2017 Spring Newsletter Click here to see the newsletter. A complete schedule of the Memorial Weekend events are listed. Also, there are a number of other community oriented activities that you may want to save the date for that are shown in the newsletter. Thank you for following us on facebook. If you have any needs or questions about the cemetery, our funeral homes or prearranging, feel free to call. Visit our website at www.calumetparkcemetery.com
Category Archives: Veterans benefits
It may sound strange to celebrate the life of a loved one that just died. Yet, think of the last funeral you attended and what much of your conversation was about. You shared memories of the good times with that person, and the good things about that person that helped to create the good times. Grief will come. There will be plenty of time to grieve. But for the moments when you gathered to say goodbye to the person who passed and hello to so many others that you had not seen for so long, a celebration of a life that was lived helps with the healing process.
To have a fitting, respectful and beautiful goodbye is part of the reason that we carry on the ritual of the funeral. At Calumet Park Funeral Chapels in Merrillville and Hobart, and Rendina Funeral Home in Gary, the services of a Certified Funeral Celebrant are available for families who are charged with the duties of final arrangements. Calumet Park’s Celebrant is a funeral director with special training to help produce a final goodbye that leaves a warm place in the hearts of those who cared enough to attend the funeral of your loved one.
What is a Celebrant? A Celebrant is a person who is trained and certified to meet the needs of families during their time of loss. A Celebrant serves by providing a funeral service that is personalized to reflect the personality and life-style of the deceased. A Celebrant offers an alternative to a service provided by a clergy person for those families who are not affiliated with a church or who do not wish to have a traditional religious funeral service.
A Celebrant has been specifically trained to design a service that is completely personal. They incorporate those unique stories, songs and experiences that defined the loved one. A Celebrant will schedule a special family time for the family to share memories, anecdotes, and special moments in the loved one’s life. The essence of the service will be based upon the remembrances of the family.
A Celebrant has a library of resources available for readings, music, ceremonies and personal touches. The Celebrant will consult with the family to help design a service that best reflects and memorializes the life of their loved one.
A Celebrant is bound by a code of ethics for complete confidentiality in all dealings with the family. He or she will provide a special unique committal service at the cemetery with balloon releases, dove releases, special music, friends and families leaving special notes on the loved one’s casket, and much more.
Kim Jones, funeral director and manager of all three funeral homes, is a Certified Celebrant. She will sit down with the entire family and let the family share stories and reminisce about their loved one. During this time, which can last an hour or two, she will listen carefully and ask questions to gain a better understanding of your loved one during your grieving process.
Everyone grieves differently and it is healthy to express your feelings, tell stories and remember the beauty that was your loved one. According to Doug Manning of IN-SIGHT BOOKS, INC., “Your loved one are never gone if you keep their memories alive.” A Certified Celebrant is trained to seek and provide the most comprehensive and sensitive training available for people wishing to develop their knowledge and skills of this profession of funeral directing. It is important that a family knows they are being served by someone who understands the process and is prepared to offer the very best and most personal funeral possible.
Call Kim at 219-736-5840 for more information regarding Certified Funeral Celebrants. Find out if including a Celebrant as part of your funeral is right for you.
“Let’s go grave and casket shopping.”
Did you ever wake up on a bright, warm sunny spring day and turn to your husband or wife and say “What a nice day. Let’s go grave and casket shopping.”?
Probably never is my guess. Nobody likes to think about death in general, and specifically, their own death. For many families, discussing one’s own mortality would not show up on a list of their top 100 things to talk about this week. Until a death occurs. Then, making cemetery and funeral arrangements jumps sorrowfully to number one on the list.
By pre-planning for your funeral and cemetery needs, you can relieve your family of having to make important financial decisions during a period of great stress and grief…a time when people aren’t thinking very clearly and may not know what to do because you never made your wishes known.
It’s easy to say, “Throw me in a bag in bury me in the woods,” which is a direct quote I heard once from a husband who was dragged by his wife to the cemetery to look into prearranging for their final wishes. It was good for a laugh, but even he knew that his comment had zero merit. But it is important to realize that the ritual of a funeral and/or memorial service isn’t for the deceased but for the living. It is a time when friends and family can gather together to grieve openly and to provide support for one another.
Pre-planning your funeral may be very informal, and as simple as filling out a Family Estate Planning Kit that is free from Calumet Park for the asking, and sharing your wishes with a family member. More formal arrangements in the form of a preneed contract can be set up with a Family Service Counselor or funeral director at Calumet Park Cemetery, Calumet Park Funeral Chapel in Hobart or Merrillville, or Rendina Funeral Home in Gary. You can design exactly what meets your needs and financial situation.
And for those who want to relieve their family of the financial burden that goes along with making cemetery and funeral arrangements, you can take advantage of Calumet Park’s no interest payment plan that allows one to freeze the price and have their money trusted until needed at 1st Source Bank in Valparaiso.
Pre-planning, when done properly, can provide you with peace of mind because you know that your arrangements are ready when needed, and pre-funded, which means no worries about getting what you want if a death occurs unexpectedly and your bank account is not sufficient to meet the costs of even a simple funeral. As with nearly all products and services, inflation drives the cost of funerals up yearly. Preplanning and prefunding your final wishes ensures that your funeral is paid for at today’s prices.
While many people assume savings or life insurance will cover their final expenses, funerals must be paid for upfront, while many life insurance policies or bank accounts are not accessible to families until well after the funeral services are rendered.
By pre-planning your final wishes, you can:
- make all the arrangements during a time of peace and not leave them to your family during their time of grief
- make your wishes known
- control the cost of your funeral and protect from inflation
- ensure that personal records are organized and easy for your survivors to locate
- protect your insurance so that it provides for your survivors and not for funeral expenses
- provide protection in case the need arises before it is expected
Most people are not aware that over 150 decisions and tasks must be completed within the first 24-48 hours after an individual’s passing. By arranging ahead of time, you can ensure that your loved ones will not have to wrestle over those details and decisions during their time of emotional upheaval. The opportunity to know that everything is taken care of will allow proper remembrance and the first steps of healing.
All of your arrangements are guaranteed with Calumet Park and Affiliates preneed program and will be carried out just as you have directed. You and your family will feel comfortable knowing that, when the need arises, all is taken care of and they can spend time celebrating a life that was lived and leave the grieving to the future. Few people ever get over the loss of a loved one but a funeral helps to transition from life with a loved one to life after a loved one passes.
Pick up your phone today and call 219-769-8803 to speak to one of our professional and caring Family Service Counselors or funeral directors. You have nothing to lose by at least allowing yourself a little time to have your questions answered, and if the answers meet your needs, you can make it possible for you and your loved ones to never have to talk about the subject again…until a death forces you to face the issue. Be like so many of your neighbors who say “It is better to have it taken care of and not need it than to need it and not have it!”
Since the late 90’s, my M.S. had progressed to the point that I needed a power chair. Needing a wheel chair does not define a person.
Experiencing people’s reaction to me in a chair has been a study in human behavior. While eating out with my family recently, I went to get a refill of my drink and a woman asked me “How can you be so happy?” I was baffled and asked her what she meant. “Well, you’re in a wheelchair, so how can you be happy?” I was absolutely flabbergasted. I think of these encounters as opportunities to educate so I explained the chair simply took the place of my legs. I am happy by choice.
On another occasion I was waiting for my ride after work in a doctor’s office. Many people going in and out would ignore me, even after I said hello. I felt invisible. One day I forgot to take off my stethoscope and EVERYONE responded to my greetings!
Did being a doctor or nurse make me more approachable or somehow less handicapped? In crowded stores I am often bumped into or tripped over, again giving me the feeling of being invisible. Experimenting, I wore my stethoscope the next time I went shopping and not only was I not bumped into but people were would ask me if I needed any help! Many people either smiled or nodded at me as I shopped.
Was it possible that looking like a professional somehow altered people’s perception of me from being a disabled person to being “one of them”? Was a stethoscope like a magic wand that suddenly made me visible?
My question is what perceptions do you have when seeing someone in a chair; or of a different skin color, nationality or religion?
Article written by Laura Conant, freelance writer for Calumet Park
Calumet Park Cemetery in Merrillville recently added a casket display area at the cemetery. There are so many people wishing to pre-arrange their cemetery and funeral needs that it has become a must to have a place that they can see the actual caskets and fabrics for the interior without having to go to a local funeral home.
You may click on any photo to enlarge it to see the detail of design and color. All the caskets shown are Batesville caskets made in the USA in Batesville, Indiana. Batesville is one of the oldest and biggest casket manufacturing companies in the country. They are highly respected and admired for the quality and variety of their products, from simple to “how much?” There is literally a design that meets all budgets.
Stop in for a free tour of the room and consider preplanning with Calumet Park using our interest free monthly payment plans, and do not forget to ask about our veteran program.
Call 219-769-8803, or stop by any of our locations as shown on our website http://calumetparkcemetery.com
Pat O”Donnell from WJOB was the keynote speaker at Calumet Park Cemetery’s annual Veterans Day Ceremony. All the seats were filled as Paul Vogel II opened the event with a prayer and a sincere thank you to all veterans. Pat reviewed some positions on veteran benefits and then spoke with honor and from the heart on the debt that is owed to all veterans, including their families.
Theresa Ann Severin, shown above, wrote a truly amazing account of the events before and after the doomed American Eagle flight back in 1994. Terri lost her sister Patricia and her nephew, Patrick Henry on that day. Stop in at Calumet Park Cemetery and pick up a copy of this story, powerful in and of itself and brought alive by the courage and tenacity of the author. Each copy is personally signed by the author and can be yours for only $20.
In looking for the perfect poem or inspirational story to read this afternoon, I could not find one. They all felt too heavy with grief or regret.
I then realized the perfect thing I wanted to recite today was not about remorse, or loss, but about gratitude.
I am grateful for having had my only sibling, my best friend, Patty, for 36 years.
I am grateful to have had little Patrick in my life for 4 years.
I am grateful for the playfulness and small antics Patrick brought to my life.
I am grateful for the sisterhood and the big antics that Patty and I engaged in.
All of us have experienced blessings and miracles from the ongoing presence of our loved ones in our lives, giving us support and hope for the future. So, even when speaking of their departure from this earthly plane, I believe they continue to shape who we are today. Just like all of us here have assisted each other, in even small ways, on our journeys and transformations.
Reflecting on my relationship with my sister, and never wanting to have been selfish, all I can do is hope that I haven’t somehow held Patty back from fully embracing the life she is now meant to live. My strong emotional ties may in fact have been tethers holding Patty to the earthly plane. So, with that said, I fully release Patty and Patrick. I have attempted this throughout the years, but this time, with you as my witness, “I really mean it this time!”
I know our love will never be lost or diminished.
Finally, I am grateful to be here with all of you today to honor our loved ones, who are free and in the light and love of God.
It is official, kids love hot dogs! 250 dogs were consumed at Calumet Park Funeral Chapel’s Fall Festival held on October 8. A gorgeous fall day served as the backdrop to hayrides, pumpkin painting, crazy hair coloring, games and all around good fun. Let the pictures do the talking (click on any pic to enlarge):
See you next year. Don’t forget to sign up for our Angel Tree Lighting Ceremony. Call either Calumet Park at 219-736-5840 or Rendina at 219-980-1141 for details.
Calumet Park Cemetery, founded in 1928 as an open, natural cemetery, is privileged to have many of God’s beautiful creatures visit at times. There have been reported sightings of deer, all orders of ducks and geese, rabbits, raccoons, cranes and hawks, every species of birds that stop by for a short stay and a big, friendly turkey. We would ask that you do not feed the animals as that encourages them to look for handouts instead of forage for food as they were created to do.
It is understood that some people love to see nature close up and others prefer to see turkeys on a nice platter at Thanksgiving. We at Calumet Park see these visitors as glimpses of God and appreciate the life they bring to a cemetery.
Thank you to so many of you that take the time to express your appreciation for maintaining Calumet Park Cemetery in the manner in which the founding fathers envisioned it to be. The grounds are kept beautiful and there is enough of the old time natural beauty present that is inviting to our families and our special friends, all creatures great and small.
For information on preplanning, call 219-769-8803 or stop by and enjoy the Fall season, one of the most beautiful here at Calumet Park Cemetery.