People die every day. There is nothing “newsy” about that. Illness, accidents, natural disasters, crime … depressing at the least, so it is better to think of happy thoughts. Fortunately, we humans are wired in such a way as to be able to separate ourselves from the pain others feel during their individual losses. If we were not made that way, we would not be able to function. In our world of instant news, it would be easy for one to be emotionally “buried” by all the death that surrounds us every single waking moment of our lives.
In fact, as I write these words, bodies by the thousands are washing ashore in Japan after the tsunami that hit that small nation recently. A mom is killed on her way to work. A baby is stillborn. A grandpa takes his last breath surrounded by those who love him. If we sat and considered all the tragedy that fills the newspapers every day, no matter what part of the world we live in, we would find it hard to get out of bed each morning.
Then again, another baby is born of loving, caring parents. A child gets her first home run. A young adult gets news of being accepted at grad school. Masses of tykes go scrambling after colored eggs at a church Easter egg hunt. We get the promotion that will mean so much to our family. Pure joy and excitement happens every day, too.
Life is filled with as much good as you want to see and as much bad as we seek out. Our attitude on a daily basis is decided on how we react to the things that sweep in and out of our lives. Some of us think that we can plan our way through life, right up to the point that life smacks us upside the head. It has been said that God laughs at man’s plans.
For some, it is natural to seek the good things that life has to offer. Then, there are the masses who are so affected by darkness and evil that they face every day to the point they can only see the negative side of life. We don’t like the darkness. That is where evil lives. It is in the dead of night when the rest of the world sleeps that we sometimes find ourselves caught up in our worries and fears.
And when tragedy strikes close to home, when death intrudes into our lives, all joy is oftentimes sucked from our souls. When death hits our individual families, we may feel completely cut off from any goodness that life has to offer. It may be only by the grace of God that those people will ever see the light again. From a personal perspective, it may not be a bad suggestion to trust in a higher power for all of our wants and needs but that is something that each reader of this article must decide for themselves.
Eventually, we recover enough to appear as though all is well. Friends see us smile a little more freely and we resume what seems like a normal life of waking, going to work, taking the kids on vacation, etc. However, in those “middle-of-the-night” talks with God when we cry out “Why? Why? Why?” we know that life will never be the same without that special person. Yes, we can adapt to daily living, but the hole in our hearts will never be truly healed.
I know this out of experience. My father died when I was 11. You would think that I would not be affected 51 years later as regards to thoughts about him. Yet, sometimes a scent or a name from the past, or a song brings him back to my mind as though his death never occurred.
“Oh My Papa” by Eddie Fisher is like an on-switch to my tear glands. For some reason, I remember that song of long ago as my father’s favorite song and hearing it triggers something so powerful in my soul that is beyond my reasoning or understanding. All I know is that song brings Dad-thoughts to me, and Dad-thoughts lead to missing him so. As Eddie sang, “Oh my papa, to me he was so wonderful, oh my papa, to me he was so good.”
Back to the title of this article: “I don’t want to be bothered.” Immediately following the death of someone near and dear to us is not the time that we want to meet with a funeral home or cemetery representative. We hurt and we want to hide from the world. We would prefer the world would stop and let us catch a breath or two and maybe have a moment of silence for those whom we grieve over.
But life does not stop. It never stops. The world keeps spinning, and commerce keeps ringing the cash register, and we are all but forgotten in our grief as our friends and neighbors focus on making it through another day.
It is for this reason that a good funeral home or a good cemetery wishes to do a follow-up visit with those we serve. We do care about the welfare of those families who entrusted us with their deceased mom or dad or son or daughter. We know that during the 30 days following a death important matters need to be tended to, like it or not.
In the case of Calumet Park’s Family Service Advisors, we have instituted a follow-up program to educate people about their financial and credit obligations, the importance of getting legal advice as it relates to wills and probate, life insurance info, social security and veteran benefits, handling grief and even living will instructions for those left behind as regards to their own wishes.
We deliver a packet of information that helps to focus one’s thinking about those things that the world expects to have handled as business carries on, detached from the pain that you are living through. Changing titles on property, bank accounts, stocks and bonds, cars and on and on should be tended to at once, and bills still need to be paid.
The good news during this time of grief is that your Family Service Advisor is there to help, free of charge. The follow-up visit is designed to be a time of caring, of educating and of apprizing those left behind of some of the areas that must be tended to even as you are in the midst of mourning your loss. Our counselors are not there to be legal advisors, or tax advisors on anthing other than a friend who has some basic information that will help a person do those things that are necessary after a death has occurred.
Thus, the title of this article: “I don’t want to be bothered.” When we meet with a family to finalize a burial, we ask for an appointment at which we will review with you some of the areas that need attention immediately and some that will eventually need resolution but are not urgent. It is at this time that the idea of being bothered surfaces.
It is our request that you tuck the reasons for having this meeting after a death somewhere in your brain so you will maybe recall, on the fateful day that you are in the midst of losing someone important to you, that this follow-up meeting is designed to continue our service to you even after everything has been taken care of regarding the funeral and final resting place of your dearly departed.
For more information regarding this subject, or any questions that you may have regarding pre-planning a funeral, please call us and let us become your very own personal advisor. Or, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions.