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Helpful Information


Community Day Bike Giveaway was a Big Success

A big thank you to everyone who helped make this year’s Bike Extravaganza during New Cumberland's Community Day a big success. In honor of celebrating 50 years of business, Parthemore Funeral Home partnered with Recycle Bicycle Harrisburg and Trinity United Methodist Church to give away 100 adult and kid's bikes. Parthemore donated new helmets and locks for every bike.


Life Lessons Children Can Learn at Funerals

Death and funerals are an inescapable part of life. It’s hard to know what to do when our children encounter death for the first time. As much as we would like to protect them from pain and distress, we can’t. But we can teach them how to process death and cope with grief in healthy ways.


Whether or not your child attends a funeral is entirely up to you. You know your child best – what they can handle and what they can’t. For infants and toddlers (ages 4 and under), attendance will not necessarily have any great meaning or significance, but for those who are preschool aged or older, it’s best to thoughtfully consider how to proceed. While we don’t want to force children to do something, we also need to teach them how to cope with and handle the difficulties life will throw at them. It’s up to you to decide if they are ready.


Children can begin the journey of learning important life lessons, when they have an opportunity to attend funeral services.


Children begin to understand the purpose of a funeral.

First, it’s always good to start with why we have funerals in the first place. According to respected grief counselor, author, and educator Dr. Alan Wolfelt, the funeral ritual “helps us acknowledge the reality of the death, gives testimony to the life of the deceased, encourages the expression of grief in a way consistent with the culture’s values, provides support to mourners, allows for the embracing of faith and beliefs about life and death, and offers continuity and hope for the living.”


Children learn how to participate in funerals.

None of us innately knows what to expect or how to behave at funerals. Instead, we learn by seeing, hearing, and asking questions. Many of us came to understand the do’s and don’ts of funerals by attending them and by asking a knowledgeable adult our questions. In order for a child to understand what is appropriate and respectful, to know how to behave in the future, they must learn about funerals and be allowed to see the ceremony in action.


Children learn that death is a natural part of life.

Death is a part of life. Just as a child needs to learn how to deal with disappointment, process explosive emotions, or adapt to social situations, they must also learn how to process death and dying. Children are exposed to death early on. They see dead leaves, bugs, or dead animals. Our children know more about death than we might expect. Giving them an opportunity to learn and understand death in a controlled setting is valuable.


Children learn how to say goodbye.

Two of the important things that happen at funerals are that 1.) mourners have the chance to say goodbye and 2.) there is a public acknowledgment that the relationship has changed (from one of presence to one of memory). Both are necessary for adults and children. Children need an opportunity to say goodbye, especially with close relationships (as is the case with a parent, sibling, grandparent, best friend, teacher, etc.).


Children witness the complexity of emotions.

Children need to understand early that everyone experiences emotion, and everyone deals with their emotion differently. And ultimately, each child must learn how to process and deal with their own emotions. The funeral gives parents an opportunity to help children process their emotions by answering questions or talking about what happened after the ceremony.


Children learn to treasure life.

If a funeral is done well, it touches the hearts of those in attendance. In fact, it should teach all of us just how precious life is and remind us how we want to live. Dr. Wolfelt puts it this way, “People who take the time and make the effort to create meaningful funeral arrangements… remember and reconnect with what is most meaningful to them in life. They strengthen bonds with family members and friends. They emerge changed, more authentic and purposeful. The best funerals remind us how we should live.”


Article excerpted from Funeral Basics


When a Loved One Dies Away from Home

What you need to know about making transportation arrangements

In today’s mobile society, it is not unusual for someone to die in one city and need to be moved to another for funeral services. There are many reasons that the place of death may not be where the person intended as their final resting place. The death may have occurred while the person was on vacation or perhaps they relocated after they retired, but would like to be returned to their hometown for burial.


In most states, arrangements for transportation of human remains must be made by a licensed funeral director. There are special considerations and regulations that apply to transportation, which require enlisting a professional to handle the details.


If there is a large transportation distance between the two cities, you will need the services of a funeral home. Either in the area where the person died, or the town where the deceased will be interred. Many funeral homes, including Parthemore, belong to a co-op that enables them to manage all the transportation details to and from both locations. There are many advantages to having the receiving funeral home handle the all arrangements, including avoiding the additional time and expense of dealing with two facilities. If you have a preferred funeral home in one of the locations, contact them to begin the process.


Ways to Transport the Deceased

The final transportation details will depend on several things. The first is whether a body or cremated remains must be shipped. In addition, the distance between the place of death and the final destination will come into play.


Depending on the distance, ground transportation is usually the most cost-effective way. Each state has different rules and legislations on how human remains can be transported. A licensed funeral director will be aware of these regulations and will know how to properly transport the body. Ground transportation options include a funeral home utilizing their vehicle or making arrangements with an approved carrier.


If the distance is greater or overseas, air transportation may be necessary. There are many special requirements for transporting human remains by air, so family members are not able to directly make air transportation arrangements with an airline. Shipments of human remains are subject to the “Known Shipper” regulations of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and require that a funeral home or approved “Known Shippers” handle all the arrangements.


Families who have chosen cremation are permitted to transport their loved ones using their own vehicles. There are no regulations related to the transportation of cremated remains by vehicle.


Cremains can also be shipped. The United States Postal Service is the only agency authorized to ship cremated remains in the US. Cremated remains must be shipped by Priority Mail Express. Additional instructions on how to pack and ship cremated remains are available on the USPS website.


If you want to bring cremated remains with you on a flight, the TSA has special transportation procedures. The cremains must be in a container that can pass through TSA x-ray machines. The container can be constructed of wood, plastic, cardboard or any other non-lead based ceramic. Funeral Homes will be able to provide you with a TSA compliant container for transportation. In addition, the person accompanying the remains must also have a Certificate of Cremation, an official document which can be provided by the crematory.  Keep in mind that TSA personnel are not permitted to open an urn to check the contents, therefore if the container cannot pass through the x-ray screening, it will not be allowed as carry-on.


At Parthemore Funeral Home we can help you make transportation arrangements to get your loved one to their final resting place. We are familiar with all rules and regulations regarding transporting human remains and can ensure that all paperwork and preparations will provide a smooth transportation process.


Funeral for President George H.W. Bush
Incorporated Elements of Meaningful Service

Dr. Alan Wolfelt, a nationally respected grief counselor and death care educator, tells us that there are several important elements to include in a meaningful and healing funeral ceremony. These elements are necessary to facilitate the six needs that a funeral fulfills: 1) acknowledge the reality of the death, 2) embrace the pain of the loss, 3) remember the person who died, 4) develop a new self-identity, 5) search for meaning, and 6) receive ongoing support from others.

Let’s look at how these important elements were utilized to honor and remember George H.W. Bush in a way that was meaningful for his family, his friends, and his fellow Americans.



Music sets the tone of a funeral and brings emotions to the forefront. In fact, one of the purposes of a funeral is to allow mourners to grieve together. In many ways, music says what words cannot. George H.W. Bush personally requested that Michael W. Smith sing “Friends are Friends Forever,” which was a touching tribute to a dear friend.



Readings add another facet to a meaningful service. They are another way to invite mourners to express their emotions and bring the unique spirit of the one who has died to life. As part of the ceremony, several of former president Bush’s granddaughters read passages of the Bible.



The visitation is a time for people to gather to express sympathy and support and to pay their respects. Throughout the several days that encompassed Bush’s funeral ceremony, there were several opportunities for visitation. Bush’s casket lay in state in the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol building, allowing thousands from the public to pay their respects. After the events in Washington, D.C., the casket was transported to Texas, where Bush lay in repose at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church.



The eulogy is the single most important aspect of a funeral service. It is the time to acknowledge and affirm the significance of the life lived. A number of individuals gave eulogies at the funeral, including his grandson, George P. Bush, who said that “it’s the honor of a lifetime to share his name.”



Symbols, or symbolic acts, offer a focus point for the bereaved as well as a sense of comfort. In the case of Bush’s funeral, one of the key symbols was the American flag. It symbolized the life he dedicated to the service of his country. The presence of the military and their ritual actions to honor Bush, a World War II veteran, are also part of the symbolism.



The gathering is an opportunity for people to come together after the funeral service to share stories and to support each other. With former president Bush’s funeral, this aspect was displayed on a much larger scale than is usual. While he lay in state at the U.S. Capitol, people gathered and shared stories and offered support to each other.



And finally, by inviting others into action, you engage mourners and invite them to put their grief into motion. Action can take place in many ways. For Bush’s funeral, having attendees stand with hand over heart as the coffin was brought into the church and sing hymns are actions that invite mourners into the grieving process.


When all the elements of a meaningful funeral come together, they create a powerful, emotional, and healing tribute to a life well-lived. In the case of former president Bush, the entire funeral experience was planned in advance and allowed family members, friends, civic leaders, and regular, everyday American citizens to join together to honor the memory of a good man who loved his God and his country with all his heart.


Article excerpted from Funeral Basics


Free Online 25 Minute Veteran Suicide Prevention Course Available

The course is designed in partnership with VA to help anyone learn how to identify the signs of suicide risk in a Veteran, ask the Veteran questions, validate the Veteran’s experience, escort the Veteran to care, and expedite treatment. This course was developed in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs and is presented by Dr. Megan McCarthy, Deputy Director, Suicide Prevention.

The PsychArmor S.A.V.E. training is a free, and it only takes 25 minutes. The hope for this course is that people will become empowered to play a vital role in suicide prevention. You will develop a general understanding of the problem of suicide in the United States; understand how to identify a Veteran who may be at risk for suicide; and, finally, know what to do if you identify a Veteran at risk. Each of us has the opportunity to be that one person who makes a difference–the person who asks the question that can save a Veteran’s life, or the life of anyone struggling with the thoughts of suicide.


Archived Issues

If you would like to read past issues of Helpful Information, click on the issue links below:

March 2019 Issue


October 2018 Issue

May 2018 Issue

January 2018 Issue

October 2017 Issue

June 2017 Issue

February 2017 Issue

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