Grief, a painful, normal, human response to significant loss, is ever so unique, as the worst kind of grief is yours. Every relationship holds a special and unique significance to us, that is why grief is so personal. Everyone grieves in their own, unpredictable way and on their own schedule and it will be finished when it’s finished. “He who has no time to mourn, has no time to mend.” The best advice anyone can give is to feel what you feel and know you will get through this.
During the first 30 days of grieving the loss of a loved one, you will experience your own version of the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Their pain is over, and now yours begins. Though this may be one of the most difficult times in your life, acknowledging your feelings and relying on support can help you face this journey and get through it, moment by moment and day by day. The death of a loved one is one of life’s biggest stressors. Whether the death of a loved one was sudden or expected, you may feel like you're in a fog of grieving, unable to function cognitively or remember simple things. This is a common emotional response that helps you cope with the trauma of your loss.
We know firsthand what you are going through; you are not and will never be alone in this! The arrangements are finished. Life must go on….so we are told. But, it is so hard!! Life pushes us forward, but feel stuck in one spot. STOP!!! Breathe!!! Grieve!!!
You have a friend in us. We are not just here during the immediate time of the loss of a loved one; we are different. As we promise, we are here to walk with you on your grief journey and here to help you cope and eventually heal. A “journey” is defined as traveling from one place to another, normally over a long period of time. So as you travel this journey to reach your destination of healing, know we are here and as hard as it may be, take time to grieve and remember there is no set time limit.
As you travel on this journey, nothing we say can fix your grief, but know that you have friends and professional guides in us; you are never alone. Remember effective grief work is not done alone…. we will be your guide and are here to listen, understand, and care for you and your family with the upmost tenderness and compassion. Most importantly, the specific needs of your family are met with dignity and respect, exceeding your expectations. Our calling is to walk with you through your journey and to provide you with exceptional service and compassionate care; being intricate in helping you cope and eventually heal.
May the God who loves you bless you and console you always.
Michael and Laura Goodlander
When did cremation become and either/or??
As a funeral director and caregiver, walking along side people during their grief journey, I can tell you firsthand, without a doubt, that the grieving process is carried out better when there is a funeral ceremony or at the very least a time for family and friends to gather. It is important to recognize that funerals are for the living…us left behind. It has been studied and proven that through the funeral process, a number of emotional needs are met for those who grieve.
Traditionally, funerals have consisted of calling hours with an open or closed casket, a funeral at the funeral home or place of worship, followed by committal prayers and interment at the cemetery. Cremation has also been an option for many, many, many years. However, cremation is just another form of disposition-the end result of our “earthly shell.” Somewhere along the way things got misinterpreted and started a trend!! It somehow became an “either/or” decision. When talking to people about their wishes, I commonly only hear one of two requests; 1-a traditional funeral or 2-cremation. The problem began, for one, due to the lack of education on the topic of the value of a funeral and that’s where us funeral directors have failed you. However there is another issue that I hear first hand; funeral professionals poorly preparing the decedent. Mortuary Science is an art above all and unfortunately poor preparation and cosmetic work has led to a rise in cremation. Hear me out...does it make sense that your loved one had a terminal illness, lost half of his/her body mass, was hooked up to every tube that you could barely see his/her face, was in a traumatic accident then you walk into the funeral home for the first viewing and he/she looks worse than at the worst part of their life. Does this make any sense??My talent is to recreate your loved ones appearance to before the illness or trauma as a part of the grief journey and healing process and to provide you comfort. “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”
This is the point of this letter to you; to educate, to “comfort” my community and to bring back the traditional values. Traditional funerals, I have found, give the family and others better closure PERIOD!!!! When you go to a funeral home and there are just pictures, you may feel disappointed that you couldn’t say good-bye and are left with unanswered “what ifs.” Cremation, mixed with traditional values, as it was intended to be, can also provide the same closure us humans need. There are literally so many variations to service options and I can guide you in a way to meet your needs. With cremation, calling hours with or without a viewing with a funeral service at the funeral home or place of worship is an option keeping the traditional values. After the funeral service, the deceased is then cremated (or in some cases has been cremated before services) and the cremains are then returned to the family or can be buried or inurned in a cemetery or niche, giving the survivors a place to go to honor and memorialize the deceased person helping with the healing process. See with cremation, the only thing that needs to change is the disposition, that the body was cremated. The funeral home still provides the same services and professionalism. Everything else can be the same and the beauty in a funeral is still obtainable.
So it seems today, one of the issues is cost and I completely understand. Anytime cremation is chosen, anywhere in the equation, the end result is lesser cost, we all know that. But if I can make a positive lasting vision of restoring your loved ones appearance, why wouldn’t you opt for that option? An option to say goodbye one last time. That time of a final goodbye you will never regret, but you may regret not. Trust me, regret mixed with grief is a dangerous combination. Listen, we never turn anyone away, regardless of financial circumstances. Yes we are a business, but more over a ministry. I am here to serve and am honored when you choose me to do so. I have access to many different resources to allow families to grieve the way they need to with the funeral service type selected keeping finances at the forefront. Listen, it always works out somehow. I faithfully believe, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” We don’t require money upfront. My true concern is YOU, YOUR family, YOUR WELL-BEING, YOUR journey of grief and YOUR healing......whatever it takes. This is my promise to you. I encourage you to give me a call if I can answer any of your questions or concerns.
May the God who loves you, bless you and console you always,
Michael R. Goodlander