-of-life issues in an appropriate manner. As a public service to help abate this oversight, the Franklin Cemetery Association is hosting a 5-part Seminar on “End-of-Life Issues and Solutions.” These free seminars will be held at Franklin Community Church.
For more information, please download our flier here.
THE NEW FCA WEBSITE
After months of hard work, we are happy to officially announce the launch of our brand new website!
The website has been completely redesigned to provide our visitors with an easier way to learn about who we are, as well as what services and solutions we offer to help you. We hope you enjoy the new fresh and modern design. For any questions, suggestions, feedback or comments, please email us at FranklinCemetery@outlook.com.