Thanks to Funeral Professionals

A few weeks ago, I read in a local magazine about an upcoming Scatter Day taking place at River View Cemetery Funeral Home. There were two reasons this opportunity caught my eye. One personal and one professional.

First, the Professional

First the professional, I speak to funeral directors. I have been humbled over the years to consider the wealth of knowledge they have coming into working with each and every family. They have an opportunity to bring so much kindness and guidance. Sharing stories, and offering relevant knowledge that will provide ease and grace to their clients. Even with the challenges they have felt these past several years, they are one of the most important resources for the families they serve.

Now On a More Personal Note

Now for the personal part. After my mother’s death from suicide in 2014, my stepfather had my mother cremated. This was much to my dismay because that hasn’t been typically what we do in Judaism. But my stepfather really wanted to honor her wishes. He was picking out an urn and was discussing this with the funeral director. From what I remember the funeral director didn’t discuss scatter gardens with us. Or other types of memorials we might want to consider having for my mother, or even really having any kind of a memorial service.

The weeks after her death, my stepfather ended up with the urn at his house. We did manage to put together a memorial service at the unitarian church for my mother. But there was never anything permanent created for her. That was very hard for me. My stepfather remarried very shortly after that, and the urn stayed at his house.

My stepfather broke off communication with me years ago. We were told this year that his wife had moved him to an assisted living facility.

Then An Idea Sparked

When I saw the announcement about the scatter gardens, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to finally scatter her ashes. I learned after inquiring with my stepfather’s wife that he in fact had already scattered the ashes three years ago in their backyard. He had never told any of us he was planning on doing this.

I had already reached out to the Cemetery to get more information about Scatter Day when I learned this news. The staff Rachel Essig and Laurel Carrasco were kind enough to invite me out to the cemetery anyway, to see the annual service they have created for families to finally have some closure with their loved ones. The scatter garden is in a stunning wooded area above a ravine.

I have the utmost respect for funeral professionals.

Even though I couldn’t officially participate I was able to witness the kindness that this day allowed for other families. There are so many reasons people may need this opportunity and it was beautiful to see it in action. KUDOS to River View for providing this for the community. Thank you for what you do.

There are all kinds of ways organizations can provide opportunities to strengthen their communities. Hosting a Scatter Day was just one way River View used its resources to do this. Join the conversation with us on LinkedIn.