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Kim Stacy Mortuary Management magazine

30 January 2012

Recently I wrote about the power of LinkedIn to connect with funeral professionals around the world. Many of those I’ve “met” in this digital landscape are innovative creative thinkers. One such person is Kate Hamilton. She and her sisters responded to a common problem in their world (which happens to be Ireland) by developing a product I think you’ll want to add to your service offerings. It’s very affordable, useful, and dare I say it – elegantly solves a common problem.

Differentiating the Survivors

While I know funeral directors and assistants do their best to publically acknowledge the immediate family members at funeral and memorial services, sometimes the unthinkable happens. A guest arrives, ignorant of the information they need to express their condolences to the right people. They are confused and uncomfortable. They feel their presence to be less than valuable to those they intended to support. And sometimes they tell me that they’ll “never go through that again,” and vow never to attend another funeral. From our perspective, that’s an outcome we’d rather avoid.

Kate, through Mourning Cross (www.mourningcross.com)the company she and her sisters founded, present us with a way to make the experience as profoundly meaningful for the survivors and their guests, as we want it to be. They offer black stainless steel lapel pins, available either in the familiar cross, or (and this is my favorite) a simple circle of black, each featuring a white dove taking wing. They are preparing to announce the release of a white version of each, especially for the family who has lost a child.

According to their brochure, these pins were “developed to be worn by the immediate family members of the deceased to help visitors to the wake and funeral identify the appropriate family members with whom to sympathize.” Simple solution to an often complex problem; and, they make nice keepsakes.

Thanks to LinkedIn, Kate and I have become as friendly as two people living thousands of miles apart can be. I have listened to her tell me about her commitment to this endeavor – and am reminded of the commitment of so many funeral professionals I come in contact with. This is, after all, a heart-driven business, and for some it goes one step further: it is their mission to respectfully tend the physical remains of the deceased, and ease the suffering of those left behind. Mourning Cross pins can help you do the work just that much more effectively.

Take a few minutes to visit their website, www.mourningcross.com. If you’re on LinkedIn, search for Kate Hamilton and connect with her. Get to know her – you’ll not regret the time spent in doing so, I promise.

While you’re there, be sure to visit the top navigation tab, “It’s My Time.” You’ll find this to be the title of a wonderful poem, which Kate tells me comforts many of the bereaved she’s met. Written by Jacky Newcomb, the six stanzas are written from the perspective of the deceased – as if they are taking the time to speak to those they’ve left behind. The last stanza reads:

Life is precious and although it’s not the same, it’s not your time.

Life will go on; I think you’ll find, it’s not your time.

I want you to promise that while I am away

You’ll love one another, I hope and pray you’ll

Understand my darling,

It’s my time, it’s my time........ It’s my time.

 

Beautiful sentiments,  to be sure. Life is precious, without a doubt – and our work allows us to experience the contrast, on a daily basis – so that we are keenly aware of just how precious it is, don’t you think?

And, next time you find yourself looking for ways to differentiate survivors from the crowd at your next funeral or memorial service, think of Mourning Cross. They offer us a new and decidedly elegant way to support our client families, both during and after the funeral.

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