November 2023

Page A20 november 2023 FUNERAL HOME & CEMETERY NEWS Section A I made sure to note the date I came to ICCFA University because I know I will be using it in the future as the day that changed my life. -Tony Armogida, Global Atlantic Financial Group “ ” Every year, the ICCFA University changes the lives of students all across the deathcare profession. Last year, the ICCFA Educational Foundation provided financial support for over 100 students by covering the registration cost of the ICCFAU. Apply for a scholarship today and you can attend ICCFA University this summer for no registration cost. Don’t miss out on this premier education event featuring the leaders of the deathcare profession and five full days of learning. Visit iccfa. education to learn more! love for love again, and to feel that life is worth living again. Good luck my fellow widowers as you work to find your own path to healing. I Don’t Want to Heal! Are you floating in a sea of grief with only a life vest of memories keeping you afloat? If you are not careful, that life vest can become a heavy weight of anger, regrets, and fear that drags you down into depression. Grief during the early stages can be both physically and mentally painful to the point that you are desperate for it to end. But you might eventually find yourself welcoming grief as a way to be close to and honor your wife. How many of us have said, “I will never leave her, forget her, or stop grieving for her.” At this point, you may actively avoid healing. Why? Because you fear that losing touch with your grief is the same as losing contact with your wife! Sometimes when we are in pain, we become so used to it that we prefer the pain we know over the unknown that lies before us. This unknown, a life without her, a life that is different in so many respects, may scare us after years of contentment and knowing exactly what to expect. You completed each other’s sentences and knew each other’s habits, schedules, emotional states, and more. You could count on each other for support when things went unexpectedly. Now, you have no one to do that for or with you. The black void that lies before you is scary! And when we are fearful, we tend to hold on to what we know… even if it is bad for us. At this point, you may bury yourself in meaningless chores, hide in your home, drink too much or take drugs, or do just about anyBy Fred Colby Share This With Widowers Fred Colby has served as a director, board member and consultant for nonprofit organizations in California and Colorado. After his wife, Theresa, died in 2015 Fred shifted his focus to writing and leadership roles to help his fellow widowers heal and re-engage with life. He co-founded the Pathways Hospice Men’s Grief Group and an online grief group. He resides in Ft. Collins, Colorado. For more information go to: Fred Colby’s new 2nd edition blends his own story with research, observations, and experiences during the first year of grieving the loss of his wife, plus what he learned after his first edition was printed. The book is in part a result of his frustration with the lack of other in-depth or quality materials available to help fellow widowers. His search for anWidower to Widower Surviving the End of Your Most Important Relationship New Second Edition To see what others are saying about Widower to Widower go to Special Offer — 5 Books for $59.99 www. Fr e dCo l by . com swers took him to group meetings, individual counseling sessions, writings by fellow widowers, and discussions resulting from happenstance meetings with fellow travelers on the grief journey. thing to avoid confronting the challenge which is before you… that is to reinvent yourself and learn how to live again as a single widowed male. The first step towards healing is to admit that you are afraid, and then reach out for help from others including grief counselors, family, friends, and those who care about you. Go ahead and tell your (and your wife’s) story to anyone who will listen, honor her by being the man she helped you to become and give gratitude every day for her having been in your life. We all need to find ways to help others as our wives would have wanted us to do. Every time you help others you begin to feel like you have purpose again, a purpose that gives meaning to your life and why you are still here. Don’t become the caricature of the “angry old man” so aptly illustrated on screen by Tom Hanks in A Man Called Otto. It is not like a football game that can be won with a single hail-Mary pass. It is more like a marathon where you must stick with it and endure the pain and exhaustion. It takes consistency and persistence to break out of the grieving into a healthier healing journey. I can tell you from my own experience, and that of hundreds of widowers who have told me of their own journey, that it is worth the effort. It will still hurt, and there will still be moments when you cry and want to be left alone. But you will gradually find yourself being able to laugh again, to return Continued from Page A16 Funeral Service Foundation Hosted by Lisa Baue, the Foundation’s immediate past chair, more than 20 major donors were recognized including Funeral Directors Life, Pinnacle Funeral Service, Tribute Technology, the Memorial Classic Golf Tournament, Park Lawn Corporation, Service Corporation International, and Foundation board chair Mark Krause, who all supported the Foundation this past year with gifts and pledges of $100,000 or more. Victoriaville & Co also pledged support of $50,000 this year. The evening culminated with the Foundation’s presentation of its Distinguished Service Award, given posthumously this year to Todd Van Beck, who served as a funeral director, a member of the Foundation’s board of trustees and program director at Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science. Former Foundation chair Allan Cole led the audience in a reading of Todd’s favorite poem, “The Undertaker,” followed by heartfelt memories shared by Todd’s son, Thomas Van Beck. The Foundation extends it thanks to Tukios and The Messenger Co in helping to memorialize Todd during the evening. Former Foundation chair Bob Arrington then hosted the Foundation’s paddle raise for the Todd Van Beck Memorial Scholarship Fund with pledges and payment Continued on page A21 SEND US YOUR NEWS! FUNERAL HOME & CEMETERY NEWS