Día de los Muertos and the Significance of Ritual

October 27th, 2014

Young girl with halloween make-upFrom its symbolic candy skulls and costumed processions, to candlelit vigils in cemeteries across the world, Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, offers a way for family and friends to honor the spirits of ancestors who have departed. Throughout Latin America, the Southwestern United States, and more recently other parts of the country, people from all backgrounds and ethnicities are embracing the idea of a colorful, spirited, and positive way to honor the lives of those who have gone before us.

Through the use of bright colors, offerings of food and drink, and music, thoughts of sadness and sorrow are negated. Symbolically, we invite our deceased loved ones back to earth for an occasion of joy and merriment. Read the rest of this entry »

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Providing Grief Support During a Time of Mourning

October 21st, 2014

iStock_000009447302_MediumThe loss of a loved one is, without question, one of the most significant hurts we will face in life.  There are no words for the pain we are feeling after saying goodbye. Grief often overwhelms us, and the need for space and time to process what we are feeling take precedence over all other matters. It is a difficult place to be, emotionally. Many of us have already experienced this time of grief, and can attest to just how difficult it is.

For loved ones, it can be challenging to find ways to be supportive during this time.  While grief is something that must be lived through, faced, and felt by those who have lost; those of us who want to help, naturally gravitate toward trying to finding a solution to what our friend or loved one is facing. However, the only solution is to allow this necessary process to unfold, knowing that healing will be achieved when the heart has had time to completely grieve.

There are, however, some meaningful ways in which we can offer grief support to a friend during this time, holding space for our hurting friend to feel the range of emotions that come with a loss so deep and palpable. Read the rest of this entry »

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Why Funeral Etiquette Matters, Even Today

October 6th, 2014

iStock_000017315895_MediumAs we embrace so many new technologies and lifestyle changes that make life more convenient, there is still an argument for maintaining some traditions, namely when it comes to paying respects.

Memorial and funeral services are the essence of dignity, honor, tradition, and respect. They are a place for mourning, but also celebration as we acknowledge a good life, a loss, and the memories that live on through loved ones and generations to come. If there is ever a place where the significance of etiquette, tact, respect, and grace meet, it is in these last moments of a life celebration.

And, while the majority of us understand the significance and symbolism of such an occasion, there are some traditions that are products of generational preference that are no longer as meaningful today. Likewise, there are many accidental mistakes made now that can disrupt or even belittle the service. Read the rest of this entry »

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Technology and the Modern Memorial Service

September 29th, 2014

In Memory LetterpressThere are very few areas in our lives that aren’t touched, in some way, by technology. It is the means through which we communicate with distant family and friends, attend to our personal business and finances, and access media and other information sources. It’s no surprise, then, that there has been a marked rise in the need for the use of technology in modern memorial and funeral services.

While we may have once viewed video and electronic communication in an austere light, we are now seeing powerful, tasteful, and meaningfully crafted video tributes and live-streaming options. Furthermore, video offers us a way to capture the touching sentiments expressed about the life and character of the departed in a way that can be preserved for years to come, as well as shared with those unable to attend a service in person. Read the rest of this entry »

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Creating a Deeply Meaningful and Unique End-of-Life Service

September 22nd, 2014

iStock_000027910676_MediumWhile there will always be a place for tradition when it comes to burial options and memorial services, people are now beginning to seek out more personal, unique, and authentic ways to celebrate their lives, or the lives of loved ones. As communities become more culturally diverse and individuals embrace their own cultures, traditions, and faith paths, it is understandable why the standard service of fifty years ago is changing to include a range of expressions when it comes to end-of-life services.

Gramer Funeral Home, serving Troy, Royal Oak, Clawson, and Shelby Township, has responded to the change in trends, interests, and expressions by working with families to create that deeply personal service that exemplifies the personality, passions, and strongly held values of the beloved being honored.

Ultimately, a funeral and memorial service offers us a time to truly honor the person who has recently departed. It is one of the most personal moments between family members and loved ones, and finding ways to capture the spirit of the departed is necessary as we mourn, celebrate, and hold space for our loved one in a way that reflects his or her faith-expression, values, and most notable life achievements. Read the rest of this entry »

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Cremation: An Environmentally Conscious Option in Green Burial Services

September 12th, 2014

iStock_000036715654_MediumToday, we have far more choices when considering environmentally conscious end-of-life decisions. Many of us are opting for cremation as a way to reduce impact on the land, as well as help our family manage the financial demands of a funeral or memorial service.

From the trend in choosing charity gifts over flowers, to ecologically sound, low impact cremation disposition, we are reducing environmental impact and allowing our loved ones to honor our memory in a way that aligns with our values.

While there are many green burial options, most people select cremation and to scatter the ashes in a place that was special to their departed loved one. Cremation avoids the confusing regulations and prohibitive nature of some of the recent trends in green burials, while allowing family and friends to hold their own memorial service, or multiple services, when the time is right.

It’s important – no matter what you select as an ecological option – to inquire about the process’ environmental impact and whether or not it falls within the Green Burial Council’s guidelines. Gramer Funeral Home is proud to be a member of the Green Burial Council and upholds the highest standards in ecologically sound burial and cremation. Read the rest of this entry »

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Creating a Healing Place… A Permanent Memorial After Scattering Ashes

September 3rd, 2014

iStock_000001234220_MediumUnable are the loved to die.  For love is immortality.
~Emily Dickinson

Throughout our lives, we identify comfort, security, family, and our most cherished memories with a strong sense of place. Place (home) roots us to an outward expression of what we are feeling, especially in times of grief.

While cremation has become an ecological and financially sound choice for many, it is equally important to consider the need of our loved ones for a place where they can remember, honor, and speak to our memory. When ashes are scattered, oftentimes it occurs in places that are private and important to the deceased and a select few individuals with whom important memories of both person and place were shared. Read the rest of this entry »

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Planning Ahead: Why Pre-Need Contracts Protect You and Your Family

August 22nd, 2014

WalkingThe weight of determining the right type of funeral for a loved one can be overwhelming to grieving family members. There are so many decisions to make in attending to the important details of a celebration of life. And, trying to address these important matters while in the throes of grief can be unduly stressful on a family.

That is why many of us are choosing to be proactive in making important decisions regarding funeral arrangements, even in our younger adult years. Pre-planning provides numerous benefits that help protect our loved ones while maintaining clarity around our personal wishes and the type of service most meaningful to us. Read the rest of this entry »

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Why a Memorial Service Matters

August 11th, 2014

Gramer_iStock_000023730860_MediumFor many of us, the loss of a loved one is extraordinarily difficult. The emotions we experience, added to helping those closest to us cope with their grief, can make loss feel insurmountable to even the strongest among us. Because of this, it can be tempting to postpone, or simply decide against, having a memorial service for the deceased – especially when you’ve selected a cremation service. Yet the enormity of grief is precisely why you should take the time to plan a memorial service.

The Act of Grieving

Cultures across the world honor their dead by performing some type of ritual or memorial for the deceased, and our own culture is no exception. While your cultural and religious beliefs may dictate what type of memorial service you plan, the act of planning and performing the memorial service is as much for you and the grieving process of the survivors as it is for honoring the departed. Read the rest of this entry »

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The History of Gramer Funeral Home

October 5th, 2013

Our tradition of service started in 1952 when Henry Gramer first purchased our funeral home, the historic building located on Main Street in downtown Clawson. The building had been operating as a funeral home since the early 1940s. Both Henry and his brother Richard served the community for many years, offering quality funeral services. Henry passed away November 21, 2005, and Richard is now retired. Paul, Henry’s son, continues to carry on their legacy of service. Our landmark home has been preserved and remodeled extensively to create a bed and breakfast feel that is inviting and relaxing.

In 2003, Paul purchased our second location, Diener Chapel in Shelby Township. The Diener Funeral Home was founded by Dale Diener and has been serving the community for over 50 years. You may notice a name change; however, in recognition of the Diener family and our commitment to Shelby Township and Utica communities, this location is now called Gramer Funeral Home – Diener Chapel. Dale is enjoying retirement, and his daughter Dawn Diener-Drozd works in close relation with our staff.

We are proud to offer service as family-owned funeral homes. We believe this is important and meaningful to families, because we understand the importance — and the personal reward — of assisting friends and neighbors in times of need.

We also consider it our duty to preserve the landscape of the communities we serve. In 2000, we received the Clawson Beautification Award for landscaping enhancements to our original Clawson location, a well-regarded landmark with the distinction of being the town’s oldest house.

In 2005, after renovations both inside and out, our second location, Diener Chapel, was also honored with the Shelby Township Summer Beautification Award.

Welcome to the Family of Gramer Funeral Home: Large Enough to Serve You, Small Enough to Know You!

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