Take the time to make a difference

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As I search for articles that might be of interest to readers of Funeral Director Daily I see lots of headlines.  Headlines are the first indicator of what draws me into an article that might be of interest and then, if that has piqued my interest, I will get into the meat of the article to see if there is reader interest present.

Some of these articles are actually obituaries of funeral colleagues that I feel may have enough interest to readers.  Just the other day, I saw a headline that was a little unusual, and with a little more reading, I felt it could be the basis for an article on how funeral directors and other death care professionals can make a difference.

This article was entitled, “Community loses family man, civic supporter”.  I decided to go farther into the article as the headline was so different from so many I see that say things such as “Local businessman dies” or “Funeral home owner passes away”.  The “family man – civic supporter” headline was unusual.  As I got into the article it talked about the untimely death of Mr. Jason Frazier, a 40-year old funeral home owner in Illinois.

Turns out that Mr. Frazier died suddenly last week and the news report of his death says so many things such as “community oriented”, “giving back”, “he was a gentle, caring person”, and “the funeral home supported the Boy Scouts, Little League, ABATE, the Kankakee Valley schools and area churches and youth groups”.  Sounds like a funeral director we would all want in our community.

But, here is the sentence that really got me. . . “When he was only 10, his father died.  He was inspired by the kindness of the funeral director to be a mortician himself.”  Wow!!  Maybe without even knowing it, by all the indications of what we know of Mr. Frazier, that funeral director 30 years ago gave our profession quite a legacy.

I know in my life there have been those people who helped me out. . .some were funeral directors who taught me things even when they didn’t know they were teaching me something that has become a life lesson.  I’m so grateful for their interest in my life.

Think back in your life and remember those adults whom you admired or learned something from.  Go back and thank them before they are gone or you are gone.

More importantly, it is my belief that young people need human heroes and mentors now more than ever.  Many of them, because of COVID-19, have had their plans altered and their lives come into a state of flux or wonder what will happen to their generation.  So, if you have the chance, take the time to have a conversation with a young person.  Your wisdom and friendship may be just what that person needs for inspiration.

Do it for their sake, but also do it to honor those in our profession, who have inspired us.

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  1. Long ago in my funeral profession career, I had the great fortune of meeting and getting to know Alan Creedy, a legend in the business. As we became friends he shared a practice that I later adopted for myself.
    Alan had created a “Wall of Gratitude”.
    It was a list of people who had helped or been a significant influence in his life.
    Posted on a board, hung on a wall in his study, it not only was a constant reminder of the goodness of these folks but inwardly encouraged him to do the same for others. Keeping in touch with those who gave you a “Leg Up” in life is not only the right thing to do but serves to remind us that we weren’t alone in attaining success. It keeps one humble.

  2. MaryAnne Scheuble

    Tom – I love how you always take the high road and remind us to be better people. Thanks for offering daily inspirations.

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