September 2022

Page A10 September 2022 FUNERAL HOME & CEMETERY NEWS Se c t i on A Order Direct at 1-800-782-8249 Free UPS Ground Shipping A traditional funeral service is one of expression and timehonored segments. It is lovely, spiritual, and comforting to those in attendance. It ushers in the recovery sequence that all who loved and cared for the decedent must experience. I directed such a funeral recently. It was an honor to do so. Miss Rosie, the widow, loved her husband so much. Of that, there is no doubt. Their children traveled home, back to the small town where they grew into adults. They were so tender with their mother. They anticipate the adjustments she will experience as she traverses grief recovery, and they endeavor to assist her through its trials. It will be difficult for her. She is alone, and her children and grandchildren live very far away. I don’t know that she is up to extended travel. She may opt to ask them to travel to her periodically, especially on days that may be difficult; days of anniversaries and milestones. The entire family, extended family included, arrived at the church with perfect timing. They were all dressed in beautiful royal blue with complimenting boutonnieres and corsages. They were orderly and lined up according to kinship for the procession. They were cooperative and considerate. The preachers were eloquent. Their words brought comfort and solace and delivered hope for the future. The eulogist vacillated from humorous to serious tales, showing the realities of life’s highs and lows—his words causing reflections and inspiring promise. At the conclusion of the service, one by one, this voluminous family passed by their loved one’s casket for their parting farewell. Each paused as if to bid adieu silently, and as they Miss Rosie By Tracy Renee Lee Tracy Renee Lee did, each reached into his casket and patted his shoulder. Research has found that touch is vital for human beings when communicating emotions and maintaining relationships. During loss, emotions may be supercharged, thereby making comfort through touch a problematic or somewhat awkward situation to broach. As the comforter, touching is a natural tendency; however, as the comforted, touch may be very disconcerting. We might find ourselves in an uncomfortable stalemate of wanting to reach out to comfort, but not knowing what is acceptable or possibly offensive. We may not know what to say, what to do, or how to touch. A handshake might be misconstrued as a congratulatory gesture, and a hug may overstep the boundaries of familiarity. The key is to find a socially acceptable and comforting touch at such a vulnerable and hyper-emotional time. That touch might very well be patting. Touch can activate particular areas of the brain which influence thought processes, reactions, feelings, emotions, and decision-making. It can be calming and reassuring during times of distress, anxiety, and depression and can reduce feelings of loneliness and sadness. Human touch improves the outcomes for those experiencing mental health conditions. Patting is associated with a mother’s nurturing touch. It imparts the soothing comfort, love, and protection she offers her children during times of fear, growth, distress, and trial. The moment Miss Rosie dreaded was upon her. I looked her in the eyes and walked over to assist her. With my arm under hers, she rose to her feet. Weakly she took her first step and then another. She reached the casket, and I heard her soul break. I patted her hand, and then I wrapped my arm around her and patted her shoulder. I thought she would fall, but she mustered her strength and reached out to her beloved husband. She, in turn, patted him farewell as each of her family members had done before her. She tried to turn and walk away but could not. She began to sob. She reached out to him once again and patted his head, hair, cheek, mouth, heart, hands, and shoulder, and then she hesitated. Before she walked away, she repeated her gestures of comfort, love, and protection to her husband and patted him adieu. She straightened his tie, kissed his cheek, and signaled me to close the casket. She thought she could bear it, but she could not. Her knees, weak from emotional distress, failed her, and she was forced to sit down. Her children came forward and closed their dear father’s casket. It was done. They had seen him for the last time on earth. We traveled to the cemetery, and amid the East Texas heat, her husband was interred. Her sobs were those of sadness, love, commitment, and triumph. Miss Rosie loved her husband; of that, there is no doubt. I believe he will be waiting to greet her when her time comes. And, as they embrace at the mercy seat, I believe he will pat her back, touch her cheek, and welcome her home. Tracy Renee Lee is a Certified Grief Counselor (GC-C), Funeral Director (FDIC), published author, syndicated columnist, and co-founder of the “Mikey Joe Children’s Memorial” and Heaven Sent, Corp. She was the American Funeral Director of the Year Runner-Up and recipient of the BBB’s Integrity Award. Listen to her podcast, Deadline at https://open.spotify. com/show/7MHPy4ctu9OLvdp2JzQsAA or at https://anchor. fm/tracy874. Follow her on Instagram at Deadline_TracyLee. I n v i t a t i o n s • y a r d s i g n s • p o s t e r s • s t a m p e r s S e a t i n g C h a r t s • A c c e s s o r i e s • B u s i n e s s C a r d s F o r m s • l a b e l s • P r o m o t i o n a l I t e m s • T I C K E T S 8570 Foxwood Court Youngstown, Ohio 44514 800-321-7479 Now offering a Personalized Memorial Line c u s t o m g r e e t i n g c a r d s • f u n e r a l p r o g r a m s • m e m o r i a l i n v i t a t i o n s t - s h i r t s • m a g n e t s • p r ay e r c a r d s • C a n v a s P r i n t s • f u l l c o l o r b a n n e r s Membe rs of t he Fune r a l Indu s t r y Sa v e 1 0% Ev e r y Da y ! Ca l l today for you r FREE Samp l e K i t