A New Twist on an Old Service

Most funeral homes have some type of Holiday Remembrance service for those who have lost loved ones in the past year.  Most of these establishments also give out something to take home after the service. . . it may be a plant, a flower, some other type of memento, of even, as is very common, a Christmas tree ornament.

This year, according to this article in the Tribune  Democrat from Johnstown, Pennsylvania, the Kennedy-Anderson Funeral Home of Cresson decided to give out ornaments.  However, instead of ordering from a supplier, they went a step farther and hand made each ornament.  Again, according to the article, the ornaments were made by taking clear plastic bulbs and placing single white or red roses inside along with pine greens and red or gold berries.

According to owner Garrett Anderson, “There are several companies out there that offer ornaments for funeral homes, but we felt making them by hand was more heartfelt than just ordering them.”

Funeral Director Daily take:  Every funeral home has to make a decision on how they operate and that includes such things as public relations events in the community and for families of those who have lost loved ones.

Our funeral home has always done a Christmas remembrance event such as this and also has done a Memorial Day service.  Finally, we have a community picnic where helium balloons are released by all as a sign of “letting go”.  Who knows what helps but I am of the opinion that all of those gestures offer another opportunity for grieving families to work through their grief.  I also believe that a funeral business’s responsibility does not end at the cemetery or crematory. . . .we should be active with opportunities in the community for those who have lost loved ones to get back to a “new normal”.

It is interesting for me because I’ve been in the business for so long.  However, my wife lost her father this past year in another community.  The funeral home did a great job.  However, to my knowledge there has been no effort – either at Memorial Day or this Christmas season – to reach out and do more.  And, I’m guessing that my in-law family would have been more than happy to participate in some type of memorialization event.

Maybe I’m old school and stuck in the old way of doing things, but I believe a funeral home not only does a favor for a mourning family with these events, but, for its own purposes,  also solidifies its hold on that family’s heritage of business for years to come.


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