Tuesday, March 26, 2013

10 Things You Didn't Know...(Part 2) David Allen

Today, our series called 10 Things you didn't know about your Funeral Director continues with David Allen. David is Todd's younger brother, and partner. David is working mainly at the Sun City location.  He has been hard at work in recent weeks getting our new location ready to move into, and we are almost finished!  We are excited to be moving into that location in April!  Stay tuned for pictures and more information.  Here are some things you might not know about David:

1.  David is also from a family of nine kids. He is, in fact, Todd's younger brother. Like Todd he wanted to do medicine but soon realized after spending many hours and days at the library socializing instead of studying that medicine was not for him. After much searching and he realized the funeral profession is where he can serve the people in our community most. He graduated from the Mesa Community College Mortuary Science Program in 2002.

2.  David speaks fluent Spanish which comes in handy here in Arizona.  He learned Spanish while serving a mission for his church to Argentina leaving Aug. 1995.  He lived there for two years where he developed a greater love for God and a deep love for the Latino people.

3.  David dreamed of competing in the 1996 Olympics. He spent his senior year in high school away from his family training at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado.  He specialized in Olympic lifts (the clean & jerk and the snatch).  During his time at the training center, one day his dad received a phone call  from David's trainer.  He was concerned about David. Every morning around 5am a girl would come and pick David up, and then after a hour or two she would drop him off.  The trainer was concerned that David had a secret girlfriend and was messing around.  David's trainer was very shocked and surprised when David's Dad told him that they knew about this activity and that David was in fact going to a religious class every morning!  After all that training, sacrifice, and hard work, David decided to serve a mission for God and miss the 1996 Olympics knowing that taking 2 years off of training meant never going to the Olympics.

4.  A little known fact is that David and his wife had their first date on April's Fools Day and were engaged  two weeks later. They were married by the middle of June that year and expecting two months after that. When Dave wants something he is willing to go after it and work hard. =)  They have married for over 12 years, and have 4 beautiful children, Schuyler, Kirkland, Roe, and Jeri.

5.  David loves to do things with his kids like swimming, playing ball, rough housing, and even taking piano lessons. Every Tuesday morning at 5:30 am David and three of the kids load up the car and go to piano lessons.  David is improving... just not as quickly as the kids are.

6.  David has many talents and strengths, but kayaking is not one of them. While visiting his new in-laws and trying to still make a good impression he agreed to go kayaking. The picture says all that needs to be said.

7.  David has a not so secret love.  He loves to listen to talk radio.  David's kids groan when Dad drives because they have to listen to talk radio instead of music. 

8.  David has a very special bond with his daughters.  They have him wrapped around their finger. His oldest daughter who is in kindergarten was recently diagnosed with Celiac Disease which means a completely gluten free diet. This has been a big change in her life.  Under the doctor's counsel the rest of the family was tested.  When the results came back and David too had Celiac Disease. When he told his daughter that he too had Celiac Disease, she stood up, threw her arms in the air and cheered. She was so excited to not be the only one to have special food.

9.  David enjoys nature and hunting. After waiting for 13 years to be drawn out, finally David was drawn out for the coveted archery elk hunt in 2012.  He was able to bring home the prize, a fact he brings up to his family every chance he can. He is the first in the Allen family to shoot archery elk.

10.  David is an eagle scout and has been involved in the scouting program off and on all his adult life.  For his eagle scout project he helped to close off unofficial trails to help preserve nature.  Even unofficial trails can be wrought with unseen danger like the time David was mountain biking in the desert with friends.  It was hot so he removed his shirt, only to have a biking accident and land spread eagle face down in a patch  of cactus. After his friends stopped laughing they were able to help him up where he spent several hours picking out cactus thorns/spikes. That's the joy of being an Arizona boy!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Funeral Fact or Fiction: Myths Revealed

For this week's blog post, I found an article written for Living Well magazine in 2012 that does a great job explaining some of the myths of Funeral Service.  Many people have questions and concerns related to this topic when they come into our Funeral Home to make an arrangement.  As with anything else, you can't believe everything you hear or read about the Funeral Service industry.  This article addresses a few of these myths.  The article can be found online HERE.

Top 5 Myths of Funeral Service
By Rick Allen*

For many years, the funeral industry has been veiled in a cloak of mystery and even fear about the entire process. People have had fears about the funeral industry for a couple of primary reasons. First, the experience itself is something most people will only be responsible for dealing with once or possibly twice in their lifetime, so there is no familiarity of the process. All of us are a little leery about the unknown, so just not knowing what to expect causes anxiety. Second, the public perception about funerals is that they are extremely expensive. This can be true, depending on the choices a family makes regarding the type of funeral service, merchandise selected and whether or not cemetery property has been secured in the past or if that too is a required expense at the time. So, let’s explore the top five myths about funerals and see if we can clear up some of the confusion or misinformation that exists on the subject.
  1. Embalming is required – Every state has their own rule regarding embalming. In most states, the requirement for embalming is left up to the funeral home. Typically, if a body is going to be viewed or present at a public service or visitation, embalming will be required by the funeral home. This is necessary for public health purposes and a body that has been properly embalmed and prepared for viewing presents a better memory picture for those seeking closure in dealing with their grief. If cremation is your choice, and no one will need to see the deceased once they have been brought into the care of the funeral home, embalming is not necessary.
  2. Cremation is cheaper than burial – In a nutshell, yes. This is true because you eliminate the need for cemetery property in most cases. However, if you have a traditional funeral service followed by cremation the cost will be the same. The difference, or savings, lies in the fact that the need for cemetery property is eliminated. Most funeral homes offer a ceremonial (or rental) casket for those who desire a traditional funeral but also want cremation. The absolute cheapest way to dispose of a deceased individual’s body is by direct cremation. With this option, there is no viewing and no service at all. Additionally, only a minimal container (usually constructed of cardboard) is all that is required to hold the body.
  3. Only one person can be buried in a single grave space – Most cemeteries are now offering what is referred to as a second rite of interment. For a fee, usually a percentage of the cost of the grave space, a second interment can be made. If a burial has been made in the past, the second interment may be limited to only cremains. If it is designated prior to the first burial being made, up to two persons can be buried in a single space. Some cemeteries have special sections set out for this and the grave liner is already in place prior to either burial being made. These types of spaces are called lawn crypts.
  4. You must have a vault if you choose to bury – This requirement may or may not exist. The cemetery can decide if they require any type of outer burial container. If the cemetery requires such, its primary function is to keep the grave level by providing a foundation for which the dirt replaced in the grave after burial rests on. Typically, these are simply a concrete box and do not provide a dry resting place for the casket. If that is important to you, a protective vault should be chosen and this will meet any minimum requirement of the cemetery.
  5. Funerals must be paid for in full up front – Most funeral homes want to know how you plan to pay and yes, some will require you to pay in full prior to the funeral service. If you plan to use proceeds from a life insurance policy to pay for a funeral, most funeral homes will accept an assignment of proceeds as a form of payment. Most funeral homes also accept credit cards as well. Very seldom will you find a funeral home that offers installment payment options, unless you are pre-planning in advance of an actual need.
*Rick Allen is the owner of Allen Family Funeral Options. Visit their informative website at www.affoplano.com to learn more.

Hopefully this article has helped you to feel more informed about Funeral Service myths, and better able to plan and make decisions for your loved one.  Here at Legacy Funeral Home, we offer services and options to fit any budget.  We are happy to speak with you at any time, day or night if you would like more information. If you have questions, or concerns about any of this information,  please feel free to call us, at (480) 963-6200 or send us an email at info@azlegacyfuneralhome.com.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Funeral is Over...What Now?

So your loved one has passed on, and the funeral is over.  What now?  So many people feel very alone after a loved one is gone.  This pain and grief only intensifies after the funeral, when people stop coming around, stop asking how you are doing, stop calling or coming by to check up on you.  For many, the time after a funeral service can be even more painful and full of grief than the time during the funeral planning.  There are many ways that we can help you during this time.  At Legacy Funeral Home, we don't want our relationship with your family to end after the funeral.  We want you to be able to count on us to help you through the difficult days ahead, the difficult process of healing.  It's the least we can do.

One of the ways we can help is through this blog.  In the days and months to come, we hope to be able to have resources that you can look to in your grief to help make your days easier, and your loss more manageable.  The blog is meant to be an extension to the grief counseling we offer on our website, and at our location.  With more than 15 years in the funeral service business, we have seen that although your grief is certainly unique, and your own burden to bear, many of the things you can do to lessen the grief and pain are the same.  Look for ideas and commentary on grief, healing, and comfort.  We hope that these will benefit you in a profound way.  Have a particular subject that you would like to read about on our blog? Please use the email contact link on the top of our webpage at www.azlegacyfuneralhome.com to suggest a subject, or ask a question.  Any participation from our families would certainly be welcomed, and any feedback on what you read here is certainly welcomed as well.  Leave a comment below, or send us an email with your thoughts or feelings.

One more way we can help is on our website under the "Grief and Support" tab.  There are links to online grief support groups and resources including books about grief support that have been helpful to many of our families going through the grieving process.  You can also sign up there for our 365 Days of Grief Support.  If you input your email address, we will automatically send you a daily affirmation for 365 days, with ideas about how to move on with your life after a death occurs and how to heal physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  Families who have signed up for this service have told us that the emails are a simple, yet profound way of remembering their loved one, and healing through their most difficult days.  The service is free, we would never sell your name or email address, or send you unwanted spam mail, and you can opt out at any time.  The following is the first email of the 365 day series of emails, just to give you an idea of the service we are offering:

Daily Email Affirmations

by Legacy Funeral Home

Grief Connections

Grief is a Five-Letter Word - Day # 1

Loss is everywhere, sprinkled throughout our lives, from childhood into old age. Some losses are shrugged off without much thought or acknowledgement – others are managed, navigated and quickly set aside, but others are so big we can’t ignore them. They lay us on the floor with sorrow, and the grieving process takes hold of us completely.

Recognizing the actual regularity of loss, and the proven ability you have to work through loss and move forward with your life allows you to take control of your daily experience. You are the creator of your own experience. These emails will help you to work through grief, and come out the other side a stronger, more complete person. Each message will offer an action, an activity to help you put things in perspective, honor your place in the process, or care for your body and mind in some other way. It is our goal to help you “push the clouds away”, a bit at a time. Activity: Get a pad of paper, a blank journal, or simply a notebook. (I’ve found that writing in a beautiful journal can be inspiring – but some people would rather use an inexpensive notebook.)Buy a pen you love to use – something that writes smoothly and effortlessly. It’s time to start chronicling your experiences. One reason grief disrupts so many aspects of your life is because your loss is not isolated – now is the time to reflect on the other losses in your life. In so doing, each will become an opportunity to experience grief, and release it.

List all the beings (animal companions, childhood friends, lovers, or partners) and all the places you’ve lost. Take a moment to honor each loss, perhaps closing the ritual by lighting a candle – a time-honored action of reverence. Here’s an example list from my own life:
1. My first cat, Beethoven
2. My childhood home
3. My first dog, B-B (short for “Beast”, a teacup Poodle!)
4. My marriage
5. My husband
6. My favorite teaching job
7. My mother and father (one dead and the other estranged)

You get the idea, don’t you?
What you’ll learn from this exercise is the recognition of your resiliency – you are strong, and you will survive this latest loss. Embrace the process, don’t resist it.