How To Support Grieving Families Posted: 28 Mar 2011 01:57 PM PDT Coping with the loss of a loved one is difficult and painful. Bereaved families benefit greatly from the support and love of their family, friends and community. Sadly, many of us are unsure of what to say or how to help. Share a Story Draw on your memories of the person who has died. Funny, heartwarming, poignant or interesting stories about the deceased can help the bereaved as they adjust to their loss. These stories are a way to pay tribute to a truly unique life. Show You Care In the days, weeks and months following the funeral, take time to demonstrate your concern and care for the survivors. Drop off a casserole or homemade baking. Seniors or people with disabilities may welcome help with gardening chores, shoveling the driveway, or offers to run errands. A handwritten note lets the recipient know that they are in your thoughts. Invite the bereaved to dinner, for coffee or out to a movie. These practical tasks speak volumes about your concern. Remember A common observation made by those in mourning is that their loved one is seldom mentioned. Well-meaning friends may feel they are sparing the bereaved feelings of sadness and loss. In fact, this silence increases the hurt for families who desperately want to be reassured that their loved one is not forgotten. It is said that we will live on in the memories of those who knew us. Show grieving families that their loved ones live on in your memories. Don’t be afraid to talk about the deceased, even causes a tear or two. Knowing that you remember their loved one can be a huge comfort to a sorrowing family. Be An Enduring Source of Support Grief does not disappear along with the leftovers from the funeral reception. Grieving families receive a tremendous outpouring of support at the funeral or memorial service. Ironically, this support wanes when families are truly in need. In the weeks and months following a loss, the bereaved begin to overcome their shock or numbness, and begin adjusting to their new life without their loved one. At this point, people may assume that grieving families are stronger and don’t need our support. The opposite is usually true. There’s no textbook for supporting grieving family and friends. The best advice is to simply be a good friend. Your compassion and kindness will make the world of difference to a heartsore friend in need of comfort. How To Support Grieving Families is a post from Today's Funeral & FSAC
You CAN Put A Price On Extraordinary Service Laura Sharp, Sharpshooter PR How much does a funeral cost? This pointed question has the potential to make some funeral directors feel uncomfortable. Funeral directors are consummate professionals who provide invaluable services to emotionally vulnerable families. What other profession requires its practitioners to wear so many different hats? From the moment they are contacted by a grieving family, funeral directors must handle a multitude of technical, legal and medical tasks. Funeral professionals act as event planners, help families sort through government red tape, provide links to support groups, and coordinate a meaningful gathering of family and friends. Oh, and this service is expected to be available 24/7, every day of the year. In short, funeral professionals are accomplished multi-taskers who take a great deal of pride in helping grieving families. However, when someone starts asking about the dollar value of funeral merchandise or services, it’s easy to feel unsettled. Perhaps putting things into perspective would help: Funerals are one of the most important and emotional events that a family will plan. It is the final goodbye for a loved one, the last chance to pay tribute to a unique life. The only other event that can compare with the significance and emotion of a funeral is a wedding. According to the website MyCanadianWedding.com, the average cost of a wedding is between $20,000 and $30,000. That’s equivalent to the price of a new car or a great down payment on a mortgage! A professional wedding photographer can cost as much as the price of a mid-range casket. Most Canadian couples don’t think twice about forking over $1,000 for a dress that will be worn once, or another $1,000 for a deejay who will blast out such timeless classics as The Macarena or The Chicken Dance. Most Canadians eagerly anticipate taking a vacation. The average cost of a domestic holiday is $1,000. Overseas travel will cost at least $3,500. This spending represents a substantial amount of after-tax savings, yet most families wouldn’t consider giving up their annual vacations. According to Statistics Canada, Canadian families spend between $200 and $400 for a child’s birthday party. These families could purchase a lovely cremation urn for the same price as hosting Johnny or Suzy’s pals at Chuck E Cheese. A 2006 report from Statistics Canada makes it clear that Canadian households are happy to open their wallets for many items of questionable or limited value: o Canadian households spent $610 a year on tobacco products. o Games of chance cost the average household a whopping $260. o Calgarians spent nearly $1,500 on cell phones and conventional landlines. o The average Canadian household forks over $290 on computers and computer-related purchases. (Average spending on Internet services was $270.) o Households in Prince Edward Island spent an average of $114 on newspapers. As the statistics cited above show, Canadians are not shy about paying for products or services with a perceived value. There is no reason to believe that consumers would feel any differently when confronted with the profound value of the services supplied by licensed funeral homes. Funeral directors need to overcome their professional modesty and communicate the true value of their services to the families who walk through their doors. This message needs to be consistently and constantly communicated in every marketing tool and every time a client interacts with a member of the funeral home staff. Finally, it is worthwhile to reflect on the cost of NOT utilizing the services of a licensed funeral director. What price will be paid if a grieving family fails to celebrate the life of the recently deceased? What is the emotional cost for families who opt to forego a meaningful gathering with family and friends? Many therapists, bereavement counselors and psychologists could attest to the high emotional cost paid in such cases. Canadian families who receive expert counsel and support from their funeral director would probably rewrite those famous credit card ads to read something like this: Casket: $5,000 Marble urn: $500 Obituary: $350 Knowing that a licensed FSAC funeral director is in your corner: Priceless.
Ottawa stingy with veterans' funerals: Legion Last Updated: Friday, October 29, 2010 | 7:32 AM AT Comments40Recommend37. CBC News Veterans Affairs is being too stingy when it comes to funeral benefits, says the Royal Canadian Legion, with local funeral homes left to cover the extra costs. Members of the Canadian Forces killed in active duty receive about $12,500 from the Department of National Defence to cover funeral costs. But veterans of the Korean or Second World War receive a maximum amount of only $3,600 from Veterans Affairs. Most however won't receive this much because the payout is based on need. "We're basically saying the life of a veteran should not be worth less than the life of a still-serving member. It's pretty basic fairness," Pierre Allard, director of the service for the Royal Canadian Legion, told CBC News Tuesday. Allard said the benefit does not come close to covering basic funeral costs, which are about $5,800. The Legion has been trying for six years to get Veterans Affairs to match the DND funds, and the Funeral Services Association of Canada has been lobbying almost as long. Typically local funeral homes now make up the $2,000 shortfall. Faye Doucette, president of the P.E.I. Funeral Directors and Embalmers Association, took care of two veterans through the Veterans Affairs program last year at the Belvedere Funeral Home in Charlottetown. "I do not have any qualms about doing veterans' funerals, but I don't think it's very fair," said Doucette. A spokesperson for Veterans Affairs said the benefits are under review, adding the current government did commit two years ago to increase them and bring them more in line with soldiers currently on active duty. Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/prince-edward-island/story/2010/10/29/pei-veterans-funerals-cost-584.html#ixzz14nFpWJrf