• Our Blog

    Our Blog

    Answers to some of your most important questions

FEMA’s COVID-19 Funeral Assistance

Dolan Funeral Home is prepared to help our families that have been affected by the pandemic.

Learn More

Blogs

funeral homes in Tyngsborough, MA

Using Social Media to Announce a Death

funeral homes in Tyngsborough MA 1

It is never easy to let people know about the death of someone they love. These days, people can get concerned about doing this through social media. If that is something that you are considering, you may not be sure if it is the most appropriate option or not. To help with this, directors of funeral homes in Tyngsborough, MA want you to keep a few things in mind.

One thing to remember is that you do not have to immediately let people know about the death on social media. The people who were closest to the person who died will already know about what has happened and everyone else can wait until you feel up to posting. Remember that if you post about the death, people will have many questions and they will reach out to you to offer their condolences. This is not something that is always easy to do right after a death, so you will want to wait until you are ready to do so. If you do feel like letting people know what has happened this is okay, too.

You also want to think about trying to get access to the accounts of your loved one. This can allow you to let people you may not have contact with know about the death. If you do not have access to the accounts, you want to reach out to other family members who may.

Another thing that you may want to do is to consider posting the obituary on social media so that people can see it and share it. This can let people know the details of the services and to ensure that they know of any special requests that you may have for the service. This is important, especially if you are not planning on having the obituary printed and sent out.

You also want to think about posting images online. This can encourage people to share their memories of the person and to even have a kind of virtual service for the person who died. It can offer lots of people the kind of closure they need after a death, so do consider that.

funeral homes in Tyngsborough MA 1024x683

These are all important things to remember when deciding to use social media to let people know of the death of a loved one. There are lots of reasons why social media can help, including allowing you to share the information about the death easily and quickly. You want to try to also gain access to the accounts of the person who died to let others know of the death and you want to share the obituary, as well. You can learn more about using social media after a death by turning to a Tyngsborough, MA funeral home like us at Dolan Funeral Home. We are ready to help you make the best arrangements for your loved one. Give us a call right now or stop by our location today for more information.

Continue ReadingNo Comments

cremation services in Westford, MA

Terms You May Not Know

cremation services in Westford MA 1024x681

When you start thinking about the many options you have for a loved one’s funerary services, you need to make sure that you understand what they all are. This can be more difficult than it may seem because there can be terms and services you may not be aware of. If that is something that you are worried about, providers of cremation services in Westford, MA want you to know the meaning of a few terms you may hear.

It can be crucial that you know about the difference services out there. You may have heard the word visitation but you may not be certain what it means. A visitation is a service where people can greet the family of the deceased and give them their condolences. A viewing is a bit different. A viewing allows you to go up to the casket and say your goodbyes in person. This can be important for many people. Another option you may hear is celebration of life. It is a kind of service that focuses on remembering the life of the person and not just mourning their death.

Other words that you may want to remember involve preplanning services. If your loved one preplanned and you want to make sure that you know what they wanted, learning what the different preplanning options are can help. Burial insurance, for example, is an insurance that covers the costs of burials. If your loved one preplanned and prepaid, you may hear that it is either a revocable trust or an irrevocable one. A revocable trust is one that your loved one could not change, while an irrevocable one is one that could be changed. There are also lump sum benefits that you may receive after the death of a loved one if they applied for these services. Be sure to ask about all of this.

There are terms related to urns and caskets that you want to keep in mind, as well. Innument, for examples, relates to the actual placing of the cremated remains in the urn. If you are having the person cremated, you may hear about columbarium niches. These are places in a cemetery where you can place the urn and come visit it.

cremation services in Westford MA 1024x436

By ensuring that you understand all about the services that are available, you can ensure that you make the right arrangements for your loved one. If you want to know more about the terms or if you have questions about anything you may not know, then ask the provider of the services for help. They are there to answer any concerns. You can turn to a Westford, MA cremation service provider like us at Dolan Funeral Home if you are having any difficulties choosing the options you want. We are experts in our field and we are ready to help you with everything you need. You can visit us right now or you can give us a call to ask about anything that may be making this tough time more difficult.

Continue ReadingNo Comments

funeral homes in Westford, MA

Dos and Do Nots of Planning a Unique Service

funeral homes in Westford MA 1024x682

Getting ready to decide on the kind of services that you want for a loved one who has passed away can mean taking the time to consider all of the different options. For many people, a standard service is not something they want, so it can help to know some ways of making it unique. Here are dos and do nots that directors of funeral homes in Westford, MA want you to keep in mind when planning a unique service.

Do think about the location. Not everyone wants to have a service at a place of worship or at a funeral home, so taking some time to consider this is important. You can choose to have it at a park or even at home. This tends to be a good choice if you are looking for a more intimate service. Be sure to ask the provider you have hired for help planning this.

Do not be afraid to choose different music options than those that are standard. People tend to think that classical and religious music options are the only appropriate ones, but that is not the case. You can choose music that would have meant something to your loved one. If they did not like classical or religious songs, then it can be better to opt for things you know they like and that are appropriate.

Do consider celebrations of life. This is an option that lots of people are turning to lately, because they can offer the kind of closure that they need. A celebration of life is an option that allows you to give someone who did not like somber events the kind of service they would have wanted. These services are especially good options for children and infants.

Do not forget to think about flower arrangements for the service. You may not want to have the same kind of flower arrangements that everyone else has at a service. Consider opting for various different bouquets instead of funeral wreaths.

funeral homes in Westford MA 1024x683

Do ask for help from the provider you have hired. They will be able to offer advice on the best options for your loved one. You can get the most unique options by asking about what is available and what you can customize.

These are all important dos and do nots that you want to remember when making funerary arrangements for a loved one. Think about the location you choose for the service and about the kind of music and flower arrangements they would want. Be sure to also ask the provider for help so that you can get the kind of options you need. You can learn more about creative funeral service by reaching out to a Westford, MA funeral home like us at Dolan Funeral Home. We are here to answer any questions you have about making arrangements. Take the time to visit our location today or give us a call right now to speak with one of our experts.

Continue ReadingNo Comments

funeral homes in Lowell, MA

Questions to Ask a Funeral Home or Cremation Service Provider

funeral homes in Lowell MA 1 1024x503

When you lose a loved one, you have to consider how to choose the best provider of the services. This is not always an easy thing to do since there can be many options and many companies. To make sure you find the best possible provider, you want to keep in mind some questions to ask. Here are the ones that directors of funeral homes in Lowell, MA want you to know before you make a decision.

 

How Long Have You Been in Business?

This is one of the first things that you want to ask before you make a decision. You need to have a provider that has been years in the business so that you know they have the experience you want. Most companies these days have a website that you can look at that can tell you how long they have been in business and the experience that the people who work there have. If they do not have this information, you can ask them directly.

 

What Services Do You Offer?

If you are looking to get services that are less common like bio cremation, you need to ascertain that the provider can offer these services. It is always important to get a list of the services they offer before you make any kind of decision. If you want an option that is common, like a direct cremation or a traditional burial, this is not such a bit issue, but you still want to ask.

 

Are Your Rates Standard?

You have to make certain that the rates the company asks for are within the national standard prices. The country has rates that can prevent you from being overcharged for the services you want. This can make a huge difference and it can ensure you are not cheated.

 

funeral homes in Lowell MA 300x200

Is a Visit Possible?

You need to ensure that the location is in order. If you see that the location is dirty or untidy, you have to consider finding another option for the services you want. Going in person is crucial. You will not be able to learn what you want to know if you only see pictures online, so you do want to schedule a visit. You also want to be able to speak with the person in charge, so that you can see if you feel comfortable working with them.

 

All of these questions are very important to consider asking before making a decision for your loved one’s funerary service provider. You always want to know about the services they offer and about the rates that they charge. Take the time to ask lots of questions from the provider before making a decision. If you want to start asking questions, you can reach out to a Lowell, MA funeral home like us at Dolan Funeral Home. We are ready to help you find exactly the funerary options you need. You can stop by our location or you can give us a call right now.

Continue ReadingNo Comments

cremation services in Tyngsborough, MA

Trends in funerary Services

cremation services in Tyngsborough MA 1024x683

It is never easy to make arrangements after a loved one dies. This can mean that you may not even be sure about the options that you should consider. There are so many choices, that it can be tough to know what the best ones are and what you should do. To make things a bit easier, it can help to know about the trends that more and more people are turning to lately. Here are the things that providers of cremation services in Tyngsborough, MA have seen more people choosing.

 

One of the trends that is growing in popularity is green services. There are lots of people who are worried about their impact on the planet and so they do not want to have a negative impact with their death. If that is something your loved one was worried about, there are some options. People who want a traditional burial can choose not to be embalmed, which eliminates the chemicals that can seep into the ground. They can also opt for a casket that does not have metal parts that will remain in the earth. If the person wanted to be cremated, there is also bio cremation, which cremates the body using water instead of heat. This can make a difference in the carbon released into the air. All of these options can be a great idea.

 

Another trend that people are turning to is having the funeral or memorial service at home. If you are looking to have a more intimate service and one that does not cost as much as a regular one, then having it at home can be a good idea. Do remember that if you are burying your loved one, you will have to budget for the movement of the casket if you want to have it present at the service at home.

 

cremation services in Tyngsborough MA 300x225

Celebrations of life are another option that you want to make sure you consider. Celebrations of life focus on honoring the life of your loved one without just mentioning the death. Lots of people choose celebrations of life for children and other young people. It can be more like a party, with music and celebrations, and it can give people the closure they need.

 

These are some of the most important trends in funerary services that are out there today. You will want to consider them so that you can make the best choice possible for your loved one. If they were worried about the planet, choosing green services is a good idea. If they wanted a more intimate service, having it at home can also help. Do consider all of these options before making a decision on the kind of service to have. If you want to know more about these options, you will want to turn to a Tyngsborough, MA cremation service provider like us at Dolan Funeral Home. We are ready to help you find the exact options you need. Stop by our location or give us a call right now.

Continue ReadingNo Comments

funeral homes in Tyngsborough, MA

Helping a Friend in Mourning

funeral homes in Tyngsborough MA 1024x682

Seeing someone you love going through a mourning period can be devastating. Most people feel helpless, not knowing what to say or do to make the person start healing form the loss. If this is something that you are worried about and you want to know how to best help someone who is grieving, there are some things that you can do. Here are the top suggestions that directors of funeral homes in Tyngsborough, MA want you to keep in mind.

 

It is crucial that you let the person know that you are there for them at all times. You may take it for granted that they are aware of this but that may not be the case. By letting them know that they can call on you whenever they need to for support, you will be offering a huge help. If they do reach out to you and want to talk, you definitely want to let them speak and not try to interject with your own experiences. Unless they ask you specifically for your experiences, you will want to let them speak.

 

You want to keep in mind that they will need help. They may not be ready to ask for it, so it can be a good thing to remember to offer help. If you know they need to go to the grocery store, you may want to do that for them. You can also offer help making funerary arrangements, since this can be tough to do when in mourning. Try to make your suggestions of help specific so that they have no reason to refuse the assistance.

 

funeral homes in Tyngsborough MA 300x205

People who are dealing with a loss will struggle to do everyday things. This can mean that they may not want to cook for themselves or prepare meals. To avoid them getting fast food or not eating at all, you can think about providing them with meals that they can easily heat up and eat. This is something that can definitely be a good thing to do and one that can offer lots of help. Prepare meals that are filling, nutritious, and that are comfort foods, so that they can keep their strength up as they mourn.

 

All of these things are important to consider if you want to help someone going through a loss. You will want to let the person know that you are there for them at all times and that they can reach out to you for help when they need to. You also want to offer specific help so that you can be certain they will take you up on it. For those who want to know more about what to do to help someone who is grieving, you can turn to a Tyngsborough, MA funeral home like us at Dolan Funeral Home. We are ready to answer any questions you may have about this. You can give us a call right now or you can stop by our location today.

Continue ReadingNo Comments

What to Do After a Death

cremation services in Westford MA 1 300x225

When you lose a loved one, it can be difficult to know what you need to do first to start making funerary arrangements. This can be disconcerting for lots of people and it can make them feel overwhelmed. If you are having trouble dealing with the death and you are not sure what you need to do first, it can make a difference to have an idea of the steps you need to take. Here are the things that providers of cremation services in Westford, MA want you to know.

 

The very first thing that you have to do is get the death certificate. Every provider of funerary services will require this certificate, so you need to get it before you can make any arrangements. Medical professionals can provide it, including doctors, nurses, hospice workers, emergency medical technicians, and many more. It is important that you get at least ten copies, since you will have to provide a number of people with one.

 

After you have the death certificate, it is important to think about letting people know about the death. You need to reach out to those who were closest to your loved one and let them know first. Ask them to also help you make phone calls to others, so that you do not end up doing all of the calls yourself. This can be stressful, so you want to get as much help as you can.

 

You will then need to consider the different options you have for funerary arrangements. If your loved one left what they wanted in writing, then you will not have such a difficult time, but if they did not, then you will have to decide what services they would have preferred. This can take time. You want to consider everything, from the budget you have to the preference of the rest of the family.

cremation services in Westford MA 300x225

Once you know what services you want for your loved one, you need to find the right provider. This can be somewhat complex, since there are lots of providers out there that can offer the services you are looking for. To help with this, you need to look for a company that has lots of experience and one that can offer the exact options that you are looking for.

 

All of these things are important to remember after the death of a loved one. You want to get the death certificate as soon as possible so that you do not run into any issues, and you want to make certain that the provider can offer the quality services that you are looking for. If you want to know more about what to do after the death of a loved one, you can reach out to a Westford, MA cremation services provider like us at Dolan Funeral Home. We are here ton help you with all of the decisions you have to make. Stop by our location or give us a call right now.

Continue ReadingNo Comments

funeral homes in Westford, MA

Etiquette Tips for Funeral Services

funeral homes in Westford MA 1 300x205

Being invited to the funeral or memorial service of a loved one is something that can make it easier to have closure after a death. If you have never been to this kind of service before, however, it can be tough to know what to expect or what you need to do. If that is something that is worrying you, there are tips that can make a difference. Here are the ones that directors of funeral homes in Westford, MA want you to know about so that you can be ready to attend the service.

 

It is crucial that you get to the service on time. No one wants to hear someone come in late when they are trying to focus on getting the closure they need after a death, so it is important to get there on time. If you are someone who is often late, put a good amount of effort into getting there on time. If you do get there late, be sure to take a seat at the back so that you do not bother anyone.

 

A big concern that people who have never been to a service have is not knowing what to wear. Wearing black is always appropriate but you do not have to if you do not want to. You can wear other dark colors. You also want to think about wearing clothing that is on the conservative side. Avoid anything too revealing or too casual, since you do not want to offend anyone. If you are not sure if something is appropriate or not, think about whether you would wear it to a place of worship. If you would, then you can wear it to a funeral or memorial service.

 

Something else you want to do is turn off any phones or other devices. It can be incredibly disturbing to have things beeping or ringing while the service takes place. You can put the devices on vibrate or on silent if you know that they do not make too much noise. If they do, then you definitely want to think about turning them off.

funeral homes in Westford MA 300x199

It is also important to greet the family and give them your condolences. Doing this requires you to go up and speak to them, but it is important that you keep the conversation brief. You do not want to take too much of their time because they will have lots of other people to greet. P

 

When getting ready to attend the funeral or memorial service for a loved one, you want to be sure that you know what to expect and what others will expect from you. The last thing you want is to offend or bother anyone. To learn more about attending a service, you can reach out to a Westford, MA funeral home like us at Dolan Funeral Home. We are here to help you with any funerary needs you may have. Stop by our location or give us a call right now to get started.

Continue ReadingNo Comments

cremation services in Lowell, MA

Choosing the Right Urn

cremation services in Lowell MA 1 300x200

When you decide to have a loved one cremated, it is crucial that you take the time to consider what you will do with the cremated remains. For most people, this means choosing an urn for cremation. If that is a purchase that you are planning on making soon, it can help to know some tips that can make the decision a bit easier. Here are the top things that providers of cremation services in Lowell, MA want you to know before making a choice.

 

One important thing to remember is that not all urns can be used for all purposes. Some urns are made only for transportation, while others are meant for display. There are some that are just keepsake urns. By knowing a bit about the different uses that urns have, you can make the best decision for the one that you buy.

 

Urns come in different price ranges, too. This can mean that you need to know what kind of budget you have available for this kind of purchase. Take the time to do some research into the different options and their price ranges so that you can have an idea of what to expect. If you have a provider already chosen, then you will want to ask them for a list of the services and their rates.

 

You also want to think about the size of urn that you need to purchase. People have an idea that all urns are the same size, but that is not the case. If your loved one weighed more than two hundred pounds, they will need an urn that is larger than the standard size. You will want to think about this before making a purchase. You can also choose a companion urn, which can fit the remains of two people, or an urn meant for an infant or a child. If you are not sure about which option to get, you can ask the provider of services for suggestions.

cremation services in Lowell MA 300x199

The material you choose is another thing you want to keep in mind. The material will impact the price of the urn and it can also depend on the use of the urn. If you want to give your loved one a water ceremony, for example, you will need to purchase an urn that is biodegradable and that will not leave anything behind. This is crucial to consider.

 

Deciding on the urn that you want for your loved one is not something that is easy to do, so you want to take some time with it. You want to make certain that you are thinking about all of the options you have and that you know what size to get. All of these things can make a difference. To learn more about the choosing an urn, you can reach out to a Lowell, MA cremation services provider like us at Dolan Funeral Home. We are ready to help you find the best options. Give us a call right now.

Continue ReadingNo Comments

funeral home in Lowell, MA

Tips for Finding the Right Funeral Home

funeral home in Lowell MA 2 300x200

If you have lost a loved one and are worried about making the funerary arrangements, one of the most important things that you can do is find the right provider for the job. You need to know that you will get the quality services that you want for your loved one so that there are no issues. To ensure that you have the right company helping you, here are some tips when choosing a funeral home in Lowell, MA.

 

One of the first things that you have to do is to look at how long the company has been working in the industry. You do not want to have a company helping you that is new, because it will mean that they will not have the experience you need them to have to be able to provide you with quality options. Most of the time, companies these days have websites where you can read up on their history. Be sure to do this before making a decision.

 

Another thing that you want to do is to ask them about the services they offer. Not all providers can offer what you need and this is something that is important to ask about before making any kind of decision. If you are looking for a service like bio cremation, which uses special facilities, then this is something to remember. The easiest thing is to ask for a list of the services they offer.

 

You want to also ensure that the rates they charge are within the standard. There are national guidelines in place so that you do not get charged more and so you always want to check those numbers with the ones the company charges. If you see that the numbers are substantially higher or lower than the norm, then you will want to consider another provider of the funerary services you want.

funeral home in Lowell MA 1 300x168

It is also crucial that you take the time to visit the location and speak with the funeral home director in person. It is not enough to see pictures online of the services they offer or to just speak over the phone with the person in charge. You need to see the location and make certain that it is one that is in order and of the highest quality. If you see that the location is not clean or in order, you will want to turn to another provider.

 

These are all crucial things to look for when deciding on the kind of funeral home you choose for your loved one’s funerary services. You want to consider the different services they may offer as well as the rates you can expect. If you want to know more about choosing a Lowell, MA funeral home you can turn to us at Dolan Funeral Home. We are here to help you find the best services for your loved one’s funerary arrangements and for your family. You can give us a call right now or you can stop by our location to learn more about what we offer today.

Continue ReadingNo Comments

Funeral Service And Cremations Lowell MA

Keeping Families Safe and Informed

Over the last few months, many of our friends and neighbors in and around Chelmsford have reached out asking how Dolan Funeral Home is ensuring the health and well-being of everyone who walks through our doors. They wonder how our services have changed. They’re curious about our cleaning protocols. They want to know what to expect when meeting with our staff to plan or attend a funeral or burial.

Continue ReadingNo Comments

How to Scatter Ashes

Many people today are choosing to be cremated. Cremation is less expensive than a traditional funeral and is more environmentally friendly. Furthermore, when you are cremated, you have more options available to you in terms of location to be buried at. You don’t have to spend eternity in a box in the ground. You can be buried at sea or scattered in places, such as on your favorite mountaintop. However, what many people don’t realize is that there are rules and regulations as to where you can be scattered. In this blog post by Dolan Funeral Home, a full-service, family-owned funeral home in Chelmsford, we’ll offer up tips and advice with regards to having your ashes scattered. When a loved one dies, we’d be privileged to help with your funeral arrangements. Contact us today!

Continue ReadingNo Comments

Can You Be Buried With Your Pet?

Your pet is an integral part of your life. They are often your constant companion, accompanying you on errands around town, going for long morning or evening walks, helping you feel better when you’re sick, and being a warm fur ball to cry on. However, the unfortunate part of pet ownership is that they often precede us in death. This is heartbreaking to say the least, but it’s a fact of life that is better than not having a pet.

Dolan Funeral Home in Chelmsford is a full-service, family-owned funeral home that is humbled when you choose us to take care of the remains of your loved one. We do our best to offer our support to you when a loved one dies, from helping plan the entire funeral service to aftercare help. Often, when a pet passes, we have them cremated, and we keep their ashes with us. And many of us want to be buried with our pets. Dolan Funeral Home will explore the option of having your pet buried with you in this blog post. Give us a call today to get started!

Continue ReadingNo Comments

Providing for Your Pet After Death

Pets are an integral part of most of our lives. In fact, the American Pet Products Association estimates that 68 percent of American households have a pet. That’s a lot of us. However, that being said, many of those pets are left without owners to care for them when they die. They can end up in shelters and hopefully adopted by good families. However, to ensure your pet is cared for when you die, it’s important to have a plan in place just like you would if you had young children.

Dolan Funeral Home in Chelmsford is a family-run, full-service funeral home that offers cremation services as well as burial services. Our mission is to help you through all aspects of your loved one’s passing, from embalming to burial, as well as aftercare services to help you sort through everything. In this blog post, we’ll offer up tips on how to provide for your pet after your death. Contact us today!

Continue ReadingNo Comments

Creative Funeral Service Ideas

Life is a celebration.

When a loved one dies, it can be very hard to cope, especially if it was sudden. Dolan Funeral Home in Chelmsford has been helping those coping with the death of a loved one since 1974. In our experience, we’ve found that it helps to remember the wonderful life your loved one lived and the memories you still have of him or her. We offer a wide variety of funeral products to help you do just that. We offer memorial jewelry that you can have engraved with your loved one’s initials or a special date. Doves are a popular remembrance item, as are prayer cards. To help you remember the wonderful like of your loved one, we’ve compiled some creative funeral service ideas. Contact us today for all your funeral planning needs, including pre-arrangement services!

Continue ReadingNo Comments

A Guide to Funeral Home Flowers

Flowers are one of nature’s greatest and most beautiful creations. They brighten our day even when we’re in a somber mood. Hence, flowers are given on all different sorts of occasions, one of them being when someone has died in a family. Funeral home flowers express our sympathy and condolences in a time of grief. Dolan Funeral Home in Chelmsford is a full-service, family-owned funeral home that offers cremation and burial services. In this blog post, we’ll review a bit about giving flowers when a loved one or friend dies. Contact us today!

Continue ReadingNo Comments

How To Prepare Your Loved One for Funeral Visitation

When a loved one dies, you often feel overwhelmed, especially if it’s unexpected. Yet in the midst of your emotions and grief, you still have to plan a funeral or a memorial service. There is so much to do, from choosing a casket to picking out a cemetery plot. Yet, one of the most important things you need to do is take care of your loved one’s body. You have many options, from cremation to embalming. Dolan Funeral Home, the best funeral home in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, and serving the greater Lowell and Southern New Hampshire area, reviews your options for preparing your loved one’s body for visitation and burial. Contact us today!

Continue ReadingNo Comments

A Look at the Embalming Process for Funeral Homes

banner 58 300x157

Embalming is essential to the burial process after someone passes. It not only preserves the body, but also helps to prevent the spread of bacteria that can harm us. It makes the body presentable for public display during funeral visitations, which helps loved ones in the grieving process. Dolan Funeral Home in Chelmsford is a family-run funeral home that serves the greater Lowell and Southern New Hampshire areas, including Chelmsford, North Chelmsford, Tyngsboro, Westford, Dunstable, Dracut, Lowell, MA, and Hudson, NH, with funeral, burial, and cremation needs. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at embalming and why it’s essential in the funeral arrangement process. Contact us today!

WHY DO BODIES NEED TO BE EMBALMED

  1. First and foremost, embalming preserves dead bodies longer. Immediately upon death, all living organisms (including plants and animals) begin to decompose. This is a good thing so our planet is not littered with dead things everywhere we turn. Plus, this is how the earth renews itself, as decomposing organisms provide fodder for the earth and helps living organisms to go on living. A human body’s cells break down and the bacteria in a human body begins to expand, releasing gases that cause the distinctive smell of death. This pressure from the gases in the body eventually builds to the point it needs to be released. This occurs through orifices in the body. Eventually all the soft tissues in the body waste away, leaving only bones, hair, and cartilage behind.
  2. Embalming preserves against health hazards. There is a general misconception that you can catch a disease from a dead body. In general, this is not the case. Only if the person has died from an infectious disease, such as Ebola, cholera, or the plague, is this true. This is why when there is a cholera outbreak or a plague outbreak, the bodies must be buried right away. However, dead bodies can infect our water supply, due to the bacteria that forms during decomposition, but most of the time does not cause any major illness.
  3. Embalmed is done for presentation of the body, mainly for funeral visitations, or for long-term display such as with Lenin and Stalin’s bodies in Russia.

HOW DOES EMBALMING WORK?

In ancient times, embalming was rudimentary at best. The internal organs were removed and the blood drained. The system wasn’t perfect, but it worked, as demonstrated by the great condition of Egyptian mummies. Many early cultures had embalming or preservation techniques in place for preserving the bodies of important figures, such as leaders. Chinese rulers have been found with embalming done and in remarkable condition, but the methods were lost. Ancient cultures preserved loved ones by taking them to the mountains where the cold air preserved the bodies.

Eventually, embalming became less popular, and bodies were buried as soon as possible. In the 1800s, Europeans began embalming practices again to preserve bodies for medical study. The United States began embalming in force during the Civil War, so the bodies of dead soldiers could be transported home for burial services.

Modern embalming methods commence with a washing of the body, where the body is usually massaged to remove rigor mortis. Rigor mortis occurs within hours of the time of death and is where every muscle in the body contracts and remains contracted for a period of time. This condition is temporary and occurs in all humans. Embalming then involves four steps:

  1. The replacement of body fluids (the blood) with a preservative solution that can be based on formaldehyde or not. The most common embalming method is arterial embalming where these special fluids are injected via the carotid artery in the heart. A special machine is used to remove the blood.
  2. Cavity embalming involves the removal of internal fluids inside the body cavity. A small incision is made just above the navel. The fluids are removed and replaced with another preservative that is usually formaldehyde based.
  3. Hypodermic embalming may be performed on individuals where arterial fluid had not reached during the first stage of embalming. This is directly injecting embalming fluid into the skin and tissue.
  4. Surface embalming is mainly employed during death from accidents or when severe decomposition has already taken place. Again, preservatives are injected directly into these superficial areas to help with appearance of the body.

The entire time it takes to embalm a body varies, but in general is between two and four hours. In the case of autopsy or trauma to the body, this time can be stretched significantly.

Setting the features is unique to mortuary work, where the eyes and mouth are posed, hopefully to resemble the person with the help of a recent photograph. Embalmers are licensed by their states to ensure proper training has been attained in the care and preservation of human remains.

It’s important to understand that embalming does not stop the decomposition process; it merely delays it, so family has time to mourn. Death is a natural process that human intervention cannot stop.

IS EMBALMING REQUIRED?

The simple answer is no. In fact, due to the blatant misrepresentation of this by funeral directors, a federal law was passed, stating that funeral homes cannot say it’s the law to embalm loved ones. In fact, funeral directors must say the exact opposite: that embalming is not required. Some states have different laws; however, in general, embalming is not required in the case of immediate burial, direct cremation, and a closed casket funeral if the body had been refrigerated.

RELIGIOUS CONSIDERATIONS FOR EMBALMING

Christianity allows embalming. Jews, however, do not embalm or cremate their loved ones as burial is supposed to be done within 24 hours of death. Muslims do not practice embalming either and encourage burial as soon as possible.

Most funeral homes, including Dolan Funeral Home in Chelmsford, honor the family’s wishes. We offer both cremation and embalming services, as well as visitation for those who choose not to embalm or cremate. We offer caskets and urns in many styles for you to choose from. In our aftercare services, we offer help with the legal aspects of death as well as the actual burial itself. We have antique hearses and modern hearses since we are required by Massachusetts law to use a hearse to transport the body of your loved one both to the funeral home and from the funeral home. We have limousines available as well.

Dolan Funeral Home takes the best care of your loved one after death and of you during the grieving process. We understand the emotions of death of those left behind; that’s why our mission is to make your funeral planning process as easy as possible, so you can focus on your family. We’re there for you. Contact us today!

Continue ReadingNo Comments

Paperwork in the Funeral Process

banner 57 300x157

Dealing with the death of a loved one is emotionally trying, usually devastating, and an extremely sorrowful time in your life. In the immediate afterwards, you’re busy with funeral arrangements, such as arranging funeral visitation, burial service, picking out caskets, planning a caterer for the celebration of life ceremony, and the actual day of burial. You’re also still in the first stages of grief and dealing with denial and anger. However, soon the details of your loved one’s death takes root: obtaining a death certificate, contacting all of your banks and financial institutions, including debt obligations your loved one had, and trying to negotiate the legalities of death. It can be overwhelming.

Dolan Funeral Home in Chelmsford can help. We offer aftercare support services to help you with the legalities and paperwork when your loved one dies. Below, we’ll examine some of the immediate affairs of death you’ll have to process once your loved one has been buried. Contact us today for the best funeral home services in the greater Lowell area!

LEGALITIES AND PAPERWORK AFTER THE DEATH OF A LOVED ONE

  • A legal pronouncement of death. Unfortunately, in today’s society known for scams, you’ll need to prove that your loved one is dead. This usually entails obtaining a death certificate signed by a medical professional that will state the date, time, location, and manner of death. This legal death certificate issued by the government is necessary for accessing pension benefits, claiming life insurance, settling estates, and getting remarried. This is usually issued straight away after the death of the loved one because a death certificate is needed in order for the remains to be either buried or cremated. Most crematories and cemeteries require a legal death certificate in order to render services.
  • Begin the probate process. Probate is the legal process all estates must pass through (with a last will and testament or without) when a loved one passes, unless your loved one had a revocable living trust. Hopefully, your loved one left behind a will, stating his or her desires on what to be done with property left behind. Depending on the size of the estate and how likely the will may be contested, you may need to contact a probate lawyer in order to help manage the process.
  • Notify Social Security. Most funeral homes do contact the Social Security Administration on your behalf; however, if not, you’ll have to contact them to apply for survivor benefits. The Social Security Administration requires a variety of documents, depending on how your loved was related to you, including birth certificate, death certificate, and marriage certificate. Visit their website for the specifics in your case.
    Visit and/or send paperwork to all banks, mortgage companies, insurance companies, mortgage broker accounts, credit card companies, and any other form of debt or asset allocation your loved one may have had. You will be required to provide a copy of your loved one’s death certificate, but this will allow you to change the ownership on all of the accounts to yourself.
  • Contact your accountant. You will have to file a tax return (both federal and state) for both your loved one and the estate. This can be complicated so it’s best to have a professional do this on your behalf. Dolan Funeral Home in Chelmsford maintains a list of professional accountants and estate lawyers we recommend.
  • Notify/cancel insurance policies. You’ll have to notify the life insurance company of your loved one’s passing so you can receive the benefits. In addition, you’ll have to cancel car insurance, homeowner’s insurance, and health insurance, so you’re not paying premiums when your loved one is dead. Do note that if your loved one was on Medicare, the Social Security office will inform them of the death, but if your loved one had Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage (Part D), a Medicare Advantage plan and/or a Medigap policy, you will need to call each one individually to cancel coverage.
  • Contact your loved one’s employer. If your loved one was working, chances are he or she had a small life insurance policy that the company sponsored that will need to be paid out. Again, you’ll need a copy of the death certificate to get this process rolling.
  • Check all the bills. Any bills that was in your loved one’s name, such as utility bills, trash bills, internet, cable, or even a prescription music service, will need to be either cancelled or put into your name if you are continuing the service.
  • Close credit card accounts. This is a very important step to prevent fraud. Since your loved one is no longer around to monitor his or her credit card activity, closing all accounts and settling all monies owed is the best way to prevent any identity theft and unauthorized use of your loved one’s credit cards. A death certificate will usually be required to close each account, which you’ll have to contact individually and find out about their process for deceased persons.
  • Notify the three major credit reporting agencies. Transunion, Equifax, and Experian will all need to be notified of your loved one’s passing. This will not only prevent identity theft of your loved one’s credit but will also help clean up your credit since his or her name will be removed from any joint accounts you may have held.
  • Cancel your loved one’s driver’s license. Those looking to steal other’s identities troll obituaries as those who have passed are great candidates for identity theft since the deceased is not monitoring his or her credit (these criminals look at obituaries in their areas for victims). You’ll need a copy of your loved one’s birth certificate to take to the DMV. Cancelling your loved one’s voter registration is also a good idea to prevent voter fraud (someone voting on behalf of your deceased loved one).
  • Notify your loved one’s social media. If your loved one was active on social media or had a blog, notify them of your loss. Oftentimes, social media becomes a great way to memorialize your loved one as condolences pour in from followers and those who cared about your loved one from afar.
  • Close online accounts. Email is another target of online predators who can use a loved one’s email account to perpetrate fraud activities, such as soliciting for funds from acquaintances. Any other accounts your loved one might have used, such as online music streaming accounts, ongoing services such as massage therapy, or monthly donations to nonprofits or churches, should be stopped as well.
  • Tie up loose ends. For months, things will crop up that you’ll have to deal with, such as unexpected accounts you didn’t know your loved one had. When these occur, just deal with them as they arise without undue stress on your part.

Death, as much as a part of life it is, is never easy to deal with nor anticipate. The antithesis of birth, death is characterized by sorrow and grief, which, while normal, is still not pleasant to go through.

HOW DOLAN FUNERAL HOME CAN HELP

As you can see, there is a lot to be done once your loved one passes — many things that you would just not think of to do. Dolan Funeral Home in Chelmsford understands the hardships of death. We serve hundreds of families in the greater Boston area, including communities such as Lowell, southern New Hampshire, Chelmsford, N. Chelmsford, Tyngsboro, Westford, Dunstable, Tewksbury, and Dracut with funeral, burial, and cremation needs every year. We understand the grieving process and that everyone walks through grief a bit differently.

A family-owned business since 1974, we saw the need for an aftercare program, which we’ve developed, to help families navigate the seemingly endless amount of paperwork and activities associated with the death of a loved one. For the first year after the death of your loved one, we’re available to offer guidance and point you in the right direction when it comes to all your paperwork needs. We work with very reputable lawyers, counselors, and other services to ensure you get the help you need during this very difficult transition time in your life.

Dolan Funeral Home in Chelmsford is a full-service funeral home that offers care for your deceased loved one from the moment he or she is released by the medical examiner until the burial service. We offer pre-arrangement funeral planning services as well, which is utilized while your loved one is still alive. This eases the grieving process as the major decisions about burial service is already made. We are proud to partner with local businesses to offer catering for your funeral reception, which provides funeral food and a chance to remember your loved one comfortably.

Furthermore, having been in business for over forty-five years, the staff at Dolan Funeral Home is a resource for you, whether you just need advice on which casket or urn to choose or just need an ear to listen to your remembrances. Dolan Funeral Home not only meticulously cares for your loved one, but we also care for those left behind. We are grateful and humbled that you have chosen us for this very important task. Visit us today!

Continue ReadingNo Comments

How to Start Planning a Funeral

Planning a funeral might be something you’ve anticipated for months, or it might be something that happened unexpectedly. Regardless of the circumstances, making funeral arrangements can be a very trying time. To help you understand the process, we’ve put together a guide to inform you of some of the choices available to you.

Dolan Funeral has been serving the greater Boston area since 1974, and is located in Chelmsford. We serve people of all religions, beliefs, and philosophies, and look forward to working with you to create a memorable cremation or burial service for your loved one. Contact us now to learn more.

Contact a Funeral Home

While time may be of the essence, choosing the best funeral home for you is a very important decision to make. If the deceased didn’t specify a preference, you can contact a few in your area to discuss the options available, as well as your budget and the types of funeral arrangements available. Once you have determined the funeral home you would like to use, you can move forward with planning the burial service or cremation.

Determine the Type of Disposition

Your loved one’s remains can be cared for with cremation or burial, and the decision you make is a deeply personal one. Last wishes could have been discussed beforehand, which helps make the decision somewhat easier. However, if that is not the case, then you can discuss the options with family or with the funeral director, who will be happy to answer your questions and help you make the best decision.

Make Cremation or Burial Service Arrangements

You will want to plan a service for your loved one that is just as unique as he or she was. Your funeral director will discuss his/her personality, requests from friends and family, and stories about him/her to create an experience that will be memorable. You will also discuss where the service will be held, whether there will be a burial service, and other logistics such as visitations, viewings, and so on. And sometimes people decide not to have a service at all. These are all considerations that will be made during the service planning discussion.

Purchase Funeral Products

If you’re opting for a burial service, you will want to purchase a casket—depending on the rules of the place of burial, you might also have to purchase a grave liner. Your funeral director will work with you to find the best option available for your preferences and budget. For those who opt for a cremation, you will have a number of choices for urns. Your funeral director will present several options to you based on your preferences and budget.

Discuss Memorial Donations

Many funerals have a table where people can leave memorials that can be donated to help pay for the funeral, to help the family of the deceased, or to donate to a cause that meant a lot to him or her. This is an alternative to flowers, and can provide a way for people to help others in honor of your loved one. If you would like to receive flowers, these can also be donated after the service to hospices, hospitals, or nursing homes.

At Dolan Funeral Home, we can work with you to make funeral arrangements. Whether you’re pre-planning a funeral and burial service for yourself, or planning a cremation for a loved one, we are ready to help you. Contact us now to learn more.

Continue ReadingNo Comments

Dolan Funeral Home is an independent, family-owned, and operated business providing personal, loving attention to the needs of the families that we serve. Our main purpose is to serve the community that is comprised of diverse religions, beliefs, and philosophies, which must be respected. We help you celebrate and honor the life of your loved one with integrity and care by providing a professional funeral service as distinctive as the families we serve. We offer funeral home and cremation services in Lowell, Westford, and Tyngsborough, MA. Contact us today!

What Our Families Are Saying

Signup for Obituary Email Notifications

Obituary Notification Email
Obituary Notification Email
Loading
Dolan Funeral Home adheres to The CDC Coronavirus Guidance for Funeral Directors to keep you and your loved ones safe. Click to learn moreHealth and Safety COVID-19 Response
Call 24/7 for Immediate Needs:Call 24/7 (978) 256-4040 or (978) 251-4041