Archive for December, 2012

The Simplicity of Blessings

Friday, December 28th, 2012

Question: The winter months can be so dreary, especially in the states that have snow. Even the thought of death can be depressing, especially in combination with the winter months, and it all seems almost too much at times. Is there something I can focus on that will help me see the blessings of life and not the tragedies that fill my funeral home?

Answer:  Death can make us aware of the importance of life. When a person is a funeral director, he or she is surrounded by death. Many blessings can arise out of grief. As a society, we most often focus on the negative aspects of death. At Beyond Indigo ( we choose to focus on the positive aspects of death. Here are some things I have learned that might help you and your families:

Everyday Life: Grief often brings into focus our daily life that we assume will “always” be the same. What we might take for granted now can come into full bloom when contrasted with death. Our families, our loved ones and our health start taking on far more importance and they are treasured far more. Material concerns have a chance during a loss to take a second seat. We get back to basics and realize what we have is good. What a blessing.

Hidden Angels: People can be a blessing. As we walk through our grief journey people come into our lives to help ease our pain. A member of Beyond Indigo wrote: (more…)

Grief Support Makes a Difference

Friday, December 21st, 2012

Question: Does grief support really make a difference? Our funeral home is trying to decide how we can help. However, we are not grief therapists. Is it our place to help people grieve after the loss of a loved one?

Answer:  People on Beyond Indigo tend to be vocal about grief support and their needs. One was brought to our attention years ago when someone told us, “Where were you eight months ago when mom died? Why weren’t your services offered at our funeral home?”  Thus we suggested to funeral home owners that offering grief support at the time of need was a great idea — especially when our members were telling us this is what they wanted!

Grief support is necessary and it does make a difference. We had a member write in:

“I believe this site saved my marriage, quite possibly even my life, but most definitely my sanity. Lasting friendships have been made and I have learned so much about people. Sooner or later everyone will be touched by death, having a website like this where you can direct someone is just a God-send. Kelly, thank you ever so much.”

What worked for her? We have found that people need a place to find out that they are: (more…)

Getting Through the Holidays

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

The holiday season is a warmly anticipated time for many of us, but after a profound loss, it can be extremely difficult. We asked members of our Facebook page ( “How hard are the upcoming holidays on you? Do you do anything in memory of your lost loved one?”

Susannah started a new tradition. “We hang a new, special ornament, on our tree for our daughter,” she said. “This will be our fourth Christmas without her. The first year was unbearable, but each year got a bit softer.”

Debbie recalled that first tough year. “I had decided not to put up a tree for the first time in my life the first Christmas after losing my daughter and grandson six years ago,” she said. “But I was in the parking lot of a shopping center, and they were giving away free trees. My friend encouraged me to take one, and I did. It was the best thing I could have done because my home looked like it had always done during the season. I realized, too, how important it was for my surviving child, my son, who was also grieving and suffering deeply, to be able to feel that we were going to continue our family traditions. We have lovely ornaments dedicated to them, and I always take out the cards I received from them throughout the years, which makes me feel they are still connecting. The season will never be the same without them, but we are now able to enjoy and create new memories, especially with my two-year-old granddaughter, who is a precious gift to us all.”

Rachel said, “[M]y son’s death day is right around Thanksgiving (next year it will fall on Thanksgiving Day), and his birthday is two days after Christmas. His dad, sister and I always have a place at the holiday tables for him, and we always will remember him.”

Other suggestions for surviving the holidays include volunteering at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter, traveling, and adopting new traditions. Would you like to add your own thoughts or reflections into this conversation? If so, please visit our forums and