On February 28th the All-Safe staff got together with Bonnie from Pine Box Funeral Home to talk about what to talk about.
All-Safe staff and family members had met for the Heart of Condolence Workshop. What to say when we, those we know, those we work with or interact with – experience loss of a loved one.
We had questions:
- How much does a cremation cost?
- What happens to gold teeth?
- What does a Will have to include under law?
- What do we say when we don’t know what to say?
Bonnie entertained all of our queries, including the weird ones.
Staff comments included;
“The subject and the information given has caused me to think about what I have in place and the areas I need to look at to make sure my wife and I are covered in the future and how to make things easier on those left behind.”
“Items we took away from the seminar included;
- learning that we have options
- that a funeral does not have to break the bank
- that the industry is changing
- we can be cremated for $1250 or less
- that we legally do not have to be embalmed 😊
It was peace of mind knowing that there are funeral directors who are open and upfront about the options available when planning a funeral. Neither of us has had to plan a funeral, so it was really informative and I put Bonnie’s information in with our wills for whoever takes over when the time comes.”
The tools for condoling:
- Willingness to learn
- Remember, its not about me
- Be prepared to condole
- Don’t wait – do it now!
Writing a note guideline:
- Don’t wait
- Write the way you speak – Be you
- Acknowledge the loss,/diagnosis/event
- Express your sympathy – Don’t be overly emotional or long winded
- Share a memory or quality of the deceased -Use their name
- Close with a thoughtful word or phrase
Face to Face – Allowing what is
I think it is hard to hold space for those grieving a loss. Silence can be extremely awkward for so many people, including myself. We always want to say something to make them feel better but we need to remember we can’t take their pain away. We simply just need to be present and hold space for them. Its getting in the trenches of pain with them so they aren’t alone in that. No one likes to see a loved one grieving but we need to remember that grieving and feeling those emotions is essential in their healing process.
The Pine box Funerals Inc.’s model is a breath of fresh air. It’s refreshing and learning about it provided me with some new information to put in my toolbox for when a loved one or myself dies. Its hard to think about and discuss this this dark/sad stuff but its important and the conversations and planning is unavoidable. The funerals I have attended in the past look expensive, generic, rule-y and kind of dated in concept considering our diverse world today. The following are new to me and caught my eye.
Green burials – Simple and environmentally sustainable. No cremation or embalming. No chemicals!
Pine box caskets – Affordable, simple, locally made and personalized.
Custom urns – Local artisans who can make one from wood, pottery and blown glass. Encouraged to use of own vessel. Ex) the pickle jar for grandma because she was a sour puss. Loved that.
All in all it was an amazing workshop for the group – giving us the language for grief.
If you are considering running a lunch and learn we encourage you to reach out to Pine Box Funerals.