Page A4 SEPTEMBER 2021 FUNERAL HOME & CEMETERY NEWS Se c t i on A Cremation Urns, Jewelry & Keepsakes 941-751-3382 www. BOGATI URNS.com By Nancy Weil This is an industry that changes how we look at life. Each time we are with a family that is experiencing the loss of a loved one, it reminds us to examine how we are living our own life. The COVID-19 pandemic has given us pause as we witness so many lives impacted by this virus. Socrates wrote, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” He has a point. So I will access my inner philosopher and expound on the virtues of what I have learned about life from work- ing in death care. Enjoy a fall day When the sun is shining and the trees are just starting to change color, nature beckons us to come outside. This is not a time to sit at a desk or on the phone, instead go out and play. Soon enough winter will arrive with blowing snow and bitter winds (or for my readers in the South: soon, the humidity will drop and all you will want to do is head out the door!) I realize that there are days when we must actu- ally work inside, but still take a little time each day to take a walk, putter in the garden and plant some mums or sit on the back patio with a nice, cool drink. There will always be rainy days for us to catch up on our laundry… Dust will come and go, but laundry is forever Chores are necessities of life, but usually there is something we would rather be doing. So we dust and tidy up the house and off we go to have some fun. Laundry, however, is anoth- er story. Rare is the day when all of the clothes are washed, folded, pressed and put away. It seems as soon as we finish one load, another batch of dirty clothes show up in the ham- per. When my kids were young, I threatened to put in my will a codicil to remind my family to check the washer for a load of mildewed clothes that they had yet to discover (since they never did the laundry). Now my husband (#2) is semi- retired and he has taken on this task for the two of us. We just have to accept that no matter who is doing it, laundry is one of those things that will never be entirely finished. Always say “I love you.” Don’t put off telling the people around you what they mean to you. Write a note to your spouse or children reminding them what a gift they are to you. Thank your employees or co-workers for being a part of your work day. Never assume Random Musings that those who you love know it. Say it, say it again and say it one more time. We wake up believing that we are guaranteed today and we make plans for the future. If we know one thing from this business, it is this: that belief is an illusion. There is no guarantee of anything, except this moment so… Savor each moment Slow down enough to bask in the beauty of a day or listen care- fully to the sound of children laughing. Notice what is going on around you and truly take it all in. Be grateful for those small mo- ments that enrich our lives and realize that they will not last… There is no storm that lasts forever Just as good times do not last, neither will the challenging ones, including at some point this pandemic. When I am faced with a difficult situation this becomes my mantra for just as a storm arrives, it most certainly will also leave. That is not to say that it will not change things profoundly. Hurricanes and tor- nados come in quickly and leave in their wake destruction that may take years to repair. Landscapes are changed forever and so are lives, yet the storm is long gone. However, just as people rebuild their lives from storms, so too can we rebuild our lives and learn from almost any situation. Balance the tears with the laughter Nature always strives for balance. When tough times strike, we may cry to help us cope. These tears are cathartic and help rid our bodies of toxins and stress. The tears help us to heal. However, we also need to laugh for the exact same reasons. Laughter relieves our stress and helps us stay healthy. Laughter helps us to feel connected to one another and it just feels good. Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. puts it another way, “Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.” Stop worrying We waste so many moments fretting over things that never actually occur. Our sleep is disturbed, our attitude is soured and our stomachs churn all because we allow our thoughts to travel into unwanted territory. Stop it. Stop it now. Stop it for- ever. If you cannot do anything about a situation, then let it go with a prayer. If there is something you can do, then do it instead of worrying about the outcome. Worry is wasted time and energy and never produces a valuable result, but it does rob us of our present moment. The question is not “Are we going to die,” but, “Did we truly live until we died?” We will all die. It took my grandmother 109 years, but even she eventually passed away. I have learned that what is important is living every moment fully. Learn new things, take vacations, walk in the woods, go on an adventure, make a new friend, volunteer your time – there are endless ways to enrich your life. However, there are some people who never embrace all that life can offer. They grow old and die years before their physical body leaves. To see an exam- ple of people truly living, watch the documentary Young@ Heart . It is about a choir filled with people who are between 73 and 89 years young and sing heavy metal songs. The meaning of life… People spend their entire lives chasing dreams and trying to find their purpose. They want to leave a legacy and know that they have mattered. They want to know what “this” is all about – what is the meaning of life. Working in funer- al service we can tell them that we know what truly mat- ters because we hear it from the families we serve. They do not sit in our office and tell us of their loved one’s bank ac- count (or lack thereof ) or about what gifts they received from them or the hours they spent at their jobs. No, they tell us about the time they spent with their loved one shar- ing moments – both special and mundane. Playing cards, watching tv, taking a drive, eating ice cream – time invested in one another. This is what they miss and can never have again. Learn from them for they know what is important and that is simply spending time with those you love. What Working in Death Care has Taught me about Life Serving as Member Resources Director at the International Order of the Golden Rule, Nancy Weil brings her years of experience working in the funeral industry to funeral directors across the globe. Her professional experience includes serving as Director of Grief Support and Community Outreach at Veterans Funeral Care in Clearwater, FL and at eleven cem- eteries in Western New York. Nancy travels throughout the country offering presentations on how to reduce stress, combat compassion fatigue and offer support for those who are grieving through her company, The Laugh Academy. With certifications as a Grief Services Provider and Grief Management Specialist, Funeral Celebrant, Soul Injury Ambassador and Laughter Leader, Nancy is uniquely qualified to bring new perspectives into how to best meet the needs of the families you serve. For more information on how Nancy can help you and your company grow, visit her website: www.TheLaughAcademy.com or e-mail Nancy@TheLaughAcademy.com. FUNERAL HOME & CEMETERY NEWS www.nomispublications.com Monthly Columns online at Garden of Remembrance Memorial Park welcomes Adas Israel Congregation as its 28 th Partner Congregation CLARKSBURG,MD— The Gar- den of Remembrance Gan Zi- karon Memorial Park has announced that Adas Israel Con- gregation has become the 28th Partner Congregation of the Wash- ington region’s Jewish nonprofit community cemetery. For over 150 years, Adas Isra- el Congregation has been a vi- brant, dynamic District of Co- lumbia synagogue with a tradition of community leadership and in- volvement. Led by Rabbi Lauren Holtzblatt and Rabbi Aaron Al- exander, the Conservative con- gregation serves a diverse mem- bership, offering access to Jewish life and community for people of all backgrounds. “The number 28 represents the Hebrew word ‘koach’ meaning strength,” said Hank Levine, pres- ident of the Garden of Remem- brance. “That’s entirely fitting, because Gan Zikaron–and the en- tire community–are strengthened by Adas Israel’s decision to be- come our 28th Partner Congrega- tion.” The Garden of Remembrance includes Partner Congregations from Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist, and Renewal synagogues. It also serves Washington-area Jews who are not affiliated with a congregation, and is a partner agency of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washing- ton. Founded in 1999, Gan Zi- karon, has sold over 10,000 burial sites in its 152-acre memorial park and has held nearly 2,500 burials. The Garden of Remembrance Memorial Park is located near Interstate 270 at 14321 Co- mus Road in Clarksburg, MD. For a complete list of the Gar- den of Remembrance’s twen- ty-eight Partner Congrega- tions and additional information about the Memorial Park, visit www.gardenofremembrance.org or call 301-428-3000.