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Asian Funeral Flowers

One of our most cherished traditions in the US is the practice of sending flowers to a funeral or memorial service to let family and friends know that we care and are thinking of them. However, it is challenging to know what kinds of flowers are the most appropriate for the family. Asian cultures, including Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Vietnamese and Korean, have unique religious and cultural traditions and beliefs and there are customs and practices which differ within those religions. In Asian funerals, the color of the flowers is important. Usually, white flowers are typically the safest and best choice. Yellow chrysanthemums are also a traditional funeral flower when honoring the Japanese, Korean and Chinese cultures.

In the Chinese culture, fresh cut flowers are appreciated but artificial flowers are acceptable as well. White or yellow lilies and chrysanthemums, as well as white roses, are excellent choices. In Korean funerals, flowers are usually sent by businesses and organizations which typically send large flower stands with flowing ribbons and white chrysanthemums are usually the most appropriate flowers to send.

Flowers are generally not a significant element of a Japanese funeral. However, if you want to send flowers, white and yellow lilies and chrysanthemums are an excellent choice. In Japanese culture, ‘koden’ is a better sympathy expression than flowers. ‘Koden’ is a gift of money that is given to help the family alleviate funeral expenses. Large funeral wreaths called ‘hanawa’ are sometimes sent and customarily burned or cremated along with the body. It is wise to be aware that there are three major religions common in Asian cultures including Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim. In the Buddhist religion, red is considered to be inappropriate because it is color that is usually associated with joy. Although flowers may be an important component of Hindu funeral tradition, it is not customary to send them to the family. There are several schools of thought relating to sending flowers to a Muslim family, so the wisest course of action is to speak with the family.

Polchinski Memorials in Hawthorne, New York is well known for its sensitivity and respect for every culture. We have been helping families decide on the best way to memorialize their loved ones for over 135 years. Regardless of what kind of headstone or monument you want, what religion you practice and what countries your ancestors were born, we can help you make the best choice to pay homage to your loved one. Please call us for more information at 914-984-4198 or 203-413-1345. You can also email us at info@polchinskimemorials.com.

How to Choose the Perfect Eulogy

The loss of a loved one is never easy. There are myriad decisions to be made and if you are choosing to have a funeral or memorial for your family member, one important decision is the right person to deliver the eulogy. For most people, writing and delivering a eulogy is a deeply emotional experience. If you are thinking about a specific person for a funeral or memorial, it’s important to let that person know that you are considering them in case they are uncomfortable with this responsibility.

Family members, clergy, funeral conductors and friends are usually tasked with delivering eulogies at memorials. At religious funerals, it is usually the clergy that delivers the eulogy, although others may be able to eulogize, or speak lovingly about your loved one. The number of speakers is up to the person responsible for the memorial. If it is a religious ceremony, the main eulogy is delivered by the clergy member that officiates the service. While a eulogy can be more formal, other speakers can also share anecdotes, say prayers, recite poems and tell stories about your loved one.

Eulogy topics can be as varied as the loved one themselves. The focus can be on the deceased individual’s religious faith, professional life, hobbies and artistic interests, or their personal life. Many people share their memories of the deceased and tell stories about their interactions and relationship with that person over the years. You might want the speaker to choose the content of the eulogy, or you may want to suggest a topic. It’s important to prepare the person who has been chosen to deliver the eulogy ahead of time to let them know what you would like to hear at the memorial. Sometimes humor can go a long way in alleviating the sadness and ‘heaviness’ that is usually present during a funeral or memorial service. If this is uncomfortable for you, let the person you have chosen to deliver the eulogy know that and suggest some topics that you feel are more appropriate.

Polchinski Memorials understands the emotional and financial parameters of planning a funeral of memorial. Our compassion and sensitivity is well known throughout the area. We have been in business for decades and can give you the valuable advice and guidance necessary for making the important decision of choosing the right memorial and the perfect eulogy for your loved one. Please call us for more information at 914-984-4198 or 203-413-1345. You can also email us at info@polchinskimemorials.com.

What You Need to Know about Private Family Mausoleums

mausoleums

A private family mausoleum is an above-ground building used as a permanent resting place for the deceased. Some private mausoleums are single mausoleums and others are family mausoleums. If you are considering a private family mausoleum, here is what you need to know:

Benefits:

  • It is private and allows the burial space to be personalized.
  • Everything can be arranged prior to death, which relieves bereaved family members of the burden of making arrangements after death.
  • Your loved ones can visit frequently in a personal, comfortable and climate-controlled setting.

Design options:

  • Colored stones
  • Custom etchings
  • Decorative engravings
  • Several crypts for multiple family members
  • Multiple chambers
  • A seating area for loved ones

Polchinski Memorials is a premier mausoleum company located in Hawthorne in Westchester County, NY. Our buildings are designed, engineered and constructed by Rock of Ages and have a full perpetual warranty that protects you, your heirs and the cemetery. This is the strongest warranty available anywhere. You can trust a Rock of Ages private family mausoleum to represent your family for all the future generations to come.

Polchinski Memorials has been in business for decades, so we are able to give you the valuable advice and guidance necessary for making this important decision. Please call us for more information at 914-984-4198 or 203-413-1345. You can also email us at info@polchinskimemorials.com.

Eight Suggestions to Help Someone Who is Grieving

When we hear that someone we know has suffered a terrible loss, we immediately want to help. However, many of us don’t know what to say or do. Sometimes this results in saying nothing to the person at all. Below are twelve suggestions relating to how to support and help a grieving person in a constructive way during their time of need. Remember that grief is an intensely individual experience, so patience and understanding will go a long way.

  1. Acknowledge what happened and express your concern.
  2. Offer support. If you don’t know what to say, simply tell them you care.
  3. Accept and acknowledge their feelings.
  4. Be willing to sit in silence.
  5. Allow the mourner to talk about their loved one and how they died.
  6. Offer comfort and reassurance without minimizing the loss.
  7. Listen with compassion.
  8. Allow the grieving person to openly express themselves, but only if they want to.
  9. Continue the support for as long as the mourner needs.
  10. Be sensitive to the fact that life may never be the same again for them.
  11. Offer extra support on anniversary dates, birthdays, holidays and other special days.
  12. 12. Be proactive by offering to help the grieving person with day-to-day activities,

including:

  • Shopping for groceries, running errands, doing housework and laundry
  • Helping with funeral arrangements
  • Staying with them to take phone calls and receive guests and visitors
  • Helping with insurance forms and billing issues
  • Watching their children or picking them up for school
  • Driving them where they need to go and looking after their pets
  • Going with them to a support group or taking a walk with them
  • Taking them to a lunch and movie
  • Sharing a fun activity such as a sport, game, puzzle or art project

Remember that your support may be needed for months. Stay in touch and check in. Once the initial shock has worn off, your support will be even more important.

Polchinski Memorials’ compassion and sensitivity is well known throughout the tri-state area. We have been in business for decades, so we are able to give you the necessary and valuable advice and guidance for choosing the right memorial for your loved one. Please call us for more information at 914-984-4198 or 203-413-1345. You can also email us at info@polchinskimemorials.com.

Getting Stuck in the Grieving Process

Most of us have had the experience of watching someone we care about grappling with the grieving process. It can become challenging to comfort someone and come up with the perfect thing to say when you understand the depth of this individual’s unhappiness. There are three major therapies that address this situation and for someone who has been grieving for a long time, seeing a therapist or counselor may be the best way to proceed.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT): Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a psycho-social intervention that is the most widely used practice for improving mental health. CBT focuses on the development of personal coping strategies that target solving current problems and changing unhelpful patterns in cognitions, e.g. thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes, and behaviors. When we fixate on thoughts about our loved one, we keep them alive in our minds. These ideas shut down the possibility of feeling better and assure us that we do not have to give up the deceased person. For many whose grief seems overwhelming, death signifies an end of life rather than a life change, an intolerable experience rather than one we should work through and manage, and a meaningless event rather than one that is full of meaning. Changing our irrational thoughts to rational thoughts takes the reality of the loss into full awareness.

Exposure Therapy: Sometimes people who are grieving exclude events from the past and thoughts about the future that do not include the person who has died. Exposure therapy exposes the grieving person to all the people and events that make up their lives. It’s important to mark out specific times just for grieving whenever possible. It’s also a good idea to remove reminders of the deceased person so you become able to break the habits that keep you stuck in the grieving process.

Meaning Therapy: The grief process forces us to make sense of the death through our existing understanding and beliefs about death. For example, you may believe that “God’s will” is the reason that the person is gone from your life. We can learn to live with the loss by deepening our understanding of life in its entirety, and realizing that going forward, you will need to stand on your own two feet without the benefit of your loved one’s physical presence.

If someone in your life is grieving, never tell them to ‘snap out of it.’ It takes time and skill, and sometimes the help of a mental health professional, to help them face their loss and learn to find hope for the future. Polchinski Memorials’ compassion and sensitivity is well known throughout the area. We have been in business for decades, so we are able to give you the valuable advice and guidance necessary for making the important decision of choosing the right memorial for your loved one. Please call us for more information at 914-984-4198 or 203-413-1345. You can also email us at info@polchinskimemorials.com.

Are Mausoleums the Right Choice for You?

Mausoleums

As a method of housing the remains of one or more deceased individuals, mausoleums have been utilized since 350 BC. In early Egypt, pyramids were used as mausoleums to house the remains of Egyptian pharaohs. Currently, remains are stored above ground in a defined space called a crypt. This kind of entombment may be a bit costlier than a traditional burial, although the cost can be divided among family members. There are advantages and disadvantages to a mausoleum, as outlined below:

The Advantages

  • Mausoleums are generally considered to be cleaner and dryer than a traditional underground burial, which is beneficial for those who do not want cremation and are uneasy about being buried underground.
  • Mausoleums generally reduce the amount of land necessary for burials which makes them more ecologically friendly.
  • Mausoleums are buildings, which allow visitors to pay their respects all year round. Some mausoleums provide background music and benches so that visitors are comfortable when they visit.
  • There are many options including single, companion and family configurations, which allow a family to be entombed together and making this option more cost-effective.
  • If you choose a mausoleum, you or your loved one can be buried any time of the year.

The Disadvantages

  • It is vital to make sure that the mausoleum is water and weatherproof because over time, damage can be done to the caskets that may compromise the structure. To minimize these chances, choose a premier memorial company like Polchinski Memorials to ensure the best possible experience. Mausoleums have different rules and regulations pertaining to their maintenance, the placement of different types of floral arrangements and tributes, the markers outside the crypt and visiting hours.

Polchinski Memorials has been in business for decades, so we are able to give you the valuable advice and guidance necessary for making this important decision. Please call us for more information at 914-984-4198 or 203-413-1345. You can also email us at info@polchinskimemorials.com.

How to Choose the Right Memorial

Cemetery memorial stone

Choosing the right memorial for yourself or a loved one can be challenging. There are many questions to ask yourself when faced with this kind of decision that will help you narrow down the available choices. They are:

  • Who is the memorial for? A memorial is frequently used as a place to grieve for your loved one and is the place where friends and family will come to visit you. The memorial should provide comfort and peace for every person who comes there.
  • Is it for a family or one person? Many people find comfort in the thought that they will be buried, and therefore reunited after death, with their family. If there is no room for additional family members, this will not be possible.
  • What will the memorial look like? There are many options to choose from so this is an important decision. Speaking with a professional is the best way to proceed. Cemeteries commonly have rules and regulations regarding the kinds of memorials they allow.
  • Where do you want the memorial to be located? If you have lived in different places in your lifetime, or your families and friends currently live in different parts of the country, you may decide to be buried where your ancestors were buried. Regardless of what you think happens after you die, your grave is the place where others come to think of you.
  • What do you want your memorial to say? If you choose to customize the text on your memorial marker, decide on what you would like to engrave. It may be a quote from a favorite poem, a line from your favorite book or simply your nickname for the person who has died.
  • What is your budget? Prices vary depending upon several factors. Making sure that this is taken care of in advance will save your family from unexpected bills. It’s important to leave your family with some guidance as to how you would like to be remembered after your death.

Polchinski Memorials has been in business for over 100 years and can provide you with valuable guidance and advice in making this important decision. Please call us for additional information at 914-984-4198 or 203-413-1345. You can also email us at info@polchinskimemorials.com.

Losing a Loved One

Losing a Loved One

Anyone will tell you that losing someone you love is one of the hardest experiences to endure in life. As painful and difficult as this is, for most everyone it is an inevitable fact of life. There are some things you can do during this painful and challenging time that may help you go through it, emerge from it and return to living your life in what can be described as your “new normal.”

Don’t feel as if you must rush through it. There is no timeline as to what to feel and when.

Stay connected and in communication with family and friends.

Plan to take care good care of yourself. Try to eat nutritionally, drink water and get some sort of daily exercise. Exercise boosts serotonin levels which can help with your emotions.

Find something you still like to do and do it. Whether that something is watching movies or writing in a journal to express what you’re feeling, try to find at least one enjoyable activity a day.

Get help if you think you need it. There are groups that focus on helping people who are grieving and sometimes knowing that there are others that feel as you do can be comforting.

Grieving is uncharted territory. Everyone grieves differently and there is no right or wrong when it comes to what you are feeling.

Grieving is the natural response to losing a loved one. Give yourself the understanding and compassion you would extend to anyone else in the same situation.

The most important thing to remember is that it will get better. In the beginning, the grief seems too much to bear. In time, the intensity lessens and is replaced by the memories you have of your loved one and the impact they had, and always will have, on your life because they remain forever in your heart.

Sometimes the best way to honor someone you love who has passed away is to erect a gravestone or monument to their memory. At Polchinski Memorials, their trained staff of counselors can educate and guide you through the process of selecting and creating the perfect memorial for your loved one. They will explain the type of materials available, assist you in inscribing the perfect epitaph, explain the cemetery rules regarding the kinds of gravestones commonly used, and generally help you feel supported and understood. They have been helping people for over a century in New York and Connecticut and their experience and professionalism is second to none. They understand that everyone’s budget is different and will work with you to decide on the right material, shape, size, design and lettering. The memorials that Polchinski creates are backed by a perpetual warranty.

Call the experts at Polchinski Memorials at 914-984-4198 or 203-413-1345 in Connecticut. You can also email info@polchinskimemorials.com. We provide services to Darien, Fairfield County and Greenwich, CT as well as Manhattan and Westchester County, NY.

Tips in Choosing the Right Headstone and Memorial for Your Loved One

Headstone

If you are reading this, chances are that you have experienced a great loss and you and your family are in the process of grieving for a very special and important individual, whether it be a mother, father, husband, wife, brother, sister, child, grandmother or grandfather. You may want to honor and commemorate their lives and your love for them by putting a headstone or memorial on the grave in the cemetery where they are buried. If you have never done this before, here are some tips in making the right decision.

First visit the cemetery and walk around. Observe the different types of memorials along with the physical surroundings. Because the grieving process is different for everyone, refrain from making a major purchase until your thinking is clear and focused. You might want to meet with an administrator of the cemetery and understand the different rules and regulations pertaining to the size and shape of the monument. Some cemeteries only allow minimal monuments such as flat markers and some have no rules at all related to the size and scope of the monument. The experts at Polchinski Memorials have over a century of experience and are knowledgeable about cemetery regulations which will make the process of choosing the right memorial much easier.

The shape and style of the marker is up to you and there are several colors and shapes available. Some cemeteries have different rules and bylaws regarding the wording on the gravestone. If not, the choice is yours, again depending upon the memorial’s size and shape. Understand that the granite does not weaken over time, but the lettering on a granite headstone may fade. Sometimes erecting a monument or headstone during the winter is not possible due to the hard surface of the ground or inclement weather conditions. Designing, building and installing the perfect monument to your loved one takes time, so be patient when waiting for the finished product.

Polchinski Memorials has the experience and know-how to create a personalized and beautiful memorial, monument, headstone or mausoleum that is a true reflection of a life well-lived. Their caring and compassionate counselors will assist you in creating a lasting tribute to your loved one. At Polchinski Memorials, you can always depend on our superior artisanship, professional and personalized service and over 130-year history of providing the highest quality workmanship. Our address is 7 W. Stevens Avenue in Hawthorne, New York. Call us at 914-984-4198 or 203-413-1345 in Connecticut. You can also email info@polchinskimemorials.com. We provide services to Darien, Fairfield County and Greenwich, CT and Manhattan, and Westchester County, NY.

Inscribing a Headstone for Your Loved One

Headstone

Having to arrange for a monument, headstone or mausoleum to be erected in honor of a loved one can be a challenging and emotional task. Choosing the perfect words to convey your feelings and seeing it engraved in granite can also be a source of comfort and pride when anyone visits your loved one’s grave. Below are some tips to make the job of choosing the perfect words a little bit easier:

  • Decide which family member or members will oversee the creation of the inscription.
  • Take your time. Don’t feel like there is a time limit on how long it should take.
  • Realize that pictorial carvings can take the place of words whenever words aren’t enough.
  • It might be best to avoid using too many words depending on the size, shape and message you wish to convey.
  • Be open to unique and creative design options.
  • When writing an epitaph, remember that you want it to stand the test of time and to remain relevant for many years into the future.
  • Find a memorial builder that can offer you the most choices, understands the cemetery rules and regulations regarding the size, shape and design of the memorial and can give you the most personalized and creative design choices.
  • It may be helpful to go to the cemetery to observe what other people have done as it relates to their loved one’s gravesite.

Polchinski Memorials has been in business for over a century and their services are unparalleled in New York and Connecticut. We understand the regulations pertaining to the design and installation of memorials in different cemeteries in the area and we offer personalized and compassionate service when you are faced with making this kind of decision. We understand budget limitations and will work with you to decide on the best quality of material, shape, size, design and lettering. The memorials that Polchinski create are backed by a perpetual warranty. We can also repair existing stones and monuments. We will answer any questions you have regarding which material is best, is there maintenance that can be done to prolong the life of the memorial, how long after the burial can a headstone be erected, can I use a porcelain plaque instead of a headstone, what size photograph should I use for a plaque, and what is the difference between a hand etching and a laser etching? Call the experts at Polchinski Memorials at 914-984-4198 or 203-413-1345 in Connecticut. You can also email info@polchinskimemorials.com. We provide services to Darien, Fairfield County and Greenwich, CT as well as Manhattan and Westchester County, NY.