The Brunswick Memorial Home Blog
Colored lights twinkling in the new fallen snow, the hustle of Christmas shoppers making their way through bustling malls and the invitations to holiday gatherings that show up in our mailboxes all usher in the holiday season. For those of us who are mourning the loss of a loved one, this season of hope may feel like a strange and foreign world. The refrains of “I’ll be home for Christmas, you can count on me…” can remind us of just how cruel and overwhelming this season can truly be.
Let’s face it… Holidays can be difficult times for us – especially during that most fragile year of firsts. In a season where music and laughter flow freely, our hearts may be troubled and our sadness, profound. While it may not feel like a happy time for you; when in mourning, knowing that you’re not alone can help provide some solace. This month’s blog is written in the hopes of providing you with some ways of navigating through this season of love, hope and peace during your time of heartache and darkness.
Here are some helpful hints and things to consider:
1) Acknowledging and Respecting Your Feelings
It’s okay to feel your loss and acknowledge your less-than-enthusiastic holiday spirit. Too often we become nostalgic about “the good all days” and how wonderful they were. Holidays are rarely that picture-perfect moment in time that commercials make them out to be. Do as much (or as little) as what feels right to you.
2) Set Boundaries
Set boundaries and decide how many events or functions you might want to attend. Be in control of your schedule and also consider how you will respond when somebody says “Happy Holidays” or “Best Wishes to You.” When grieving, it can be difficult to attend holiday parties and have to act “recovered.” If that is the case for you, just don’t go. Kindly thank them for the invitation but say you won’t be able to attend this year. You don’t owe them a further explanation, but you owe yourself what is best for you at this point in your life. At the same time, consider each invitation. It might be helpful to attend a few gatherings if you feel up to it. The choice has to be yours.
3) Make a Plan
Take the time to plan ahead for family gatherings. Perhaps you don’t feel like being the host or hostess this year and that’s okay. Don’t feel guilty about that. If you do want to have people over, have dessert and coffee instead of a full meal. Simplify your life and be comfortable. Be honest in sharing your feelings with your family and friends. Feelings are not right or wrong, they just are, and ignoring them won’t make them go away. We get relief from grief when we share with others who listen without offering judgment. Don’t be afraid to let your feelings out, we all need to “Dump the Bucket”. Here are some things that have worked for others: if you are angry, throw large marshmallows at the wall or take a hammer and pound on a piece of board. Do something that is not harmful to you, but get it out. You cannot run from your feelings.
4) Take Care of Yourself
In our grief, it’s easy to let the little things go… chores, errands, cooking, and self-care. By focusing on completing daily tasks, such as prepping the garden bed for next season or grocery shopping, you might find yourself feeling a little bit better. It’s important during the holidays to intersperse some rest and relaxation. Do something special for yourself like taking a bubble bath, meditating, praying, or lighting a favorite scented candle – is cathartic and helps promote all levels of healing: physical, emotional, and spiritual. Grieving is hard work, so make sure you get enough rest.
5) The Many Faces of Grief
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to mourning. We are all different in the ways in which we grieve and how long it will take for us to heal. Because the holidays center on family and friends, this can also be a beneficial time to fully embrace what you feel and start to heal those wounds.
Try not to compare your life and sadness with someone else’s. Sometimes it can be easy to be jealous of a family who outwardly is intact and seems to be able to enjoy the holiday. Contrary to our illusions, holiday times are often not ideal times for families. Every family has its own unique relationship structures and gathering together can be joyous, but also stressful and difficult.
Remember to allow for different grieving styles within the same family. Men grieve differently than women. Children have their own way of expressing emotions. Husbands are different than wives. Siblings don’t deal with situations in the same way. Anger, sadness, frustration, are all normal feelings.
6) Create New Memories (While Honoring the Old)
It’s likely you are not alone in your grief. Even if others were not close to your departed loved one, they may feel a sense of sadness as they walk with you during this tough time. While it is easy to get lost in some reverie of …what once was, there are also opportunities for creating new memories and traditions. Remember, you still have time to change things in your life if you aren’t comfortable with them. Examine your holiday traditions and see if you feel comfortable in carrying out those traditions, or if it would be easier this year to do something different. You need to think about what is best for you at this time.
Wrapping it up
I would like to conclude this month’s blog with paraphrasing a quote from Paul David Tripp. In the darkness, you can see the brightest light of God’s truth. …In death, you can celebrate the end of the story in the way you never had before. …May you look through the darkness and see Christ’s light. In your deep sadness, receive the comfort only he can give.
During this holiday season, we at Brunswick Memorial Home extend our sincerest condolences and wishes for many bright, beautiful, and meaningful new memories to be made with friends and family.
Category: Brunswick Memorial Home
Normally a time of feasting and festivity, your Thanksgiving this year may be filled with thoughts of:
- I have nothing to be thankful for
- Celebrating is futile
- I need to go through the motions for the sake of the kids, my parents or those annoying relatives who come once a year
- Just forgetting the whole thing, crawl back into bed and pull the blankets over my head and forget about the whole thing.
All of these ideas and feelings are completely understandable when you’ve lost a loved one…and how could anyone blame you for feeling that way? However, attempting to “hide” from the day does not make it go away. In fact, attempting to hide or block it out can actually make things worse.
So What to Do?
Here are three simple tips to not only help you get through this day of giving thanks, but maybe even afford you the chance to enjoy it a little:
- Whether you are celebrating Thanksgiving in your own home or going elsewhere, and expected to bring a dish, prepare something that was your loved one’s favorite. You may be surprised at how much comfort something as simple as a favorite dish or desert will bring you.
- Just about every family will go around the table and share that which they are thankful for. Maybe try sharing a funny story about your loved one. Finish with lifting a glass and proposing a toast with his or her favorite drink.
- If celebrating is just too painful; change things up a bit and quietly observe the day by simply attending a church service and making yourself a lovely dinner at home or perhaps volunteering at a local shelter or soup kitchen.
Although you may feel like you have nothing to be thankful for, you do! Stop and take a moment to think about that which you cherish – your family, your home or whatever else you treasure in and about your life. Most of all, embrace and remember that you had the love of a wonderful person, whose legacies of love and memories will always be with you.
All of us at the Brunswick Memorial Home wish you a Thanksgiving filled with warmth, comfort and peace.
Category: Announcements,Brunswick Memorial Home,East Brunswick
Please click the link below to read about Brunswick Memorial’s Christmas in July event held at the Ozanam Family Shelter in Edison, NJ.
We were honored to host such a special and joyous event.
Category: Announcements,Central New Jersey,East Brunswick,Funeral Home News
East Brunswick, NJ – As summer 2013 comes to a close, Brunswick Memorial Home has announced plans to help usher in “Back to School” season within the community. Recognizing the needs of many of the families in our area for school supplies, clothes, and shoes, the Funeral Home is organizing a collection for new sneakers and snow boots, children’s sizes 7-1, for local preschoolers in need. Donations can be made at their offices at 454 Cranbury Road in East Brunswick.
Though the Brunswick Memorial Home acknowledges that families in the area are busy preparing their own children to return to educational grounds, it is also the season when most local businesses offer deals and incentives on back to school apparel. While many children are attending classes with new backpacks and notepads, there are also many youths who go back to school with holes in their shoes and for whom winter boots are a luxury that cannot be afforded by the family.
This fall will be the second year in a row that the Brunswick Memorial Home organizes such an collection. The project is inspired by the memory of Chris Ward, a family friend of the Kulbacki Family that owns the funeral home, who passed away in 2010 at age 24. Chris was a graduate of South Brunswick High School, where he played soccer and lacrosse, as well as mentored younger students. He later graduated from Kean University and became a PhysEd teacher at Bridgewater Raritan High School. Chris was known for his infectious personality and was amazing with little kids; he also accumulated quite the sneaker collection in his spare time, thus a Children’s sneaker collection is a fitting honor.
Last year’s collection as organized by the Brunswick Memorial Home brought in over 130 pairs of sneakers which were donated to the children at Sacred Heart Preschool in New Brunswick. This year, the Central New Jersey funeral home hopes that donors will also include snow boots, as feedback from 2012 indicated the recipients are often forced to do without.
New Sneakers and boots may be dropped off to the Brunswick Memorial Home at 454 Cranbury Road, East Brunswick, during the entire month of September. For further information, or to arrange for a local pickup of boots and sneakers, the funeral home may be reached (732) 254 – 9393.
Additional information pertaining to the Brunswick Memorial Home can be obtained by visiting www.brunswickmemorialhome.com.
Brian Kulbacki, Business Manager at the Brunswick Memorial Home, has decided to take his hobby to the “next level.”
As a homebrewer for the last four years, he has been focused on developing great tasting gluten free beer for friends, family, and himself to imbibe. In the Spring of 2012, Brian enrolled in the American Brewers Guild’s Intensive Brewing Science & Engineering course to learn about the nitty gritty of the craft, graduating in December of the same year. Shortly thereafter, Brian created a Gluten Free IPA that he calls GoodbíPA, and a brewery aptly named “Departed Soles,” honoring his time at the Funeral Home in East Brunswick, his love of sneakers, and a lost friend. The beer went on to win 3rd place Best in Show in a New York City Homebrew contest featuring entries from nearly 800 people. The IPA also took home 1st place in the “Specialty” category.
An article about Brian’s efforts is in this month’s issue of NJ Monthly. Check it out!
Brunswick Memorial Home Receives National Recognition for Innovative Programming, Outstanding Community Outreach
East Brunswick, New Jersey Funeral Home Receives National Recognition
East Brunswick, NJ– The Brunswick Memorial Home in East Brunswick has been honored by the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) with the 2012 Pursuit of Excellence Award. Pursuit of Excellence Award recipients raise the bar on funeral service excellence by adhering to the highest ethical and professional standards and providing unsurpassed service to families and communities.
To earn an NFDA Pursuit of Excellence Award, a participating funeral home must meet or exceed business standards set forth by the program and demonstrate proficiency in key areas of funeral service, such as compliance with state and federal regulations; providing ongoing education and professional development opportunities for staff; offering outstanding programs and resources to bereaved families; maintaining an active level of involvement within the community; participating and actively serving in the funeral service profession; and promoting funeral home services through a variety of marketing, advertising and public relations programs. Participants are also required to adhere to a Pledge of Ethical Practices.
“Brunswick Memorial’s voluntary participation in the Pursuit of Excellence Award program reflects a clear determination to exceed the expectations of those they serve,” said NFDA Chief Executive Officer Christine Pepper, CAE. “This prestigious recognition assures families of the high-quality, compassionate service they will receive the moment they walk through the funeral home’s front door.”
For more than 3 decades, the family owned funeral home has been providing exceptional service to Middlesex County residents, including those of East Brunswick, Old Bridge, Monroe, and South River, and prides itself on finding new and innovative ways to help families through a most difficult time. According to Peter Kulbacki, an owner of the firm, “We have an exceptional Care Team that finds great satisfaction in thinking outside of the box. Whether it’s our Modern Classic Motorcycle hearse, our comfort dog Bogan, or our video Memorial Tributes that we create for our clients, if we think it will ease the burden of grief on a family, we’ll do it.” The funeral home was also honored by the International Order of the Golden Rule earlier this year for Exemplary Client Service, one of only 3 funeral homes in the United States to have received that honor this year.
Brian Kulbacki, business manager of the firm, proudly points out the company’s commitment to community service. “My family and our team were very active in supporting not only a number of those families that lost their homes to Tropical Storm Irene, particularly in Spotswood and Jamesburg, but also to several churches and other organizations that were assisting affected residents as well.” Brian also also called attention to the funeral home’s commitment to Habitat for Humanity, having both cosponsored and organized the Habitat “build” in Charlotte, NC at the National Funeral Directors conference as well as sending a volunteer team to work on the project, the third year in a row the firm has done this at the annual convention. “While we’re involved with so many things in the community, our firm pays particular attention to veteran’s causes, and those supporting military families.”
Brunswick Memorial Home in East Brunswick has been owned and operated by the Kulbacki family for more than 30 years, and was built on what had been the original family farm. It has been recognized with numerous awards over the years for exceptional service, and has become the leading funeral service provider for families of all faiths. Just this month, it was recognized by the readers of The Home News as the best funeral home in Central New Jersey. For more information on the firm, visit www.brunswickmemorialhome.com or www.RIPhearse.com.
Category: Announcements,Central New Jersey,East Brunswick,Funeral Home News
Thank you for visiting our new Brunswick Memorial Home blog!
After much internal debate, our management team concluded that a blog would be the best way to keep the community that has supported us for 30 years up-to-date on what is going on at our East Brunswick funeral home facility.
As a family owned business, we have always prided ourselves on serving Middlesex County and the greater Central New Jersey area with the highest quality of funeral and memorial services at the most affordable costs. This includes constantly updating and reinventing ourselves, as well as continually making sure that our funeral home and offerings are “with the times,” if not ahead of them.
Our website is a perfect example of this, being the first of its kind in the area and 100% custom built for the ease of the families that we serve. Through it, you can leave online condolences, post videos or pictures, or download information on our community at no cost to you, unlike some of the other firms in the area. With the launch of this blog, we are also officially partnering with some of the quality floral shops in the area to offer you the option of purchasing flowers for loved ones directly through our website. These products are offered to you at no additional mark up and we will stand behind them 100% because of our relationship with the local florists (we DO NOT use 1-800-Flowers or similar companies, but that is a post for another time!).
In the coming months, we look forward to interacting with you – whether you live in East Brunswick, Monroe, Spotswood, Old Bridge, South Brunswick, Florida, Paris, or anywhere else– through this convenient medium. We will keep you posted on our activity, community events, new offerings and more, and we encourage you to interact with us. We will certainly share our opinions on things, and if you have any questions that may pertain to what we do, we will do our best to answer them right here for all to see – it is an open Q & A for everyone!
We’re excited to launch our Brunswick Memorial Home blog!
We’ll be using our blog to post important news, announcements and community events around Brunswick, Old Bridge, Monroe Township, New Jersey and the surrounding areas. We’ll also be publishing educational content relating to funeral and cremation services.
Please bookmark this page and check back for all the latest!
- The funeral home is lovely with all the butterflies and song birds. Your staff was exceptional!...[More]
~ Deborah Sherwen
- Thank you for all your patience and guidance during such a difficult time. You and your staff were very professional. We couldn\\\'t have asked for more....[More]
~ The Mourounas Family
- Thank you for the compassion you showed when meeting with our family, explaining our options, and working with us on all the details......[More]
~ The Sherwen Family
- We would like to congratulate you and your staff on receiving the 2013 National Funeral Directors Association Pursuit of Excellence Award. Well Deserved! Words can\'t express how fond we are of you...[More]
~ The Losinski Family
- We cannot thank you enough for the wonderful care & understanding you gave our family. Thank you!...[More]
~ The Bortono Family
- How could I forget little Bogan? What an adorable pup. He does exactly what he\'s supposed to, doesn\'t he? He lifted our spirits each and every time we saw him, if only for a bit, he made us...[More]
~ The DeSanto Family
- Just a note to express our thanks to you and your staff for allowing (his) funeral services to be so overwhelmingly unforgettable. (He) would have been so proud......[More]
~ The Keaveny Family
- I must say that I love the serene thoughtful setting. The birds were a welcome and enjoyable touch......[More]
- Thank you and your staff for your outstanding service and preparation of my mother. She looked beautiful. I would recommend your establishment to anyone in need of your service....[More]
- I want to thank you and your staff for all the attention you gave to every detail of my mom's funeral. It was naturally a difficult time for all of us, but you certainly contributed to easing our...[More]
- I just wanted to let you know that I was very satisfied with everything that was done for my mother\\\'s funeral, starting from the pre-arrangements to the burial. Your entire staff was very helpful...[More]
- Thank you for all the wonderful services we received for my husband....I'm sure he was smiling and well-pleased also....[More]
- I can\'t begin to express to all of you my heartfelt thanks for your kindness and professionalism toward my family and myself during the recent loss of my aunt....anyone on your staff I came in...[More]
- Your services were done with dignity and distinction....[More]
- Thank you for the special care at our funeral services for our father. Everything was first class and we appreciate all the details you attended to....[More]
- Thank you for your thoughtfulness and guidance during a difficult time....your staff was professional in every manner. The Brunswick Memorial Home has always treated our family with dignity, respect...[More]
- I want to thank you and your staff for their professional and caring work in overseeing the details of my husband's passing. From the moment I contacted you on the night he died until the time you...[More]
- Thank you again for everything you did for our family. I could not have done it without your help and caring. All of you are very special to me....[More]
- Our family would like to thank you for your services, compassion and sympathy. The beautiful CD will be a lasting memorial of my husband and their father....[More]