It’s Thanksgiving today and I’m writing from a hipster cafe in the historic center of Lisbon, Portugal.
We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving on this day per se, so I wanted to take a moment out of my day to be grateful.
I’ve been writing for the funeralOne blog for nearly seven years now, and over these years, my appreciation for funeral homes and cemeteries has increased more than I ever thought I would.
Before writing for this blog, I thought funeral homes and cemeteries to be spooky places with even spookier people inside, doing the spookiest things I wasn’t even willing to imagine.
Now, I’ve come to know funeral homes as being a beautifully integral part of humanity. Of community. Of life.
These are the 9 reasons I’m grateful for funeral homes this Thanksgiving, and why I encourage you to be, too:
When everyone else is actively avoiding the conversation about your loved one, funeral professionals keep the conversation going, sometimes for years on end. The funeral home is a place you know you’re always welcome to go to and talk about the memories. The photos. The laughs. The tears.
Funeral homes and cemeteries are becoming more and more a community center. Have you taken note? There are grief circles, groups, and workshops in nearly every major city in the US. You’re not in this alone thanks to the space funeral homes and cemeteries are offering through these gatherings.
One of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been is a cemetery in my hometown. It had a gorgeous garden which I frequented after the death of my grandfather. It was my quiet space of peace. Of truth that is palpable. And I don’t know many other places like it.
Although there is nothing wrong with innovation, it’s always nice to know there is a place to go where cultural traditions are welcomed. Whether you’re Buddhist, Catholic or anything in between, a funeral home or cemetery is a place to celebrate traditions and rituals around death. More so in the future, I think we will begin to wake up to the importance of these traditions.
There are people that wake up and go to their job behind a computer (me being one of those people), and there are people that wake up and go hug people at a time when they’ve lost what feels like everything. Those people are funeral directors. Thanks to funeral homes, these kind hearted people have a space to practice unconditional love for those grieving, experiencing a loss beyond their comprehension.
Death still isn’t as much a welcomed topic of conversation. Yet, thanks to funeral homes, we’re on the way to embracing the one guaranteed thing in life… death. No one else is really starting these conversations. And for that, we appreciate the space funeral homes offer us to contemplate life’s greatest mystery.
When I know the wishes of my loved one can be expressed thanks to the work of funeral homes, I feel safe. I feel safe knowing that someone in the world is making it their priority to make sure these wishes are being carried through. I feel integrity running through my blood when this happens. This feeling is uncomparable.
Losing someone can feel heavy sometimes. There are many details we don’t consider. Death certificates, transport, loose ends… the list can feel endless sometimes. Having a place I can go to where people are trained to help lift this burden off me is priceless.
My favorite thing in the world is a good story. Think of funeral homes like an event company who wants to take your loved one’s story and turn it into a full blown event. They’ll carefully and creatively weave elements of your loved one’s story into a gorgeous celebration of life. This is a talent of the gods.
Why are you grateful for funeral homes? Tell me in the comments below!