Grand Rapids:

The Four Best Books On Loss and Grief


At Gerst, we are committed to providing families with resources that they might need to both plan a funeral and also cope with their grief. Our Recommended Reading List focuses on assisting our community through all types of grief and helps each individual better understand loss and who they are as they grow alongside grief. […]

Three Reasons Why Having The “Lifetime” Talk Is Important

lifetime talk

Have you ever heard or witnessed a family member arguing about their loved one’s final wishes? Or perhaps they wished they had clarification on the best way to create a memorial their family member would have wanted? This situation is common and preventable! Preplanning services and resources exist to help families openly discuss each other’s […]

Four Virtual Memorial Options to Honor Your Loved One

virtual memorial options

As technology has evolved over the years and more of the world has gone digital, funeral care providers have expanded their offerings. There are now many virtual memorial options, from live streaming services to continued community grief support through social media and monthly eNewsletters. Technology allows funerals to more authentically capture the spirit of those […]

Five Ways to Honor Loved Ones During the Holiday Season

honor loved ones

For anyone navigating grief during the holidays, the constant Black Friday commercials, holiday music in stores and on the radio, and decorations galore can be challenging. If your loss is recent, it’s entirely understandable to instinctively withdraw from social gatherings and family events as a natural coping response. This response is a normal and valid […]

Five Ways to Support Loved Ones In Hospice


Did you know that hospice care didn’t receive official recognition until 1978? President Carter designated November as National Hospice & Palliative Care Month to honor caregivers offering end-of-life services. This acknowledgment has led to a growing number of individuals seeking hospice care for comfort and compassionate support during their final days. Today, millions of Americans […]

Five Tips to Help Loved Ones Cope After a Sudden Loss

sudden loss

TW for mentions of suicide in this article.  While death is an inevitable part of life, sudden loss is not. Sudden loss due to suicide, accidents, unknown illnesses, miscarriages, or unnatural causes can be extremely painful and difficult to process. It is often accompanied by complex and prolonged periods of grief. Why? Because sudden loss […]

Seven Tips for Writing an Obituary


An obituary is an article that reports on the death of a person along with a beautiful account of their life and personal information such as family, work, and life accomplishments. When a loved one dies, an obituary is likely one of the last items on your mind. Writing an obituary, however, can be a […]

Meditation and Mindfulness are Helpful Tools For Managing Grief

Image of a woman meditating outside

Meditation can be a great tool to work through and alleviate feelings of grief. As a practice rooted in intentionality and mind-body connection, meditation helps individuals break thought spirals, calm anxiety, and better process emotions. In this blog, we will cover how mindfulness and meditation are connected, the benefits of meditation during grief, and the […]

Six Instagram Accounts to Help You During Your Grief Journey

Grief-Centered Instagram Accounts

An individual’s experience with grief is often complex and, at times, can feel extremely isolating. As those who were less impacted move back into routine and normalcy, it is common for those grieving to feel helpless and stuck in their emotions. Sometimes, the only way to better understand grief and find a way forward is […]

Seven Benefits of Preplanning Services

funeral preplanning benefits

A lot goes into planning a funeral, from selecting a florist to finding the right final resting place. Making those arrangements beforehand gives you time to consider all of your options and ensure you’re covering all the necessary details.  While facing the unknown can be scary, there is comfort in knowing your family will be […]