Grief & Guidance

Here for you

It might help to know that you are not alone during this difficult time. Whether you need support, advice, or just someone to talk to, we’re here for you 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We have created some grief support options for you below. But if you would prefer to speak to someone directly, please contact us.

We will follow up with the next of kin and immediate family that coordinated and planned the funeral. We do this a few weeks after the services and then periodically to let you know we are here for you. We have a customized grief platform that we also send to each of the families that we serve. If you have any questions regarding our grief resources please do not hesitate to contact us via email, phone or text.

Loss is one of the most challenging experiences of our lives and we are here to help you with that long after the service is over.

The Different Stages of Grief

Grief is a normal, human response to a significant loss.  You may have friends that tell you to be strong, don’t cry and many other cliches when they can’t think of anything else to say, but all it does is prolong the grieving process. The only way to deal with grief is to travel through it and work through the emotions that come with it, until you are able to come to peace and acceptance of your loss. It would be terrible to not cry when losing a loved one, and not to feel that sense of loss. Grief is painful, and one of the most difficult experiences you will go through. We can try to avoid the pain.  We can try to get over it quickly, often it just does not work that way.

“The only way out is through.”

-  Robert Frost, ‘Servant of Servants’

Life After Loss

There is no way around the fact that life will look a little different after the loss of a loved one, whether it was an expected death or a sudden ‘shock’, the death of a loved one will change many things. Spouse, partner, parent, grandparent, sibling, child or friend – losing someone will change a lot of things you did not foresee:  your daily routines, maybe your living or financial situation, your source of advice or calm, your plans for the future, your role as a husband, wife or parent. Having to move on without your loved ones is tough and involves many moving parts. It can be very helpful to try to reframe the sadness and feeling of loss into an appreciation of the time that you had with them and a celebration of the life they lived, and how they impacted the people around them.

“Your absence has gone through me Like thread through a needle. Everything I do is stitched with its color.”

- W.S. Merwin

You're Not Alone

Although loss is a very personal emotion it is not one you have to experience alone. You should be able to speak to your friends and family about how you feel, you may often find that they may also open up to you about a loss they experienced and how they worked their way through it.  When you lose a significant person from your life, whatever the relationship, it hurts and nothing takes away from your right to feel the loss and grief grieve the absence of that person from your life. There is no right and a wrong way to grieve – ‘right’ is whatever is the best and most helpful way FOR YOU, not how you grieve compared to someone else. Be willing to talk to your friends and family about how you feel, and what you need from them. Speaking fondly about your loved one will encourage similar stories from other family members and friends, turning grief into remembrance and celebration of a live well lived.

“I see people, as they approach me, trying to make up their minds whether they'll 'say something about it' or not. I hate if they do, and if they don't.”

-  C.S. Lewis, ‘A Grief Observed’

Anniversaries & Holidays

Use grief as an invitation to remember your loved one, not forget them. You can use important days on the calendar to celebrate their life rather than grieve their loss. On your loved one’s birthday still make their favorite cake and smile as you remember the joy it would bring them, at the holidays feel free to make changes if they feel right to you, but if they don’t, then don’t make them. If you want to make stuffing at Christmas the way Dad always loved it then go ahead, who cares if no one else likes it – if it comforts you then do it.

You will be able to identify many occasions on which you miss your loved one, for the list is long. Think of all the days in particular throughout the year that could be hard because you miss the person: a special birthday, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Easter, the first day of spring, or the opening of the football or sport season; the first weekend at the cottage or trailer; the summer holidays; Thanksgiving, Christmas – and more. Then add all the special occasions like weddings, family get-togethers, weekends. These can be difficult because they remind us of better days when the person was here, as compared to THIS day where they are not. But try to remember and treasure what you had, and what you still have – the memories and the love that will live on in your heart forever.

“Nothing that grieves us can be called little: by the eternal laws of proportion a child's loss of a doll and a king's loss of a crown are events of the same size.”

- Mark Twain

Legal advice

After a death, there are many legal details to work out. While it is not necessary to work with a lawyer, it is strongly recommended. The time following a death of a loved one is extremely emotional, and even the closest family may have disagreements. To ensure lasting peace in the family, it is a good idea to let a lawyer figure things out.

Before getting in touch with a lawyer, there are several important documents that you need to gather. Those include:

– Any wills that you are aware of.
– Deeds
– Bank Statements
– Insurance Policies
– Vehicle and Boat titles
-Tax Documents

Bank accounts

Procedures for bank accounts following death vary regionally. In some areas, bank accounts are automatically frozen after a death. To avoid any complications, the bank should be notified immediately. The bank employees will guide you through the next steps from there.

It’s recommended that a joint account stay open for at least six months to allow you to deposit any cheques that are made out to the deceased. To take a name off a joint bank account, banks require a certified copy of a death certificate. If the deceased had a safety deposit box in a bank, the contents may be sealed after death and a certified copy of a death certificate will be required to gain access to the contents.

Veterans Information

For more information on Veterans, please contact the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has the answers you are looking for. From Headstones, Markers & Medallions, to Burial Allowance & even forms, you can find this resourceful information on their website at: www.va.gov. Here are a few links to get you started:

FAQ's

It is common to have questions about the funeral process. This section answers some commonly asked questions to help make this process easier for you. If additional questions arise, please feel free to contact us directly at the funeral home.

A funeral is a ceremony for a deceased person, prior to burial or cremation. A funeral gives the opportunity for family and friends of the deceased to gather and mourn the passing of their loved one, to share cherished memories, and to celebrate their life. A funeral is a vital first step in helping the bereaved heal after the loss of someone special.

If no plan ahead has been made, the type of service is entirely up to you, but it is best to consider what the deceased may have wanted. Services are usually held at a funeral home or a place of worship. There are a wealth of different services, ranging from traditional religious or military services, to something a little more unique. Our funeral directors are more than happy to work with you to figure out what would be the most appropriate.

Of course you can! In fact, more and more people are opting for non-traditional, personalized services. There is no one way to celebrate somebody’s life. Let the funeral director know exactly what your desires are and they will honor your wishes.

It is highly recommended to have an obituary notice that is either posted in a local newspaper or online. An obituary lets the public know that a death has occurred, and provides them with information about the service. Obituaries generally include the deceased’s full name, age, city, and date of birth, as well as the city they were living in when they died. It also includes the name of the deceased’s spouse, along with the names of anyone else significant in their lives, such as parents, children, or grandchildren. Space may be limited in a newspaper obituary, but you might also wish to include a short sentiment on the life and legacy of the deceased. An online obituary or memorial website offers you the chance to add a lot more about the deceased.

Funeral directors are in charge of all the logistics following a death. They complete all the necessary paperwork, make arrangements for the transportation of the body, and put into action the choices made by the family in regards to the funeral service and the final resting place of the body. Beyond all of this, funeral directors are there to provide emotional support and personal guidance in the wake of a loss.

We are here to help. Funeral directors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.

We can arrange to have the remains transported from anywhere in the world. We will assume responsibility and make the proper arrangements to have the remains return to the community.

Embalming sanitizes and preserves the body. It also slows down the decomposition process and enhances the appearance of a body impacted by a traumatic death or illness. Embalming gives time to the family of the deceased to arrange a service, and allows for the possibility of an open-casket viewing.

No. In fact, some religions forbid embalming. Some countries do require embalming by law in order for remains to leave or enter the country. If it is not against your religious custom, embalming is generally recommended, especially if there is an extended gap between death and burial or cremation.

The cost of the funeral depends on the services selected. The average cost of a funeral is between $5,000-$7,000; however, the most basic of services can cost as little as $1000. The cost includes all professional services including transportation, embalming and other preparations, the use of a facility for the ceremony, and the purchase of a casket or urn.

Funerals are labor intensive A funeral’s cost extends beyond the merchandise, and includes the services of the funeral director. Their role in making the necessary arrangements, filling out forms, and dealing with all the other figures involved after a death (doctors, lawyers, insurance companies). Funeral directors work an average of forty hours per funeral, and the cost of operating a funeral home is included as well. Funeral homes are a 24 hour operation, with extensive facilities that need to be maintained and secured.

Funeral Services in the United States are regulated by the Federal Trade Commission, they can be reached by telephone at 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357) or you can fill out a form online at www.ftc.gov. In Canada, funeral services are regulated provincially and this information can be found on the Canadian Consumer Information website at www.consumerinformation.ca.

Local Support

Bereavement Support Groups provide a very good way for people to work through the grieving process. They provide people the opportunity, in a safe and supportive environment, to share their feeling and stories with others that are going, or have gone, through the loss of a loved one. Some groups are very general and deal with a wide range of loss. Other groups are more targeted to a specific group (i.e. the loss of a child). There are several organizations which offer these groups; from hospitals and hospices to visiting nurse associations. Listed below are some in short proximity to our facilities. Please click on the organization below for more information.

The Children’s Room offers hope and healing to children and teens age 3 to 18 who have experienced the death of a parent or sibling. We also provide opportunities for parents and caregivers to meet with each other and talk about their own experiences parenting a grieving child, and to give and receive support around their own grief. They include ongoing peer support groups, educational series for parents, teen programming, monthly arts- based family nights, and adult consultations. All services are provided free of charge. They also provide referrals and resources to families who are looking for additional grief-related services. Please visit the website for further information or call 781-641-0012.

Care Dimensions offers a multitude of supports groups at various locations. For more information, click here to for their schedule, call 855-774-5100 or email.

GRASP was founded to help provide sources of help, compassion and most of all, understanding, for families or individuals who have had a loved one die as a result of substance abuse or addiction. Visit grasphelp.org for further information or contact the Arlington/Winchester GRASP Chapter director: Lin Kelleher at 617-699-7702. Meetings are the first Sunday of every month from 6:30-8:00 pm at St. Eulalia Church.

Visiting Nurse and Community Health offers support groups at their offices at 37 Broadway in Arlington. For more information contact Beth Loomis at 781-643-6090 ext. 1344.

55 Fruit St., Boston, MA 02114 (617) 643-9276
MGH bereavement service has multiple support groups and workshops that are open to everyone who has experienced a loss. For further information please visit their website
www.mghpcs.org/socialservice/SupportGroups/Bereavement.asp

The All Care VNA Bereavement Program is an extension of hospice care and offers individual and group support to those who have experienced the loss of a loved one. In addition to helping patients and families during the dying process, they support grieving family members after a hospice patient’s death. Their bereavement program is available to assist families as they experience the natural grieving process. Click here to be directed to their page or contact Liz Mearkle-Cumming at 781-244-1198 or email [email protected]

They offer non-denominational groups and supports services. They may be reached at 781-647-5327 ext. 1984 or click here to be directed to their current calendar.

Community Links

If you are coming from out of town to attend a funeral or memorial service, or a local resident looking for our recommendations for local accommodations or businesses, we encourage you to use our community links below. If you have any questions or would prefer to speak to someone directly, please contact us.

Accommodations

The following hotels are within a short drive from both our Arlington and Watertown funeral homes. Please contact the hotels directly for pricing and availability.

1 Massachusetts Ave. Arlington MA 02474
Phone: 781-643-7258
Website: www.homewoodsuites.com

220 Alewife Brook Parkway Cambridge MA 02138
Phone: 866-333-Tria
Website: www.hoteltria.com

575 Memorial Dr. Cambridge MA 02139
Phone: 617-492-1234
Website: www.cambridge.hyatt.com/hyatt/hotels/index.jsp

Restaurants

The following restaurants are conveniently located near our funeral homes. If you are looking for a casual dinner after visitation or for a place for a gathering after a funeral service the restaurants below are accommodating.

1111 Massachusetts Ave. Arlington MA 02476
Phone: 781-646-4450
Website: www.jimmysarlington.com

25 Mass. Ave. Arlington MA 02474
Phone: 781-648-1775
Website: www.menotomygrill.com

645 Massachusetts Ave. Arlington MA 02476
Phone: 781-643-1666
Website: www.notyouraveragejoes.com

201 Massachusetts Ave. Arlington MA 02474
Phone: 781-859-5413
Website: www.towntavern.net 

92 Summer St. Arlington MA 02474
Phone: 781-316-1816
Website: www.scutra.com

19 Prentiss Rd. Arlington MA 02476
Phone: 781-643-4255
Website: www.alosiafunctionhall.com
Email: [email protected]

410 Belmont St. Watertown MA 02472
Phone: 617-484-2400
Website: oakleycountryclub.org
Contact: Lora McLaughlin

47 Main St. Watertown MA 02472
Phone: 617-924-9475
Website: stellinarestaurant.com

689 Massachusetts Ave. Arlington MA 02476
Phone: 781-641-2227
Website: www.trystrestaurant.com

3 Middlesex Turnpike #10b Burlington MA 01803
Phone: 781-221-2281
Website: burtonsgrill.com/location/burlington-ma

26 Cambridge Street Burlington MA 01803
Phone: 781-273-1916
Website: www.cafeescadrille.com

2310 Mass. Ave. Cambridge 02140
Website: www.frankssteakhouse.com

1727 Mass. Ave. Lexington MA 02421
Phone: 781-538-5846

195 School St. Waltham MA 02454
Phone: 781-894-3339
Website: www.chateaurestaurant.com

821 Mt. Auburn Street Watertown MA 02472
Phone: 617-491-0122

116 Main St. Watertown MA 02472
Phone: 617-600-3417

5 Country Club Rd. Woburn MA 01803
Phone: 781-935-4653
Website: www.fairwayscc.com

Flower Shops

These florists are skilled arrangers that are highly qualified to suit your floral arrangement needs. Most offering after hour services so if at the last moment you would like a arrangement all you have to do is call. The flower selections that these florist have created have received great reviews from the local population and their sympathy arrangements are colorful and give you something to remember.

26 Dudley St. Arlington MA 02476
Phone: 781-646-7059
Website: www.codyfloraldesigns.com
Contact: Deborah Cody

76 Main St. Watertown MA 02472
Phone: 617-923-7673
Website: watertownsfriendlyflowers.com

218 Mass. Ave. Arlington MA 02472
Phone: 781-643-0842
Website: www.derby-farm-flowers.com

Monument Companies

The following are well respected and reputable monument companies that can further assist you.

165 Mystic Ave, Medford, MA 02155
Phone: 781-396-7773
Website: oakgrovememorials.com
Email: [email protected]
Contact: Dave Deveney

PO Box 634 Watertown MA 02471
Phone: 617-650-6161
Website: statewidemonuments.com
Email: [email protected]
Contact: Tim A. Daigle

The following are well respected and reputable monument companies that can further assist you.