New York State Funeral Directors Association

My Old Pal Oscar by Amy Hest and Amy Bates © 2016 Abrams Books for Young Readers

There’s a hole in your heart.

Not really, but it might feel that way when someone you love is gone. It’s like you’re a potato chip bag without chips, or like a balloon with no air. You’re just plain empty, as though you’ve sprung a leak.

Cover of "Dead Presidents" by Brady Carlson ©2016 W.W. Norton

Someday, you might have your very own stone.

Everyone will know it’s yours because your name will be on it, along with a couple of dates. It’ll be yours for a long time, perhaps forever, but sadly, you’ll never see it in its finished form.

A blessing is offered over the remains of 18th Century slaves in St. Agnes Cemetery

They were placed prominently on two tables in the foyer of an historic mansion. It was a building only Colonial-era American aristocracy called home two centuries ago.

Unlike in the days that followed their deaths, the remains of 14 people were treated with respect and honor by the community. They lived and died as slaves in Colonial New York – but they were re-buried as brothers and sisters in the year 2016.

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.

Video: Family History

Today, resources are becoming more widely available, giving people the ability to learn exciting stories about their ancestors. Find 14 great tips on the Blog.


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

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