What to Expect with Grief

For many people, grief is more than just feeling sad.  There are a wide range of physical and emotional grief symptoms beyond those we might be familiar with.  It is important to remember that everyone grieves in their own way, and while you might share some of these common symptoms of grief, you may not necessarily experience all of them.  

NOTE: Please remember that within one family or circle of friends, grieving for the same person will be different for everyone at any given time.  While one person may feel sadness and loss, another in the same house may be going through anger for the loved one leaving.  Be gentle with yourself and others around you during this time.

Emotional Grief Symptoms

When we think about the symptoms of grief, it is usually the emotional response that probably first comes to mind.  When we experience serious loss, we often feel a very deep sadness.  Many people also experience some of these additional emotional grief symptoms:

  • guilt and remorse
  • shock and numbness
  • anger
  • feeling lonely or abandoned
  • fear and anxiety
  • relief
  • feeling that you are going cray
  • feeling like you can't control your emotions

It is not uncommon to feel contradictory emotions, like isolating yourself while feeling lonely.  You might be angry at the person who died but are relieved that they are no longer suffering, then feel guilty for your anger or relief.  If you feel like you can't control your emotions, talk to someone who can help.  Seek out a close friend, a professional counselor, a support group or clergy.  Often when we grieve, we fear that people will judge us or question our reactions.  Look for support.  And, there is no "wrong way" to grieve.  Whatever you are feeling is a valid, appropriate emotion.

Physical Grief Symptoms

Additionally, many people have a physical reaction to loss.  You may feel some of all of the following:

  • insomnia
  • headache and muscle pains
  • stomach ache and nausea
  • restlessness
  • difficulty breathing and chest pain
  • confusion and the inability to concentrate
  • increase in blood pressure
  • weakened immune system

A number of studies have been done on how grief affects the heart.  Research indicates that people are at a higher risk of heart attack in the days following a loss.  In addition, the stress of grief can cause a cardiomyopathy known as "broken heart syndrome" which is a weakening of the left ventricle.  This is treatable and most patients recover over time.  SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION if you are ever having difficulty breathing with or without chest pain, and if you are having chest pain with or without difficulty breathing.

Delayed Grief Symptoms

This type of grief is a delayed reaction to loss.  In many cases, delayed grief symptoms are similar to the previous two types, they just take place months or even years after the loss.  People may feel like they need to be strong for others after a death, so they don't allow themselves to mourn.  They may suddenly feel the grief months later when the situation has calmed and seemingly been handled.

Complicated Grief Symptoms

Also known as prolonged grief disorder complicated grief is characterized by heightened, ongoing feelings of grief that last typically six months or longer.  Other symptoms include:

  • feelings of numbness or apathy
  • the inability to thing about anything other than the deceased
  • being unable to think about any positive experiences with the deceased
  • deep bitterness, anger, and irritability
  • intense sorrow and longing for the loved one who passed away
  • being unable to find any meaning in life

Complicated grief often requires professional treatment.  If you or someone you know does not seem to be able to move on several months after a loss and no longer is able to carry out normal activities, it's time to ask for help.  

If you have an urgent need, you can speak to someone at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.  Call 911 if you feel like you are going to hurt yourself or someone else.

Expenses of a Funeral and ALL of Your Options

With the unexpected loss of a loved one, the last thing on your mind will be the financial matters of a funeral. Unfortunately, the decisions associated with costs will need to be made right away. Since funeral costs can average between $8,000 - $15,000, this can be a huge expense to families, most of which people may not be able to afford.

So, what happens if you cannot afford a funeral or need help with funeral costs? Luckily, there are options.

Who Pays for a Funeral?

Legally, the estate of the deceased is responsible for the cost of final funeral arrangements and the executor of the estate is responsible for the handling of bills. The person who signs the contract at the funeral home is required to pay the bill. So, before you call funeral homes it is important to decide what you can afford without sacrificing money for daily living expenses.

It is also important to remember that cost does not equate to how much you loved the deceased. A dignified funeral does not have to cost a fortune and it doesn’t reflect how much you cared for someone.

In some cases, states offer burial assistance. Florida has the Indigent Burial Program that is administered by each county’s administrative office.  Typically, the Medical Examiner’s office and your local Office of Vital Statistics will have the name and telephone number of the person who facilitates this program in your county.

Lower Cost Ways to Pay for Funeral Expenses

Unfortunately, in the case of unexpected losses, there may not be time to pre-plan and research ways to make funerals more affordable.  Here are some ways to pay for funeral expenses that can help with funeral costs:

Embalming – Embalming is not a requirement. The process is simply fluids injected into a body to slow decomposition and preserve the body so it can be publicly displayed in an open casket funeral.

Donation – Donating your body to medical research or science is one of the least expensive and most impactful funeral options available to people.

Home Funerals & Services – These are legal across the country although there are certain laws relating to the details of a home burial. In Florida you are still required to prepare the appropriate paperwork required by the Department of Health’s Office of Vital Statistics.  Having your service at home also allows you to plan exactly how you would like to grieve with loved ones.

Direct Cremation – This is the most popular alternative to a traditional burial and is one of the most affordable options. Ashes can be kept in an urn, buried, or scattered. You can also skip a traditional memorial service and host a memorial or celebration of life service at your home.

Purchase Your Own Casket or Urn – These are often marked up by funeral homes, and they may also try to upsell you on their products. Purchasing online gives you more options, and you can even personalize to create a tribute to your loved one.

Flowers – Flowers don’t need to be expensive to be beautiful. Local florists may offer better prices than funeral homes and there are also online florists that will deliver arrangements.

Direct Burial – If you have already chosen against cremation it is possible to have a direct burial. This skips the process of having a formal funeral, viewing, or service. Some funeral homes may offer a graveside service at an additional cost. Keep in mind you will still need to pay for a burial plot. At in green cemeteries, you may be able to opt for a biodegradable casket or even a simple shroud which is more environmentally friendly.

Crowdfund – If you are going to have a traditional funeral with many attendees, it may be possible to crowdfund online and allow people to make donations to help with your costs. You may need the funds to pay the funeral home straight away so keep this in mind when planning one of these.

Payment Plans – Some funeral homes may offer payment plans and although this may not cut down on overall costs, it is a way to create a more manageable way that allows you to pay for funeral expenses without having to come up with a large sum of money.

There are a multitude of ways to help cut down the costs of saying goodbye to a loved one. If you find yourself in a difficult position, remember that cost in no way reflects on how much you cared, and make the right financial decision for you.

Looking Back at 2020

What a year!  Covid19 changed the way we do business and had an impact on everyone's life whether we wanted it to or not.  My children lost their last living grandfather to the virus and we had countless customer families similarly affected.

The 2020 Presidential election assisted in the polarization of our population.  Black Lives Matter rose from horrific images of police murdering suspects of color.  And, Keeping Up with the Kardashians filmed their final season for E! Entertainment Television.

At Amaryllis Cremation we were lucky to add another licensed cremation specialist to our family.  Jill Singer Morrison has not only assisted many of our 2020 families but she has also helped to streamline our practices.  Her vision for growth is unmatched.  As our annual case load continues to increase, Jill is contributing to expansion prior to our business reaching critical mass.  Just in time, we have been able to handle the Covid19 increase and naturally occurring customer increase without any loss to quality to our customers.

We are prepped, ready, and excited to handle whatever 2021 and the future brings our way!

Amaryllis Cremation LLC

 Amaryllis Cremation LLC is a fully licensed and insured direct cremation service, also known as a direct disposal establishment.  We offer services throughout the Greater Orlando Area in Florida.  We will meet with you at your home, the hospital or nursing home, our office, or another location of your choosing to make arrangements.

 Our promise to our clients is to provide a professional service that handles the immediate needs of the family with dignity and respect.  Our staff is on-call to respond with prompt attention whenever you require - around the clock, every day of the year.

 Transparency is important to us.  We do not sell pre-need arrangements.  We do not offer traditional, funeral, or memorial services.  We will not try to increase the cost of our service with items that are readily available elsewhere.  We DO offer a basic, at-need cremation service with an affordable price.

 Why choose direct cremation?  Today's trend leads toward cremation with an increase of interest relating to the environment.  Some choose cremation because they are able to keep the cremated remains of their loved one close, or share them among family members.  Many individuals have already chosen cremation as their preferred option and made their wishes known to you prior to death.  Still, the number one reason people choose direct cremation is the price. 

 The cremation process begins with a call to our office.  A professional, removal service is then dispatched to transport the deceased to refrigeration facilities as required by law.  As stated above, we will meet with you at your home, our office, or another location of your choosing to make arrangements.  Forty-eight hours must pass prior to cremation, and all cremation cases must be authorized by the Medical Examiner's office.  After obtaining all of the required authorizations from you, the Death Certificate must be certified by a physician.  You will also be asked to sign a Cremation Authorization since cremation is a non-reversible choice.  When all of the required paperwork is returned from the family, physicians, and government agencies, the deceased is cremated and the cremated remains are returned to the family.

From our family to yours, thank you for considering Amaryllis Cremation LLC for your direct cremation needs.