New York State Funeral Directors Association

Reading insensitive mail after the death of a loved one is difficult

After her mom died a month ago, and with other relatives far away – geographically or otherwise – my wife assumed the responsibility of putting her mother’s affairs in order.

It’s an emotional and administrative task that started out as a red tape-laden mess bound to go nowhere – until I explored this office called Surrogate’s Court.

"There are no online reviews for hospices,” I said to my 79-year-old brother shortly after he announced he was stopping dialysis.

Though we knew his decision made this the first day of the rest of his life, we both laughed. Jack had been hospitalized for months with pneumonia, serious heart and kidney problems.

In his condition, I would have made the same choice.


The skeletal remains of a man were passed between science and art classes at a British school for more than four decades until the bones were found to be real.

Then the students – with the help of a local funeral home – did the right thing. They held a funeral.

It’s one of few positive developments I’ve seen in the realm of the #Unliving – those who have passed away yet end up being put on display or used as props and decorations.

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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