Handling Digital Assets After Death

As we increasingly live our lives online, our digital assets become an important part of our legacy. From social media accounts to online banking, we leave behind a digital footprint that can be difficult to manage after we pass away. That’s why it’s important to have a plan in place for handling digital assets after death.

Why Digital Asset Management is Important

Our digital lives contain important information that can be difficult to access after we pass away. Social media accounts, for example, can be a treasure trove of memories and conversations that family members may want to preserve. Online banking and investment accounts, on the other hand, may contain important financial information that needs to be managed.

If digital assets are not properly managed after death, they may be lost forever or fall into the wrong hands. For example, social media accounts could be hacked or deleted, while online banking accounts could be vulnerable to fraud.

Steps for Managing Digital Assets After Death

To ensure that your digital assets are properly managed after you pass away, it’s important to take the following steps:

  1. Make an inventory of your digital assets: Start by making a list of all of your digital assets, including social media accounts, online banking and investment accounts, email accounts, and any other accounts that may be important to your loved ones.
  2. Choose a digital executor: Choose someone you trust to be your digital executor. This person will be responsible for managing your digital assets after you pass away.
  3. Provide access information: Make sure your digital executor has all of the information they need to access your digital assets, including usernames, passwords, and security questions.
  4. Consider using a digital estate planning service: There are a number of digital estate planning services that can help you manage your digital assets after you pass away. These services can help you store your login information securely and provide access to your executor when needed.
  5. Review and update regularly: It’s important to review and update your list of digital assets and access information regularly to ensure that everything is up to date.

Managing digital assets after death can be a complex process, but it’s an important part of estate planning. By taking the time to inventory your digital assets, choose a digital executor, and provide access information, you can ensure that your digital legacy is properly managed after you pass away.

How to Write a Eulogy

Writing a eulogy for a loved one can be a challenging and emotional task, but it is also an opportunity to honor their life and legacy. Here are some tips on how to write a eulogy that will capture the essence of your loved one and provide comfort to those who are grieving:

  1. Start by gathering information: Before you start writing, gather information about the person you are eulogizing. Talk to family members and friends to get a sense of their life story, accomplishments, and personality traits.
  2. Consider your audience: Think about who will be in attendance at the funeral and what they might need to hear. Keep in mind that the eulogy is not just about the person who has passed away, but also about those who are grieving.
  3. Structure your eulogy: Your eulogy should have a clear structure that includes an introduction, body, and conclusion. You can start by sharing a personal story or anecdote that highlights the person’s character, then move on to talk about their achievements and the impact they had on the people around them.
  4. Use vivid language: Use descriptive language that evokes emotion and creates a picture of the person in the minds of the audience. Use anecdotes, quotes, and stories that illustrate the person’s personality, interests, and accomplishments.
  5. Be honest and authentic: It’s important to be honest and authentic in your eulogy, even if it means sharing difficult or painful memories. This will help the audience to connect with the person on a deeper level and create a more meaningful experience.
  6. Practice and time your speech: Practice your eulogy several times before the funeral and time it to ensure that it fits within the allotted time frame. This will help you to feel more confident and prepared on the day of the funeral.
  7. End on a positive note: Conclude your eulogy by emphasizing the positive aspects of the person’s life and legacy. Offer words of comfort to the grieving family and friends, and encourage them to celebrate the person’s life and memory.

Writing a eulogy can be a difficult task, but it is also an opportunity to honor the memory of a loved one and provide comfort to those who are grieving. By following these tips and speaking from the heart, you can create a eulogy that will be a meaningful and lasting tribute to the person you have lost.

Moving Forward After the Loss of a Loved One: 7 Tips for Healing and Growth

Losing a parent, child, or spouse is one of the hardest things a person can experience. The grieving process is difficult and can leave you feeling lost, overwhelmed, and uncertain about how to move forward. But despite the pain, it’s possible to heal and grow in the aftermath of loss. Here are seven tips to help you navigate the first year after the loss of a loved one:

  1. Allow yourself to grieve: It’s important to give yourself time and space to grieve. This means accepting your feelings, no matter how difficult they may be, and allowing yourself to process them.
  2. Seek support: Reach out to friends and family members who can support you during this time. You can also consider joining a support group or seeking therapy to help you work through your feelings.
  3. Take care of yourself: It’s essential to prioritize your physical and emotional health during this time. This might mean eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and engaging in activities that bring you joy and relaxation.
  4. Find meaning in your loss: Explore ways to honor your loved one and find meaning in their life and death. This might mean volunteering, starting a memorial project, or simply spending time reflecting on their life.
  5. Stay connected with loved ones: Maintaining strong relationships with friends and family members can be a source of comfort and support during the grieving process.
  6. Set achievable goals: Having something to work towards can help you feel a sense of purpose and progress. Set realistic goals for yourself and take things one step at a time.
  7. Be patient with yourself: Healing is a gradual process, and it’s important to be patient and kind to yourself as you work through your feelings. Remember that it’s okay to take your time and that there is no “right” way to grieve.

The loss of a loved one can be incredibly difficult, but it’s important to remember that healing and growth are possible. By allowing yourself to grieve, seeking support, taking care of yourself, and finding meaning in your loss, you can move forward in a positive and meaningful way.

Children and Funerals

Bringing children to a funeral may seem like a difficult or even unnecessary task, but it can be beneficial for both the child and the family as a whole.

First and foremost, attending a funeral allows children to understand and process the concept of death. Death is a difficult concept for many adults to understand, let alone children. By attending a funeral, children can see the reality of death and begin to understand that it is a natural part of life. This can help them to come to terms with the loss and begin to grieve in a healthy way.

Additionally, bringing children to a funeral can also help them to understand the importance of family and community. Funerals bring people together to support one another during a difficult time, and children can learn the value of this kind of support and empathy. They can also learn about the importance of remembering and honoring loved ones who have passed away.

Including children in the funeral process can also help them to feel valued as a part of the family. It can also help them to feel like they are contributing to the healing process and honoring their loved one.

It’s important to note that the age, maturity, and understanding of the child should be taken into consideration when deciding whether to bring them to a funeral. It’s also important to explain the event to the child, what to expect and what behavior is expected of them.

The History of Taps and Understanding Earned Veteran Benefits

“Taps” consists of 24 notes that are sounded on a bugle at funerals, wreath-laying ceremonies and memorial services for veterans.  It was not written in its current form but came from revisions to a call named “Tattoo” that was written before the Civil War.  You can see it played here and you will hear some of the notes we know as Taps in its current form today.

In 1862 the first steps were taken that resulted in “Taps.”  Every evening a call named “Extinguish Lights” was played to signal the end of day and that troops should extinguish all lights and report to barracks.  Major General Daniel Adams Butterfield felt the call was not the way he felt they should signal the day’s end.  He enlisted the help Oliver Willcox Norton, his brigade bugler to make a new arrangement.  The newly revised call was named “Taps” and was first played to honor his men while in camp at Harrison’s Landing, Virginia following the Seven Days’ battles during the Peninsular Campaign.

Butterfield and Norton did not compose “Taps.” Although it is generally believed that they composed the bugle call, in fact they merely revised an earlier bugle call. The earliest version of the call, known as “Tattoo,” had gone out of use by the Civil War. Butterfield knew this early version from his days before the war as a colonel in the 12th New York Militia. Like “Extinguish Lights” it was used as a signal at the end of the day. Butterfield and Norton took the last 5 and a half measures of the “Tattoo” and arranged them into the 24 notes we know today. The first use of “Taps” at a funeral was during the Peninsular Campaign in Virginia. Captain John C. Tidball of Battery A, 2nd Artillery ordered it played for the burial of a cannoneer killed in action. Because the enemy was close, he worried that the traditional three volleys would renew fighting.

The new call soon spread to other units of the Union Army.  The earliest official reference to the mandatory use of “Taps” at military funeral ceremonies is found in the U.S. Army Infantry Drill Regulations for 1891.

Our funeral home will help your family request military funeral honors and ensure the following benefits are made available.

Folding and presentation of the flag

A folding and presentation of the flag ceremony is provided to your family at no cost. Qualified veterans receiving military honors are entitled to a minimum of 2 members of the Armed Forces as their honor guard detail.

Military funeral honors eligibility

Military funeral honors are available to honorably discharged members of the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and National Guard. The veteran will have a form DD214 that indicated this status.

If your loved one is qualified for funeral honors, we can arrange for a funeral service with military honors. We recommend pre-planning for veterans to allow for the extra time it takes for coordination of honors.

Additional earned benefits

Both honorably discharged veterans and their spouses are entitled to burial in a national cemetery and the Veterans Administration will provide a headstone, marker or medallion without cost.  Though there is no cost to the veteran family for the headstone or marker, having them placed in a private cemetery may incur the standard costs of that cemetery.

If you have questions about your earned benefits and how to arrange military honors including “Taps,” please contact us today.

5 Ideas for Teaching Your Children About the Importance of Veterans Day

Bringing Veterans Day to Life in the Eyes of Children

Veterans Day marks our gratefulness and respect for all of those who have served in our military and in the defense of our nation. It is a major point of pride for all of those who have sacrificed or have loved someone who has. 

As Veterans Day isn’t an occasion with a major lead-up period or a gift-giving opportunity, children might not immediately recognize how significant and special the day truly is. Children’s knowledge of Veterans Day might also vary with the number of close relatives they know who have served in the military.

We have compiled a list of activities that you can use to teach your children about the importance of Veterans Day. These age-appropriate games, crafts and lessons can help children appreciate both their neighbors in the military and what it means to be an American.

Child-Friendly Commemoration and Appreciation

  1. Write a “thank-you list”.

Help your child write a list of things they love about living in America. Explain that some kids in other parts of the world can’t do those things, and it’s thanks to veterans that we are free to enjoy the things and activities we love.

  1. Attend a parade.

Cities and towns of all sizes hold Veterans Day parades and celebrations, bringing the true spirit of sacrifice and patriotism to life. See if there is a celebration that is going on relatively near your home and take your child to attend. Remember to be present and observant throughout!

When you leave the parade with your child, talk about what you experienced and how it made you feel. Make sure to talk about your favorite parts and your least favorite parts of the parade, which will help cement the occasion in your child’s mind.

  1. Write and color a thank-you card for a veteran you know.

While you may not have any close relatives that have served in the military, it would be very surprising if you didn’t know anyone serving, or that has served, in one of the branches of the armed forces. Help your child color and decorate a thank you card and mail it together.

If you really cannot think of anyone in your close proximity that has served, there is a multitude of resources that will connect you with veterans or active duty service members. You have endless opportunities to brighten someone’s day—both your child’s, and the recipient of their card.

  1. Take a veteran you love out to lunch (or coffee).

If you do have a veteran that you feel comfortable spending an extended period of time around, invite them for lunch, coffee, or ice cream with you and your child. Help your child think of questions in advance to ask their veteran friend, which will help them converse, especially with a big age difference. Both parties are certain to get quite a bit out of the experience.

  1. Visit a veterans’ memorial near you and have your child pick out flowers 

Though this may not be an activity that would be appropriate for younger children, taking flowers to a veterans’ memorial helps children understand the importance of sacrifice and the impact it has on our way of life. After you visit, you could ask your children about the memorial, how they felt and what they would like to say to a veteran if they met one.

Your Children, Veterans Day, and You

The best way to lead children to understanding is through example. Children are always watching and imitating what they see, so your behavior in regards to veterans and Veterans Day will also help inform their own actions. Be present and be thankful!

At Lighthouse Memorials & Receptions, we prioritize services and moments of gratitude for those who have faithfully served our nation through the armed forces. Ask about how we can include military appreciation in your pre-planning or in the arrangements for a beloved veteran you know.

4 Ideas for Commemorating the Anniversary of a Loved One’s Passing

Creating an Occasion for Smiles

Every person, no matter where or how long they lived, has special dates associated with their lives. Wedding anniversaries, birthdays, and notable events all come to mind as we pass through the calendar year. And while many of those occasions bring smiles and fond memories back to us, the approaching dates of other events might leave us, and the ones we love, filled with dread.

The anniversary of a loved one’s passing is not traditionally thought of in Western cultures as a motivation for celebration. But the inevitability of the date arriving every year leaves us with two options. We can choose to anticipate the date with sadness and fear, leaving ourselves miserable in the process. 

We can also choose to celebrate on that date, turning it into yet another way to love and appreciate those who have in turn made our lives so special. 

Ideas to Celebrate and Remember

Here are four ideas for turning the date of a special person’s passing into an uplifting occasion of commemoration and gratitude.

  • A meal at their favorite restaurant

If your loved one grew up or lived in the same town as you, you’ve probably heard of their favorite restaurant. Maybe you ate at the restaurant with them enough times to know their “usual” order.

Schedule a dinner with friends or family to celebrate the life of your loved one, Eat, drink, and be merry with fond memories of your companion. And don’t forget to dedicate a toast in their honor.

  • A movie night with their favorite movie

This is appropriate for any age, both in terms of the person being remembered and the ones remembering, What’s more, this is an intimate occasion to relive and remember within the sanctuary of your own home. Have family and friends gather at a preselected house, turn on your loved one’s favorite movie, and give as many hugs as needed throughout. 

  • Community service in their honor 

Many of the people we love are somehow associated with a community cause, whether it be through passion or need. Coming together to serve the community in honor of a loved one that has passed is uplifting in a myriad of ways. Not only do you have the opportunity to work together with the people who loved that certain soul, but you are able to help others in the process, which is an indescribable feeling.

  • Practice their favorite hobby

Was your loved one passionate about a certain sport or hobby? Did they have an unmatched collection, or did they have a weekly habit? Together with your family and friends, participate in whatever activity it was that made your loved one unique and special. Even if you are not very good at it, you can have a laugh and appreciate how your loved one would be so cheerful if they could see you.

Commemoration through Warmth and Love

Community is an integral part of the grieving process after the loss of someone we love, but oftentimes we tend to forget that the lasting effects of grief can return, even on a yearly basis, depending on how we choose to remember and reframe the occasion of passing. By celebrating and uplifting the date instead of fearing it, we create a moment for bonding, gathering, and remembrance. 

Please feel free to contact us here at Lighthouse Memorials & Receptions for more information and other suggestions for lifting up the lives of your loved ones.

The Importance of Gathering after a Loss

The Importance of Community and Grief

There are so many occasions in life where we should seek out the comfort and community of the ones around us. Gathering is essential for the relief and comfort it provides after the loss of a friend or family member.

If there is any doubt in your mind about the importance of having a special moment for your loved one, please consider the following ideas.

Why Gathering is So Important

  • A marked occasion allows for a concrete goodbye.

The grieving process looks different for everyone, but it’s an inevitable part of life. It can be very difficult to begin working through this process without a concrete gathering to mark the passing of our loved one. without the tangible act of saying goodbye, you can allow yourself to simply pretend that the person you have lost hasn’t come around for a while.

A gathering creates a healthy path for mourning, then remembering, those who have passed on. 

  • The act of planning and holding a gathering is an important part of honoring your loved one.

It may be tempting to isolate yourself to recover from your grief. But If the person that you love has made an impact on your life and the community that they are leaving, they deserve to be remembered and honored for it.

Even though it might feel like it would be stressful to plan a gathering at this time, a high-quality funeral home and memorial service planner will do everything they can to help. 

They will take the focus off of the planning and put it back onto your friend or family member, staying focused on your family’s needs and taking into account all of the details that might have been overlooked.

  • Gathering helps with advancement through the grieving process, in a community setting

An event such as a memorial or wake allows for all of those who loved the person in question to work through their feelings in the same space. 

Together, loved ones can laugh, cry, and share stories of special moments and memories that might not have been told otherwise to everyone there. 

  • A gathering reinforces the bonds you have with those who shared your love for the person who passed.

It’s equally important to reinforce the bonds that family and friends have with each other, so that everyone can be there for one another during the process of grieving in the following months.

If you or a loved one needs somebody to talk to about missing the person who has passed, who better than someone who is most likely feeling the same way as you? There is a level of understanding and empathy between two individuals who have lost the same person that is difficult for anyone else to relate to.

Gathering, Mourning, and Celebrating Together

At Lighthouse Memorials & Receptions, we work with you to ensure that the memorial service you hold for your loved one honors both the people present and the people who have passed. We know the importance of family and community at times like these, and we also know that planning and organizing is often the last thing on your mind.

You can rely on us to guarantee that your needs are met and that you say goodbye in exactly the way that your loved one would want and appreciate.

How to Write an Obituary

Obituaries have traditionally been used by families to let the community know about their loved one’s passing. An obituary recognizes the impact that person had on their community, their ties to the community, and the family members that are left behind. It also informs anyone who might want to attend the funeral of the schedules and dates for any services being held.

While the practice might seem a little outdated for those who don’t typically read the newspaper, the rise of the online obituary has allowed families to continue honoring their family members with a much wider and more immediate reach.

Writing an obituary can be a little bewildering if you’ve never done it before, so we have compiled a few items and details that you might want to consider during the process.

Important Aspects to Remember When Writing an Obituary

Keep these questions in mind when writing your loved one’s obituary, and see how they are applicable to the person about whom you are writing. 

  • “What would make my loved one feel honored if they were reading this?”

Above all, your priority is to honor the loved one that has passed, so this idea should be constantly at the forefront of your mind as you write. 

An obituary is, in essence, a complement that is being shared publicly, after a person is gone. Try to put yourself in the shoes of the person for whom the obituary is being written, and imagine how you would feel reading the text. 

  • “What are the most beautiful things about my loved one that I’d like to share with the world?”

We are all unique and wonderful individuals, and your loved one is no exception. Don’t be afraid to share the little details that made them the person who you and the community loved. 

  • “Are there any details that they would specifically prefer to have kept private?”

Almost everyone has personal facts or anecdotes about their loved ones that would be better kept in the family than shared publicly. 

If your friend or family member would have felt uncomfortable with their story being told to a complete stranger, it is probably an item best to be left out of the obituary.

Meaningful Details to Include

Remember to include these details in the obituary, for both sentimental and logistical reasons.

  • Close Relatives

This is typically limited to nuclear families and grandchildren, depending on space and age.

  • Important Achievements

Important achievements can range from military service to community honors—anything that made your loved one particularly proud and highlighted their personalities and careers.

  • Meaningful/Characteristic Expressions

Was there anything that your loved one said regularly that impacts your decisions today, or that really describes their personality? This would be a heartwarming detail to include.

  • Any Funeral Information or Last Requests

Part of an obituary’s main goal is to inform members of the community as to when and where they can attend the memorial service of your loved one. Make sure to include this information in a clear way.

In addition, your loved one might have been associated with or passionate about a charity. They might like for mourners to send donations in lieu of flowers—this practice has become increasingly popular in recent years. Include the information that will make it as easy as possible for them to do so.

Honoring and Commemorating Through Words

Obituaries, whether in physical newspapers or in digital publications, are here to stay. They are an important part of the grieving process both on the individual and the community level. 

We here at Lighthouse Memorials & Receptions would be honored to answer any questions you might have in regards to writing obituaries, and we would be happy to give you advice from our many years of experience in order to craft the perfect, heartwarming piece for your loved one.

Fascinating End-of-Life Traditions from Around the World

Funerals and end-of-life traditions are an essential part of saying goodbye to those who have passed, creating a final moment of memory and peace that draws us together in our love for those who have gone before us.

We in the United States tend to celebrate the passing of our loved ones with memorial services that involve different traditions based on our religions, family practices, and other cultural elements, ranging from somber to joyous.

But as you can imagine, there is a world full of ceremonies and practices that look almost nothing like our own, while still being filled with love and emotion.

Let’s take a look at a few special traditions from across the globe:


Hong Kong, which lies off the eastern coast of mainland China, is so small and densely-populated that there is virtually no room for burial—in fact, the cost of burial plots begins at $380,000. For this reason the government set up a system of underwater cremation sites, so that friends and relatives could celebrate their families at sea.

There are eleven sites at which mourners can scatter cremated remains, and the government provides a free ferry service that can hold up to 300 people for funeral attendance.


When we Americans picture coffins, we might think of them as solemn, rectangular pieces in a variety of neutral colors. In Ghana, a beautiful seaside country on Africa’s hump, this could not be farther from the case.

Family members and friends choose extremely elaborate and brightly-colored coffins that are constructed by local artisans. Many of them feature themes that represent their owners’ lives; for example, if the person being honored was an enthusiastic traveler in life, a Ghanaian coffin maker might build a coffin in the shape of an airplane! Then they are proudly displayed during a joyful celebration of that person’s time on Earth.


South Korea, while not being quite as small as Hong Kong, is also very densely-populated, meaning that burial plots and even urn niches are extremely expensive for the average family. South Koreans have come up with a both creative and beautiful solution: cremation beads.

Traditional glass blowing involves the use of wood ash, so family members and friends substitute their loved ones’ cremated remains in the glassblowing process. They are then turned into iridescent glass beads. These beads are either taken home and displayed in a dish or distributed to make bright, colorful jewelry. The beads serve as a daily token of remembrance and affection.


The United States typically considers black or other dark colors to be appropriate colors for mourning. There are many other countries and cultures, however, that would consider black to be a very strange sight at a funeral. In some cultures, white is generally accepted as the most appropriate color.

The Philippines are home to many different indigenous cultures with an even wider array of funerary customs and traditions. The Cebuano people make sure to dress their children in red for funerals, which is specifically to ensure that they won’t see any ghosts during the ceremony,

Embracing Traditions

Which one of these traditions did you find the most surprising? Have you ever heard of any of these traditions before?

No matter how we commemorate the passing of those we love, the most important thing is that our traditions both honor and remember our family, friends, and the important people who have made our lives so special. We at Lighthouse Memorials & Receptions are here to help you and your family celebrate together in a touching and personal way.