January 2020

Page A8 JANUARY 2020 FUNERAL HOME & CEMETERY NEWS S ec t i on A The opportunity to choose a Keepsake Pendant presents itself only once. The comfort a Keepsake Pendant offers, lasts a lifetime. Antique Filigree Pewter Heart Antique Pewter Rose w/ Pearl Sterling Silver Feather Antique Filigree Pewter Cross TM www.madelynpedants.com e-mail orders@madelynco.com 800-788-0807 Fax 608-752-3683 call about monthly specials or visit ourwebsite Sterling Silver Flat Hummingbird w/ Flower New Additions Known for qualitymaterials and craftsmanship, MadelynCo. Keepsake Pendants are hand-made using jewelry-grademetals. Sterling Silver FishHook March '19:Layout 1 4/9/19 11:50 AM Page 1 Karansky and Bussen announce the launch of Farewelling Digital Platform By Kristan Dean Let’s Chat In 2000 Kristan Dean began working with her family to bring Merry Christmas From Heaven ® to all who need the gifts’ mes- sage of Comfort, Love, and Faith. Today she is the Vice President of Marketing and one of the primary members of her family’s Bereavement Ministry.   Thanks, in great part, to the thousands of funeral directors and retailers nationwide who make Merry Christmas From Heaven ® a part of their communities, countless numbers of families reach out to their family every year. Their bereavement ministry helps families realize that those in Heaven live forever in our hearts. Their love is with us always.    Prior to Mooney TunCo, Inc. Kristan worked with companies nation- wide helping them build revenues by creating greater sales opportuni- ties through the use of sales intelligence and marketing alignment. www.nomispublications.com Funeral Home & Cemetery News Contributors share insights and exchange ideas. B logs Happy New Year! Are you entering 2020 with new eyes in expectation of a yay of a new year? I hope so! Expecting the best may be the great- est gift that we can give to ourselves and others. Why? My first thought, the more we look for the positive the more we will find it. Does this mean that we ignore that there might – ok, will – be challenges or that things may not go our way? Yes! Are you shaking your head and wondering if I’ve lost it? There is no way 2020 is going to be all rainbows and roses. Ok, I’ll join you. Let’s get real. Will we face challenges? Yes. Days that we want to go back to bed? Yes. Times that we may want to give anything for things to be different? Yes. There may be circumstances and outcomes that bring us to our knees. All of that is true and I invite us all, me too, to take a breath, find that quiet peace within, and exhale. Then ask yourself, is it possible for 2020 to be all rainbows and roses? And let your answer be yes . It is possible. The most important time to remem- ber this is when we feel despair. The question is, how do we do that? Do we discount the reality of the situation, ignore it, or put our head in the sand and pretend that everything is great when it is anything but? No. If we do that we are lying to ourselves and we risk making things worse. Does knowing 2020 will be all rainbows and ros- es mean that there will be no thorns and no rain? No. It means that there will be. So we will prom- ise ourselves, right now, to remember that we ex- pect – scratch that, we know – there is hope and we will find it. Will we do this every time? I can- not answer for you, though I suspect you would say no. It is the answer that comes to my mind too. Then I remember that hope does not come from my mind. My mind is my “what if ” generator. What if this happens or that, then what? Sure, I can think of positive outcomes when my emo- tions are on my side. What happens when they’re not? When I’m afraid, angry, unsure, anxious, unhappy, miserable…you get the picture. Am I thinking rainbows and roses then? No. Does that help? No. If I let myself go down that rabbit hole then I will be even worse off than if I just pretend everything is great. Lying to myself this way gen- erates scenarios that may cripple me into thinking that there is nothing I can do, that it is hopeless. Will I fall into that hole? Probably. Does this mean that I will forget that this year can be all roses and rainbows? No. It means that I may wal- low in the thorns and the rain before I remember to take a breath – probably two – exhale, and find the peace that is inside of me. But I will remember. Will you forget? I hope not. But please try to be grateful when you remember, because that is the peace inside of you saying, “I am here, come find me, there are rainbows and roses, I promise, you’ll see.” Cheers to 2020 and all it will bring. May it be one that expands our hearts and lives with grati- tude, love, and joy. With prayers for it to be all that we hope and dream it will be. Happy New Year! Karen Bussen (left) and Elizabeth Meyer Karansky The duo breathing new life into the industry of death are women who don’t appear to fit the mold. Looking more fashionista than funeral industry fig- urehead, NYC-based Bussen and Karansky both fell into the business of death by happenstance. The un- timely death of Karansky’s father led her to recognize her flair for helping others cope with grief and provid- ing unique send-offs. She pursued her passion work- ing at an elite Manhattan funeral home, which she detailed in her memoir Good Mourning. Similarly, en- tertaining guru and author Bussen began to explore the category when her sister received a cancer diagno- sis, forcing her to confront the possibility of death. Together they recognized that there was no central resource for fresh ideas and guidance to help people at all stages and ages plan for their final wishes or de- cide the best path for their loved ones. Parlaying their experience, they partnered to create the platform they each wish they’d had during their respective journeys. “As a generally happy person who celebrates life dai- ly as a wedding planner, I was hesitant to pivot from love to death,” said Bussen. “But the more I pursued it, I realized there were many similarities between these life events and a real opportunity to help oth- ers navigate this important yet often overlooked way- point on our path as individuals. I hope to shift the paradigm of the end-of-life experience to help people not only honor their loved ones who have died, but to embrace life while they’re living.” Karansky hopes to change the conversation, “remov- ing the stigma around speaking about and planning for death will hopefully reinforce that taking control of end-of-life decisions can be empowering and even comforting. Our goal is to connect people with the tools they need to become educated consumers so they NEW YORK,NY— Farewelling (www .myfarewelling. com) , a comprehensive digital platform that connects people with inspiring content, tools and resourc- es around a typically taboo topic: death and dying launched November 19, 2019. Spearheaded by en- tertaining expert Karen Bussen and funeral director Elizabeth Meyer Karansky, the category-creating brand is set to transform the end-of-life experi- ence into “farewelling,” a new way to think about, talk about and plan for one of life’s most person- al journeys. The Farewelling plat- form offers free assis- tance for those current- ly planning a funeral or end-of-life celebration, as well as those who want to make future plans for themselves or a loved one. The site will include planning articles and blog  content offering ad- vice and inspiration, per- sonalized checklists and detailed provider listings, making it easy to plan a unique farewelling. A highlight of Farewelling Tell Them You Saw Their Ad FUNERAL HOME & CEMETERY NEWS is a thought-provoking podcast featuring interviews with industry experts, regular people and notable fig- ures – such as humorist and correspondent Mo Roc- ca, who’s just released his book “Mobituaries” based on his podcast of the same name – and unique con- tent such as interviewees’ preferred playlists  and final fashion selections for their own funerals. The brand will also offer fee-based Farewelling Bespoke Services, enabling people to enlist the co-founders to produce a one-of-a-kind “farewelling.” Continued on Page A12