• Choosing A Headstone: What you need to know

    A headstone is a lasting memorial to a life that was lived, and something that will be visited by future generations of the family for many years to come. Choosing a headstone that is durable, easy to maintain, and inscribed with the appropriate wording means creating a tribute that will stand the test of time.

    • Know the rules. Some cemeteries have strict regulations about headstones. These rules encompass everything from size and style to the materials from which the headstones are made. Once you know the parameters, you can begin to make your own plan.

    • Determine your budget. Headstone prices vary, and you can buy them from many different sources. Research the market, and decide how much you are able to spend, understanding that limiting your budget will limit your options in terms of materials and style.

    • Choose your materials. There are many options for headstones, including granite, bronze, marble, slate, sandstone, limestone and fieldstone. It’s important to consider factors like the look of the stone and ease of carving, as well as the climate and how the weather will affect the headstone over time.

    • Decide on your design. You can choose an upright headstone or one that is flat to the ground. There are also many different shapes and sizes on the market, including capped stone, tablet, plaque or sculptured cross. The headstone can include a vase or can be part of a larger monument. For married couples, you can choose a double headstone.

    • Personalize with inscriptions and engraving. Beyond the name of the person, and sometimes room for a spouse’s name, there are symbols, photos and other carvings that can be etched onto the headstone. You can also choose a fitting epitaph and have that inscribed on the stone.

    • See to the maintenance of the headstone. The care and maintenance of the headstones is usually shared between the cemetery and the family of the deceased. Find out what’s expected of you, so that you can ensure the headstone remains in good condition.

    Committed to Care, Concern, Cooperation and Service, the Cincinnati Catholic Cemetery Society has been helping Greater Cincinnati families plan their final arrangements since 1843. If you’d like to learn more about choosing a headstone or planning a Catholic funeral, we can help. Stop by to meet us and see what we have to offer, or visit our website for more information.

  • Children and Funerals: How to explain what to expect

    For adults who have suffered a loss, attendance at the funeral is pretty clear-cut. If you were close to the person who has died, your presence is almost mandatory. Even if you were only passing acquaintances, it’s a good idea to go to the funeral if your close friend or family member was close to the person. For children, however, the choice is not as well-defined.

    Many people worry about taking children to funerals, worrying that they are too young to understand what has happened, or that it will be frightening for them. Some may raise the question, “How young is too young to attend a funeral?” The truth is, even very young children can attend the funeral of a loved one who has passed away, as long as they are adequately prepared.

    • Be honest. Speak to your children in simple terms, explaining death in a way that they can easily understand. Avoid euphemisms like “sleeping” or “gone to a better place”, because this can cause confusion. Instead, explain to your child that when a person dies, the body stops working and shuts down. You might explain that the person is no longer in his or her body, and the body is empty, like an eggshell with no egg or a house after people have moved out.

    • Describe the process. Tell your child what happens at a funeral. Explain what they can expect to see and hear, and how the service will proceed. Try to be as thorough as possible, explaining how a body is handled after death, what is involved in a wake or viewing, what will happen at the funeral, and how the graveside service will proceed. You might even be able to tell your child who will be there, and how long the funeral will probably last. This is a good time for your children to decide whether or not they want to attend the funeral, and it’s important that you allow them to make that choice.

    • Explain the purpose. Why do we have a funeral? Explain to your children that people who loved the person who died are going to come to the funeral to remember that person and to support each other. Tell them some of the phrases they’re likely to hear, like “I’m sorry for your loss” and practice appropriate responses.

    • Allow them to be involved. In big and small ways, children can participate in a funeral. Their involvement can be as simple as drawing a picture to leave with the flowers or placing a flower on the casket, or it can be more significant, like singing a song or reading a passage of scripture. Letting children be a part of what is going on can help them deal with the loss and begin to heal.

    Committed to Care, Concern, Cooperation and Service, the Cincinnati Catholic Cemetery Society has been helping Greater Cincinnati families plan their final arrangements since 1843. If you’d like to learn more about planning a Catholic funeral, we can help. Stop by to meet us and see what we have to offer, or visit our website for more information.