March 2023

Page A8 march 2023 FUNERAL HOME & CEMETERY NEWS Se c t i on A nior Vice President for The Neptune Society during a significant growth period. Before that, from 1987 to 2003, he held several leadership positions with Service Corporation International including COO of SCI Australia and Regional President in both Kansas City and Indianapolis. Lee added, “Jim has been working with Capstone over the last year in an advisory capacity and has been a tremendous help in bringing the location operations together, so we decided he needed to be here full time and keep all the positive changes moving forward.” Capstone Services Group is an owner and operator of twenty-seven quality funeral homes and cemeteries with locations in Florida, Virginia, West Virginia, Louisiana and Oregon. Capstone Services Group is fortunate to be in a financial position where they do not have to borrow from banks or other lending institutions and are completely debt free. This allows them to continue to invest in the businesses they own and more so in the staff and employees who are the key to each location’s success. By Linda Findlay Aftercare tion. I shared that grief has no time limit or time frame. It is more about how we get through that time and what we do with that time. That is the “work” of grief. She said she felt relieved! The widows in the group talked about how they had lost their one true love and there would never be another. They shared about how hard their daily upkeep of themselves and their homes had been. They were lonely. One lady whose husband died two years before, said that this is the very first time she had addressed her grief. Before attending the group, she never spoke of how she was really handling things. Her entire family figured she was fine, and she did not want to tell them otherwise and upset them. She said she should have joined a group much sooner! Another widow was tired! Her husband had died seven years before. Coming to the group had livened her up and she finally was not too tired to come out at night! Most widows shared about how wonderful their husbands were and how happily they were married for the number of years that they each were married. We got to know each other’s loved ones over the course of six weeks. The widowed ladies had started to meet for lunch and were planning to continue meeting with their new friends regularly. One of the widowers came to the first two meetings and did not return. I had taken him aside and told him it was great that he was joining us. I told him that I hoped he would keep returning. I know from experience that men may need a little more convincing, and I try to persuade them to at least come to three meetings before they decide it is not for them. I don’t know why he did not return, but all we can do is extend the encouragement and hope he will come back. The two couples who had lost a child seemed to be a bit quieter than the others. Sometimes being in a “general grief ” support group cannot adequately meet the needs of bereaved parents. They seemed to listen, but they just did not share as much as I have seen in support groups that are specific to the loss of a child. One of these mothers told me that she just couldn’t relate to the ladies who experienced the house fire. She tried to be sympathetic, but it just couldn’t compare to the loss I just completed a series of support group sessions. My favorite part of facilitating a support group is hearing people’s personal stories of what their grief journey is and who their loved ones were. In this last series of sessions, there was a younger wife with her daughter who lost their dad/husband just three months before. There were seven other widows in the group and two widowers. Most of the other widows were older in comparison and were 2-10 years past the loss of their spouse. We also had two couples who had lost an older child, a lady whose neighbor lost her spouse (she wanted to learn how to best to support her friend), a young man who lost his mother seven years before but was only now grieving his loss due to recovery from drug addictions. Finally, there was another mother and daughter who lost everything to a house fire including a family pet. When we talk about loss and grief, there are many things that we grieve over in life. All of the groups that I coordinate and facilitate are specific to the loss of a loved one to death. I had been asked to help out and co-facilitate this particular group. I had no control over who joined and why. The participants of this group and their losses are typical of a general grief support group, except the ladies who experienced the devastating fire. Here is a summary of the six weeks. The younger mom and daughter were so close to their loss. Although I have had people join a support group as soon as one day after their loss, it is more likely that people decide to attend a group a few months down the road. The young mom expressed concern that she would be feeling the same way that she felt at three months after her loss when she was ten years down the road. She had heard or read something that talked about the longevity of grief. I assured her that although we will experience our grief for the rest of our lives, it will not disable us to a point where we can’t function. I shared that we always look at a person’s daily function in their life. If she feels bad enough to stay in bed all day, at this point, it is perfectly fine. However, if we were having the same concern a year from now, we would most definitely be having a different conversa- Linda Findlay is the founder of Mourning Discoveries, Grief Support Services. She is a 29-year career Aftercare Coordinator, a published author, and an advocate for bereaved families. She is the founder and co-creator of The Grief Cruises and managing partner with The International Grief Institute. Linda can be reached at 315-725-6132 or Visit, or F U N E R A L H O M E & C E M E T E R Y N E W S w w w . N o m i s P u b l i c a t i o n s . c o m Monthly Columnsonline at Inside Look: A Grief Support Group of a child! I tell people all the time that “my grief is just as painful to me as your grief is to you.” I encourage people to not compare grief, etc. etc... However, with my dear funeral service friends, I must admit that I agree with the bereaved mother. It is very hard for bereaved parents to blend in with a general grief support group. Many people go into a grief fog for long periods, but it has been found that bereaved parents are still in a grief fog five to ten years past their loss! I am happy that the grieving parents kept coming to the sessions. We also referred them to a support group just for bereaved parents and I will keep track of them going forward. The young man who was grieving the loss of his mom came to only the first meeting. He said joining the group was part of his recovery plan. I hope he is continuing his treatment plan and working hard to overcome his addiction. The lady who came to learn and be more supportive of her friend was a very sweet lady. She came to every session and took more notes than I usually see. She wandered between the groups of losses and befriended everyone. She was not a distraction to the group – which can sometimes happen – and she did fit in well. As for the mother and daughter who experienced the house fire. They did not come back. You know how you can sometimes “feel” the room and level of emotion. Some of the expressions on the widows’ faces probably said more than words. The sponsor of the group told me that the mother had called and said they would not be coming back. She and her daughter felt so bad for the others, they felt it was not a good fit for them and their needs. He offered continued counseling with him as needed. I wanted to share these stories with you to illustrate where people are, months and years down the road, and how they really need the ongoing support. Support groups are a valuable and much needed resource for families. Please don’t shy away from considering offering a group. Today, more than ever, that personal touch and offer of help goes a long way! 1-888-792-9315 • Scan QR for our website Cots not included MODEL # TR3 Triple Cot Roll-In Mortuary Cooler AMC N W FAST SHIPPING AVAILABLE ON SELECT PRODUCTS Call 651-450-7727 to request a wholesale catalog, Our Extra-Large Cremains Bags (13”x 15”) are perfectly sized for the Standard Plastic Human Service Urn. or visit to order some bags. Just $2.90 each*. * Bags sold in multiples of 10 Choose from Black, Blue, or Burgundy Just $3.20 each* Choose fr m Black, Blue, rgundy, Green or Gray ORLANDO,FL—Richard Lee, President, is proud to announce that Capstone Services Group has named Jim Ford as its Chief Operating Officer, effective January 1, 2023. “Since Capstone has grown to 27 locations over the last six years, we are so fortunate to have someone with Jim’s experience and leadership abilities to guide our operations,” stated Lee. Ford is an accomplished, dedicated, and forward-looking executive leader with more than 30 years of experience in funeral service. Most recently, Ford was COO of Capstone Services Group announces Jim Ford as COO Jim Ford the acquisition company, Grace Holdings Group. Before that, Ford served as the Senior Vice President and Chief Operations Officer for StoneMor Partners for nearly two years. From 2014 to 2018, Ford worked for Foundation Partners Group where he assumed various roles, including Vice President of Business Optimization, Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer. From 2004 to 2013, Ford served as the COO and fax 1-800-321-9040 PO Box 5159, Youngstown, OH 44514 FUNERAL HOME & CEMETERY NEWS S e nd u s you r n ews !