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Internationally- acclaimed ethnomusicologist, Prof. Kwabena Nketia, will on Thursday, November 14, 2013 launch a 217-page art book realised through collaboration by Professors Irene Odotei  and  Lisa Meier at the Goethe-Institute in Accra.

Titled: Funeral Fashion in Ghana’, the book vigorously captures through images and text, the richness and diversity of funeral cultures in Ghana while laying bare influences from religion, development and technology.

 
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The term eulogy sounds stiff and formal, but eulogies can include simple reminiscences, war stories, or favorite jokes. Here's how to put it together.

 
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Viewing means to have an open casket. In other words, the lid or the upper portion of the lid of the casket is left open so that mourners may take a last look at the deceased.


Many grief counselors feel that seeing the body helps mourners to accept that death has really occurred. And once the death has been accepted, healthy grieving can begin.

 
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Disposition is the term used by the funeral industry to describe the final handling of the deceased's remains.


Although your initial decision for the disposition of the body is between burial and cremation, there are several variations on each.

 
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Upon first hearing of the death of someone you love, you may be hit by a whirlwind of emotions: shock, disbelief, anger, even panic.

The frenzy of funeral planning will usually carry you through the first terrible days. But when the ceremonies are long over, the flowers wilted, the sympathy cards tucked away in a drawer, and friends have stopped calling ... that's when the full impact hits. You're alone now, with your thoughts and your memories. That's when you need new strategies for coping.

 
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Not many of us are brave enough, or organized enough, to plan for our own deaths.


But for those who are ... what a gift you give to your families.

Among the areas that you'll want to consider are:

 
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A funeral service is one in which the body is present.

At a memorial service, it is not.

Sometimes it makes sense to have a funeral in one place, and then to have a memorial service later someplace else.

At most funerals, a member of the clergy presides, and the service is held within three days of the death.

The casket is usually closed during the service, although it may be opened at the end for a viewing.

 
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A casket often is the single most expensive item you'll buy if you plan a "traditional," full-service funeral. Caskets vary widely in style and price and are sold primarily for their visual appeal.

Typically, they're constructed of metal, wood, fiberboard, fiberglass, or plastic.

 
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Making funeral arrangements generates a complex mixture of emotions in most of us.

We want the best for the one we loved, yet we may be appalled at the costs.

 
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Decomposition of the body in the earth (after burial) is the slow oxidation of the body tissues.

Cremation, on the other hand, provides rapid oxidation.

No casket is legally required for cremation, just a simple container, which is strong enough to hold the body. This could be a box of rough boards, pressboard, or heavy cardboard.

 
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Recent immigrants from Ghana on Africa’s west coast have brought with them a very different way of mourning the loss of a loved one. It’s more of a celebration involving exotic costumes, high-energy music and traditional dancing. For Lewis, in Sydney’s western suburbs, this spectacular occasion offers him the most appropriate way of saying farewell to his father, a man who left behind 6 wives, 26 children and 105 grandchildren.

 
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For the Ga tribe in coastal Ghana, funerals are a time of mourning, but also of celebration. The Ga people believe that when their loved ones die, they move on into another life -- and the Ga make sure they do so in style. They honor their dead with brightly colored coffins that celebrate the way they lived.

 
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I must state from the onset that Ghanaians spend more money on funerals than on weddings. I remember taking a group on tour and from Cape Coast to Kumasi, all along the highway, people clad in black, brown, and burgundy colors could be seen in every town, village and hamlet.

My group called Ghana, "The funeral Capital of the world". These are the traditional mourning clothes. There are occasions when we wear white. When someone commits suicide, when someone dies in battle or is shot dead in any way, when someone lives to a ripe old age, we wear white for the funeral. Also when a parent loses a child for the first time, we wear white.

 
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Millions of people all over the world have entered into contracts to prearrange their funerals and prepay some or all of the expenses involved.

As it has become more acceptable for people to talk openly about death, the number of people planning for and paying for their funerals ahead of time has increased.

 
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Whenever we are confronted by loss, particularly the loss of bereavement we experience one of the strongest human emotions - that of grief. When someone who has shared part of our life dies, whether a family member or a close friend, the emotions we feel can leave us desolate and confused. This is normal. It happens to everyone, and its quite alright to feel emotionally devastated.

 
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Children Grieve:
Sometimes, a parent is so lost in his or her own grief that the grief of a child goes unnoticed.

Children Grieve for a long time:
The loss of a loved one is not something a child can get over in a hurry.

 
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Service or Hymn Sheet :

Have a service sheet printed with details of your loved ones on it, include a favourite photo, hymns, poems and other symbols that represent memories.

 Tri bute Book :

Invite people attending the service to sign a tribute book to give the family a record of those attending.

 
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 Refreshments :

Gather after the service where family and friends can get together over a cup of tea or a coffee. The family home, community or church hall, clubrooms, funeral home etc are all suitable places to gather. We are able to arrange catering for you at any of these venues.

 
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Bequests and legacies are particular items or sums of money given as gifts upon the death of the donor, to specific people, or organizations.The most common method of deferred charitable giving is a gift through one's will such as cash, securities, real property or personal property .

  Bequests can be for general purposes, or they may be designated for some specific area. Care should be taken to include in the wording of the bequest the purpose for which it is intended. Please be as detailed as you can in identifying the gift

 
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Regardless of whether or not a workplace is prepared for helping bereaving employees, grief is an issue workers will either experience on the job or bring to the job due to:

  • the illness or death of a colleague
  • the death or illness of a family member or a friend
  • losses associated with downsizing or reorganization
 
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Funerals are for the living, and the ritual is valuable in several ways. It is a time to say goodbye to a loved one and a time for family and friends to offer each other love and support.

For these reasons, it is important to include bereaved children in this process. Most experts agree that children can attend funeral services at a young age. Since this may be their first experience with funerals, they must be prepared for what to expect, including what dead bodies look and feel like.A children's funeral is a special service planned for children affected by the loss of a loved one. This is a service that is shorter in duration and less formal than the "adult" service. A children's funeral can be held in addition to the adult service. If the death is expected, it is easier to make arrangements for such a service because family members have more time to plan a special ritual for children that is scaled to their level of understanding. If the death is sudden, it is harder to organize and develop such a service. An aunt, neighbor, minister or friend can assist in planning under these circumstances.

 
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Your baby has died. You are now faced with the difficult, but important, need to mourn. Mourning is the open expression of your thoughts and feelings regarding the death of your baby. It is an essential part of healing.

 You are beginning a journey that is often frightening, painful, overwhelming and sometimes lonely. This brochure provides practical suggestions to help you move toward healing after the death of your baby. Allow Yourself to Mourn
Whatever the circumstances of your baby's death, you will need to share your grief outside of yourself. Whether you were pregnant for a brief time, many months, delivered a stillborn baby or your baby lived for a longer time, you have every right to grieve.

 

 
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Have you ever noticed that there is an unspoken hierarchy of loss in our society? By that I mean that there are some deaths that generate a lot of support and some very little.

Think of it. In workshops I have conducted, the following list has been created suggesting you will receive a lot of support after the death of a child or a spouse. But for other losses in the list, you are likely to find yourself without much support at all.

 
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You work hard all your life to provide for the future and those you care about. Why leave it to chance when you die?

Many Canadians intend to pass their lifetime savings on to their heirs. Once retirement needs are met, the assets remaining will be distributed most effectively if an individual has a will to detail his / her wishes. Estate planning ensures that assets are shared according to the wishes of the individual for the maximum benefit of the heirs. Although many people may think this issue is far in the future, preparing a will and its related estate planning considerations should be a basic step that is taken and repeated whenever there is a change in circumstances such as marriage, divorce, children or relocation. Preparing a will connects the various pieces that comprise a good estate plan.

 
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