Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Apparently the cancer has traveled to his lungs now and the doctors have advised them that there is nothing that can be done to try to stop it at this point. It's basically just a matter of time before the cancer takes complete control of him and ends his life. This is so sad. Why is it that a boy, still in the throes of youth, who never did anything to warrant this is going to be taken from this world? Snatched out of the arms of his parents, who have done everything in their power to keep this from happening. It doesn't seem just. I hope he doesn't have to suffer for too long. I hope that when this finally happens his parents will be able to go on. I hope my nephew will be all right.
Monday, July 30, 2007
Sunday, July 29, 2007
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Friday, July 27, 2007
Thursday, July 26, 2007
This one particular person I am forced to deal with on a rather consistent basis always manages to misconstrue what I say. It's not a matter of hearing or stupidity I'm sure of that, it's more like this person wears blinders and can only think on a certain plane; theirs. The simplest things become a problem and it's always because this person doesn't listen to what it is that's being said. I wouldn't call myself an overbearing person nor am I person that is too outspoken, I'm fairly calm and always try to phrase what it is I have to say in a completely understandable way yet a certain pair of ears seems to hear me speaking in a foreign tongue. As I read what I have written it almost sounds like a piddly little thing but you can't imagine the frustration it causes as it's happening over and over and over.
I've almost resigned myself to communicate only in writing with this person so that I have proof of what I've said. I just can't help wondering where the problem lies; why there is a problem in the first place. Could it be that this person is trying to drive me mad? If only I didn't have to communicate with them at all life would seem so much easier. OK, I feel better...until of course I have to deal with them again and my words get twisted!
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Thursday, July 19, 2007
It seems to me that society has things mixed up here. It's OK for children to hear profanity and see nudity on television in the middle of the day, to play video games that involve violence, to listen to music that really isn't appropriate for my 75 year old father yet the word death is something that we should shield them from. I realize that the computer is rating the blog based only on individual words and not on the context of those words however I'm not saying murder, or rape or worshiping Satan or something you might expect to shock. I'm not saying kill, shoot, or any profane words for that matter. I can only hope that the people who actually rate rateable media are using a different system.
OK - I'll start with the Yes - You've just had someone you love cremated and you've decided that you want to keep the cremains. When I use the word "Urn" I don't necessarily mean one that you've purchased from a funeral director or online. An urn can be any container you wish it to be as long as it can contain all of the cremains without the possibility of spillage. I have seen people use Soup Tureens, Ginger Jars, Jewelry cases, Large Beer Steins as well as once an empty champagne bottle filled with cremains, re corked, and placed in an ice bucket with those plastic ice cubes surrounding it; I thought the last one was pretty neat myself. Use your imagination but of course if you want something more traditional you can purchase an urn made specifically to hold cremains.
Next is No - You've decided that you are going to scatter the persons cremated remains somewhere which could be the ocean, the mountains, a favorite fishing locale, a golf course or as one trucker requested of his wife, you can scatter the cremains up and down the road. Now I know that different municipalities have different views on where cremains can be scattered so you'll probably want to heed those rules. However if anyone is concerned, before a family receives cremains they have attained a temperature of anywhere between 1500 and 2000 degrees Fahrenheit so the worry about germs is completely unfounded. Every crematory returns cremains to families in some sort of temporary container if no urn is supplied and once the cremains are scattered I don't really see a need to have an empty urn around unless that is of course what you wish.
Thirdly - Sometimes - Or for lack of a better phrase, "for a while". I would say the majority of cremations culminate with some type of memorial service no matter what you intend to do with the cremains. Sometimes the cremains are present at the service and sometimes they're not. When they are present, most people want some type of container to house the cremains at least until the end of the service. I guess it could be likened to getting dressed up for a special occasion and then kicking off the same clothes the minute you walk in your door. Some funeral homes have special urns which they use for this purpose alone, I guess you could call them rentals. There's nothing wrong with this as long as the fact that the urn has been used before is disclosed. This is a very good time to use something from your home that may have been dear to the deceased.
When I make arrangements with a family who has chosen cremation I try to determine what their final intentions are and guide them accordingly using the "yes, no, sometimes" approach when the topic of an urn comes to the table. Surprisingly enough, many people believe that a cremation automatically entails the purchase of an urn and are often very pleased when they hear what I have to say. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I am not a salesman, I merely provide the options and allow my families to select what they wish.
The past few posts I've written have been about needless deaths and my lack of understanding for the same. After re-reading them it dawned on me that there are thousands upon thousands of these wrongful deaths all around the world and they are not simply relegated to vehicular accidents, which is what I've been focusing on. What also occurred to me was that I'm sure that I'm not the only person who finds them incomprehensible yet they continue to happen and all I do is ask "why?". All of these people are victims of something or another and I'm wondering if I, the one not yet earmarked as a victim, should help on a personal level in the fights that are being waged as opposed to just wondering. I think I should, I think we all should.
I know that there are federal as well as local government and community agencies that attempt to keep these victims safe with various laws, regulations and assistance programs and I have to think that there have been a great many individuals whose lives have been saved because of them. I'm thankful for these organizations for without them I would imagine that there would be many more cases of needless death than there currently are. What follows is a list of agencies and organizations that actually help the public become aware of how to keep themselves safe; some of which we can become a participant of, others teach us while still others always need advocates:
D.A.R.E. - Drug Abuse Resistance Education is a wonderful program that should be a part of every community.
MADD - Mothers Against Drunk Driving - You don't have to be a mother to realize the effects of alcohol on driving and you don't have to be a mother to support the cause.
Child Welfare - Sometimes just having the right information helps us to prevent a needless situation.
Suicide Prevention - The more we know about something the more we can do about something.
Actual Causes of Preventable Death - Check out these numbers and causes updated in October of 2006 and see what we need to do.
Safe Kids - Learn what you can do to prevent...
T A D D - Turn Around Don't Drown - NOAA's Hydrologic Services gives us some information about flooding and the associated dangers.
Fire Safety Council - Brush up on how to save lives and keep your home safe too!
NSC Defensive Driving - The National Safety Council's site on defensive driving is a site all drivers need to visit.
There are tons more than the ones I've listed above but these seem to be the most informative that I've come across. Spend some time surfing through these links and if you already know the information brushing up on it never hurts! I know I learned some things so now it's time to put them to practice.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Sunday, July 15, 2007
There is a company called Meadow Hill that sells impressions of fingerprints. These fingerprints are cast in either Gold or Silver and can be adorned with a birthstone and can also be inscribed. The first time I heard of these "Thumbies", I wasn't sure if they were going to turn out to be something that would catch on but apparently they have.
Before the burial I had been asked by the family if I could get these items. I didn't initially tell them about them but they knew of their existence and wanted them. It's a simple procedure for me, I simply collect a group of fingerprints using the kit that the company supplies, have the family select which type of item they want and then I submit the fingerprints with the order. Six weeks later the cast prints arrive for my presentation to the family. The daughter that picked them up was extremely pleased with the product and I think I am going to be offering these to people as opposed to just supplying them on request. I still don't think I'm going to charge the MSRP; they can have them for what I pay for them. I feel this is just an extension of my services to the family, not for making additional money. Maybe I'm crazy but I feel that donating my time is something that I can afford to do.
Saturday, July 14, 2007
The following day I made funeral arrangements with 11 people from both sides of the family, including the father; some were crying, some appeared to be in a trance and others were nonchalant. Apparently, the little girl had been riding in the backseat of a small vehicle. With her was her brother (16), her boyfriend (15) and the car was being driven by a 21 year old boy. Of the four of them, she wasn't wearing a seat belt. From what I read in the newspaper, the car had been travelling at approximately 90 miles per hour when the driver lost control;she was ejected from the vehicle and struck her head on a piece of machinery that was parked at the side of the road. She was killed instantly. Not one of the other three had a scratch on them. To me this seemed as if it were caused by poor judgement on behalf of the driver yet both sides of her family were blaming each other. I would ask something of one family member and another family member would try their best to make a point completely opposing the response. I was beginning to realize that there were more than a few states separating this family. This went on for some time before I had to ask them, extremely politely, to put their differences aside until we could all get through the next few days. To my surprise they actually complied, publicly.
Because there was such a large, young, immediate family I expected the large crowd at both the visitation and the funeral service. What I didn't expect was that there would be well over 1 thousand in attendance. Of course when there's a traumatic death accompanied with an open casket you automatically have a certain group of curious people just wanting to get a look but I would say from what I heard, that the vast majority of people there were friends. This young girl, despite the rift in her family, touched the hearts of an immeasurable amount of people. There was no doubt she was loved by young and old alike and was going to be missed dearly.
It always saddens me when someone dies as the result of some preventable accident. I've seen too many young people die behind the wheel of a car. I don't know what it is that makes an intelligent child become not so bright behind the wheel of a "weapon". I did the same thing, I sped knowing that I was doing wrong yet I sped with no consideration for mine or others lives. What is it about the young that make them want to tempt fate? Are they brave or are they stupid? Please kids, don't drink and drive, don't speed. I know you think you're indestructible but isn't this little girl proof enough that you need to take care of yourselves?
Should the 21 year old be held responsible because he was the adult driving? Should her mother be held responsible for allowing her to be out so late at night? Should the father be held accountable because he moved to another state and didn't watch her close enough? All I know is that this little girl is dead and her broken family is now shattered, fingers are being pointed blaming the innocent, they say the equipment at the side of the road shouldn't have been there, the road was slick, they say accidents happen there all the time. There have to be a million excuses for this but bottom line is that if our kid's aren't taught that their lives are worth more than anything in this world how can we expect them to try to keep their most valuable possession safe?
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Monday, July 9, 2007
When I think of Art I think of collections in museums or in fine homes.
I think of famous Artisans who were named somewhere in our history books.
I think of beautiful gardens with sculptures made from marble, bronze and granite.
Never would I have ever considered a cemetery to be an art gallery yet the one that houses my deceased family is just that. Take a look at The Green Wood Cemetery and see what some people do when they memorialize their dead and see for yourself what this Historic location is all about.
ONE) What I thought was my first Award - "Bodacious Blog"
TWO) My actual first Award - "Nice Counts"
THREE) My favorite Award- One of the "Heavy 7" - cool one
FOUR) My fourth Award - "I'm Fabulous" - never realized thatMy latest Award - "Be The Blog" - this one I'm proud of.