July 2022

Page A20 JULY 2022 FUNERAL HOME & CEMETERY NEWS Se c t i on A Scan QR for our website 1-888-792-9315 • mymortuarycooler.com Mortuary Coolers starting at $5,899 7. Tell your story, over and over again. I found that each time I told my story (or rather the story of Theresa) I would feel just a little bit better. Sharing your story is therapeutic and brings comfort to both you and the one hearing the story. I would tell it to complete strangers, as well as to family and friends. 3. Share your experiences and feelings with other people who are going through the same thing. I had a Men’s Group, the members of whom contributed stories and insights to me for the book Widower to Widower. It sounds clichéd, but knowing you’re not alone in your distress provides strength. By showing up for the people in your group, you also feel a sense of purpose in helping your fellow man who is struggling through the loss of a spouse. Almost every new widower would express their gratitude for the group being there for them at the end of their first visit. 4. Get one-on-one counseling. A friend I thought would never go to a therapist finally admitted he needed a professional hand to pull him out of his pit of depression. After a few sessions, he stormed out of her office—angry that someone was arrogant enough to think she could actually help him! The anger was soon replaced by a commitment to healing; he credits the therapist with saving his life. 5. Have conversations with the professional caregivers who have become part of your life. They are skilled in palliative techniques, prepared to help patients and their loved ones navigate fear and confusion, as well as provide physical comfort. 6. Communicate with yourself. Go ahead: Talk to yourself. And answer yourself. You will probably have many moments alone in the coming days that would have been shared with your spouse. You need to know the sound of your own voice—to think out loud and listen to your thoughts. If like me you spent many years together with your spouse, trust me, you know the answer she would give you anyway. 7 Steps toward Healing while Your Spouse Is Dying You had a romantic wedding, celebrated the birth of children, and got comfortable with your happily-everafter life. Then tragedy struck and you realized how fragile the human body can be. Suddenly, you faced the prospect of seeing the source of your happily-everafter life take her last breath. When a terminal illness shapes the process of death, vital opportunities for mental health are present. Six types of communication can help you begin healing in the midst of horrible pain. 1. Stay connected to your spouse. One of my friends who beat cancer said that the worst part of the battle was seeing a look of pity when someone noticed her bald head and pale skin—key signs of chemotherapy. It made her feel disconnected and rejected. A person with whom you have shared a lifetime of affection and challenges probably wants more of the same— not looks of pity. You aren’t engaging in avoidance or distraction; you are actively continuing the relationship you have enjoyed for years. My wife and I would have humorous bonding moments seeing how she looked in each of the many wigs friends loaned or gave to her, ranging from long blond to short brunette. 2. Interact with family and friends. A site like Caring Bridge makes it easy for loved ones to offer comfort, humor, memories, prayers, and even anger over the situation. It’s also an efficient platform for responding to people who want to do something practical for you: “Yes, I’d appreciate a hot meal,” or “Let us know if you are interested in visiting her, we are scheduling visits at times she can handle it.” I made a practice of reaching out to my male friends to meet me for a beer or bike ride, and I let them know up front that there would be times when I might tear up… but, that it was o.k. and they need not feel embarrassed for me. By Fred Colby Working With Widowers Fred Colby has served as a director, board member and consultant for nonprofit organizations in California and Colorado. After his wife, Theresa, died in 2015 Fred shifted his focus to writing and leadership roles to help his fellow widowers heal and re-engage with life. He co-founded the Pathways Hospice Men’s Grief Group and an online grief group. He resides in Ft. Collins, Colorado. For more information go to: www.fredcolby.com. Fred Colby’s new 2nd edition blends his own story with research, observations, and experiences during the first year of grieving the loss of his wife, plus what he learned after his first edition was printed. The book is in part a result of his frustration with the lack of other in-depth or quality materials available to help fellow widowers. His search for anWidower to Widower Surviving the End of Your Most Important Relationship New Second Edition To see what others are saying about Widower to Widower go to https://www.fredcolby.com/media Special Offer — 5 Books for $49.99 https://www.fredcolby.com/buy-books/order-5-pack-for-groups www . Fr e dCo l b y. c o m swers took him to group meetings, individual counseling sessions, writings by fellow widowers, and discussions resulting from happenstance meetings with fellow travelers on the grief journey. Call: 661-250-1507 • Visit: www.XLIndustries.com Available Through Quality Suppliers Ladder Racks with adjustable shelves Basket Stands Portable Folding Register Stands Made in USA Quality & Value - Built Just for Funeral Homes! Providing the Best-Designed Tools for Your Services Since 1926. Dozens of products that give you years of service and store compactly when not in use. Lightweight and easy to take to gravesides or churches. Nesting Stands 3” HEARSE NAMEPLATES 1-8 spaces $97.00 per nameplate 9-13 spaces $110.00 per nameplate 14-15 spaces $125.00 per nameplate 16-18 spaces $134.00 per nameplate Many Letter Styles and Sizes Available DEDUCT $15.00 each for Satin Aluminum Finish Funeral Service Foundation Awards $140,500 in Scholarship Support BROOKFIELD,WI— The Funeral Service Foundation, awarded $140,500 in academic and professional development scholarships. Twenty-nine students earned academic scholarships ranging from $2,500-$5,000, and 20 professionals received the first-ever David C. Baue NFDA Professional Women’s Conference Scholarships. David C. Baue NFDA Professional Women’s Conference Scholarship Winners with Foundation Chair Lee Wiensch, Foundation Chair-elect Lisa Baue, Foundation Trustee Jenn Parvin, and NFDA CEO Christine Pepper said Foundation chair Allan Cole. “When we help students of funeral service across the United States and Canada reach their educational goals, we strengthen the entire profession.” Academic Scholarship Spring Class of 2022: Bob Horn Scholarship | $5,000: Amabel D’Souza, Edmonton, Alberta (Mount Royal University, Calgary, Alberta); Dennis Schoepp Memorial Scholarship | $5,000: Luke Foreman, Bozeman, MT (Dallas Institute of Funeral Service, Dallas, TX); and Joseph E. Hagan Memorial Scholarship | $5,000: Ali Scheck, Kelowna, British Columbia (British Columbia Funeral Association and Funeral Service Association of British Columbia, Winnipeg, BC) Foundation ‘45 Scholarships | $5,000: Jamie Beckwith, Plymouth, IN (Worsham College of Mortuary Science, Wheeling, IL); Rebekah Bowe, West St. Paul, Manitoba (Canadian College of Funeral Service, Winnipeg, Manitoba); Mel Delgado, Norman, OK (University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond, OK); Molly Hamlin, Akron, OH (Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science, Pittsburgh, PA); Nicholas Holdeman, Ames, OK (University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond, OK); Candace Jenkins, Greenville, SC (Piedmont Technical College, Greenwood, Each year, the Foundation awards academic scholarships ranging from $2,500- $5,000 to students attending and actively engaged in coursework in funeral service education programs at ABSFE- and Canadian-accredited institutions. Awarded in two cycles and paid directly to institutions, the scholarships offset the costs associated with tuition, fees, books, and supplies. Applications will be accepted again this fall. “A fulfilling career is rooted in a strong education,” Continued on page A21