Some suggestions to help you plan

As you begin to face your loss, you will make decisions that impact you, your family and the wider circle of friends. Walton Funeral Home has developed these guidelines to help you become better prepared and to make appropriate and meaningful choices.

When someone dies there are many decisions and details to be handled quickly.  Often people are unaware of, or maybe never considered ideas that could make the funeral more personally meaningful.  We want to help you thoughtfully plan a service reflecting your needs and the life of your loved one.

♦ You are free to arrange whatever type of service you need. . .

Today, no two funerals are alike!  There is no “right way” of arranging a service-only what will have meaning and comfort you and your family.  Any personal expressions or sentiments that you wish to include as part of the service are welcome.  Regardless of how unique, Walton’s Funeral Home is accustomed to creating services especially for your family. We have the experience and resources to meet the request of people from a wide variety of religious and ethnic backgrounds.

♦ Consider ideas that reflect the life of the person. . .

We encourage you to bring photographs, memorabilia, artwork or other personal articles to place on display in the reception room(s).  The room(s) where you will receive visitors is “your room” to set-up any way you would like.  Often these personal touches help people focus on positive memories and serve as conversation pieces, contributing to an atmosphere of sharing.  We have suitable display tables and easels for these items.

If you need suggestions on musical arrangements for the service, we will also assist you.  We have portable players that can be used on or off premises for cassette tapes or CDs.  A portable player works particularly well for a graveside service.  Our chapel has a complete music system, including the capability of tape recording the services.

♦ You may want to have family or friends participate. . .

Many services today involve family and/or friends. Some examples include serving as a pallbearer, delivering readings or brief remembrances.  Many religious denominations permit family members or special groups to take part in the services.  Any participation should always be approved and coordinated with the clergy or officiants conducting the service.

♦ Obituaries/Death Notices. . .

It is part of our service to place obituaries in both local and out-of-town newspapers.  Every paper varies regarding its policy on fees for obituaries.  The cost will also vary.  The Virginia Pilot charges for obituaries.

When an obituary is fee based, it may be written any way you choose and printed verbatim.  You are free to write the obituary, or we will gather the relevant information and help you compose it.  Free obituaries are generally edited according to the policies of the paper.  Besides newspapers, we can also submit a death notice into trade publications, alumni newsletters or professional journals.

♦ Suggestions for children. . .

Addressing a death in the family with children is very important.  Unfortunately, their needs and feelings are sometimes overlooked when decisions are made.  Just as children are a part of our families, they are also an important part of our ceremonies and rituals, and they should have the choice of participating in the funeral experience.

Children should be given the opportunity to attend either (or both) the funeral home reception or the service.  They should, however, never be forced.  We often assume that the funeral or viewing will be too traumatic for a child, but research shows that when gently explained, young people have less anxiety about death than adults might assume.

When permitted to participate, it helps children accept death as part of life and validates their feelings associated with loss.  It can enable the child to experience care from family and friends, and finally provides a sense of reassurance and belonging, even though a significant relationship has ended.

Usually the best time to bring young children to the funeral home is before friends arrive.  Many times they like to draw a picture or write a note to be placed on display or in the casket, allowing them to express sentiments at their own level.  Feel free to ask one of our staff t assist you in answering any questions the children in your family might have.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”

-St. Matthew 5:4

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