New York State Funeral Directors Association

I just jumped off a fast-moving career as a newspaper reporter and landed in the communications office of the New York State Funeral Directors Association (NYSFDA). Fitting, I suppose, for someone who spent the past 15 years asking questions that people didn’t want to answer.

I’m no funeral director – but that doesn’t mean I’m unfamiliar with the topic, just ignorant. My senses take over when I ponder what I know about funerals.

When we first heard about the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, most of us experienced overwhelming feelings of shock, disbelief and sadness very much like our reaction to the horror of 9/11.

These feelings of grief can be just as intense as when we lose a loved one who is close to us.

I was sad to read the news yesterday that Florence Green had died.

Who was she you ask? Florence earned her place in history as the world's last known veteran of World War I.

Video: Slaves No More

New York's Capital Region honors, re-buries Colonial-era slaves. Found by accident in an unmarked cemetery, scientists pinpointed their African origin and the community held a wake and funeral.

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SympathyNotes is written to stimulate discussion of death and grief. Opinions do not reflect the views of NYSFDA.

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