January 2023

Page A10 January 2023 FUNERAL HOME & CEMETERY NEWS Se c t i on A www.kinkaraco.com (415) 874-9698 YOUWOULDN’TUSEOUR LEAK-RESISTANT CREMATION TRAY AS A TOBOGGAN, BUT YOUCOULD. We test ours in the labsoyou don’t have to test it in the real world. 1-800-992-1925 | CustomAirTrays.com © Custom Air Trays **Non-professional stuntman. Please try this on ski slopes. asking is such a kind woman that I instantly knew the answer had to be a definitive no. After our conversation, I wondered if I had done something to offend our friend. I hadn’t even considered that I might be the cause of our friend’s disappearance from our group, so I immediately tried to contact her. Unfortunately, she did not return my calls. I followed my efforts up with a drive to her office. Her door was locked, and her secretary came out to tell me that she was not available. Oh wow, I felt terrible. At this point, I was reasonably confident that I had indeed hurt my friend’s feelings. I tried to remember the last time I had been with her and what I had said and done. I couldn’t think of a thing, but that’s not unusual for me. I live a highly stressful lifestyle, so social details often slip past me. I have few friends. With my lifestyle, I wonder that I have friends at all. I wonder how they tolerate me, how they confide in me, and how they continue, year after year, to overlook my friendship skills deficiency. Those friends that I do have, I love, and I feel terrible when I forget important dates or events. Fortunately, my friends forgive me. They overlook my discrepancies because they know me and my stress level. They love me and accept me as I am. Those, my dear readers, are the marks of great friends. I have often vowed to invest myself in developing better friendship skills. Still, somehow my life’s priorities infringe on that goal. My work overrides most social activities, and I can’t wait to call or visit my children or grandchildren when I have a spare moment. Birthdays and anniversaries almost always slip past me; nevertheless, I love my friends and am grateful for their tolerance and kindness. At long last, I was able to contact my missing friend. Our conversation made me feel terrible about myself. She assured me that I had done nothing to offend her but that she was suffering from the recent loss of her nephew’s life. I was her family’s funeral director; I should have known this. However, she is so high functioning that I wasn’t worried about her. She is an elected executive officeholder, organizes and provides services for others, owns her own business, and sees to the safety and comfort of her constituents. She is so capable that to see her falter (especially under such excruciating pain) breaks my heart. It also calls me out as a friendship failure. Upon the death of her loved one, I asked her how she was doing. She assured me that she was okay. Therefore, I focused my worry on her brother, the father of her nephew. Sadly, he suffered extreme health concerns within a week of losing his son. I saw it coming when he was at my funeral home making arrangements. I should have, however, kept my eyes on his sister (my dear friend) too. Moreover, my friend is a singing evangelist. Her voice is that of an angel. With those credentials, I figured she was good to go. That was my mistake. That was stupid of me. I saw my friend today. We were at the wedding of another friend. Her angelic tones accompanied the beautiful bride as she entered the holy bonds of matrimony with her groom. After the vows were witnessed and recorded, I lingered to find my friend for a chat. I wanted her to know how deeply I have missed her and how honored I am to have her in my life. Her life has been heavily laden with grief, yet she has nurtured herself back to a place where she can bear those painful darts with grace and thanksgiving. She is a healer and has sought healing from a higher power. In her wisdom, she has found her strength through grace. I love her, and I am so thankful for her. Please be mindful and reach out to those suffering grief. I hope I can be a better friend, and with the assistance of my wonderful friends, I think I might make it there. It is my life’s work to comfort the bereaved and help them live on. Tracy Renee Lee is a Certified Grief Counselor (GC-C), Funeral Director (FDIC), published author, syndicated columnist, Podcaster, and founder of the “Mikey Joe Children’s Memorial” and Heaven Sent, Corp. Tracy writes books, weekly bereavement articles, Podcasts, and Grief BRIEFs related to understanding and coping with grief. She is an American Funeral Director of the Year Runner-Up and recipient of the BBB’s Integrity Award. For additional encouragement, please visit her podcast “Deadline” at https://open.spotify.com/show/7MHPy4ctu9OLvdp2JzQsAA or at https://anchor.fm/tracy874 and follow her on Instagram at “Deadline_TracyLee”. Friends By Tracy Renee Lee Tracy Renee Lee I was at an event when a friend of mine asked me if I thought she had done something to offend another of our friends. The friend Like @Nomis.Publications Like us on