They walked into the funeral home unsure of what to expect. Mary was the mother of four beautiful children and twelve energetic grandchildren. Henry, her husband and the love of her life for over 45 years, held Mary’s hand in anticipation of their visit. As they entered the great room a professional looking man with a kind and empathetic face walked toward them with a hand held out. “Welcome to Hathaway Family Funeral Homes. We are honored to have you come and talk with us.”
Mary looked over at Henry who was beginning to show the signs of progressive Alzheimer’s disease. For a moment his pain subsided and allowed a sense of ease and comfort to come over him. She knew then that coming here was the right decision and that after today, a huge weight would be off of both their shoulders.
The funeral director sat them down in a soothing room where Mary and Henry were able to begin their process of choosing how they wanted Henry’s future passing to be carried out. The funeral director asked, “Henry, how do you want to be remembered?” This was the first time anyone had brought this question to their attention. Henry thought for a couple seconds and reached out to hold Marys hand. “I want to be remembered in a way that My Mary and my family can find hope and meaning for their futures and for mine.” The funeral director smiled and nodded as he began to collect meaningful options for this amazing couple in their time of need.
The funeral director talked with them, guiding them through different options for ways to hold meaning and hope in the future service and funeral of Henry. With each uniquely catered option, the couple seemed to grow closer and a sense of peace came over their worried hearts. Henry looked up and said in a soft but firm voice, “I would like to be cremated. The use of an ark for my urn feels like the best way to bridge the gap between my death and my love for our family. This way they can participate in my passing and can feel a sense of closure.” The funeral director felt touched and said, “This option sounds perfect for you and your family.”
The three sat and talked about what their next steps were and how they were going to relay this information to the rest of their family. They talked and reminisced until all three felt at peace with their choices and until each choice held meaning and hope for the future commemoration of Henry’s life.