A Grand Send-Off

A grand Send offA Grand Send-Off

Kathleen Berry International Memorialization Supply Association

I have a life-long friend and we attend a lot of funerals together. You see, we both grew up in the funeral business and that is what we were taught to do. The greatest takeaway I’ve learned from my time in this industry is that it is important to take time to pay respects to the family of someone you know! Whether it is in person at the visitation, a hand-written note, a floral arrangement, a donation to a charity or, in this day-and-age of the internet, a heartfelt message on the funeral home website, Tributes.com, Legacy.com or Facebook, it is an important part of life. Today’s world is fast-paced; it is important to stop and reach out to let someone know you are sad for them, and that you care. When each of our fathers died, we were right by each other’s side. As sad as we were, they both had grand send-offs: long lines at visitation and packed churches. They had good – no, they had great funerals. I remember the stories from those coming through the funeral home, all experiencing the same feeling of loss that I was in one way or another. I was hugged and kissed. I cried. I laughed. But in the end, I was amazed to know how many people loved me, my family and especially my Dad. What a tribute that I cherish to this day! Yes, there is such a thing as a great funeral. Funeral are for the living. They allow you to relive the good times. They let people express their sympathies, to hug you and cry with you, to rejoice in the lessons learned and take time to pause in this fast-paced world to be thankful that your life was better for knowing the deceased. My Dad and I, we had the talk. My family- we have all had the talk and shared our wishes. We all know that no matter what happens, we will make it a grand send-off!

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