When a loved one dies it doesn’t matter how it happened we all feel a multitude of emotions. Not exactly in the same order but usually the same ones….not the least of which is the feeling of being overwhelmed. I met an incredible woman by happenstance last week. She asked to share my lunch table in a small store where I was hanging out waiting for my car to be fixed. She was lovely. I found out that her name is Jeri and she works for a funeral home. Jeri had previously been a physical therapist at a small local hospital but after retiring she decided to continue helping people by taking the position at the mortuary. The job of speaking with grieving family members cannot be easy for anyone. I could tell that Jeri’s compassion and caring carries – literally and figuratively people through the process. Most grievers are not prepared for arranging a funeral or memorial service because they did not have that scary conversation with their loved one. Add that to the feeling of loss and sadness or shock from an accidental untimely death and you can see pretty quickly how someone like Jeri can be so important. Jeri exudes kindness and the aloha spirit out of her pores. I am so grateful that I met her. I know we will see each other again.
My daughter is selling insurance these days. She came by last week and practiced her pitch on me. One of the great things she gives to people is a “Family Information Guide”. This legal sized piece of paper asks for vital statistics, veterans information, persons to be notified, financial institutions, last will, and most importantly funeral service requests. Filling something like this out can help ease the process for grieving loved ones and also make the job so much faster and easier for those folks like Jeri. No one wants to think about such things when healthy but this kind of information would be good to add to your last will and testament paperwork.
My husband and I are going to sit down and fill out the form my daughter gave us. With all of the deaths we have faced we know that anything can happen. So, it is time to get our desires sorted out and on paper so that if something happens we won’t have to try to remember what the other said—we will have it in writing. We are going to encourage his parents to do the same so we won’t have to guess later.
On that cheery note – have a great week!