New York State Funeral Directors Association

Home During Holiday Season

Editor's Note: This article, by Suzanne Gebel, executive director of the Iowa Funeral Directors Association, was first published in the Iowa association's newsletter for November.

It happens to all of us and you, as funeral directors, see it every year – a family’s holiday traditions are impacted by the loss of a loved one.

This year, it’s my turn.

It was not the way things were supposed to be.

As a teenager, you’d mapped out your life with a timetable.

You’d travel there, visit this, see things you wanted to see and experience that which you desired before resuming your schedule. It would be a meaningful life, filled with adventure.

There’s a lot written online about ways to manage the ashes of a loved one who has been cremated.

It’s enough information, really, to make you dizzy.

Articles on the topic often include numbers in them – a dozen ways to sprinkle a loved one’s ashes, ten interesting places people have spread ashes, 15 unique containers to hold ashes, seven new pieces of jewelry to store ashes, eight wonderful tattoos made with a loved one’s ashes … and so on.

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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