Evergreen Mortuary and Cemetery

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Final Care of Our Fallen Troops

When a soldier dies in combat, he or she must be transported back home to the grieving family. Have you ever wondered who cares for the bodies of these brave men and women in our nation’s service?

Since 2009, journalists have been permitted a glimpse inside the Dover Port Mortuary on Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. The reports they’ve given paint a picture of tender care and solemn honor, as service members undertake the task of preparing their compatriots for their final journey home.

For veterans killed in the line of duty, that journey begins on a cargo flight to Dover. Upon landing, the plane is met by military officials and, often, family members. White-gloved service members solemnly carry the flag-draped casket to the 72,000-square-foot building housing the mortuary, where fallen troops are carefully attended by members of the armed forces dedicated to providing respectful care.

After an autopsy is performed by the armed forces medical examiner, mortuary staff members begin their work.

Embalming comes first. Then the body is washed, with special attention to cleaning the hands and hair. Repairs to the body are made, and embalmers use photographs of the person to try to recreate each distinguishing line and feature. When the body is ready, it’s time for staff to dress the service member one final time.

This is the part of the process that is most indicative of the veteran’s time in service. A dress uniform is prepared for each fallen service member, even if that person is going to be cremated or the service will have a closed casket. Even if the uniform can only be placed on top of the person’s remains, it must be perfectly prepared.

The men and women who dress service members at this time do it for the families, but also out of a deep and solemn respect for the men and women who have sacrificed their lives for our nation.

They carefully choose medals, badges, ribbons and other insignia specific to the person’s military service record, taking care to assemble them properly on the uniform.

Once the uniform is complete, a photo is taken and sent to Fort Knox, so that personnel there can double check to make sure that it’s perfect. No misplaced medal or loose thread is allowed to mar the look of the uniform that will be the last outfit the family sees on their loved one. Once it’s perfect, it’s deemed suitable for someone who, through the ultimate personal sacrifice, has earned the respect, honor and appreciation of our entire nation.

At Evergreen Mortuary, Cemetery, & Crematory, we also provide tender, respectful care to every person whose care is placed in our hands. For veterans, we strive to provide honorable and dignified arrangements and offer special services to truly honor the men and women who have given so much to protect the freedoms that all Americans hold dear.

Call us at 520.257.4831 for more information, or visit the Veterans Services page of our website.

What to Say to the Family at a Wake

Funeral Home Tucson

If you’ve been invited to a funeral home to attend a wake or viewing, then you may have questions about how best to show your sympathy and respect to the grieving family. One thing that many people worry about when attending this type of event is what to say to the family. The following are a few phrases that you can feel comfortable saying at a wake:

  • “I’m sorry for your loss.” While this phrase may seem cliché, it offers you a simple way to express that you care and to communicate your empathy when you are otherwise at a loss for words.
  • “This must be very hard for you.” Acknowledging the pain that the deceased individual’s family is going through can be very comforting.
  • “He/she will be missed.” Confirming that the deceased has left a tangible sense of loss can be consoling for the grieving family.

If you have more questions about wake etiquette or need to arrange burial or cremation services in Tucson, then please reach out to Evergreen Mortuary & Cemetery. You can call (520) 888-7470 to speak with a member of our funeral home’s experienced staff.

What to Know About Funeral Pre-Planning

While it’s common for people to shy away from the thought of planning their funeral services in advance, funeral pre-planning is a service that can offer you several benefits. If you are new to this process, then watch this video to learn what you should know about funeral pre-planning.

Many funeral homes offer pre-planning services. Before you take advantage of these options, however, it’s important to determine if there is any insurance provided in case the funeral home goes out of business. Also, consider writing down your funeral preferences and distributing your wishes to your family, which can save them time and money later.

At our funeral home in Tucson, Evergreen Mortuary & Cemetery offers many funeral and burial services, including funeral pre-planning. If you would like to find out more, then please call us today at (520) 888-7470.

Arranging a Humanist Funeral

When you’re planning a funeral service for a loved one or doing funeral pre-planning for yourself, it’s important to feel like you have the freedom to create a ceremony that truly reflects the person who is gone. Many people are relieved to learn that funerals do not have to be religious and can instead be humanist. Planning a humanist funeral simply means informing the funeral home about your wishes up-front so they can help you choose the right celebrant and choose the best ceremony option for your needs. Watch this video to learn more.

At Evergreen Mortuary & Cemetery, our goal is to help every family honor their loved one in a personal and meaningful way. Learn more about how we can help you in your time of need by calling our funeral home in Tucson at (520) 888-7470.

A Look Back at the History of Cremation

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Cremation has a much longer history than many people imagine. The practice dates back to the Stone Age and has been popular in different forms in different civilizations ever since. Today, people of many faiths and backgrounds choose cremation, and many families opt for shared cremation memorials over shared family burial plots. Here is a closer look at the long history of cremation.

Ancient Cremation
Most historians estimate that cremation started around 3000 B.C. in the Stone Age in Europe and the Near East, based on urns recovered from that time period. By around 1000 B.C, cremation moved in the British Isles, Ireland, and Northern Europe. There is evidence that cremation cemeteries were present in modern-day Hungary and Italy during this time. Both Greek and Roman civilizations heavily embraced cremation, even as early Christians and Jews objected to the practice. However, the Christianization of the European Empire under Constantine around 400 A.D. led to a decline in the popularity of cremation for a period of several centuries, except when necessary because of war or illness.

Return to Popularity
In the late 1800s, cremation’s popularity rebounded significantly, thanks to the development of a cremation chamber and an increased understanding of the health risks associated with improper burials. During this time period, cremation became popular throughout Europe and across North America.

Modern Cremation
Today, cremation is popular in most parts of the world. It is accepted by many faiths and embraced by people for a number of different reasons, from cost to a desire to be eco-friendly. Choosing cremation does not mean that you can’t have a funeral service or memorial ceremony—in many cases, such a service is still held.

If you have questions about cremation, call Evergreen Mortuary & Cemetery. We can explain your options for cremation and how to incorporate it in the kind of funeral service in Tucson that you hope to have. To learn more, call (520) 888-7470.

Coping with Sudden Loss

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There is never an instance in which losing a loved one is easy, but when a death occurs suddenly, there is an extra layer of confusion, shock, and sadness that you have to process. Anytime you lose a loved one, it is important to reach out for grief support to help you during this difficult time, and that is especially true in the case of a sudden loss. Here are some things that you need to know if you are faced with the abrupt loss of a loved one.

Your feelings are normal.
The way you feel after losing a loved one suddenly is normal. The way you feel about the loss may change from day to day, or even hour to hour, and that is OK as well. After a loss, some people feel profound sadness that makes them unable to cope with their everyday activities. Some people feel anger at their loved one for leaving them. Other people try to avoid the loss and throw themselves into work or another distraction. All of these feelings and behaviors are normal. Your way of working through grief is your own, and it can’t be replicated or judged by anyone else.

You have a right to feel cheated.
There is no good way to lose a loved one, but it is natural to feel like you were cheated out of the chance to say goodbye. There is evidence that people who lose a loved one to a prolonged illness experience some of their grieving before the person is gone, so the period after the loss is different than it is for those who lose a loved one unexpectedly. You have a right to feel angry or frustrated that you were robbed of that opportunity.

You have support.
You are never alone when you are coping with grief. There are support groups that are specifically for people who experienced sudden loss that could be helpful. Counseling may also help you understand your feelings. When you need help, ask for it.

After the tragic death of a loved one, Evergreen Mortuary & Cemetery can provide the assistance you need to plan funeral services and make decisions about burial and cremation. We also offer extensive grief support services in Tucson. You can reach our funeral home at (520) 888-7470.

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