If you are looking for a unique way to share memories of a deceased loved one, you may want to create an online tribute. These memorials allow family members and friends from near and far to share their memories while honoring a life well lived. Over time, the tribute can become a wonderful source of memories that will last for years to come.
Once you have determined that you would like to set up this type of memorial, start gathering information and materials you’d like to include. Keep in mind that not everything has to be added at once, and the site should allow others to add photos and stories as well.
Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Compile all essential biographical data, such as birth date, death date, full name and places where the deceased has lived. Try to document his or her life without getting too caught up in small details.
- Include a good photo of your loved one. This provides a connection for visitors to the online tribute. A range of photos to visibly illustrate the deceased’s life can also be used.
- Allow visitors to upload and share photos.
- Write the actual tribute. How would your loved one like to be remembered? You can use the eulogy from the funeral, memories, or your own thoughts about the deceased. Sharing a special story is often a great way to start.
- Invite others to share their stories and comments. Ask visitors to share what they remember best about your loved one.
- Consider adding multimedia items such as video, audio and photo albums. We recommend keeping the size of video files to a minimum so that it is quick and easy for visitors to download.
If you’re looking for the perfect gift, look no further than Hawthorne & WrenSM (H&WSM) at HawthorneandWren.com or www.HandW.com. The mission of this new online source of distinctive gifts is to help people find meaningful ways to support friends in need. H&W gifts can be purchased at any time, for any occasion.
H&W gifts are memorable, unique and sure to be cherished. From beautiful wreaths made of lavender to exquisite pearl earrings to delectable chocolates, H&W has something for that hard-to-buy-for person. If you need help choosing that perfect item, the Gift Finder on H&W’s website can help you. Is the person you’d like to buy a gift for passionate, spiritual, outgoing or intellectual? What does the person like to do? You input the traits; the Gift Finder helps you find the perfect gift. Of course, you may also browse through the entire site to see everything H&W has to offer.
The gifts all have a special significance and a meaningful story, summarized in the product description and written on the card that accompanies the gift. Both the recipient and the giver share in the emotional experience. For example, the Bay Wren Hand Blown Platter:
“As we walk along life’s path, we can feel the warmth of the earth beneath us and see the beauty of the blue sky above us. They remind us that we are surrounded by the wonders of nature. May this thoughtfully picked, hand-blown glass platter give you many moments of quiet reflection to help you feel the warmth and joy from all those who love you.”
Each gift comes packaged with H&W signature papers, ribbons and tissues. Chocolates, teas and dried fruit are contained in exclusive H&W tins. An embossed signature medallion and a strip of printed ribbon are included in each package. H&W is your gift company when friends need it most.
Heading a mother’s advice to drink lots of fluids, get enough rest and eat sensibly isn’t the only way to stay fit. As it turns out, a positive attitude can also contribute to a healthy lifestyle.
Psychosomatic Medicine, the official journal of The American Psychosomatic Society, released a study that determined the more cheery and relaxed a person is, the less likely to complain about symptoms, even when they do not have a cold.
“Increases in positive emotional styles were linked with decreases in the rate of clinical colds, but a negative emotional style had no effect on whether or not people got sick,” according to lead researcher Sheldon Cohen, Ph.D.
The study monitored 334 participants over the course of two weeks and tested their tendencies to experience positive (happy, pleased and relaxed) emotions and negative (anxious, hostile and depressed) emotions. The volunteers were then given nasal drops containing one of the two rhinoviruses, a common cold agent, and monitored for five days.
“What we found is that the positive emotional style is related to whether or not people get colds,” Cohen reported. “The higher their level of positive emotions, the less likely they develop a cold.”
Cohen explained that people with positive attitudes showed fewer symptoms of illness probably because healthy attitudes tend to promote a healthy lifestyle. Those with negative attitudes may assume the worst of an indistinct sensation, such as a sore throat, while those with positive attitudes believe it’s nothing serious.
So, when sensing typical cold symptoms — such as burning feeling in the nose or throat, sneezing, runny nose or fatigue — follow the traditional formula for fitness, accented with a little optimism. A positive attitude can help ward off a looming virus and possibly protect against future sickness.
Pets provide their owners with unconditional love. This can be especially helpful for a person who is depressed or grieving the loss of a loved one. According to the American Humane Association the human-animal bond has been a source of solace and relief throughout history for those who suffer from physical or emotional pain.
While pets are not a cure for depression, they can offer comfort and support when you need it most. Many experts agree that pets help ease stress. Simply petting your animals can be a soothing activity. One study says that dog owners exercise more often, sleep better and report overall better health. Other studies say that having a dog may be good for your heart health, and pets have been known to lower blood pressure.
Older adults often experience loneliness and lose the desire and ability to develop new relationships. Pets can ease that loneliness and provide you with a sense of purpose. Caring for an animal can increase the quantity and quality of social interactions amongst other pet owners. Pets provide people with an opportunity for an engaging conversation with someone new, possibly leading to new friendships and activities.
While dogs are great, they are not the only pets who can bring a smile to your face. Cats, birds, fish and other animals can also provide the emotional and physical benefits associated with pet therapy. If you consider adopting a pet for yourself, or for a loved one, be sure to consider the following:
- Type of pet. Think about the type of activity level and commitment required to care for the type of animal you would like to adopt. Are you able to take care of a pet who needs to be walked, groomed, etc.? Keep in mind that younger animals – particularly puppies – require a lot more energy, patience and training. Many older animals are available at your local shelter, just waiting to be your special companion.
- Time commitment throughout the lifetime of a pet. Depending on size, breed and health issues, dogs can live up to 15 years – some longer. Cats have been known to reach the ripe old age of 20. Do you plan to continue living in an environment where pet ownership is possible? Do you have a backup plan if you can no longer take care of your pet?
- Allergies. Allergies to pet dander may pose health issues. Pets can also track pollen, dust, mites and other allergens into your home.
- Cost. Owning a pet can put a strain on your budget. You need to think about what you can afford when it comes to food, grooming, vet bills and medications. Check with a veterinarian ahead of time to find out the cost of annual checkups, as well as care for health issues that may be common in the type of pet you choose. As with people, unknown conditions that require additional care are possible.
The term “to turn over a new leaf” is used to refer to making a new start, more specifically to describe changes in personal behavior that are made with the goal of being a better person or improving lifestyle. One way to make improvements this year is to learn how to better recognize and manage stress.
Stress is often caused by change. Even positive changes, like getting married or getting a job promotion, can be stressful. However, too much negative stress can become a serious problem. You may feel worried, angry, irritable or depressed. Stress can make it hard for you to maintain your focus on important tasks. And, it puts you at risk for physical ailments such as:
- Back pain
- Problems sleeping
- Upset stomach
- Weight gain or loss
- Tense muscles
- Frequent or more serious colds
Long-term stress is a challenge, and is hard to avoid. Death of a loved one, chronic illness, divorce, caring for someone with a serious illness, work or money problems are some of the causes of long-term stress. When you’re faced with one or more of these difficult issues, you can manage your stress by:
- Noticing when you feel stressed
- Taking time to relax
- Getting active
- Eating healthy foods
It is OK to ask for help. Talk to family members and friends if you feel stressed. If your stress continues or worsens, consider talking to a mental health professional such as a psychologist or social worker. They can often help treat these conditions with talk therapy or medication.
Many people experience short-term stress from time to time. It can be caused by issues such as having an argument, or by experiencing lots of different little problems during the same day (your alarm clock doesn’t go off; you get stuck in traffic). Sometimes it all boils down to having too much to do in too little time. Preventing and managing chronic stress can help lower your risk for serious health issues like high blood pressure, heart problems, obesity and depression.
Stress can be prevented or reduced when you:
- Plan ahead
- Decide which tasks need to be done first
- Prepare for stressful events
Hopefully these tips will help you to enjoy a healthy and stress-free new year.