Archive for February, 2013

Ways to present remembrances all year around

Friday, February 15th, 2013

February is the month for Valentine’s Day, the time of year when card companies write mushy love cards and flower vendors are creating flower arrangements as fast as their fingers can fly. Valentine’s Day is supposed to be a celebration of love. People who have lost a mate are excluded from this celebration. What flowers will they receive this year? I want to throw an out-of-the box idea to you about flowers.  Flowers traditionally are given to the grieving family at the time of the funeral or memorial service. However, flowers can be given all year around and especially for days like Valentine’s Day. Here are some suggestions for you to consider for your funeral home.

Suggest to inquirers who want to do something for a grieving family that it would be unique for their friends/family to receive flowers on other days of the year instead of, or in addition to, the day of the service. At the service a small note can be left stating, “I have arranged for you to receive red roses (or whatever flower is chosen) this year on Valentine’s Day. I am giving these to you in his/her name.” This same technique could be applied for other special days, such as a religious holiday, or Mother’s or Father’s day, or the deceased’s or the survivor’s birthday.

Flowers are not the only way to present remembrances all year around for your grieving families. Some other concepts that you, as a business, might do for survivors would include the following. Feel comfortable to charge a fee for those that would attend.

Dinner Out: Make reservations at a nice restaurant in town for people who are now alone on a holiday. Make time during the dinner to reflect on the loved ones who are no longer present. It will give survivors a place to go and something to help them to look forward. It is difficult for people to think of an event, plan it, and find others that are in their same situation. You, however, as a business can do these things and bring these people together.

Weekend Trips:  Plan a get-away at a location not too far away. If enough people join your group, you could rent a bus for the weekend or the day. When people are active, they are less likely to dwell upon sad thoughts and feelings. They may even surprise themselves and have a good time and meet some new friends.

Day At The Spa: Sponsor a day at the spa for men and women. Many people who have lost their spouse receive less physical touch. A day at the spa gives them a chance to experience touch in a therapeutic fashion. Most spas offer lunch for guests who spend the entire day in their care.

Admittedly, these are unusual concepts, but in today’s market of stiff competition, and people demanding more service, these kinds of ideas can help you expand your market, and make your business needed.

Understanding Our Own Deaths

Friday, February 8th, 2013

Question:  Have you ever had one of those moments when a realization hits you square between the eyes? I was talking to a family about their loss when I realized I personally was uncomfortable about the thought of my own death. If I am not comfortable with my own death will this somehow come across to my families?

Answer:  Thank you for writing to me about a topic of such importance! The answer is “yes”! If you are not comfortable with the subject of your own passing your unease will come across to the families you serve on some level. Our own death is a subject that is rarely discussed in our society. Those who attend religious services find that this topic may be addressed from time-to-time–otherwise we seldom think about it. Examining your beliefs regarding what happens to you after you die is not only good for yourself but for your families. Here are some questions to ponder:

  1. Why am I uneasy with my own death? Some people may have had a traumatic experience as a child. Perhaps your family never discussed death with you. Or, maybe your belief system shines a more fearful light on death. It is a good to get an understanding of why you are uneasy with death because then you can move forward to accept it. (more…)

An Inexpensive Offering

Friday, February 1st, 2013

Question: What would be the one thing I could do to help a family while they are grieving that isn’t expensive?

Answer:

An inexpensive, yet valuable offering is the ability to truly listen. You might say, “I know that!”  Listening can actually be harder to do than it sounds. We are living in a society today where we are conditioned to the 10-second sound bite. We focus for a moment, then turn our attention elsewhere.

People who come to Beyond Indigo often tell me that no one will listen to them. They do not feel heard. Quickly they learn to say “I’m fine” because “I’m fine” doesn’t make the listener uncomfortable. Grieving people want to tell their story. They need to be heard.

How does one become an effective listener? (more…)