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.

Image of Flower Petals in the Wind

“We sincerely apologize for the unfortunate delay,” the pilot announced just after we touched down at Prestwick Airport in Scotland. I scrambled to get off the plane and through customs, but with over an hour drive to the Glasgow Crematorium, it was no use. I was too late.

She was already gone.

Image of one of the sights at Sedlec Ossuary: Coins Left as Offering, photo by misha - Own work (, CC BY-SA 3.0,

A “grand“ light fixture made of human bones draws much attention in this article I read about the Sedlec Ossuary located in the Czech Republic.

It’s in the Tech section of “Business Insider” online – don’t ask me why, there’s little “Tech” in the article, and even less technology in this disgrace of a display that the article suggests is used as a church. I won’t believe that, even if it’s true.

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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