Connecting with the Lincoln, NE community and surrounding areas.

Death & Social Media

facebook_twitter_logo_combo1In today’s society, social media is a very real, and often important part of life.  But what happens when you die? Does your account die with you?

The answer is… sort of.  Google deletes your account after a period of inactivity (this includes any Google+ and email accounts you have).

Twitter and Instagram have a policy in place to allow an authorized person to give them permission to delete the account using a specific form, and Facebook has a couple of options.  The deceased person’s account can be changed to a “memorialized” account, or it can be managed or deleted.  You must go into settings and name a “Legacy Contact”, or authorize Facebook to delete your account.

Of course, you can also just leave your page alone – friends sometimes like to share or have “conversations” on your page as a way of grieving or memorializing you.  As with all of your accounts, be sure to add handling of your social media footprint to your file of instructions for your loved ones after your death.

For further information, TechRadar provided this blog post:

Why Should I Attend a Grief Group?

Hello!  I am Melisloving memory tulipssa,  one of the Grief Counselors at Roper and Sons, and a facilitator of one of the two Grief Groups we offer. Roper and Sons Funeral Home extends multiple avenues of support to our client’s and community. Our Grief Groups have been an area of recent growth and are offered to the public as a way to help find comfort and support during the grieving process. The good news about grieving in a group setting, you don’t have to do it alone.

There are two formats to the Grief Group; the first is our “Guided Group”, a group with members whose loss took place 18 months or more in the past.  The second is our “Structured Group”, a group for those whose loss took place less than 18 months ago, who are facing some of life’s “firsts” without their loved one.  Besides these two groups, on the second Sunday of each month, we offer “Art with Anna”, a creative therapeutic group, where we gather to paint, craft, or otherwise create works of art that allow us a couple of hours to escape our thoughts and put our creative talents to work.  The best part of Art with Anna is that you don’t have to be an artist to join!

Regardless of which group suits you and your current situation, both groups offer the following benefits:

  • The opportunity to begin the healing process. Healing can begin through telling our story, our loved ones story, and hearing the stories of others.
  • Emotional and physical support in a safe and non-judgmental environment.
  • Reflection on feelings, working towards gaining insight and hope through companionship.
  • Gaining coping skills to help get through the most difficult days in our grief journey.
  • The opportunity to discover new ways and share ideas on how to keep your loved one present in our heart and memories.
  • Increase our understanding of how others may grieve differently. This may help us resolve feelings towards friends and family who’s response to grief looked different than our own.
  • Give yourself permission to grieve, it does us no good to continue going about our lives stuffing these feelings and pretending they are not there.

 Why Should I Attend?

  • Because it is hard to heal in isolation.
  • Because Sundays are hard.
  • Because we lost part of our support system and need to take steps to find support.
  • Because in being there for each other we can find purpose in life.

If it sounds like you could benefit from our Grief Groups, please consider this a personal invitation. At Roper and Sons we want to support you through this difficult time. The grieving process is a journey that we should not have to tread alone. If you have questions about our Grief Groups don’t hesitate to contact us at 402-476-1225.

Hope to see you there!

Melissa Thorne, M. A., PLMHP

melissa headshot

But, I Don’t Want a Traditional Funeral!

traditionTraditional funerals — you know, the ones where everyone wears black, and everything is somber, and the eulogy could be for anyone, and the music couldn’t be any more standard — are fine for some people, but not for you!

Good news!  YOU can choose what kind of service you have.  You don’t have to go with anything traditional if you don’t want.   You can have some contemporary and some traditional elements, or whatever you choose!  At Roper & Sons, we strive to make your final remembrance about you.  If that means throwing a big party, with beer & pizza, we’ll do it.  If it means a traditional service with some of your favorite songs and Bible passages, you’ve got it!

We personalize every service, so that when your loved ones say their final goodbye, they are left with good memories.  From personalized service folders, to tribute videos with favorite photos and songs, even to the foods that are served at the reception following the service, everything is about remembering you in the way you want to be remembered.

We take pride in serving you and your family in the same way we would serve our own.  If you would like to learn more about Roper & Sons Funeral Services, feel free to call us at 402-476-1225.

How Can I Help?

The holidays are upon us, and many of us have friends and loved ones who are grieving. candlesOne of the hardest things about loss is knowing how to be a friend, knowing what do say, knowing how to help.  The following list offers some suggestions regarding how to care for a grieving loved on this season.

  • Share memories – happy memories, sad memories, memories of holidays past, memories of favorite traditions.
  • Let your loved one know you are hurting too.  Often those who are grieving feel very alone in their grief.
  • Help find a meaningful way to honor the deceased.
  • Allow your friend to cry, laugh – and leave when he or she needs to leave.  Don’t insist they stay at the party, family gathering, etc when they just want to be alone.  Don’t tell them to “cheer up” or question why they seem happy.
  • Allow traditions to change.  Don’t insist on doing things the way they have always been done.
  • Allow your friend to say no – no to invitations, no to celebrations, no to company.
  • Allow your friend to change his/her mind about parties, celebrations, traditions, and more.
  • Remember that much of what a person does is a reflection of their grief, not of the holiday, or friends and family.  Even though someone is hurting and may seem detached, they still love and care for their living friends and family.

Service of Remembrance

Christmas candle smallRoper & Sons Funeral Services is holding a special Remembrance Service, honoring those who passed away in 2016.  The Remembrance Service will be held on Sunday, December 11th at 2 p.m. in our Chapel located at Roper & Sons Funeral Home, 4300 O Street in Lincoln.  Anyone who experienced the death of a loved one in 2016 is invited to attend, regardless of whether funeral or memorial services were provided by Roper & Sons.

This Remembrance Service is a special program being provided by Roper & Sons to support those who are grieving during this holiday season.  A small gift will be provided for families, and a coffee reception will be held following.

Reservations are appreciated, and may be either called in to 402-476-1225 or emailed to


AThe holiday season is upon us. A joyous time?  Sure, for many. Not so joyous for many others. Please know that if you have experienced the death of a loved one this year, you are in our thoughts and prayers.  This will undoubtedly be a tough season for you – and that’s alright!  First and foremost, take care of yourself. Don’t worry about traditions, don’t worry about parties and the like, if you don’t feel up to it. Just like the tangled strand of lights with this post – it’s okay to be a “mess” this year – and the next, and many next after that, if that’s what it takes. Remember, grief doesn’t have a timetable. Each person grieves in their own way, and that’s okay!

We here at Roper & Sons want to offer you a safe place to grieve.  You are welcome to attend any of our grief group sessions – even if you did not have your loved one’s service with us! On December 11th, we will offer a very special Remembrance Service, honoring those who have passed away throughout this year. We welcome you to join us!

All of our grief programs are held at 2 p.m. on Sundays. You can contact us at 402-476-1225, or visit our website here to learn more.

But, it’s SO difficult to discuss!

talk bubblesWe all have to have tough conversations sometimes.  I’m not going to sugar coat it, talking about death and our funeral plans is probably one of the hardest. No one likes to say “hey, Mom, so I’ve been thinking about your death…”  However, it’s even more difficult NOT to have important discussions.  Aging and dying are a fact of life, ignoring them won’t make them go away.  Not planning for the future will not change it – it will just make tough decisions tougher when the time comes.

There are a lot of ways to start important discussions.  I know a lady who won’t serve her family dessert on holidays until they have a “medical moment” discussion.  I know others who call big family meetings for difficult discussions.  Others still make them a normal part of daily dialogue.

It’s unlikely you’ll be able to get all questions answered and plans put in place during an initial conversation. Don’t get frustrated if you don’t seem to make much progress – instead, approach it as the first of many talks to help you learn more about your loved one’s life and what they value most.

Even if you do feel you’ve covered most of the issues you wanted to address, it’s still a good idea to check in periodically to ensure your loved one is comfortable with the plans that are in place. This will also help your loved one understand their plans can be changed later if they realize their preferences have shifted.

To learn more about ways to ease into difficult conversations, visit our Talk of a Lifetime on our website, and request a brochure.  Click here:  Have the Talk of a Lifetime.

What Can I Say?

here-to-help-jgoodeAll too often, we struggle with what to say when comforting a grieving friend.  What is enough? What is too much? What seems contrite?  The compassionate part of us wants to say something comforting, to support our friend, to show we care.  Yet, too often anything we say may feel empty.  Have you found yourself saying “call me if you need anything”?  I know I have!  I also know I am very unlikely to call anyone to ask for help when I need it, regardless the reason.

So, what if, along with offering thoughts or words, we go help!  Show up (don’t just call, it’s too easy to say no), and help with things like laundry, cleaning the bathroom, making dinner, taking the dog for a walk, taking the kids to the park… You get the idea.  What if we are there instead of just offering our words of comfort?

And not just in the early days and weeks following a loss.  Grief can be exhausting, for a long time.  Check in with your friend months later.  Take them to dinner.  Invite them over for a  celebration around special days such as birthdays, anniversaries, holidays. Take their dog for a walk.  Do the laundry. Allow them to rest and not worry about the mundane day to day tasks.  Be there.

Grief Support at Roper & Sons

loving memory tulipsAt Roper & Sons, we care about you, and do our best to ensure that your needs are being met not only at the time you need our services, but long after as well.  Part of our care includes grief support programs that meet weekly in our Reception Facility.

Whether you are newly bereaved – you have experienced the loss of someone you love in the past 12-18 months, or you have spent more time without your loved one, we are here to offer support and help meet your needs.  The groups, which meet from 2-3:30 p.m. include:

  • Structured six week program - providing support to those who have experienced a loss in the past 12 -18 months.  Meets on the 4th Sunday, facilitated by Tiffany Eisenbraun
  • Professionally guided group sessions for those have experienced a loss more than 18 months ago. Meets 1st and 3rd Sunday, facilitated by Melissa Thorne
  • Art programs – open to anyone who has experienced a loss. Meets 2nd Sunday, facilitated by Anna Alcalde
  • Annual candlelight memorial service will be scheduled in December.  This will give us an opportunity to come together and remember our loved ones in a very special way, with a message and a time of reflection.

Reservations are not necessary and there is no charge, with the exception of the art program.  For that program, we do request reservations and ask participants to contribute a nominal $10 toward the cost of materials.  Our programs are open to all ages, and referrals are available for individual counseling if you feel that would better meet your needs.

Information about each month’s programs is available by visiting our website, by clicking here.


Creating New Traditions


I read this blog, written by Homesteaders Life, a couple of weeks ago.  The information is so important, rather than trying to re-invent the wheel, I decided just to share it in its entirety with you.
The gist is – when you have lost a loved one, your life will change, in big and small ways.  Creating new traditions, while keeping some semblance of the old intact, becomes an important priority.

1. Start with small rituals.
Tradition is something that binds families together and makes them feel safe and comfortable. Changing those traditions can be incredibly scary, especially after the passing of a loved one. You may be afraid that change means you are letting go or forgetting about the traditions your loved one held so dearly or was a big part of. But upholding major family traditions can be difficult, especially after a recent loss. If that’s the case, don’t overlook the value of your family’s small rituals. Those weekly phone calls to mom while you’re away at college or those weekly dinners at Grandma’s house are just as important as the big holiday family get-togethers.

By focusing on those small connections with your family, you will be better equipped to handle larger scale events, such as the first holiday season after the losing a loved one. So, start with something small. Take a break from your schedule to sit down and have coffee with Dad, see a movie with your sister or even pick up the phone and tell Mom about your week. It’s likely they are experiencing grief as well, and processing it together can be a helpful step in the healing process. Those small rituals may not seem like much, but they are the start of a stronger family bond.

2. Accept that change is perfectly okay.
If you decide to make changes to your family traditions, keep in mind that it is okay. Change is a natural part of life – family traditions change all the time. I guarantee that some, if not all, of your family traditions have been tweaked or changed in some aspect over the years for some reason or another – your sister Jill moved across the country or Grandpa Jack is now in a retirement home. Every tradition adapts to the changing dynamics in a family and your family adapts in response. While the adjustment to a family member passing may require a bigger transition, it is important to be open to the change and accept it for what it is – a new opportunity to create stronger family bonds and traditions.

3. Think of change as an opportunity.
It can be easy to view change in a negative light, knowing tradition won’t be the same without your loved one involved. But, instead of going into holidays, family reunions or celebrations with a cloud over your head, think of them as opportunities to remember your loved one and celebrate his life with the people who knew him best. It will be difficult and unfamiliar at first, but it is also a chance to remind the family why you are really here, what brings the family together. If they had a favorite holiday, consider holding a memorial service during your celebration.

4. Keep in mind the meaning behind your traditions.
In most situations, a family tradition is done to bond the family in a safe and comfortable environment. But sometimes, traditions are done just for the sake of tradition. For example, Grandma Betty may have started the annual door-to-door Christmas carols that the whole family partakes in, but now, Grandma Betty is gone. The whole family still carries on the tradition, but you dread going door-to-door every year because you always get stuck standing next to Uncle Dave who is incredibly tone deaf. Say you skip out on this year’s caroling because you want to avoid the humiliation and think you have better things to do. You stay home and hear from Cousin Sarah that Uncle Dave tried to hit the high note in Joy to the World. When all of the dogs in the neighborhood started barking, the family couldn’t finish the song because they were laughing so hard.

Sometimes, those family traditions that may not be your favorite do a lot more than simply forcing you to do things as a family. They help you create lasting memories with your loved ones. When you consider changes following the death of a loved one, keep that goal in mind. You might not feel up to caroling this year, but you can still find other ways to connect with your family.

5. Remember that traditions don’t have to be perfect.
It is understandable that after your family suffers a loss of a loved one, you want everything to be perfect, no glitches at the next family reunion or Thanksgiving. You want to prove to yourself and to your family that you can still go on and function despite the loss you have suffered. But keep in mind that your family event won’t feel perfect without your loved one – and that’s okay. Think back to your family events. Which one was more memorable: the time that the turkey was perfectly carved and everyone sat around in their Sunday best, or the time that you had to order Chinese because Dad tried to deep fry the turkey and it took off like a rocket?

It is those perfectly imperfect events that are the most memorable. Building those memories and establishing those bonds will create a stronger and more secure environment to deal with loss and grief.

6. Don’t ignore the absence.
Sometimes, when a loss occurs it feels easier to pretend like nothing’s changed. But what seems like a good coping mechanism can easily turn into the big elephant in the middle of Christmas dinner. There are a couple of different ways you can combat this. For example, if you are at a family reunion shortly after someone in the family dies, consider setting a place for them, incorporating their favorite dish or flower or releasing balloons in their memory.

It is healthy to acknowledge the passing of a loved one and could be easier when in the company of family. It can bring up old memories of your loved one that can be talked about as part of the healing process. Sharing memories in meaningful ways may even turn into a new tradition.

7. Plan ahead and be prepared.
As tough as it may be, it is important that you sit down and have a conversation with the family about how traditions may change after a loved one’s passing. By planning for the changes, you can help create realistic expectations which can have a positive impact on the rest of the family. They are more likely to have a more rational response if they have had time to prepare and react to the changes. You won’t be surprised when Grandma Betty’s potato salad won’t be making an appearance at the next family picnic because you’ve talked about it in advance. Maybe this year you decide to have everyone bring their favorite potato salad recipe and hold a taste-test to decide who will be responsible for making it for future gatherings.

While this is a relatively small example, the same approach can be applied to more significant changes to tradition.