New York State Funeral Directors Association

Editor's Note: Peg Cushman previously shared this article with the Buffalo News

Death is a part of life that everyone experiences at one time or another; for my husband, my two sons and myself, it’s almost on a daily basis.

Most boys dream of becoming sport stars, astronauts or firefighters.

My husband’s aspiration was to become a funeral director.

He did just that after graduating from Simmons Institute of Funeral Service in Syracuse, completing his residency and attaining his funeral director’s license.

Mike is a wonderful example of what a dedicated funeral director should strive to become.

He treats every family with kindness, compassion, dignity and humor, when appropriate. He goes out of his way to help console people through a very sad, unknown journey.

His attention to detail and the patience he demonstrates are incredible.

To our delight, both of our sons decided to follow in his footsteps.

I am so proud of my three men because it is not an easy career choice, particularly because of the emotional and physical components, along with long hours.

But the fact that they help families go through the most difficult time in their lives is a gratifying experience. It truly does take special people, and they all have a natural gift.

People put their trust in our funeral home and it’s an honor and privilege to arrange and honor the families’ loved ones with beautiful, heartfelt services that will be treasured always.

It’s a fact that men and women grieve differently. Most men grieve on the inside, showing great restraint, while women seek companionship and need the connection of family and friends.

Women talk and reminisce about the person or pet they lost. Men are quiet, acting stoically and suppressing their feelings while women let loose and cry.

Sadly for men, because of cultural expectations they are supposed to show strength, always the protector, and deny their emotions.

Grief can be a treacherous road when traveled alone.

It’s so important to stay in touch with a grieving person, especially in the months to come with a note, phone call or dinner.

Grief needs to be expressed in order for it to be resolved. No two people will ever grieve in the same way.

There is no right or wrong way; it’s a gradual process that may take months or possibly years. Just remember to be kind to yourself.

Grief is the reaction to loss of the genuine love and compassion for a person or pet that died and the impact they had in our lives.

We never forget the person or pet we grieve for but as time passes, the dark clouds of sadness will eventually lift, we will adapt and reach a place where happiness can once again be felt.

Tears will turn into smiles when you think of your loved one and the journey of life can resume.


Peg60WPeg Cushman
Peg Cushman is an office manager for the Rhoney Funeral Home in Niagara Falls, NY and works along with her husband Mike and sons, Robert and Wills and Jack the cat!