Why Everyone Should Participate in “Having the Talk of a Lifetime”


Why Everyone Should Participate in “Having the Talk of a Lifetime”

Kathleen Berry

International Memorialization Supply Association

Recently, a group of funeral suppliers in Cleveland, Ohio hosted a “Have the Talk of a Lifetime” event. The people who attended enjoyed a great presentation which addressed the benefits of becoming involved with this campaign. I have to admit though, what truly inspired me were the discussions that took place after the presentation during our roundtable sessions. The most touching story told spoke to the power of having a funeral. One funeral director shared the story of a family that was recently served. This family came to the funeral home because their son had tragically died at a young age. The son had always told his parents he wanted to be cremated, so by having a part of “the talk,” he gave his parents a path to travel. Because it was tragic, many family members and friends tried to encourage the family to cremate their son and have a private service. The boy’s mother, when meeting with the funeral director to make the arrangements, made a comment that he had never heard from a family before. She said that she did not want to relive the nightmare over and over. She felt that if they did not have a full visitation, and if they did not have a funeral mass, she would be running into people everywhere for weeks who would want to repeatedly talk about the tragedy. It was her hope that by having it all, they would give the family, his friends, their community and others the opportunity to mourn with them and celebrate the life of their son. As hard as it was, after everything was over she remarked that it was the best thing she could have ever done. She felt so loved by all and knew that her son was loved as well. Having the Talk of a Lifetime gives those left behind a starting point. It lets them know what is important and what is not…and leaves the door open for discussion about what is going to make the survivors feel loved and comforted.

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