October 2019

Page A4 OCTOBER 2019 FUNERAL HOME & CEMETERY NEWS S ec t i on A By Nancy Weil A Little Laughter Goes A Long Way To the public, this is not an industry known for its sense of humor, yet humor is an essential coping tool for both the funeral professional and your clients. By using humor and laughter at an appropriate time in an appropriate manner, you can improve your day, reduce your stress and build a better business. Funerals bring out the best and the worst in people. Many families will turn to stories of their loved one when sharing memories with family and friends at the wake or funeral service. So often the moments they choose are filled with humor and joy. They naturally turn to humor because it feels good at a time when their pain is so deep that all they seek is some relief from feeling bad. Professionals can use these same tools to lighten the load. Those of us in the industry know that death care providers are, by and large, a funny group of people. When faced with tragedy, it is healthy to turn to com- edy to balance the heaviness of the situation. That is not to say that it is suitable to use in front of the family, instead follow their lead. If they choose to joke, then gauge your response to fit their mood. By allowing your clients to express their emotions without judging them, you can begin to build a trusting, caring rela- tionship. This is key to customer satisfaction. Random Musings Most of the time the jokes and laughter begin after the family has left. You make a small joke or read something funny that was sent to your e-mail. You share a social laugh with a co-worker. Any- thing to break the tension and help you separate from the grief en- ergy you were just in. As long as the jokes don’t cross the line into bad taste, you can build camaraderie and increase communication with co-workers through the use of humor. Remember the three rules of humor: 1. Humor is subjective – what you find funny and what some- one else finds funny will be different. 2. Don’t joke about anything that cannot be changed in the next five minutes.Weight, race, gender, religion and other personal attributes are off limits. 3. Humor is cultural and does not translate well. When work- ing with clients who have English as their second language, a perfectly harmless joke may be misinterpreted, so be cautious. Once you have adopted the three rules, you can begin to put hu- mor to use to improve your life. Build a joy basket at work. Fill it with small toys that you can play with when you need to unwind. Create a file with funny stories or jokes that you can read when the tension builds. Begin a humor plan of action and plan to put hu- mor into your day. DVR or put on your watch list a funny show to watch when you get home fromwork. Put toys in your desk draw- er as an invitation to lighten up and laugh. Watch funny movies, read funny books, go to a comedy club. Most of all, just laugh. You do not need a stimulus in order to laugh. It is a sound that you can make at any time for any reason or for no reason at all. Your body will react to a giggle, a guffaw or even a smile. Tough economic times and serious business chal- lenges demand a strong response. Don’t go into the useless cycle of worry and anxiety, choose joy and laughter instead. Your business, your co-workers and your clients will all be better served when you put on a happy face. If you’re attending the NFDA convention in Chicago be sure to stop by the OGR booth 1533 to say Hi! www.nomispublications.com Funeral Home & Cemetery News Contributors share insights and exchange ideas. B logs Serving as Member Resources Director at the International Order of the Golden Rule, Nancy Weil brings her years of ex- perience working in the funeral industry to funeral directors across the globe. Her professional experience includes serving as Director of Grief Support and Community Outreach at Vet- erans Funeral Care in Clearwater, FL and at eleven cemeteries in Western New York. Nancy travels throughout the country offering presentations on how to reduce stress, combat compassion fatigue and offer support for those who are grieving through her company, The Laugh Academy. With certifications as a Grief Services Provider and Grief Man- agement Specialist, Funeral Celebrant, Soul Injury Ambassador and Laughter Leader, Nancy is uniquely qualified to bring new perspectives into how to best meet the needs of the families you serve. For more information on how Nancy can help you and your company grow, visit her website: www.TheLaughAcademy.com or e-mail Nancy@TheLaughAcademy.com. B o o t h 1 5 3 3 and looking for like-minded thinkers to create independent co-ops and profit. • Cell: 330-571-6037• Email :mep.oldeeight@gmail.com Catch me in Chicago at the NFDA convention. I’M BACK ... ! A ! MARK PENNINGTON . WHY SHOULD YOU CARE? I have 45 years of industry leadership, owning and operating – very successfully – one of the largest funeral supply companies. I have a wealth of contacts, here and overseas. And, I’m starting something NEW! I’m prepared to: • establish best price discounts when purchasing. • set up overseas contacts and sources. • facilitate the development of multi funeral home cooperatives to cut merchandise costs. • promote ease of direct importation of goods. • act as a sounding board consultant to help create and implement strategies for greater success. Retirement didn’t work for me, this industry is my life’s blood. I can’t turn off my mind when I see opportunities to improve the lives and bottom lines of my clients. Sound worthwhile? Give me a call and we’ll talk. Project3-mp_Layout 1 9/12/19 7:05 PM Page 1 Witness to the El Paso Strong Weekend By Gail Rubin Floral arrangements are loaded into 22 hearses to go to the memorial at Walmart. Flag guard at La Paz Faith Center during the visitation for Margie Reckard. Gail Rubin speaks at La Paz Faith Center surrounded by 1,000 flower arrangements. “I am so grateful I was there to help El Paso in their time of need. When this city, which is considered one of the safest cities in the United States, experiences a tragedy of this magnitude, it is going to be a long healing process. I hope my words brought some comfort and helped people through the grieving process.” The mass shooting that took place in El Paso August 3, 2019 resulted in a most unique outpouring of pub- lic grief two weeks later. I am honored to have witnessed and participated in this re- markable series of events. Salvador (Sal) Perches is CEO of Perches Funer- al Homes in El Paso, TX, Juarez, Mexico and Las Cru- ces, NM. He also started the El Paso Funeral Museum at one of his funeral home locations on the west side of town. Once a month, he holds a community outreach and education event at the museum/funeral home. Months earlier, we had agreed to bring a one-day Be- fore I Die event there on Au- gust 17. But the mass shoot- ing at a WalMart that killed 22 people changed our plans. We still went ahead with the Before I Die seminar, but we changed some of the presen- tations and included a session on “Lessons on Grief and Mourning in Cartoons.” Rise Again El Paso Sal also asked if I could pro- vide an uplifting message to the hurting community at a special event on Friday, Au- gust 16. After thinking about it overnight, the answer came. Continued on Page A26 S E N D U S Y O U R N E W S ! PO Box 5159, Youngstown, OH 44514 1-800-321-7479 info@nomispublications.com