Lessons The Seasons Changing Can Teach Us About Grief












Lessons The Seasons Changing Can Teach Us About Grief


#1: Death is a completely normal part of life

When you look around during winter time, you see death everywhere. Bare trees, animals buried deep in hibernation, and the white snow begins covering everything. As we have learned through the seasons things die but we know that they are reborn into new life. This cycle of life for all of us is natural and we just try to remind ourselves during the worst times, that the winter will end and spring will bring new life. 

#2: Resourcing ourselves for gloomier days ahead is natural

 When winter is approaching, animals and humans everywhere gather their harvests and store it for the dark, grimmer days to come. We know that the death of the many forms of life that nourish us is coming, and we resource ourselves for it. During darker days we learn to retreat, but the seasons teach us, this too shall pass.

#3: Grief is real, but it will always change forms

When we see the seasons change like we are about too, we see how all the shapes and forms of the cycle. Grief changes forms too. In the beginning, grief might feel like it’s impossible to move past, unable to function. And you might wish that your grief will just go away. Like a leaf falling from a tree, it will die and compost, and it will bring new life. 

#4: From our pain and loss, new life can also form

As winter ends and spring approaches, we see that in grief, life can be reborn. This cycle of life for us is natural and we learn that pain and loss can be transformed. This may be hard to think of at the worst and painful time of losing a loved one, but remember their life and let that memory change its form. 


For guidance in this difficult time, please reach out to Found and Sons,




What To Do On The One-Year Anniversary Of A Loved One’s Death

Candle in memory of a loved one who passed away

Death anniversaries can be difficult, especially the first year after a loss. It may be challenging figuring out how to mark the occasion while dealing with the grief and pain it brings. But looking for ways to keep your loved one’s memory alive can be a healing part of your grief journey. Here are some ideas to help you mark the one-year anniversary of your loved one’s death in a way that honors their memory.


1.   A Special Meal

Hosting a meal to honor your loved one is a nice way to bring people together. It can offer them comfort and support. Making your loved one’s favorite meal or cuisine can be meaningful. A potluck is one idea that will allow everyone to pitch in, and not have too much responsibility rest on one person on such a difficult day. Having a theme that has something to do with your loved one’s favorite food, restaurant, or holiday can be a nice way to honor them with others who loved them.


2.   Revisit a Special Place

Visiting one of your loved one’s favorite spots, or a spot that was meaningful to both of you, can be a special way to honor their memory. This does not need to be a destination or vacation spot, although it absolutely can be. It can be as simple as a park, a restaurant, café, or trail. Bringing a journal and jotting down memories and feelings can be a helpful tool as emotions come up on this difficult day.


3.   Do Good in Their Name

One way you can honor a loved one’s memory on this anniversary is by doing something charitable in their name. If your loved one was passionate about a particular charity or cause, finding a volunteer event in that area or raising funds for that group can be a great way to commemorate the day. Or, you can look for a way to give back to the local community they loved. Volunteer at a soup kitchen or local food pantry in their honor. Another idea is to organize a run or walk in their memory. If your loved one was taken by a disease, it could be a run or walk fundraiser to raise money for awareness or to fund research related to that particular disease.


4.   Plant a Memorial Tree

If the person you are honoring loved the outdoors, nature, or gardening, planting a memorial tree can be a special way to celebrate their life and honor their memory. There are even companies that offer eco-friendly urns that can be planted with your special tree. Invite loved ones to attend a memorial tree planting ceremony on this one year anniversary. People can share memories, stories, and all lend a hand in planting the tree.


5.   Create a Memory Book with Photos

A nice way to mark the anniversary of a loved one’s death is to create a memory book with photos. You can ask family and friends to contribute some favorite photos of your loved one. With many online photo sites, you can produce multiple copies of a photo book, making a special keepsake for all the friends and family involved.


6.   Visit Your Loved One’s Final Resting Place

Taking a visit with family and friends to your loved one’s final resting place is a meaningful way to pay respects. When visiting a gravesite you can bring flowers and have each person with you say a few words. If your loved one was cremated and their ashes were scattered at a special location, you can visit the site together. If possible, you could bring a picnic and share your favorite stories and memories of your loved one.


7.   Light a Memorial Candle

Lighting a candle in honor of a loved one is a special way to commemorate the anniversary of their passing. Candles can invoke a sense of calm, and can be a metaphor, symbolizing the memory of your loved one burning bright. Additionally, you can say a prayer, have a moment of silence while reflecting on what the person meant to you, or share this ritual with loved ones. If your loved one had a favorite scent, you could use a scented candle that reminds you of them.



There is no right or wrong way to commemorate the one-year anniversary of a loved one’s death. You may just need a day to stay peaceful and practice self-care. It can be a painful day, so make sure you seek out needed support. Do not push yourself beyond what you are ready for. Choose an activity that sounds the most meaningful to you, and one that you feel comfortable doing. Then you can have peace knowing you are spending this anniversary in a way that feels right to you. If you feel alone or isolated, there are many resources available to help you through this hard day. Visit Found and Sons’ Grief & Healing page for online support resources, and access to grief education with our Executive Counseling Director, Dr. Virginia Simpson.



What To Consider When Choosing Between Cremation or Burial

A woman and man sitting at a desk in an office. Discussing cremation vs. burial

When planning ahead for end-of-life preparations, or making arrangements following the loss of a loved one, many families struggle with choosing between cremation or a traditional burial. Here are some things to consider that may help make the choice easier.

The Difference Between Cremation and Burial

Both cremation and burial practices have been in existence for centuries as a method of final disposition. During the cremation process, a body is incinerated until all that remains is ash. Whereas during a burial, the body is allowed to naturally decompose over time. Both are common and safe methods of handling remains.

With burials, the body may be interred in the ground or entombed in a mausoleum above ground. Bodies are embalmed before being placed in a casket. At Found and Sons Funeral Chapels & Cremation Service, we require caskets to be enclosed in a burial vault to prevent the ground from sinking.

Cremated remains, on the other hand, can be kept in an urn, scattered in a way that is meaningful to the deceased, placed in a columbarium, interred in the ground, or entombed in a mausoleum. Some religious practices may require that the cremated remains are kept together and stored or displayed in an approved location.

Both cremation and burial processes can take place at any time. For example, shortly after the deceased has passed away, after a traditional funeral service has taken place, or before a memorial service.

Consider the Deceased’s Wishes and Religious Affiliation

The choice between cremation or burial is often deeply personal. For example, some families prefer to choose burial out of a desire to show respect for their loved one’s body. Other families feel that allowing the body to decay has the opposite impact. This is why making pre-planning arrangements and having these conversations with family members is often so important.

Many religions have differing views on cremation and burials. The Roman Catholic Church has stated that bodies may be cremated, but the ashes must be buried in a cemetery or sacred location. Some Christian denominations (incl. Baptist and the Eastern Orthodox Church) do not support cremation, while others such as the Methodist Seventh-Day Adventists and Lutheran churches do. Judaism has traditionally recommended against cremation, although some sects have relaxed their stance over the years.

Alternatively, cremation is a required practice for some Eastern religions (Hinduism and Buddhism). Sikhs tend to prefer cremation, but do not prohibit burial, while Muslim cultures forbid cremation.

Additional Factors to Consider

Religious beliefs and personal preference are perhaps some of the most important things to consider when choosing between cremation and burial. However, there are other things to keep in mind as well, such as cost and environmental impact. Cremation is typically a more cost-effective service compared to burial.

When it comes to the environment, there are different points of view. The cremation process results in high emissions; however, burials require a significantly larger footprint of land.


Still struggling to choose? We understand, and we’re here to help. Our professional team can walk you through the pre-planning process, one step at a time, and help you choose the options that work best for you. Visit our website to learn more about our services, or call (800) 207-3530 for one-on-one assistance.


National Pet Memorial Day

There Will Never Be Another, and That’s What Makes Them So Special

Most people consider a pet a member of their family. People often celebrate their birthdays, share monumental milestones, and keep pictures of them ready in their wallet or their phone. Many people choose to have pets for various reasons. They can find companionship, acceptance, emotional support, and unconditional love from their animal. Because of this unique bond, losing them when they pass can bring on intense feelings of sorrow, just like losing a person in their family. What’s important to remember is that it is perfectly normal to be affected and experience a great deal of grief when dealing with such a loss.

Finding ways to cope with their passing can help you on your grief journey. While there is no right or wrong way of dealing with the loss, many people find that talking to others about their favorite memories helps alleviate pain. Another way of coping is to memorialize their pet. This can be done in various ways, such as creating a photo album or creating a piece of memorial jewelry that has the pet’s paw print or nose print engraved on it. Another option for memorial jewelry is to store their ashes in a wearable keepsake with their paw print or nose print designed onto it. Either of these jewelry options allows you to keep a piece of your loved one close to your heart. 

Everyone deals with the grief of losing their animal in their own way. Allow yourself to go through the process at your own pace and be gracious with how you choose to cope. While time may not heal your pain completely, you will find yourself learning how to move forward without them. Continue to honor their memory and cherish the time you spent with them. 




Paw Print

Bangle Bracelet


Paw Print

Heritage Vessel


Discreetly keep your pet close to your heart with this personalized fillable cremation urn vessel pendant necklace. Ideal for holding a pinch of your pet’s cremated remains or locks of fur.

Nose Print

Single Heartfelt Pendant

Paw Print

Organics Charm


To view all keepsakes, click here.

Pet Cremations

While it’s a day that we dread, it’s wise to consider what you will do with your pet once they pass. By planning ahead, you will be can handle matters in a better state of mind rather than doing it while grieving. If you choose to have your pet cremated, we can fulfill your wishes. To learn more or talk with a director about what options are available, click here. We at Found and Sons are animal lovers and our staff has a number of pets ourselves so we will see that your pet is handled with dignity and the utmost care.









A Memory To Hold On To

There are many ways to honor and remember a loved one after they have passed. For Christi Thompson, her way of honoring someone is by creating memorial pillows, made from the clothing that a loved one wore.

Christi has been a Culpeper resident since moving here from Fairfax, VA when she was 15. It’s no surprise that she picked up sewing since her mother, Cynthia Godfrey, was the seamstress for the Culpeper County Sheriff’s Department. Cynthia became well known in the community for her seamstress skills. After doing some work for one gentleman in the Sheriff’s Department, she soon had other officers requesting her to tailor their uniforms. By referrals and her quality of work, Cynthia found herself with a full time job of keeping the officers uniforms looking sharp. 

Cynthia had a very close relationship with Christi, her son-in-law, and grandsons. “She was basically a second mom in our household” says Christi. Known as “Mimi” to her grandsons, she helped Christi in homeschooling her grandsons. In 2016, Cynthia passed away after fighting a brave and courageous battle with ovarian cancer. Her spirit still lives on through Christi, as she has filled her mother’s shoes and is now the seamstress for the Sheriff’s Department.

The first pillow that Christi ever made was actually made for a very close friend and co-worker that had passed away. The daughter of her late and former co-worker came to have a pillow made out of a shirt that her mom, Carol, often wore. The shirt that was that was provided had a slight coffee stain underneath the collar. For the people that didn’t know Carol, they wouldn’t quite understand the meaning behind the stain. Carol was an avid coffee drinker when she would be working with Christi in Belk Department Store of Culpeper. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Carol with a coffee stain on her shirt from drinking too quickly. Co-workers and friends always found it funny and somewhat normal to see the stain on Carol’s shirt by the end of her shift. Carol’s daughter had the pillow made as a way to keep her mother’s memory and presence with those that are still here.

Christi enjoys making these memorial pillows because of how they represent the person without words. As Christi finished telling the story behind Carol’s pillow, she began to explain that the pillows in our showroom were pillows made from pieces of her mom, Cynthia’s, clothing. She went on to explain how special it is to see a person’s clothing and just feel like you’re right back at home with that person. “It really is about keeping the spirit and presence of a loved one alive” Christi says. 

To have a memorial pillow created for your loved one that is deceased, you can contact Christi at [email protected] or visit Found in Sons Funeral Chapel and Cremation Service in Culpeper, VA.