What is a wake?

Monday, 12 November 2012

The original meaning of 'wake' was: 'a long period when people do not sleep'. at a wake the mourners stay up all night as a sign of respect to the dead person.

Definitions of Wake and Their Implications

Broadly speaking, wakes are parties or social gatherings held in connection with funerals. These sometimes involve keeping watch beside the corpse and behaving in a demonstrative way, either by lamenting or merry-making. This implication of unruliness is widespread. According to Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable (1978), the wake is "a vigil celebrated with junketing and dancing." The word primarily means, of course, to prevent someone from sleeping, to wake the person up, to disturb the person's slumber and make it impossible for him or her to slip back into it. The "junketing and dancing" take place in order to wake the person up again. That is why, compared with ordinary social behavior, wakes stand out as wild and unrestrained: They have to be "fit to wake the dead."
From this point of view, then, "waking the dead" is carried out mainly for the benefit of the dead themselves, in order to restore them to wakefulness. To be the expression of a consciously focused intention on the part of the living is its ritual function. Not merely to give a dead person "a good send off," but to keep the dead properly moving in the right direction, instead of simply losing consciousness. In religious terms this means making sure that the person goes on living in the dimension of being he or she must now enter upon. In other words, the deceased must be awake among the dead, a state of affairs that is held to be beneficial to the deceased's survivors as well.
There is evidence of wake-related behavior in all parts of the world. The practice of "waking the dead" is ancient. For example, in Homer's Iliad both Hector and Patrodus are depicted as having had funeral feasts, which, if they resembled those of Achilles and Aeneas, included games and contests of skill. The practice of "funeral games" occurs as a common theme in accounts of funeral behavior throughout the world.
Everywhere the underlying intention of the wake is to honor the dead person. The Irish antiquarian Sean O'Suilleabhain believes that the intention was originally to avert the person's rage at having died: "It was an attempt to heal the wound of death and to do final justice to the deceased while he was still physically present. After the burial, the opportunity to do so would be absent" (O'Suilleahbain 1967, p.172). Thus, the practice is held to be an expression of a straightforward fear of dead people and what they are able to do to the living, in accordance with the world-famous anthropologist James Frazer's rationale of ancient funeral customs in his Fear of the Dead in Primitive Religion (1933) and the evolutionary doctrine of C. E. Vulliamy, who associates such ideas with a primitive mentality that most of the human race has now grown out of.

The traditions surrounding a Muslim Death

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Death is a very painful and emotional time, yet one that may be filled with hope and mercy. Muslims believe that death is a departure from the life of this world, but not the end of a person's existence. Rather, eternal life is to come, and we pray for God's mercy to be with the departed, in hopes that they may find peace and happiness in the life to come.

Care for the Dying

When a Muslim is near death, those around him or her are called upon to give comfort, and reminders of God's mercy and forgiveness. They may recite verses from the Qur'an, give physical comfort, and encourage the dying one to recite words of remembrance and prayer. It is recommended, if at all possible, for a Muslim's last words to be the declaration of faith: "I bear witness that there is no god but Allah."
Upon death, those with the deceased are encouraged to remain calm, pray for the departed, and begin preparations for burial. The eyes of the deceased should be closed, and the body covered temporarily with a clean sheet. It is forbidden for those in mourning to excessively wail, scream, or thrash about. Grief is normal when one has lost a loved one, and it is natural and permitted to cry. When the Prophet Muhammad's own son died, he said: "The eyes shed tears and the heart is grieved, but we will not say anything except which pleases our Lord." One should strive to be patient, and remember that Allah is the One who gives life and takes it away, at a time appointed by Him. It is not for us to question His wisdom.
Muslims strive to bury the deceased as soon as possible after death, avoiding the need for embalming or otherwise disturbing the body of the deceased. An autopsy may be performed, if necessary, but should be done with the utmost respect for the dead.

Washing and Shrouding

In preparation for burial, the family or other members of the community will wash and shroud the body. (If the deceased was killed as a martyr, this step is not performed; martyrs are buried in the clothes they died in.) The deceased will be washed respectfully, with clean and scented water, in a manner similar to how Muslims make ablutions for prayer. The body will then be wrapped in sheets of clean, white cloth (called the kafan).

Funeral Prayers

The deceased is then transported to the site of the funeral prayers (salat-l-janazah). These prayers are commonly held outdoors, in a courtyard or public square, not inside the mosque. The community gathers, and the imam (prayer leader) stands in front of the deceased, facing away from the worshippers. The funeral prayer is similar in structure to the five daily prayers, with a few variations. (For example, there is no bowing or prostration, and the entire prayer is said silently but for a few words.)


The deceased is then taken to the cemetery for burial (al-dafin). While all members of the community attend the funeral prayers, only the men of the community accompany the body to the gravesite. It is preferred for a Muslim to be buried where he or she died, and not be transported to another location or country (which may cause delays or require embalming the body). If available, a cemetery (or section of one) set aside for Muslims is preferred. The deceased is laid in the grave (without a coffin if permitted by local law) on his or her right side, facing Mecca. At the gravesite, it is discouraged for people to erect tombstones, elaborate markers, or put flowers or other momentos. Rather, one should humbly remember Allah and His mercy, and pray for the deceased.


Loved ones and relatives are to observe a 3-day mourning period. Mourning is observed in Islam by increased devotion, receiving visitors and condolences, and avoiding decorative clothing and jewelry. Widows observe an extended mourning period (iddah), 4 months and 10 days long, in accordance with the Qur'an 2:234. During this time, she is not to remarry, move from her home, or wear decorative clothing or jewelry.
When one dies, everything in this earthly life is left behind, and there are no more opportunities to perform acts of righteousness and faith. The Prophet Muhammad once said that there are three things, however, which may continue to benefit a person after death: charity given during life which continues to help others, knowledge from which people continue to benefit, and a righteous child who prays for him or her.

Tough Times - Long Distance Funeral Transport

Monday, 8 October 2012

Learn more about what Tough Times Funeral Transport can do for you and your loved ones

What to write on a Headstone

Friday, 7 September 2012

What is a Headstone?

A headstone, tombstone, or gravestone is a marker, usually stone, that is placed over a grave. In most cases they have the deceased’s name, date of birth, and date of death inscribed on them, along with a personal message, or prayer.
Simply stated:  A headstone is a memorial stone set at the head of a grave.

Deciding What to Write on a Headstone

Deciding what to inscribe on the headstone is a task challenging and emotional at the same time. Here are the basics which make the part and parcel of a headstone.

The Basics

Name of the Deceased
The full name of the deceased is written on top of a headstone. Nickname can also be written in parentheses followed by the real name which facilitates identification and conveys love and remembrance for the deceased.
Date of Birth and Death
After the name, the date of birth and death must be present on a headstone. It marks how long your loved one lived before moving on to the other side  of the veil.


Your Relationship with the deceased
Usually people mention their relationship with the deceased so as to let others feel the depth of love they have for him/her. You can begin with:
The Dearly Loved Husband
The Dearly Loved Wife
With Love We Remember
A Beloved Friend
A Devoted Brother
A Devoted Sister
Our Darling Daughter
Our Darling Son

Headstone Sayings

Mentioning the above doesn’t really say much about the bonding you and your loved onewere sharing. You should adorn the headstone with Biblical quotes and sayings as well as other legendary verses which relate to the characteristics of your loved one way or the other. This will suggest the visitors much about how special the deceased is to you.

Biblical Epitaphs

With the help of family and friends, select verses from Bible that convey messages of peace, love and remembrance.
Sleep on now, and take your rest.   
Matthew 26:45
He that endureth to the end shall be saved.   
Matthew 10:22
I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead yet shall he live.
John 11:25
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
John 14:1
…All things work together for good to them that love God.
Romans 8:28
…Be thou faith unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
Revelation 2:10

Personal Quotes and Sayings

You can also adorn the headstone with personal messages and quotes to express your lovefor the deceased.
"Here lies a daughter, sister, wife, mother, and grandmother who always cared."
"Here lies a son, brother, husband, and father who always put his family first."
"Life was a journey and now it’s time to rest."
"I will stop fighting life when life stops fighting me."
"My last ride will be to Heaven."
"The Lord is now my caretaker."
"Lying peacefully for eternity"
"We will cherish you always…"
"We will never forget you."
"May you rejoice in the arms of the Lord for eternity.”

Headstone Poems

Shorts poems also add a personal touch to the headstone. You can either create a poem for your loved one yourself or extract verses from poems you like. Here’s one:
A million times we’ve needed you,
A million times we’ve cried.
If love alone could have saved you,
You never would have died.
If all the world was ours to give,
We would give it, yes, and more,
To see you coming up the steps,
And walking through the door.
To hear your voice and see your smile,
To sit and talk a while,
To be with you that same old way,
Would be our fondest day.
A heart of gold stopped beating
Two smiling eyes closed to rest,
God broke our hearts to prove to us,
He only takes the best.

General Epitaphs

You can also make use of general and simple inscriptions on the headstone. Some ideas are:
Earth has no sorrow that heaven can not heal
May the journey on your next adventure be as joy-filled as your time with us. See you soon!
Don’t mourn my loss, whatever you do  
My leaving brings you closer to the loved ones
I have left behind and all the joys the future holds
You taught all that knew you what courage meant. And have shown us an example in death as you did in life. God give me strength in my life without you.

Signs of Dying with Suggested Cares - Part 1.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Signs of Dying with Suggested Cares

Appreciating the preciousness of human life, based on the understanding of one's body constantly changing, ageing, moving toward death since birth and the uncertainty of life helps us appreciate life and prepare for death. It is natural for one's body to decay especially when accelerated by disease processes. In the final stage when life-sustaining systems begin to shut down, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual changes may occur over weeks, days or hours. Each person's experience is unique, but there are some general similarities.
The following is a very simple account of the normal changes that may occur in the final stage of living, commonly called "dying", with some suggested ways of caring. It is intended to help the dying and their loved ones to understand and be prepared for these changes, in order to provide appropriate safe support and comfort holistically.
Physical Weakness / Lack of Energy / Loss of Interest in Everyday Things
As the body's systems weaken less oxygen is available to the muscles, the life force weakens, and more effort is needed to complete everyday tasks and one may become embarrassed, discouraged, ambivalent, depressed, irritable and/or just naturally become more interested in matters that seem more important: matters of the mind, heart and spirit. This is often a time of self-examination, of questioning, of looking for the meaning of life.

Caregivers can best help by assisting the person with physical tasks, while being sensitive to their feelings, maintaining their dignity and attending to their comfort as much as possible, especially with regard to symptom control and protection from injury. Love and humour can take the tension away from a stressful situation. Laughter opens the heart and can free one to see past appearances and circumstances, leaving the burden of self and entering into a instant oneness with another, that is blissfully rewarding. Psychological and spiritual support means being along side as a good friend: patient, non-judgmental, compassionate, allowing the person's own wisdom to evolve. When regrets appear, see them as lessons learned, encourage memories of meaningful events and practice rejoicing, by seeing the benefits of the kind actions of one's life, allowing whatever faith, hope and love the person has, to exist and develop freely. 

Withdrawal from Family and Friends / Increased Sleepiness / Coma
Neither family, friends nor wealth can be taken with us when we leave this world. Much of the packing it all up and leaving it behind is a solo job and one needs time and privacy to do it. Visitors can be very exhausting and the person may feel they have to entertain their guests even if they can't get up out of bed. Too many visitors one day will often result in the person being more tired and/or more withdrawn the next day. Sometimes the person may sleep more, be difficult to arouse or uncommunicative. This may be due to disease processes, medication, or the person's desire to withdraw from social contact. Simply being a loving presence near the person, holding their hand, sending loving thoughts, silently praying, meditating, just being there for them provides a comforting, safe and peaceful atmosphere that facilitates the person's inner work. The caregiver should try to respect the person's wishes and be aware of what personal desires come up in their own mind and how these can be addressed without disturbing the mind of the dying. Be careful of what you say over their body while the person is asleep or unconscious, they may hear you and it could upset them. Many people who have recovered from a coma (a state where there is no response to voice or touch stimuli, though eyes may still be open) have reported being aware of what others said and even thought in their presence.
Random jerks or twitches can be due to dreams or nightmares, you can reassure them with your kind tone of voice and/or a gentle touch on their hand or arm. The dying are very sensitive to what is communicated by the caregiver's body, speech and mind and the caregiver can become more aware of reactions and messages from the person by watching and listening. The eyes, facial expressions, and breathing changes often indicate what the person is feeling or thinking. The reason why communication is possible on this level and why you can trust your deepest intuition is because the basic nature of every being is pure and knowing, as Christians may say God-like or as Buddhists say having all pervasive, indestructible wisdom nature. Awake or asleep this is always present and available if one is relaxed, open and receptive, but it is much more familiar and easy for those who are habituated to this awareness through meditation practice. The depth of one's spiritual practice is communicated by its own power and has remarkable benefits for others. Stripped of dogma and doctrine, reputation and position, sex, age, and relationship, leaving one's 'self' to enter nakedly with no agenda, into unity with the person, even for a brief moment liberates both parties from the bondage of duality temporally and is profoundly comforting.
Loss of Appetite
Food is a fuel that helps sustain life. As the digestive system gets weaker, food may become more of a discomfort than an enjoyment, some medications may change the tastes of food, and finally the energy required to process the food becomes greater than the energy derived it. Any of these may produce a loss of appetite. Eating habits change. The person may become overwhelmed by a "normal size" meal. He/she may take a few mouthfuls of their "favourite" meal and feel full. Small attractively presented meals may tempt them. But consider who is getting the satisfaction - family and friends who want to nourish their loved one, so that the person can get better and live longer? It's often the hardest thing for the family to face; but the refusal to feed the body is not a refusal for nourishment. It is a sign that priorities have changed to nourishing the soul/spirit/mind. Forcing the person to eat or making them feel guilty if they don't, only isolates and distances them even further. The person approaching death needs to know that it is OK not to eat. Respect and acceptance brings people closer together which comforts the dying person and the caregiver too.
Difficulty Swallowing
As the swallowing reflex weakens, swallowing becomes difficult. It may become frightening for the person to attempt to eat or drink or the person may be slipping into unconsciousness. It is best to offer very small amounts (half a teaspoon) and observe the throat to see if swallowing has taken place. Tolerance of food generally progresses from solid to soft to liquids (soups and dietary supplements), to ice chips and spooned or sucked water. It is safer to feed a person who is upright, but if the person is used to eating in an incumbent position, it is generally easier to swallow if their head is kept straight, not turned to the side. The sucking reflex seems to last a long time as the caregiver will see when attempting to clean the person's mouth or teeth. Mouth care is important for comfort and dignity. Medications can be crushed and capsules opened and mixed with jam, jelly, yoghurt or like foods. Do not crush time-release or long acting medications. Discuss with your nurse or doctor any problems with medications; alternative medications or modes of delivery are available. Do not give food or liquids to a person who is unconscious. It may cause the person to choke or to inhale the foreign matter.
The level of awareness and cognition can change frequently and unexpectedly, due to many causes (i.e. disease processes, tiredness, medication). When a person becomes confused, there can be a decrease of oxygen to the brain and they may not recognise familiar people, places, the time of day or year etc. or they may hear voices or see visions. Do not negate what they say or argue with them. This is their personal reality, which can be a pleasant comforting experience for the person and could also be a sign that the person's mind is peaceful or joyful with happy expectation. But if their experience upsets or disturbs them, gently touch or stroke their arm or hold their hand and speak calmly with a soft reassuring voice and remind them of who you are, where they are, what day it is etc. Aromatherapy and their favourite music or chanting of their faith, is also helpful.

Dealing with the loss of a loved one

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Losing someone or something you love is very painful. You may experience all kinds of difficult emotions and it may feel like the sadness will never let up. These are normal reactions to a significant loss. But while there is no right or wrong way to grieve —there are healthy ways to cope with the pain.

Grief is a natural response to loss. It’s the emotional suffering you feel when something or someone you love is taken away. You may associate grief with the death of a loved one – and this type of loss does often cause the most intense grief. 

The more significant the loss, the more intense the grief. However, even subtle losses can lead to grief. For example, you might experience grief after moving away from home, graduating from college, changing jobs, selling your family home, or retiring from a career you loved.

Everyone grieves differently

Grieving is a personal and highly individual experience. How you grieve depends on many factors, including your personality and coping style, your life experience, your faith, and the nature of the loss. The grieving process takes time. Healing happens gradually; it can’t be forced or hurried – and there is no “normal” timetable for grieving. Some people start to feel better in weeks or months. For others, the grieving process is measured in years. Whatever your grief experience, it’s important to be patient with yourself and allow the process to naturally unfold.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Burial VS Cremation

Planning how to say good-bye to people we love is not an easy thing, whether you have lost a loved one or are making arrangements for your own farewell, There are two main options to consider after death, burial and cremation.

What cremation is: 
the body of the deceased is reduced to fragments of bone thru temperatures ranging from 1,500 F to 2,000 F degrees.  The actual cremation process takes from two to three hours with the time depending upon the weight of the individual.

Some people turn to cremation over burial or entombment because of the convenience, finding it more practical or cheaper to handle ashes instead of a body.

At this time, cremation is not allowed by the Orthodox Jews, the Islamic religion, Eastern Orthodox religion and some Fundamental Christian sects.

What a Burial is:
Process where a body is lowered into the earth’s soil in a casket, allowing the body to decay by a normal process.

The benefit of a burial is having a place to go to visit the departed provides solace to many loved ones.  A burial site provides a tangible link to the deceased.

For many people, the idea of a body slowly decomposing underground in a casket is undignified and even frightening. Cremation’s quick and clean disposal of a body is comforting to these people other people believe a burial as opposed to cremation demonstrates respect for the human body, they also believe that the body should be allowed to decay by a normal process instead of hastening which occurs during cremation.

What is a Trust Fund

Saturday, 17 March 2012

What is a trust fund?

Trust funds are arrangements that allow individuals to create sustained benefits for another individual or entity. Sometimes parents establish a trust fund to provide some degree of financial security for their children, with the trust providing resources to meet basic needs after the parents are deceased. A trust fund can also be established to benefit a charity or other non-profit organization.

The main idea behind a trust fund is to allow the grantor or donor who established the fund to rest assured that loved ones or a particular organization receive the benefit of his or her estate after the grantor dies. The trust is aimed at providing sustained support in some manner.

A trust can include a wide range of assets. In addition to cash, a trust fund may include resources such as property, stocks, bonds, or any other type of financial instrument. The trust fund may be managed by a single trustee, or be structured to allow for more than one trustee. It is the responsibility of the trustee to see that the resources included in the trust fund are used in the best interests of the recipient of the trust.

Why open a trust fund?

A trust fund can serve a dual purpose that has great benefits. It can provide protection for family assets and money when the grantor dies against taxes and claims. And a trust can provide for the future needs of the grantor or his family or business. Money or assets put into a trust fund are not subject to estate taxes and may be exempt from other types of taxes as well, depending on the type of trust you have set up.

A trust:
* Provides stability
* Saves time and money in court
* Saves on taxes
* Privacy and no questions

No matter what type of trust fund you end up choosing, considering one is a wise choice. Trust funds can be an avenue for sound financial benefits and to make sure your family and estate are taken care of the way you would do it if you were here. Preparing now for the financial future lets you enjoy today without worrying. Tough Times has now opened a full funeral service, contact us for free advise

Writing a Will

Monday, 5 March 2012

Who Needs A Will?
Wills are not just for the rich. Regardless of how much or how little money you have, a will ensures that whatever personal belongings and assets you do have will go to family or beneficiaries you designate. Without a will, the court makes these decisions.
If you have children, a will is a must, to ensure that you get to choose your children's guardian. Few people plan to die in the near future, but if you die suddenly without a will, you'll be subjecting your family and loved ones to confusion and anxiety at what is already a difficult time.
There are other benefits to having a will, including tax benefits.

Do You Need a Lawyer?
For most people, a will is easy to produce and can be prepared using legal software
How Do You Get Started?
At a minimum, a will should do the following: appoint a guardian if you have minor children, appoint an executor to administer your will when you die, and spell out specifically how you want your property distributed.
The first step in deciding how you want your property distributed is gathering information. You'll need the following:
Names, addresses, and birth dates for you, your spouse, your children, proposed guardians, and executor of your estate.
Amounts of all debts, including mortgages, car loans, student loans, business loans, and credit card accounts.
Copies of existing wills, trusts, divorce decrees, prenuptial agreements and any other legal documents that might affect a will.
A list of assets, including detailed information about the following:

  • Real estate
  • Savings (bank accounts, CDs, money markets)
  • Investments (stocks, bonds, mutual funds, CDs)
  • Life insurance policies
  •  pension/retirement accounts
  • Life insurance policies and annuities
  • Ownership interest in a business
  • Cars, boats, planes and other vehicles
  • Jewelry
  • Collectibles
  • Artwork
  • Antiques
  • Furniture
  • Other personal property
If you decide to do it yourself using software like Willmaker, sit down in front of your computer with all of the above information and in a few hours you can produce a will that is legal in your state. Be sure to follow the software's instructions on having your will signed and witnessed. If you feel more comfortable having a lawyer do it, you'll need to take the above information with you to your appointment.
The best of wills won't be any good if nobody knows how to find it. Make sure your family members and your executor know where your will is kept.

Tough Times will soon be providing a full funeral home service. Contact our friendly staff for assistance with your Will. 

Types of Funeral Services

Monday, 6 February 2012

Types of Funeral Services

Each culture and religious belief defines a funeral a little differently.
Today, we commemorate a death in a several different ways. Traditional funeral services are held in the presence of the casketed body whereas the body of the deceased is not present for memorial services. These services are typically held at a funeral home, church, chapel or other house of worship. Oftentimes, funeral services are also held at graveside.

  1. Traditional Funeral Services These services typically include:
    • One or more "visitations" where the mourners gather, with the body present in an open or closed casket, to express condolences. 
    • A service to commemorate the life of the deceased with the body present in an open or closed casket. 
    • A procession to the cemetery where additional ceremonies may take place and the deceased is buried.
  2. Memorial Services Memorial Services commemorate the life of the deceased without the body present. They are usually following burial or cremation, or if the body has not been recovered (e.g., lost at sea).
  3. Combined Traditional and Memorial Services Both types of services — a visitation and a service with the body present, as well as one or more memorial services without the body present — can be arranged to commemorate one life. For example, memorial services can be held for mourners living in other cities or to honor a public figure for whom a private service was held.
  4. Graveside Services Sometimes commemorative services are held at the cemetery, either in a chapel or beside the grave, immediately prior to burial.
  5. Non-commemorative Funerals Also known as "direct" dispositions, non-commemorative funerals are when the deceased is buried, cremated, or donated to medical science without any formal service to remember the life that has passed.

Visitation (Wake)

Visitation periods (or "wake") have their roots in ancient times when it was customary to watch over the deceased for varying lengths of time before burial. The custom of continuously watching arose because there was hope that the deceased might regain consciousness, as well as concern about someone being buried alive. The practice also fulfilled a psychological need by gradually conditioning family and friends to the reality of the death.
Today, visitations are typically held at a funeral home that provides the facilities, seating and staff to accomodate a viewing and a gathering of people. During visiting hours, mourners come to offer their condolences to the family and pay their respects to the deceased. The casket may be open or closed and is usually displayed with floral arrangements that have been received and memorial presentations, if any.
The number and length of visitation periods varies depending upon religious or cultural customs and personal preference. A typical visitation of 2 to 4 hours can be held prior to the funeral on the same day or the day before. Full day visitations can also be held one or more days preceding the funeral.
There are differing views on the role of an open casket. Many feel it is an unbecoming and uncomfortable practice, prefering to remember the deceased as he or she was in life, not in death. However, many experts on grief and mourning believe that viewing the body is an important step in beginning to heal because it causes mourners to confront the reality of death. Of course, religious customs also dictate whether or not there should be an open casket.

If I Die - Facebook

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Imagine scrolling through Facebook one morning and spotting a status update from an old friend stating she had passed away the night before.

Then imagine clicking through and getting a message from beyond the grave: famous last words about their regrets, victories and defeats. Or maybe a final paean to an old flame?
Though it sounds morbid, experts say a growing number of Internet users are confronting their own mortality, both online and off.
"I've heard it's becoming more and more common to leave social media account passwords in wills," says Samantha Collier, who operates a social media consultancy business.
"Some people want to make sure their accounts don't get hacked or have personal information stolen, and others want to leave pictures and/or music to their family."
Collier, who specializes in legal matters, was recently asked to "immortalize" a Facebook account for a client whose family member suddenly passed away -- which freezes the profile but allows friends to leave messages and comments in memorium.
"When someone's profile is immortalized, it can't be logged into and many personal details are kept private," says Collier. "They no longer show up in your 'suggested friends' for obvious reasons. Their profiles are only viewable to their current friends, too."
But users can go a step further, too, with Facebook applications like If I Die.
In basic terms, the app allows Facebook users to record or write a final message -- via webcam or through text -- and assign three administrators.
Once the person dies, those three administrators can then publicly post the pre-recorded death message to the profile.
"I personally think it is a good idea, since only those who truly see value in the service, will choose to use it. The more options and flexibility for individuals, the better," says Jeff Quipp, who runs an Internet marketing business.
According to some estimates, there are as many as 1.78 million dead users on Facebook. Other estimates say that up to three Facebook users die each minute.
"When a family is grieving, shutting down a loved one's social networks is probably the last thing they'd want to do," Quipp said in an email to CTVNews.ca.

Choosing a Funeral Home

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Choosing a Funeral Home

Funeral homes came through an interesting evolution from their humble beginnings in the mid-19th Century. Originally responsible for the preservation and shipment of Civil War dead, they grew along with the westward expansion of our nation. The 'undertaker' later became a fulltime job, rather than just something else a barber or merchant did in the community, and once this name became the butt of jokes, they started calling themselves 'morticians'. Half-way through the 20th Century this again changed to 'funeral director', which is where you find the profession today.

A parallel line of ownership has evolved as well. As little as a quarter century ago, when a full funeral with burial could still be had for a few hundred dollars, virtually all funeral homes were owned by individuals and families. Today, over fifteen percent of all funeral homes, and an even greater percentage of 'for profit' cemeteries and crematories, are owned by large corporations, but this percentage is deceiving. Fully one-in-four funerals is conducted by a corporate-owned funeral home, because most of the 'high-traffic' homes have been bought out. This bodes poorly for the consumer because corporations ... ALL corporations ... tend to be more concerned with stockholders and earnings than they are with the families they serve.

The first step in funeral planning, particularly if you find yourself at-need, is to get a friend by your side. This should be someone who is somewhat removed from the deceased, so the friend's emotions will not be a factor. It should also be someone whose judgement you trust and, preferably, someone who has been through the arrangement process in the recent past.
This friend should be someone who has the strength of character to say 'NO' or at least 'Not YET', to keep you from being pressured into hasty decisions. We would have little respect for anyone who walked onto a used car lot and said to the salesman, "Just give me what you think I need, and make it nice.", and yet this is precisely what many families do at the funeral home. One of our researchers, working undercover so to speak, hired into a funeral home and underwent training as a Grief Counselor, which is a death care industry euphemism for SALESMAN. This training consisted of one day, with heavy emphasis on getting the family to say those magic words YOU do it. The grief portion of the training consisted of learning how to speak in hushed tones, when to push a box of tissues across the desk and little else. At Tough Times we work hard to NOT join the list of Salesman out there. We ensure that your family needs are taken care of and have a genuine concern for ALL our clients. Contact us today for ALL your funeral needs by
+27 (011) 867 4418
083 553 2637