Wednesday, February 3, 2016

DEALING WITH BURNOUT

     Sometimes when family members take care of a dying person day in and day out, they experience a kind of burnout.  This is something that the dying person's family must watch for carefully.  Relatives and friends can work with a dying person for only so long before reaching the limits of their endurance.  Just as the body becomes fatiqued, so the spirit can be overexposed to the strain, worry, and anguish that nursing care demands.
     In order to minimize the chances of this happening, people doing the care giving must learn to pace themselves and to gauge their limits.  If, after long periods of taking care of a sick person, they observe a tendency toward increasing irritation, or chronic fatigue, or depression, it means that a pause is in order - a day off, a quick vacation to clear the head, a change of scenery.  It doesn't mean you care less, only that you want to care for the person in the best way possible.

Friday, December 18, 2015

ALL FUNERALS UNIQUE

     Every funeral is different.  Contrary to what you might imagine, funerals are not created with a cookie-cutter.  There are many choices to be made and many ways to orchestrate the events following a death.
     Ideally, the funeral is a collaboration between the funeral director and the survivors.  If the director does not involve the bereaved in the funeral planning, he is doing himself and them a great disservice.  People do not seek alternatives to things that are personally meaningful.  They do not complain about services they help create.  That is why it is so important for every funeral director to create a structure that allows him maximum flexibility in meeting the needs of the clients he serves.
     This kind of collaboration may take a little more of the funeral director's time, but it is worth it in the satisfaction of having helped create a unique and meaningful event.

Friday, October 16, 2015

WHY PRETEND?

     It should be plainly stated that there is nothing morbid or unethical about advance planning for a death of a loved one.  Some people might feel that researching local funeral homes before the person has died or drawing up lists of that needs to be done after death is ghoulish, or that it indicates an eagerness on the part of the heirs for the loved one to die sooner.
     Surely this is nonsense.  If a person is clearly dying, why pretend otherwise?  When death comes, the experience will be a difficult one, perhaps the most difficult ever encountered.  Why not cushion the shock by arming oneself ahead of time with the relevant contacts, the pertinent information, the knowledge of appropriate procedure, so that there will be less to stress and confound one during a time of truly emotional trial?  Although the effort to preplan may be difficult now, the benefits of such actions will later be heart-wrenching apparent.

Friday, October 9, 2015

WHEN HOME BECOMES LONELY

     You've paid your last respects to the deceased and offered your sympathy to the survivors.  In short, you have done what friendship and tradition dictate.  But is that enough?
     It is important to remember that the grief and loneliness of the widow, widower or the family will go on after the period of the visitation and funeral.  Suddenly, a home becomes more lonely and desolate.  This is also a good time foor you to show extra care and concern.  This can be done with a personal visit and perhaps an invitation to a social event.
     People who have had a death in the family usually need other people to help them return to the mainstream of life.  Relatives and close friends can be of inestimable help during the first few weeks and months following the funeral.  Even if the survivors are not ready to mix and mingle when you first call, don't take it personally and don't give up.  Keep in touch.  They will know when they aree ready to resume life.

Monday, September 28, 2015

WHAT IS PREARRANGEMENT?

      Prearrangement of funeral services means simply that service choices are made and merchandise chosen well in advance of need.  In order to make practical, sensible prearrangement choices,, facts about funeral services are necessary.  A reputable funeral director in your community can provide you with information concerning the choices available to you and laws which govern prearrangement in your state.
     it is wise to involve your family in prearrangement.  After all, they will be responsible for carrying out your wishes, and their involvement in the prearrangement process will assure them that certain provisions have been made.
     Prearrangement plans are part of a sound financial portfolio and can be transferred to another funeral home should you move from the area where your prearrangement was purchased.

Friday, May 22, 2015

ALWAYS GO TO THE FUNERAL

This is taken from an article that appeared in the Readers Digest and was written by  Deirdre Sullivan.


I believe in always going to the funeral. My father taught me that.
The first time he said it directly to me, I was 16 and trying to get out of going to calling hours for Miss Emerson, my old fifth-grade math teacher. I did not want to go. My father was unequivocal. “Dee,” he said, “you’re going. Always go to the funeral. Do it for the family.”
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So my dad waited outside while I went in. It was worse than I thought it would be: I was the only kid there. When the condolence line deposited me in front of Miss Emerson’s shell-shocked parents, I stammered out, “Sorry about all this,” and stalked away. But, for that deeply weird expression of sympathy delivered 20 years ago, Miss Emerson’s mother still remembers my name and always says hello with tearing eyes.
That was the first time I went un-chaperoned, but my parents had been taking us kids to funerals and calling hours as a matter of course for years. By the time I was 16, I had been to five or six funerals. I remember two things from the funeral circuit: bottomless dishes of free mints and my father saying on the ride home, “You can’t come in without going out, kids. Always go to the funeral.”
Sounds simple—when someone dies, get in your car and go to calling hours or the funeral. That, I can do. But I think a personal philosophy of going to funerals means more than that.
“Always go to the funeral” means that I have to do the right thing when I really, really don’t feel like it. I have to remind myself of it when I could make some small gesture, but I don’t really have to and I definitely don’t want to. I’m talking about those things that represent only inconvenience to me but the world to the other guy. You know, the painfully under-attended birthday party. The hospital visit during happy hour. The shivah call for one of my ex’s uncles. In my humdrum life, the daily battle hasn’t been good versus evil. It’s hardly so epic. Most days, my real battle is doing good versus doing nothing. In going to funerals, I’ve come to believe that while I wait to make a grand heroic gesture, I should just stick to the small inconveniences that let me share in life’s inevitable, occasional calamity.
One cold April night, my father died a quiet death from cancer. His funeral was on a Wednesday, middle of the workweek. I had been numb for days when, for some reason, during the funeral, I turned and looked back at the folks in the church. The memory of it still takes my breath away. The most human, powerful, and humbling thing I’ve ever seen was a church at 3:00 on a Wednesday full of inconvenienced people who believe in going to the funeral.

Friday, May 15, 2015

WHY YOU SHOULD ALWAYS GO to the FUNERAL

Why You Should Always Go to the Funeral

Sounds simple—when someone dies, get in your car and go to calling hours or the funeral. That, I can do. But I think a personal philosophy of going to funerals means more than that.


I believe in always going to the funeral. My father taught me that.
The first time he said it directly to me, I was 16 and trying to get out of going to calling hours for Miss Emerson, my old fifth-grade math teacher. I did not want to go. My father was unequivocal. “Dee,” he said, “you’re going. Always go to the funeral. Do it for the family.”
So my dad waited outside while I went in. It was worse than I thought it would be: I was the only kid there. When the condolence line deposited me in front of Miss Emerson’s shell-shocked parents, I stammered out, “Sorry about all this,” and stalked away. But, for that deeply weird expression of sympathy delivered 20 years ago, Miss Emerson’s mother still remembers my name and always says hello with tearing eyes.
That was the first time I went un-chaperoned, but my parents had been taking us kids to funerals and calling hours as a matter of course for years. By the time I was 16, I had been to five or six funerals. I remember two things from the funeral circuit: bottomless dishes of free mints and my father saying on the ride home, “You can’t come in without going out, kids. Always go to the funeral.”
Sounds simple—when someone dies, get in your car and go to calling hours or the funeral. That, I can do. But I think a personal philosophy of going to funerals means more than that.
“Always go to the funeral” means that I have to do the right thing when I really, really don’t feel like it. I have to remind myself of it when I could make some small gesture, but I don’t really have to and I definitely don’t want to. I’m talking about those things that represent only inconvenience to me but the world to the other guy. You know, the painfully under-attended birthday party. The hospital visit during happy hour. The shivah call for one of my ex’s uncles. In my humdrum life, the daily battle hasn’t been good versus evil. It’s hardly so epic. Most days, my real battle is doing good versus doing nothing. In going to funerals, I’ve come to believe that while I wait to make a grand heroic gesture, I should just stick to the small inconveniences that let me share in life’s inevitable, occasional calamity.
One cold April night, my father died a quiet death from cancer. His funeral was on a Wednesday, middle of the workweek. I had been numb for days when, for some reason, during the funeral, I turned and looked back at the folks in the church. The memory of it still takes my breath away. The most human, powerful, and humbling thing I’ve ever seen was a church at 3:00 on a Wednesday full of inconvenienced people who believe in going to the funeral.
“‘Always Go to the Funeral,’” copyright © 2005 by Deirdre Sullivan, from the book This I Believe, edited by Jay Allison and Dan Gediman, copyright © 2006 by This I Believe, Inc., is published by Henry Holt and Company LLC, us.macmillan.com.