12 Ways To Celebrate A Lost Loved One’s Life

A woman holding a photograph of her late husband.

The pain that comes with losing someone is a feeling that never quite goes away. Sometimes, they’re so overwhelming that it makes you feel helpless and lost. Though you can’t bring back your loved ones, you can still honor them by celebrating who they were. We’ve put together a list of 12 ways to celebrate a lost loved one’s life — one for each month of the year.


1. Find a Memento 

One of the best ways to remember someone is to hold on to something that belonged to them. It could be a letter, jewelry that you associate with them, a beloved jacket, or even a favorite book.

Every time you look at this memento, you can recall cherished memories and celebrate your loved one’s life. 


2. Memorial Jewelry

During the Victorian era, the concept of memorial jewelry used to be quite popular. Today, you can create jewelry with your loved one’s ashes or even craft an engraved locket with a picture tucked inside. 


3. Keep It Framed

Whether it’s a poem, a letter, or even a recipe, framing and hanging up their handwriting is a great way to remember and appreciate the person your loved one was.  


4. Imbibe Their Values

Reflect on what made your loved ones special and the values that made them who they were. By adopting these values in yourself, you can continue to carry the legacy of your loved one.  


5. Have a Meal with Them

Set a place for your loved ones and sit down to have a meal with them. This could be an excellent opportunity to reminisce and reflect on their lives while also allowing yourself to process your feelings.  


6. Achieve a Life Goal

Fulfilling a goal your loved one couldn’t achieve could be a great way to honor them. It doesn’t have to be a big goal and can be something simple, like learning to knit. 


7. Do Something They Enjoyed 

Whether it’s listening to their favorite song or visiting a place they frequented, surrounding yourself with something they loved is a wonderful way to honor them.


8. Make a Scrapbook

Create a scrapbook to preserve their memories and remember who they were. Feel free to keep adding inside jokes, memorabilia, and more.


9. Become a Volunteer

Honor the legacy of your loved one by volunteering at a not-for-profit organization, helping charities raise funds, or even donating. 


10. Pay Tribute

Organize an annual event in memory of your lost loved one. This is also a great way to encourage other people to keep them in their thoughts. 


11. Hold a Memorial Service

Connect with other people by holding a vigil or planning an online memorial service. This way, you can remember all the different sides of your loved one.


12. Write a Poem

They say writing is a powerful tool you can use to process your emotions and express yourself. Your poem doesn’t have to be good or shared with other people; it can just be for you. 

Bear in mind that everybody copes with loss and grief differently. While some of the above methods may work for you, they might not for someone else.


We hope this list of 12 ways to celebrate a lost loved one’s life helps you, and always remember that you are not alone. At Found and Sons Funeral Chapels Cremation Service, we offer grief and healing services to help you process your loss. 

How to Manage Grief During the Holidays

Woman holding a photograph of a man.


When a loved one passes away, the hole in your heart that developed as a result of that person’s absence becomes substantially more noticeable around the holidays. You may feel unable to process the holiday joy happening all around you and feel guilty if you do start to enjoy yourself. Intellectually, you know that your dearly departed would want you to enjoy yourself, but emotionally you can’t snap out of the sadness and loss. This year, use these tips to help you manage grief during the holidays healthily and respectfully.


1. Incorporate the Loved One Into the Celebrations

When someone moves on, they don’t leave our hearts and minds. Feel free to casually, and in a celebratory and positive manner, talk about the deceased at appropriate times. Also, if you had holiday traditions with your loved one, you should maintain those traditions to hold on to their memory.


Humorous stories and looking at old pictures can give you the chance to look back at the joyful moments you shared fondly.


Read the room as you talk to ensure that you aren’t causing anyone to feel old wounds again, especially if it was a recent loss. If you notice everyone appears comfortable, you can continue as you deem appropriate.


2. Express Yourself

It’s not healthy to keep your grief, loneliness, and cynicism inside of yourself boiling up to the point that it explodes.


Productively express any influx of emotions. You can write your feelings down in a diary, write a song, paint a picture, or just let yourself cry. When you express your feelings, it releases them from inside of you. Many people feel a sense of relief or a weight removed from their shoulders. Without the heavy emotional baggage, you can allow yourself to replace those negative feelings with new, positive ones.


3. Establish a Support System

You probably aren’t the only person missing someone this holiday.


Talk to the people around you to find people who can offer emotional support. If possible, create a support system out of people who also loved the same person you did so that you can share stories and relate to each other.


Not all of us have the best support system built into the people around us. If that’s the case for you, you can find support in the form of a support group or therapy. Professional grief counselors can teach you specific methods on how to deal with your grief and prescribe medication if the situation caused a hormonal imbalance.


You are not alone. Found and Sons Funeral Chapels Cremation Service offers grief and healing services to help you get through the holiday season.


Contact a professional counselor today for more information on all of our services, including funeral services and cremation. Taking care of the details will give you more time to celebrate your loved one this holiday season.

How To Write A Memorable Obituary

how to write an obituary - candle notebook and flower

An obituary is a touching way to announce the death of a loved one and celebrate their life’s accomplishments. However, many family members find it difficult to write an obituary, especially if grief is creating writer’s block. Here are some tips that can help make the process smooth and ensure that your loved one’s memory is celebrated.

Set the Tone

There are many things to do when a loved one passes away and it is easy to feel overwhelmed. Pre-planning the funeral details can help alleviate some of the stress associated with loss. Grief support resources can help family members understand and process emotions.

Before you sit down to write the obituary, take time to set the tone. Do your best to remove any distractions, light your favorite candle if you’d like, and spend some time in meditation or prayer before you begin. This can help create space for meaningful reflection rather than checking off an item on the to-do list. Typing the obituary helps prevent any mistakes during posting, but many people choose to write the first draft by hand.

Start With the Basics

An obituary typically starts by listing the basic information about the deceased, such as when they were born, the date they passed, and any other relevant biographical information (Where did they live? Where did they go to school? What was their career like?).

Include a list of surviving family members, as well as any notable predeceased family members. You don’t need to include the entire family tree, but these people should be listed by name:

  • Parents
  • Their spouse/partner
  • Any children or step-children—along with their spouse/partner’s names in brackets, if applicable
  • Siblings, including half- and step-siblings
  • Grandchildren and great-grandchildren
  • Surviving in-laws, if relevant

If you’d like to highlight any additional family members, you can group them together by relationship—such as “five nieces, and two nephews.” People with very large families may choose to do this for grandchildren and great-grandchildren as well.

You may also want to include any notable information, such as the date of the service, a memorial donation fund, or anything else you’d like the public to know.

Add Some of Their Personality

Personality quirks are often what make your loved one who they are, so don’t be afraid to showcase that in their obituary. Make it personal by sharing their passions and hobbies. Don’t just focus on what they did in their life, talk about what their life was like, too. Be mindful of the length, however—many newspaper publications charge by the word. You may want to have a formal announcement for the paper and a more personal obituary for the funeral service.

Don’t Forget to Proofread

As with any important writing, don’t forget to proofread! Have someone else look it over, or run it through an online spelling and grammar program such as Grammarly.

At Found and Sons Funeral Chapel and Cremation Services, our goal is to help you navigate the end of your loved one’s life. We strive to make it a time of reflection, appreciation, and celebration, so that we may help you honor and preserve your loved one’s memory. Visit our website to learn more about our services or call (800) 207-3530 today.

What is Included in a Funeral Service?

Sadly, there will be a time where most of us have to deal with burying a loved one and coordinating their funeral. A funeral service helps families and loved ones honor the memories of the deceased and provide support to each other. Planning the service can be an emotional and exhausting experience, but knowing the process and understanding what it involves can make it a little less difficult. Read on to know what is included in a funeral service.

What Is Included?

Planning a funeral is a highly personal process. Your decisions will be shaped by your life experiences, relationship to the deceased, what the deceased wanted, what you can afford, and various other factors. Typically, a funeral service will include the following:

  • Placement and writing of an obituary in a local paper.
  • Use of the funeral home for a service.
  • Preparation of the body for burial. This includes embalming and clothing the deceased.
  • Viewing service.
  • Transportation services from the funeral home to the cemetery. In some cases, this may involve coordinating with local authorities to plan the traffic routes.
  • Burial at the gravesite.

These are typical costs, but there are often optional costs, such as purchasing a tombstone from the funeral home directly and coordinating an after-funeral event. There may also be an extended graveside service.

Cremation vs. Burial

When planning the funeral, it’s important to decide the form of final body disposition. Knowing the options can help you make an informed decision. Burial and cremation are the most commonly used methods.

With a burial, your loved one is embalmed, placed in a casket, and buried in a cemetery plot. This involves digging the grave, lowering the casket, and purchasing a tombstone.

In cremation, your loved ones’ remains are incinerated, and the ashes are returned to you. You can spread the ashes in your loved ones’ favorite place or press them into a specific object or item, like jewelry, to feel closer to your loved one.

Burials typically involve more work and are thus more expensive, as they often involve a graveside service and ceremony.

Different Definitions

The most important thing to realize when preparing for a funeral is that different homes may have different definitions of what is included in a funeral service. In most cases, you might be surprised by the costs, but the burial of a loved one is a terrible moment. Make sure you have a good idea of what you are purchasing before signing any contract. At Found and Sons, we present our customers with an itemized contract before they finalize any plans. We know that losing a loved one is extremely painful. That’s why we try to make it easier for people to plan and execute a funeral that will honor the deceased.

If you live in Culpeper or Fredericksburg, VA, and are looking for a compassionate, family-run business to manage your funeral service, consider Found and Sons Funeral Chapels & Cremation Service. At Found and Sons, we can coordinate all aspects of the funeral, everything from the obituary to the final goodbye. Find more information today by visiting our website or calling us at 1-800-207-3530.

An Interview with Monument Counselor, Jeremy Grimes


Setting a Memory in Stone

Having a flat grave marker or monument created are two ways to represent a loved one’s final resting place. Although with more people preferring to be cremated, not everyone finds it necessary to have a flat grave marker or monument made. For those who are interested in these options, here is a brief introduction to grave markers and monuments.

Grave markers are flat bronze plaques that are installed on a granite stone base for the purpose of identifying the deceased. Monuments are upright for the same identification purpose. There are many different styles and types of flat grave markers and monuments available, with different designs, granite options, and personalization options. Because monuments provide more space, more can be personalized in terms of shape, size, and inscription. Whether you choose one over the other, it is a sure way to show that the deceased was loved and continues to be remembered.

Monument Counselor of Our Fredericksburg Chapel, Jeremy Grimes

Jeremy joined our Found and Sons chapel of Fredericksburg in 2016. Since 1997, he’s worked as a Funeral Assistant, Crematory Operator, and Monument Counselor. He is a lifelong resident of the Fredericksburg area and currently lives in Spotsylvania County. He is an avid mountain biker and enjoys agriculture as a hobby. The most important part of his life is his son, Mason.

How long have you been a Monument Counselor at Found and Sons?

I have been helping families create monuments and memorials for just over 20 years and now. Since being with Found and Sons for the past 4 years, I take pride in sitting down with families to design a monument that they are happy with. Providing families with a beautiful monument can also help with their grieving.

What type of monuments do you tend to recommend to families and why?

I always present the most cost-effective option first so I tend to recommend the Blue Ridge and Eagle Blue.

What’s the most rewarding part of the process when helping families with their monuments?

I enjoy passing by and walking through the cemeteries. I have always admired the art and hard work that went into the making of these monuments and markers. Since starting in this line of work, I can now say that I’ve helped with the making and placing of some of these monuments.

What is one common misconception that families have when it comes to having a monument made?

I think the most common misconception is that families think that they can’t come back to the drawing board when designing a monument. Families are always welcome to change what they want in the layout multiple times before reaching a final design. Another misconception is that we as Monument Counselors have to stick to what is available in the books or brochures when we present options to families. We can create custom monuments as well. Almost any sketch can be made into a memorial and almost any picture can be etched or sandblasted. 

If there was one thing that you could tell a family about monuments, what would it be?

I would encourage families to think about what they would like to express and accomplish on the memorial. It’s wise to visit the cemetery to see if there is a specific style, color, or size to match up to or replicate. 

Is there anything else that you would like to inform people about?

Monuments and bronze plaques have often been very popular for businesses that wish to memorialize an employee. Stone benches are also a popular option as you can engrave a company logo or a message that can be very eye-catching on sidewalks or in green areas.

Because you help so many families in creating unique monuments, what is one monument that has been of significant importance, and why?

My cousin’s monument from design to the installation in the cemetery was particularly important (see Brian Kearns’ monument below). His family decided to go with a rough, rock pitch border on the sides and polished midsection of the Die (stone above the base), with his picture placed in a recessed oval. I believe that adding a porcelain picture to any monument really ties in all of the other elements that are featured. I chose to make the top of the monument a bit taller than others so that it stood out in the cemetery. In my opinion, his monument looks like it could be stacked of multiple pieces but it is only composed of two. The piece also has ivy carved into it, which gives it a contemporary look with a bit of old style.

Installing this monument was an important task, being that it was the first row in this particular cemetery. I needed to set the tone for how straight the line of monuments would be for future headstones. The end result looks great and I’m proud to be able to be there for my family and create a memorial that shows who my cousin was.

It’s an honor to help all the families that come in to explore memorial options. It’s just more personal when it is my family I am able to help. My Grandmother’s marker was important to me going from a single bronze marker to including my Grandfather’s on a companion granite piece.













Pictured left, Bronze Grave Marker of Clifton and Dorothy Kearns at Sunset Memorial Gardens in Fredericksburg, VA.





What’s the most elaborate monument that you were able to assist a family with?

The most elaborate monument was one with a base of 80 inches that consisted of 2 wings with a plinth (base) in between the wings and vase set on top of the plinth. The family also asked for ceramic photos to be placed on the monument as well. It turned out beautifully and the family was more than happy with the final product.

When you aren’t assisting with families or helping families with monuments, what do you enjoy doing in your free time?

I am an avid outdoors person. I’m usually out working on my garden and riding ATV’s with my son, Mason.

Do you work closely with the VFW, American Legion, Sheriff’s Departments, and Cemeteries?

We work with Spotsylvania Sheriff’s Office, Fredericksburg Police Dept, and the Rotary Club. To see the monument that we created for the Fallen Fredericksburg Officer Memorial, you can click here.


What is the best piece of advice that was ever given to you? What is one quote that you have lived by?

The best piece of advice that was ever given to me was to do a job that I would be proud of. I get that gratification as a Monument Counselor at Found and Sons. A quote that inspired me is “Leave things better than you find them” by Robert Baden-Powell


To see more monuments on our website or to contact us, click here. We look forward to assisting you in creating a monument that best represents your loved one.






Granite Stone Options for Monuments