“For Everything There is a Season: Changing Customs, Part 1…”

According to my mother, my great grandfather was embalmed in his home and displayed in an open casket in the parlor.  Family and friends kept a round-the-clock vigil over the dead body to safeguard the body, offer prayers, pay their respect, receive friends and comfort one another.  In those days the body wasn’t just present; it was the focal point of the entire funeral process.

From the home, to the procession into the church to the procession out of the church to the procession to the cemetery through the committal service, the body never left the family’s sight or heart.

We seem to be forgetting what many have known since the beginning of time.  Throughout human history, tribes and clans stayed with the body until it was laid to rest.  Even today, we do everything possible to bring home fallen warriors to their families, to be laid to rest.  It brings closure to the family.  The grief process can begin.

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“For Everything There is a Season: A Fitting Tribute…”

Memorial Day will be here before you know it.  When the day comes, many of you will regret not getting the monument you have been planning to get but just haven’t done yet.  We know there are hard decisions to make.  You want to get it just right—it is carved in stone!

We view a monument as a way of saying this particular person existed, was loved and made a difference.  It is also a permanent way to record history for future generations.  You can choose to have the date of marriage and the names of children inscribed.  You can personalize a stone with a graphic design depicting life’s work or favorite pastime.  What would you like for future generations to know about you?

We sell quality monuments and we custom pour each base on location, utilizing special stabilizing techniques.  Our work is guaranteed.  It is just as important to us as it is to you that the monuments we sell remain level and stable.

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“For Everything There is a Season: In Appreciation…”

About this time every year, we publicly thank the Ottawa Police Department and the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department for making sure funeral processions make it safely through Ottawa and Franklin County.

Every time we have a funeral procession led by law enforcement, making sure intersections are safe, getting us to the cemetery without incident, showing the respect that they do, makes me glad I live where I do.  Not all communities are lucky enough to have this public service.  We shouldn’t take it for granted.  They don’t have to provide this service.  They do it out of respect for the citizens of this area.

Please remember though, emergency calls take precedence over funeral procession escorts and they are not always available.  It happens every once in a while, when they have an emergency call that takes precedence.  It makes one appreciate their service even more when an escort is unavailable.

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“For Everything There is a Season: Happy New Year…”

I love this time of year.  Never mind the mistakes and the missed opportunities.  It is time to put all of that behind you.  It’s a new ball game, time for a fresh start, a time to make new resolutions and set new goals.  It is good for the soul to start with a clean slate.

But especially, it is time for new hope.  No matter how well or how poorly the past year has gone, we all hope for a better future.  But, let’s face it, hoping for something isn’t always enough.  If you want a better world around you, you have to do something about it.  A good relationship with friends and family takes work.  If you give your best and expect the best, most of the time you won’t be disappointed.  A community needs nurturing too.  Maybe you can’t serve in an official capacity, but you can be the best citizen and neighbor you can be.  You may be the one who benefits most of all.

May your hopes and dreams come true.

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“For Everything There is a Season: Grief and the Holidays…”

Holidays are extremely difficult for those who have experienced the death of a loved one, especially during the first year after the death.  At a time when everyone is supposed to be happy and enjoying themselves, the bereaved can feel sad, lonely and depressed.

There are things to do to help you cope with the holidays.  It is important to plan ahead.  Your family “traditions” will not be the same, it may help to start new traditions.  If you usually host the dinner, change the menu or ask someone else to do it this year.  Let your family know it is okay to remember and laugh about funny stories and to recall and talk about other fond memories.  Let your family and friends help you get through the holiday.  They will understand if you get weepy.

Be kind to yourself and take care of yourself.  If you receive a holiday invitation, make an effort to go even if you don’t feel like it.  It might help.

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“For Everything There is a Season:A Treasured Gift…”

Sometimes a gift that costs only your time is the most treasured gift of all.  This Christmas, if you want to give something special to your family, you might consider recording your personal history.  After you get started the memories will come flooding back.  If the method of recording your history is a problem, hint that you would like a good voice recorder for Christmas.

Just imagine how delighted your children and grandchildren would be to know what it was like for you “back then.”  Recall memorable events, large and small, Christmas, school, family, work, get-togethers, mishaps and misfortunes, struggles, what made your family laugh, and your wedding.  The possibilities are endless.

When we are with a family making funeral arrangements, we hear some of the most delightful stories from families recalling the life of their loved one.  It would be so sad if those stories were lost forever.

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