Why Intimacy With Death Is Necessary for a Healthy Life

 Intimacy of DeathAvoidance of death affects our subconscious minds negatively

“Subconscious fear of death drives us in negative ways, whereas open fear of death or open acknowledgement of our own deaths can help us in positive ways.”

– Caitlin Doughty, Order of the Good Death

In other words, what we avoid, takes a hold of us. We cannot master what we avoid. It will continue to wreak havoc in our lives until we find acceptance within ourselves around said topic or experience. Just like the quote “what you resist, persists”. What you avoid, will rule your life.

Learning about what makes us anxious makes it feel not as big and scary.



“When something gives me anxiety, I find that learning about it helps me. If there are certain elements of it that I can then prepare for or control, it gives me a little bit of comfort, as opposed to being thrown into a horrible situation. If and when someone dies in my life now, I am able to be more present in what’s going on and deal with the loss instead of internally panicking about what I will do next.

– Sarah Chavez, Order of the Good Death

Instead of letting our subconscious fears control our lives, Sarah Chavez recommends feeling the fear, and stepping closer to it anyways. By doing this, she says that we are better equipped to deal with death better when it comes knocking. So by learning more about death and how to have a good death, we can feel comforted by our own preparation efforts. Whether it’s our own death, or another’s.

Death gives us the gift of presence

“If we live in a state of ignoring our own mortality, then we don’t always appreciate the present moment, we’re always living in the future. But if we accept that we are mortal, then we focus more on living and today and what is good.”

– Brigid Haines, Death Cafe Cymru

Accepting death is a necessary part of life, and it still does, and always will, reign true. Death has its way of bringing us to gratitude and presence. When we remind ourselves of the fragility of life, we become remarkably grateful for it. Even the small moments. And in its the small moments of gratitude that we make a good life.

Death awareness decreases depression and increases self esteem

In one study, a researcher asked participants to “write about death or another aversive topic each day for one week, or… just reply to specific questions in an email each day on which they have to spend five to ten minutes.”

According to the researcher’s findings, participants “have been reporting lower levels of depression, increased positive mood, increased self-esteem and increased intrinsic motivation.”

Isn’t it morbid to write and think about death? Maybe not, according to research. The study came to the conclusion that it would actually be good for those who are mildly depressed to write about their own death consistently for a few minutes a day.

Reason #5: Death keeps life exciting and new
“I know we’re supposed to be super afraid of death. But it’s good, isn’t it? If life never ended, think about it, right? Isn’t that like every vampire story or sci-fi movie? If you live too long, after a while, you just lose it. Life no longer has any meaning, because it’s commonplace.”

– Laura King, Professor of Psychological Sciences

When we know we’re going to die, we don’t wait to seize the opportunity or move towards our dreams. When we’re aware our time is limited, we don’t waste it. And the opposite is true. If we think we’ll live forever, or we can evade death, we’ll stay sitting on the couch. Consider death our greatest motivator.

When we recognize our mortality, we become better people

“According to research done on socio-emotional selectivity theory, older people are more present-oriented than younger people, and are more selective in who they spend time with, sticking mostly with family and old, close friends. Other studies have shown them to also be more forgiving, and to care more for others, and less about enhancing themselves.”

Planning ahead can be scary, our team at Found and Sons is there for you every step of process.


Key details that can help you turn a funeral into a life celebration

Celebration of life
Celebration of life












How to plan a celebration of life for your loved one
If you think a celebration of life is more suitable for your loved one than a traditional funeral, you’ll need to consider six key details as you’re planning a funeral party.

1. Select a special location
While a traditional funeral is often held in a funeral home or church, a celebration of life is located in a place that was important to the deceased. For a sports fanatic, the best location may be a baseball field or golf course. A park, marina, or beach may have special meaning to an outdoors lover. A theater or art gallery would suit someone with a passion for the arts. If the deceased hosted many key moments at a restaurant or pub, he or she might also consider it an appropriate place for a final send-off.

2. Name a personalized theme
Themed funerals rank among current funeral planning trends, and it makes sense since they take celebrating a loved one’s interests to another level. Funeral party themes may encompass the person’s culture or heritage, a lifelong career, a hobby, a beloved entertainer, an annual vacation destination, or even a favorite holiday. You can keep it small and simply decorate the venue with personal items, or go all-out and ask attendees to dress the part. For example, they can wear Hawaiian shirts to a beach party or dress as the deceased’s favorite Star Wars characters.

How to write an obituary, step by step
3. Choose memorable readings and music
Some of the most meaningful moments of a life celebration revolve around readings, orations, and music that truly represent the deceased. Readings may include favorite Bible verses or beloved poems. Talented speakers or close friends can share stories. The person’s favorite songs can be performed by a live band or a recorded playlist.

Preplanning after a loss: How do you want to be remembered?
4. Feature beloved activities
Some celebration of life activities may relate to the theme or the music, such as dancing to a live band. But others may honor the deceased’s interests or be used as a way to say goodbye. For example, you can release balloons, butterflies, or doves at the end of the life celebration or honor the deceased’s volunteer work by hosting a toy drive or accepting donations for a cause at the funeral party.

5. Serve favorite foods or refreshments
Let the deceased’s heritage or interests influence the menu. If he or she was a “foodie,” you may ask a beloved restaurant to cater the event. You could showcase a particular entrée, snack, or dessert he or she loved. If the person had a signature drink, make it available for a special touch.

6. Feature items in memoriam
You may choose to display a portrait or memory quilt to memorialize the deceased or set out a guest book, like a traditional funeral. But on the other hand, you could offer attendees funeral party favors that serve as keepsakes, such as a small photo of the deceased or a seed memorial card that can be filled with flower seeds to be planted as a beautiful reminder of your loved one. You can also turn the item in memoriam into an activity, such as planting a tree in the deceased’s honor.

4 steps to preplanning a funeral
How to preplan a celebration of life for yourself
If you want to bypass a traditional funeral for yourself, you can preplan a celebration of life. Preplanning and prepaying allows you to specify your exact wishes and takes the pressure off your loved ones when you pass. They won’t be questioning what you would’ve wanted and worrying how they’re going to pay your final expenses.

By Jessica Catignani

For more information contact Found and Sons,


6 Tips On What To Say To A Grieving Friend
















Grieving can be extremely challenging. When someone you love has recently suffered a loss, you may not know what to say.  This article highlights six ways to help a loved one struggling with loss.

Six Tips On What To Say To A Grieving Friend

#1: Hold space for them
Someone who is grieving doesn’t need you to fix anything for them. They need you to just be there. So whatever capacity of listening you can offer helps them to feel heard and seen in their experience.

#2: Validate their grief with reflection
When your grieving friend speaks to you, reflect what they’re saying to you. Especially when you can sense they are sharing in their vulnerability. Listen and let them know you understand.


#3: Show up, offering support
Saying you’re there for someone and being there for them are two different things. Show up with lasagna. Rub their neck. Pick up their groceries. Make their bed. The initial stages of grief are a great time to act more, listen more and speak less.

#4: Embrace little moments, it’s not always what is being said. Sometimes just sitting silently with a friend can be just what your grieving friend needs. Don’t feel the need to fill the verbal void.


#5: Be consistent
Grief is a very isolating journey. Showing up for your friend consistently gives them a sense of safety. It can be as simple as a text saying you’re thinking of them, or a drop in on them to say hello. It doesn’t need to be complicated, simple is great.

#6: Be proactive
Take the initiative, reach out to your friend. Sending them a gift, can let them know you are there. Be the first one to call them. It’s hard to put any effort into relationships when you’re grieving, so do that heavy lifting for them.

If you want to know more ways you can help your loved one struggling with a loss, contact our experts at Found and Sons. Our expertise and insights can help you support your loved one through a difficult time.




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.



Funeral Etiquette

Pink and white flowers on a casket. Funeral Etiquette

When attending a funeral, being aware of proper funeral etiquette will help you to navigate the event in a way that conveys respect and care. Following these etiquette guidelines will also help you feel the most comfortable and allow you to offer the most support to those grieving at the funeral you are attending.


Attire Etiquette

While black is traditionally the most common color to wear to funerals, there are other options for traditional funerals. Neutral colors are also acceptable, such as gray, dark blue, or brown. Children generally do not wear black, but can wear one of these neutral, or muted colors.


You will also want to take the family’s religious and cultural customs into consideration. In certain cultures, bright colors are both acceptable and common. The family may actually request that people wear certain colors, such as the favorite color of the deceased.


In most cases, it is not appropriate to wear a hat, or athletic shoes. Jewelry and accessories should be kept minimal and tasteful. The main idea is not to wear anything that will draw a lot of attention to yourself. The way you dress for a funeral should be understated and tasteful to convey respect.


Important Notes for Arrival

It is very important to be on time and enter the funeral location quietly. If you must arrive late, it is important to wait until the processional has begun to enter. If possible, it is best to enter from the side aisles, not the center aisle. Seats toward the front are reserved for close family and friends, so this should be taken into consideration when choosing where to sit.


 Phone Usage

It is important to completely silence or turn off cell phones or devices which might make noise during the service. Phones should also remain out of sight during the service. Being present and giving eye contact to those speaking during a funeral conveys respect. Photos should not be taken during a funeral service. It is appropriate to take photos after the funeral, outside of the service, but it is important to be mindful of those grieving who may be around you.



A common question is whether to bring children to a funeral. The first thing to consider is whether the child will be comfortable attending. The child’s age and temperament should be taken into consideration. Younger children who may have trouble sitting still and staying quiet should probably not attend a funeral service. Some families choose to bring a babysitter to watch children in another room, so that they can then participate in any post-funeral activities.


Older children who attend should sit closest to those they feel most comfortable with, such as a parent who can comfort them.


Comforting the Mourning

Two rules for comforting those mourning is to acknowledge their pain, and to keep it short and simple when offering words of condolence. Show care without trying to put yourself in their shoes. People deal with grief in many different ways, so never say, “I know how you feel.” Instead, you could say, “This must be really hard.” It is also nice to share what the deceased meant to you personally. Sharing a short, fond memory can be a comfort to those grieving. It is important to take your cue from the mourning. If they are at a place where they are sharing memories, smiling, and laughing, then it would be appropriate to share light or humorous stories. If the grieving are visibly hurting, short words of comfort and support are preferable.


Flowers & Gifts

Sending flowers to the loved ones of the deceased can be a wonderful way to express sympathy. The most appropriate place to send the flowers is to the recipient’s home. Generally, the family will decide on flowers for the funeral service. There can be exceptions to this, as sometimes family appreciates additional arrangements to help beautify the church or space where the funeral is being held. If you are unsure, send them directly to the recipient’s home. Sending flowers can also be an especially nice gesture if you are unable to attend the funeral. Gifts are also a way to support the family and let them know you care. Ideas include gift baskets of food, memorial gifts, and gift cards for meal delivery services.


Check Back In

In the days, weeks, and months following a funeral, the grieving often feel alone and isolated. People slowly stop calling, bringing meals, etc. It is a nice idea to check back in after some time has passed. Perhaps a month after the service, a phone call, handwritten card, or visit can be a nice way to show support and care.


Following these guidelines for funeral etiquette will help you to honor the deceased and show respect to the mourning. At Found and Sons Funeral Chapels Cremation Service, we want to support you during this difficult time. Please reach out if you