Life - and death - continue. Having just written about how to lead funerals and memorial services - and working in the hospital - we're getting questions about what happens to services in the current health situation. I wanted to do some writing about that, but others are creating helpful resources. Here are some of … Continue reading Funerals these days.
Last month, I released a book about how to lead funerals. The book was barely out and my friend Dan said, “Did you remind people to make sure they have pants?” I told him that I had neglected that reminder. And then I asked him why he believed that was a necessary requirement. He told … Continue reading Remember your dress pants.
I’ve done words for a long time. I’ve talked, I’ve earned three degrees about words. I’ve been around funerals and memorial services for a long time, too. I want to give you a secret that I am constantly telling myself because I keep forgetting it. Here’s the secret: people forget what you say. You can offer … Continue reading Four ways to offer clarity to families in a funeral.
Nobody looks forward to leading funerals. But when a friend or family member asks for your help, it’s hard to say “no”. You can do it. Your words and actions will help family and friends give meaning to this life. And this book will help you find those words, even if you’ve never done this … Continue reading Coming soon: How to lead funerals, memorial services, and celebrations of life.
About 7700 people die each day in the US. That’s what the National Vital Statistics report says was true for 2017. That doesn’t include the one in four or so pregnancies that end in miscarriage. I’m not going to do the daily calculations for those sadnesses. I mention this only because it means that there … Continue reading The cost of my distraction
I've done words for a long time. I've been around funerals and memorial services for a long time, too. I want to give you a lesson that I am constantly telling myself because I keep forgetting it. Here's the lesson: people forget what you say. You can offer the best words, the clearest outline, the … Continue reading The most important lesson for a funeral service.
What if you and four friends said, “No one is eating alone after a funeral. Churches have meals for members. We’re going to offer meals to families who don’t have churches.” And you became known as the people who were there in the hardest moments of life, not with answers but with presence. What if you provided potluck and pie?
What do you say at the grave of a stillborn baby? A person who was moving in the womb and then wasn't. A person who was part of a story that parents were writing and dreaming and decorating for, and then that story stopped. I'm not sure what you should say. But I thought it might be helpful to tell you what I said once.
“What do we do?” The dad was holding the baby. About 30 weeks in the womb, the first 28 of those growing, moving. The last two motionless. Now, this couple was thinking about the services that would honor their child who had no list of accomplishment to eulogize. Here's what I told them.