August 2022

Page A8 August 2022 FUNERAL HOME & CEMETERY NEWS Se c t i on A The Hallmark of Life & Death $97.95 plus tax 919-638-9177 “In His Care” US Patent No: USD714.0145 China Patent No: Z102012300305438.2 European Com. No: 00208.59 By Linda Findlay Aftercare I want to share a series of conversations that I have had with a newly bereaved widow. I will share the story with no information that would identify the person. I think it is important to share an example of how I meet people where they are. I called a newly bereaved spouse one month after her husband’s passing. She talked to me about how hard it was to be in the house that her husband had designed and built many years prior. Everything she looked at was “him”. The windows, the woodwork, every detail. She had a table in the foyer were there were many pictures placed of him, and him and her together and their family. Every time she went by that table she stopped and found comfort in looking at the pictures. The next time I called was about three months after her husband’s death. She continued to talk about the details about the house and how everything was “him”. She said that the table in the foyer had been a source of sadness for her. Every time she passed by the table, she cried. She asked me what she should do with the pictures? I in turn I asked her what she thought she needed to do about the pictures. She said she wanted to take them down. I told her that I felt that she needed to do what felt right to her. I told her that if she decided to take the pictures down, it was her space and she had the right to fill her space to help accommodate her needs. On my next call, she told me she had taken the pictures down and she felt so much better about not seeing them. She talked about other challenges she was having and how she was navigating them. On the next call, I asked her how things were going for her. The first thing she said was, I put the pictures back up. I asked how she felt about that. She said she realized she needed the pictures there, as they had always been. The pictures not being there, made the table feel empty and it made her sad. I told her that taking the pictures down, was not a dishonor to her husband. Sometimes we do what we need to do to get through our days. None of our decisions are a measure of the love we have for those we have lost. When I said this to her, she said, “oh my goodness, I felt that I was dishonoring my husband when I took the pictures down.” She shared that she felt embarrassed to share her thoughts with anyone else! In the long run, our needs are best met by doing what is best for us at the time. Her experience with the pictures first provided comfort, they then invoked sadness, she took them down and then she put them back-all over the course of several months following the loss of her spouse. What was my role in all of this? Giving her the space and the time to share what she was experiencing. I gave her an opportunity “talk it out”. I met her where she was during each phone call. I did not tell her what to do with the pictures in her foyer. She made all of her own decision during those months. I gave her my understanding and willingness to listen-I met her where she was. This is just one small example of meeting people where they are. Grief lasts so much longer than anyone can imagine. Grief is felt emotionally, physically and spiritually. The experiences of a person’s grief can be felt in different depths and intensity and for varying lengths of time! That’s what is called “Grief Work.” It’s not so much the amount of time that goes by, it is very much about what the bereaved do with their time. Aftercare gives us the valuable opportunity to give people what they really need-meeting them where they are long past the funeral. I have been asked many times, what is it that I do for families as an Aftercare Coordinator. The answer to that question is simple – I meet people where they are. What does that mean? When I check in with families after their loss, the first question I ask is, “How is it going for you today?” I know that the answer to that question depends very much on when I ask. Often times, I call families on a day that they say they really needed to talk. It is amazing how often I am told that. I believe that there is no coincidence when this happens. I was meant to call when I called and the conversation I was to have, was meant to be had! This is why not only do I believe that I meet people where they are, I also meet them where they are when they need it most. There is a higher power always at play, in my opinion. How do I meet people where they are? I meet people where they are through the topics that they choose to talk to me about. All the conversations I have, have nothing to do with any set time frame. Any topic can come up one month after the loss or one year after the loss. The same topic can come up down the road and the experience of that topic may be different than the first time they shared with me. Just like there are no set stages of grief, the experience of grief is different at different times. There are a lot of reasons for this, too many to go into here. There are many topics that people want to share about. Some most frequent topics include: • Individual belief in a higher power-where are their loved ones after death? • What should have or could have been done differently? • Questions of why did this happen? • How am I going to take care of everything myself? • What do I do about major decisions I may have to make? • How long will I feel this way? • Why don’t people understand – where is everyone who offered help? Linda Findlay is the founder of Mourning Discoveries, Grief Support Services. She is a 29-year career Aftercare Coordinator, a published author, and an advocate for bereaved families. She is the founder and co-creator of The Grief Cruises and managing partner with The International Grief Institute. Linda can be reached at 315-725-6132 or Visit, or F U N E R A L H O M E & C E M E T E R Y N E W S w w w . N o m i s P u b l i c a t i o n s . c o m Monthly Columnsonline at Meeting People Where They Are PLC Enters Virginia and Further Expands its Footprint in the Southeast National Mortuary Shipping and Cremation Announces the Retirement of Suzanne Thomas Suzanne Thomas CLEVELAND,OH— After providing over 20 years of dedicated service, Suzanne Thomas from National Mortuary Shipping and Cremation announced her retirement. When asked what she will miss most, Sue stated “I will miss my co-workers dearly as well as our customers and vendors. I enjoyed learning all aspects of the funeral industry and there is something new to take with you every day.” Sue plans on focusing on herself during this newly found free time as well as hitting the casino! When asked what advice she would give to a first time NMS employee, she stated “I would say, give yourself time and space, this industry is a lot to learn but NMS will walk with you every step of the way. You take care of them; they will take care of you.” Angela Berwald of NMS states, “Sue will be missed, and we can’t thank her enough for her years of dedication and loyalty. Her expertise in both domestic and international shipping has helped many funeral directors around the globe and we are grateful she has shared her knowledge with everyone on our team.” TORONTO,ONTARIO— Park Lawn Corporation (TSX: PLC, PLC.U) is pleased to announce that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire substantially all of the assets of Farris Funeral Service, Inc. and Affiliated Service Group, Inc., a group of businesses consisting of one stand-alone funeral home and one on-site funeral home and cemetery located in Abingdon, VA. “We are excited to continue our strategic growth in the southeast by entering into the Virginia market with the Farris businesses,” said J. Bradley Green, Chief Executive Officer of PLC. Mr. Green continued, “Not only is Farris proximately located to our existing Tennessee and North Carolina businesses, but it is a premier business with a storied history of over 70 years of dedicated and compassionate service to its community. We are honored and look forward to having the Farris family and their team join PLC.” The addition of one stand-alone funeral home and one on-site funeral home and cemetery represents 358 calls per year and 224 interments. Second Quarter Dividend Announced PLC also announced that the quarterly dividend of $0.114 per share will be payable on July 15, 2022 to shareholders of record as at June 30, 2022. PLC provides goods and services associated with the disposition and memorialization of human remains. PLC and its subsidiaries own and operate businesses including cemeteries, crematoria, funeral homes, chapels, planning offices and a transfer service. PLC operates in three Canadian provinces and sixteen US states. Send Us Your News! We welcome news of the industry. PO Box 5159, Youngstown, OH 44514 CALL 1-800-321-7479 FUNERAL HOME & CEMETERY NEWS Scan QR for our website 1-888-792-9315 • Mortuary Coolers starting at $5,899