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funeral homes in Michigan City IN

Why Hold a Viewing?

When discussing arrangements with funeral homes in Michigan City, IN., you may be asked if you would like to hold a viewing of your loved one before the funeral service. These services are also called visitations and are very commonly held with traditional funerals. While having such an event can provide many benefits for friends and family of the deceased, you still may be unsure if you should have one. To help you decide, let’s look at what this event consists of as well as some of the benefits.

What is a Viewing?

First, let’s talk about what a viewing is and how it compares with a visitation. There are some similarities between both of these services. For example, both events take place before the funeral service, and are shorter, more casual, come-and-go style events. The main difference is that with a viewing, the body of the deceased is preset and with a visitation, it is not.

With a viewing, the body of the deceased will be presented in a casket that has an open top. Guests who attend will come in and offer their condolences to the family. The guests will also have an opportunity to approach the body, if they wish, and say their last goodbyes.

There might be punch and cookies or other light refreshments served. Guests tend to stay for a shorter time and the dress is typically more casual than that of the actual funeral service and burial.

How Viewings Help Us Heal

Holding a viewing can provide many benefits for the living that are left mourning the loss of the deceased. It helps friends and family confront this new reality and begin the healing process. It does this in a few ways including:

  • Allows for Closure– Many people have a difficult time really accepting that someone is gone. This is especially true if the passing was sudden. Being able to see the body of the deceased can help face this fact and allow people to start to feel closure.
  • Social Support- Being surrounded by friends and family at this difficult time is so important as people grieve. Having others that to connect and share these emotions with can go a long way in helping combat feelings of isolation and depression.
  • Opportunity to say Last Goodbyes– While not everyone will feel comfortable approaching the body, those who do can find it very therapeutic. Being able to physically see the loved one and whisper last goodbyes or any other final messages to them can aid in feelings of comfort.

Things to Considerfuneral home in Michigan City IN

Having a viewing is an entirely personal decision. When deciding if you would like to have one, take into consideration you loved one’s wishes. Did they make it know that they did, or did not, want one?

Also, there may be times when a viewing is not the best option such as if the deceased was in an accident or suffered other trauma where an open casket would not be appropriate. If you are unsure whether you should have a viewing, directors at funeral homes in Michigan City, IN., can help you decide and give you all of your options and privacy policy when death occurs.

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How to Drive in a Funeral Procession

If you have been invited to a funeral service for a close friend or family member, you may have to drive in the funeral procession after the services. If you have never had to do this before, it may cause a little anxiety. Although this isn’t something you are probably familiar with, if you follow a few rules and tips, you will be able to join in the procession with no problem. Whether it’s driving from funeral homes in South Bend, IN.. or any other location, knowing these tips will help you drive with confidence.

What is a Funeral Procession?

The funeral procession consists of the vehicles of the family and guests driving to the burial site after the funeral services. It begins at the location where the services took place and will end at the place of the burial.

What is the Order of the Vehicles?

The procession typically begins with lead car that is either a vehicle from the funeral home or a police car. This signifies the beginning of the procession for other drivers on the road. This lead car will be followed by the hearse. Next will be the car or cars that hold the immediate family. These are often black sedans or limousines.

The cars that follow will be the other friends and guests of the deceased. At the end of the procession you will find a car from the funeral home or police car signifying the end of the procession.

How Do I Know Where My Place Is?

When you arrive at the location for the funeral services, attendants will park your car in line in the order of arrival. If you are driving in the procession, it is a good idea to arrive about 45 minutes early and make sure to let the attendants know you are participating in the procession.

Rules of the Road

Once the services are over the procession will begin. A few important things to know when driving are:

  • You will be driving slowly. Most of the time you will be going just about 25-30mph on less busy roads and no more than about 50mph on highways.
  • Stay close to the car in front of you. Typically when you drive you want about two car lengths in between you and the car in front of you. Not in a procession. Stay very close to the car in front of you so that you do not allow room for other drivers to cut in who are not in the procession.
  • Stay with the procession at all times. If the car in front of you goes through a yellow light and it turns red when you get to it, go through it. This may feel strange but the procession has the right of way and often police have stopped other traffic to make sure you can stay together.
  • You may notice other drivers on the road that are not in the procession pulling over and stopping. This is a sign to show respect and give the procession the right of way.funeral home in South Bend IN

While driving in a funeral procession can seem intimidating at first, if you follow these simple tips and know a little what to expect, you will much more comfortable with the process. Whether you are driving in a procession from funeral homes in South Bend, IN., or any other location you will be able to drive with confidence. Contact us now to see some package selection.

funeral homes in Rolling Prairie, IN

How to Create a Tribute DVD for Your Loved One’s Memorial Service

When planning services for your loved one’s funeral, many funeral homes in Rolling Prairie, IN. will have an option for a DVD tribute to be made at played at the service. Whether you or the funeral home creates this tribute DVD, it is a wonderful addition to any service. To help you make the most of this special tribute we are going to go over some things you can include to make the video truly special and personalized for your loved one.

Photographs for the Video

Photographs are going to make up the bulk of the video. How many photographs you will need will depend on the length of the video as well as if you display one photo at a time, or sometimes several as a collage.

However many you decide, these photos should show your loved one at various stages of their life. The pictures can highlight important events and/or memories as well as show them with their friends and relatives. They can even start with childhood and work their way up in chronological order.

funeral homes in Rolling Prairie, INYou can also take pictures of memorabilia such as trophies, awards, any collections they had, or anything else they loved and includes those in the tribute. This is a great way to really show their personality and make it that much more personal.

Videos for the Tribute

Video is another element you can use in your DVD. This adds a break from showing just still images and can make the tribute more visually appealing. Ways to incorporate video could be:

  • Have friends or family members record a short message about the deceased and what they loved about them
  • Ask family members to record themselves sharing a special or funny memory of the loved one
  • Using any appropriate videos that the deceased recorded themselves that could be found on their phone or computer

Written Content

Other than the imagery of photographs and videos, written content can be used as well. Things like poems, passages, song lyrics, lines from books, quotes, and more can all be a lovely addition.

Soundtrack Selection

You will want to have a song playing on the video while the photographs are being shown. This song could be a specific song that has meaning to you, your loved one, or your family, or could be more of a general background song with just nice soft music.

How to Make the Video Tribute

If you choose to create the video tribute yourself, there are several applications and websites that can help you with the process. While some of these applications can be a little tricky to learn at first, once you learn them the process goes pretty quickly.

If you are unsure about how to create the DVD or don’t feel comfortable trying to learn new software, you can always turn to another family member to help or ask the funeral home. Most funeral homes in Rolling Prairie, IN. will have the ability to create the DVD for you and all you will need to do is supply them with the content.

funeral homes in Michigan City, IN

How to Deliver a Eulogy

Most of us in our lifetime will have a close friend or family member pass away. Depending on the circumstances of how close you were to the deceased, you may be asked to deliver a eulogy at the funeral service. While services at funeral homes in Michigan City, IN., are never easy to attend, presenting a eulogy can add extra stress and anxiety if you have never had to deliver one before.

If you are in this situation, knowing a general outline of the eulogy format as well as tips can help you feel more confident and deliver a touching eulogy that truly honors your loved one.

What Exactly is a Eulogy?

A eulogy is simply a speech given about the deceased and their life. It is a way to honor and pay tribute to your loved one who has passed. They are given at the funeral service and normally delivered by a close friend or relative of the deceased.

How to Write a Eulogy

Writing a eulogy may seem overwhelming, but if you make a simple outline in the beginning and fill in each section, the wiring process will go much more smoothly. Most eulogies have three main parts:

  1. Beginning or Opening
  2. Body or Meat of the Speech
  3. Closing remarks

Let’s dive into these sections and cover what exactly should be included.

Beginning or Opening – In this section you can begin with a poem or song lyric that holds meaning or shows support for the family. Next, you will mention the deceased and any nicknames they went by. You also want to mention who you are and what your relation is to the deceased. If you feel comfortable, you can share how the deceased passed away although you certainly do not have to if it doesn’t feel right.

Body of Speech – This is the longest part of the speech and talks about your loved one. This is where you tell about their life and highlight any accomplishments they had. You can also share fond memories or funny stories. You may also wish to discuss their influence on friends and coworkers and any others that they touched. The point here is to highlight and honor their life.

Closing Remarks – This is the time where you recap the deceased’s life and share what you would like people to remember about them. You can also take this time to thank everyone for attending and end with a poem, song lyric, or other meaningful passage.

How Long Should the Eulogy Be?

Typically eulogies are anywhere from about three to ten minutes long. When writing a eulogy that translates to about 500-3000 words. If you go longer than the ten minutes, you run into the risk of people not paying as much attention. Unfortunately, after that time, people may start tuning you out and not listening as closely. If you want everything to be heard and make an impact, keeping it short and sweet is much better.funeral home in Michigan City, IN

Just remember that when you are delivering a eulogy, nobody is judging you for how well of a public speaker you are. That’s not the point of this speech. This is a time to honor your loved one and pay a special tribute to them so as long as you stay focused on that goal, you will deliver a wonderful eulogy. While attending services at funeral homes in Michigan City, IN., is never easy, keeping these tips in mind will help you deliver a wonderful eulogy if the situation arises.

funeral home in South Bend, IN

What to Expect at a Funeral

If you have had a family member or close friend pass, you most likely will attend services at a funeral home in South Bend, IN. While this can be a difficult time due to the grief you will be experiencing, you may also feel a little anxious if you have not attended services before. Kowing what to expect, and what’s expected of you, can help if feeling confident when you have to attend these services.

While every service can be different based on the religion and personality of the deceased, this article refers to a typical traditional Christian funeral service.

Before the Service

The service will normally be held at a Church, chapel, or other religious venue. Before the services, guests will enter and take their seats. It is a good rule of thumb to arrive about 20 minutes before the services start. This gives you a chance to mingle with other guests and find a seat.

When you find a seat, know that the first couple of rows are typically reserved for the family members. Taking a seat anywhere behind these rows should be fine.

During the Service

When the service begins, there will be a small procession of immediate family members and pallbearers who are carrying the casket down the main aisle of the church or chapel. They will normally place the casket at the alter in the front of the room. Then the family and pallbearers will take their seats and the service will begin.

Normally, the priest will start with an opening prayer or other words that show support for the family and thank everyone for being there. The priest may then continue with a short sermon and other readings, prayers, and hymns will be read and sung. The service is normally concluded by a eulogy given by a family member or very close friend.

After the Service

Once the service has ended, there will be a procession to the cemetery for the burial. Once everyone arrives at the cemetery and has gathered around the gravesite, the committal will be read.

If you are part of the official funeral procession, when you arrive at the church, before the services, an attendant will most likely tell you where to park so that you can be in line with the other cars. If you are not part of the official procession, you will park in another area and follow the procession to the cemetery.

If the family has decided to hold a social event after the committal reading, everyone will then drive to the location and attend that event. This is a wonderful time to be able to offer condolences to the family, share fun memories, and help celebrate the life of the deceased.funeral homes in South Bend, IN

Attending services at a funeral home in South Bend, IN., can be intimating if you have never had to attend before. You want to be respectful and do everything correctly so that you show the upmost respect for the family. Knowing a few key points ahead of time to help you know what to do and what to expect can really help in making you feel more comfortable with the situation.

funeral homes in Rolling Prairie, IN

Funeral Service or Celebration of Life: What is the Difference?

If you are talking to funeral homes in Rolling Prairie, IN., about services for your loved one, you will have several options. Two of those options include holding a traditional funeral, or a celebration of life service. While you may be not be familiar with all of the aspects of both, we are going to break them down so that you can decide which is right for you and your family.

First we are going to talk about how they are similar, and then we will dive into each one deeper to discuss what sets them apart.

Funeral and Celebration of Life Similarities

Both funeral and celebration of life services are ways of honoring the deceased and coming together with friends and family. They also both serve as a way to publicly acknowledge the passing of the deceased and help move this person from one social status to another.

Elements of a Funeral

While these services are both similar, they have some very big differences. The most noticeable one is the format of the services. With a funeral, you typically have:

  • The Visitation– This is held typically at the funeral home the day before (or sometimes the day of) the actual services. During this time friends and family gather and pay their respects to the deceased as they step up to the casket and say their good-byes.
  • The Funeral Service– This takes place normally in a church or the funeral home. During this time you may find hymns being sung, bible verses being read, and eulogies given.
  • The Funeral Procession – This takes place directly after the funeral and is the act of taking the casket to its final resting space. This is done by the hearse transporting the casket while the family and the rest of the guests follow behind in their cars. Once everyone arrives, there will be another short service and the casket will be lowered into the ground.

You can see that a funeral is a more solemn, traditional event that has a very particular order and process.

Celebration of Life Service

To the contrary, celebration of life services have much more flexibility and are closer in relation to a memorial service. While they can still follow an order, there is much more freedom in deciding what you want that order to be.

Another big difference here is that these services are normally held after the loved one’s remains have been cared for either through burial or cremation. This gives the family more time in planning the events as well as helps out of town guests have more travel time to ensure they can attend.

Also, while the funeral is more religious and solemn, a celebration of life service is more about the deceased and celebrating their accomplishments, passions, and uniqueness. It’s a way to let their personality shine by playing their favorite songs at the service or having the guests wear the deceased’s favorite color or even colors of their favorite sports team.

Final Thoughts

While both funerals and celebration of life services honor the deceased in respectful ways, they both do so differently. If your loved one was more traditional and religious then a funeral service would be the best option. However, if your loved one was a little unconventional andfuneral home in Rolling Prairie, IN less traditional, a celebration of life service may be the perfect choice.

When you are talking to funeral homes in Rolling Prairie, IN., you can inquire about both options to further help you decide. The experienced staff at Cutler Funeral Home and Cremation Center is always available to help answer any questions you may have about either of these options.

funeral home in Michigan City, IN

How to Help a Grieving Friend

If you have a friend who has had to make arrangements at a funeral home in Michigan City, IN., for their loved one, you know they are going through an extremely difficult time. As a friend, you want to comfort them but you may not know how. This can be especially true if you have never had to help a grieving friend before. You may wonder what is appropriate, what should you say or do, or how you can best help.

First, understand that by just being there for your friend is support enough. Many times people who are grieving just need a shoulder to cry on and an ear that will listen to them. Don’t get so hung up on trying to do the exact right thing. Just be there for your friend, listen to them and see what they need.

Offer to Help with Chores

While your friend is going through this grieving process, they may not feel motivated or have the mentally energy to do everyday things such as laundry, cleaning the house, doing the dishes, etc. This is a great time for you to step in and help.

Offer to come over and clean, and when you do, take it one step further by making the space full of good energy. Open the curtains so that the natural sunlight can come in, and light some pretty scented candles. If the weather is nice, open the windows to allow fresh air to flow though.

Cleaning and making their house nice not only makes sure the chores are getting completed, but it will also help their mental state. Being in a space that is fresh and clean lifts the spirit more than spending time in a dingy, cluttered, messy area.

Cook Them Dinner

Just as with house chores, your friend may not have the desire to cook dinner for themselves. This is another place you can step in. If you like to cook, make them a few meals for the week and place them in dishes or bags that can be frozen and quickly reheated in the microwave.

If you are not a great cook, or you live far away, you could call a delivery service and have meals sent to them.

Other Ways to Offer Help

If you friend has children, it might be nice to offer to help with them. You could offer to take them or pick them up from school, or, if they aren’t in school, offer to take them with you for a little bit so that your friend can get some other things done.

You could also to do things like help with yard care, mow the yard, water the grass or house plants. Maybe wash the car or make sure the trash gets taken out on trash day.

Final Thoughts

While your friend is going through the grieving process, the best way to show your support andfuneral homes in Michigan City, IN love is simply by being there for them. Don’t worry about what to say, or exactly what you should do. Simply listen and take your cues from them. You are a good friend, and you will know what they need.

If you have any more questions on how to help a grieving friend or would like additional resources your friend can utilize, call the compassionate staff at Cutler Funeral Home and Cremation Center as they are always here to help.

funeral home in South Bend, IN

3 Ways to Ease Grieving During the Holidays

After arranging services with funeral homes in South Bend, IN., you will be going through a difficult time. Grieving the loss of a loved one is never easy but can be even more difficult around the holidays. After all, the holidays are a time for friends and family to get together and spend time connecting with one another. When you are missing your loved one, this is probably the last thing on your mind.

While holiday parties, Christmas decorations, and joyful holiday music can bring feelings of joy, they can also stir up feelings of sadness. Although there will always be sad moments when grieving a loved one over the holidays, there are a few things you can do to help ease the pain.

Start a New Tradition

You may still practice the holiday traditions you did as a child. Maybe it’s allowing one present to be open on Christmas Eve or driving around looking at all the Christmas lights people have hung up. Whatever it is, these traditions bring us comfort and stir up wonderful memories of years past.

This is a great time to start a new tradition with your loved one in mind. One idea is to purchase a small tabletop Christmas tree and decorate it with a theme for your loved one. For example, if they loved fishing you could get ornaments and decorations with a fishing motif. Getting this tree out each year and decorating it is a great way to keep their memory alive. You could also hang a stocking up in their honor or set a place setting for them at the holiday table.


The holidays are a great time to get involved and volunteer. Did your loved one feel passionate about a charity or cause? Reach out to those organizations and see how you can help. Even if your loved one didn’t have a specific cause, there are many places that would love your help over the holidays. You can do an internet search for volunteering in your area to view some options. You can also call your local humane society or homeless shelters to see how you can be of use.

Take Care of Yourself

The hustle and bustle of the holiday season can be a lot for anyone to handle. Parties, shopping, wrapping presents, cooking and more is enough to throw the most organized person for a loop. Most people put self-care on the backburner during this time. This is never a good idea as your mental and physical health should always come first.

If you are grieving a loss at this time, it may be even more difficult for you to think about putting yourself first, but you must make yourself a priority. The stronger you feel both mentally and physically, the better equipped you will be for handling all that comes your way.

Set aside time to do things just for you. Read, hike, paint, write a letter, listen to music, relax in the bath; whatever refills your heart and soul with joy and comfort; do that.

In Conclusion

While the holidays may always bring moments of sadness, there are ways to ease thosefuneral homes in South Bend, IN moments and add in touches of joy and happiness. Starting a new tradition, volunteering, and making sure you are taking care of yourself are just some of these ways.

When you are talking to funeral homes in South Bend, IN., ask them about additional resources and support groups that can also help you in this time. The compassionate staff at Cutler Funeral Home and Cremation Center is always here to help you with anything you may need.

funeral homes in Rolling Prairie, IN

Creating a Care Package for a Grief

If your friend or family member has had a loved one pass, they are most likely talking with funeral homes in Rolling Prairie, IN. about funeral services. During this process, your friend or family member will have many things to consider, decisions to make, and arrangements to handle. You may want to help them but aren’t sure exactly how or what is appropriate. One way to help them is with gifting them a care package.

A care package is a nice way to let them know you are thinking of them and offering them your love and support. It is something that can be unique to their needs and is something that can be delivered if you live far away.

Food and Snacks

One most common forms of a care package are those that contain food. When your loved one is grieving, the last things on their mind may be cooking or eating. Help them keep up their strength and health with giving them ready-to-eat meals.

Dishes that can be refrigerated or frozen and simply heated up make it easy for your loved one to make a meal. These dishes can be prepared by you or, if you live too far or aren’t a good cook, you could call and have food delivered to their home.

You could also make a basket full of goodies that are more snackable. Things like chips, nuts, crackers, cookies, and fruit are perfect items that your loved one can munch on without any prep time.

Comfort Basket

When your loved one is grieving, they may be spending more time at home for a little while. Making them a relaxing self-care package is a wonderful way to offer them comfort when you are not physically with them. Adding in things like a soft, plush blanket or robe they can cuddle up in is like getting a warm hug from you. Other ideas you could add are hot tea pouches with a jar of honey, cozy socks, a scented candle, or a sleeping eye mask.

Help them Grieve

Many times people shut down a little when they are grieving They may not wish to talk about the death or their feelings. Other people may not face their feelings at all and act everything is fine and just go about daily life as normal. There is no right or wrong way to grieve. What is important is that it is done in a healthy way.

Help your loved one by offering items that may inspire them to work though their grief. Art therapy items have been shown to help people with the grieving process. Some items could be a journal and a nice pen, or paints, brushes, and a few small canvases. If they already enjoy a hobby such as crocheting, perhaps adding pretty yarns and new patterns would be nice.

In Conclusion

Sending your loved one a care package is such a wonderful way to show them your love andfuneral home in Rolling Prairie, IN support. While they are going through this difficult time, their world will feel like it has turned upside-down. Your care package can really make a difference in helping them grounded and cared for.

After your loved one has talked with funeral homes in Rolling Prairie, IN., decide what items would help them most, create the care package, and schedule when it will be delivered. If you still need ideas or have more questions, the compassionate staff at Cutler Funeral Home and Cremation Center is always here to help.

funeral homes in Michigan City, IN

Pre planning for Your Passing

If you are thinking about meeting with funeral homes in Michigan City, IN about pre planning your funeral, you are doing your family a great service. While it may be difficult to think about your own passing, making sure your affairs are organized and your wishes are clearly stated is a true gift to your loved ones. Here are steps to take now to relieve some of the burden off your family later:

Make a Will

By creating a will, you will be saving your family a lot of stress after your passing. With your will stating your wishes and appointing where -and who- your assets go to, your family will not have to worry or argue over what they think is best way to handle assets or accounts.

In your will, you will address topics such as:

  • How your property and assets are divided
  • Provide a beneficiary for any pets you have so they can be taken care of
  • Assign a guardian for any minor children you have
  • Leave instructions for your social media and other digital accounts
  • Letting your funeral arrangement wishes known

Having a will that outlines all these issues will save your family from arguments with one another and having to wonder what you would have wanted.

Bank Accounts / Credit Cards / Other Accounts

Many banks allow you to add a payable on death (POD) individual on the account. This will be the person who receives the funds after your passing. Check with your local bank and see if this applies or if they have other requirements/options for appointing a beneficiary.

It is also a good idea to list your credit cards and contact information of each company. If you have any payments attached to these cards that come out automatically each month, list those as well. This will make it much easier for your family to manage these accounts later.

The same is true with any other accounts you have. If you have an auto loan, school loans, utilities, etc, create a complete list with all needed information so that your family can easily know what to take care of.

Funeral Arrangements

Planning your funeral ahead of time not only helps to ensure your last wishes are followed but helps take the burden off your family at such a difficult time. Creating a plan is easy. Some things you could include are:

  • What funeral services will be included? Will it be a traditional service with a visitation? Do you want a graveside service or just a memorial service?
  • Any specific things you would like to add – or exclude- from your services
  • Is there anything you would like to be buried with?
  • Are there any specific songs you would like played? Any specific flowers you would like used?

Planning this all now and sharing it with your family will be such a nice relief later in their time of grief.

While planning your funeral may seem morbid or strange to some, it truly is a loving gift to your family. The stress and burden it takes away will be so appreciated in their time of mourning.

funeral home in Michigan City, INWhen talking to funeral homes in Michigan City, IN., let them know what you already have planned and see what other things you may need to consider. The professionals at Cutler Funeral Home and Cremation Center are here to help. Call and talk one-on-one with a funeral director to ensure you have everything taken care of.