Q - I never know what to say at a viewing. What is appropriate?
A - By taking the time to attend the viewing, you speak volumes without saying a word. DO introduce yourself to those family members you don’t know and tell them why you are there, “I am Joe and I work with Carol”, and offer your sympathy. DON’T ask for a lengthy discussion of what happened or try to catch up on the last five years if there is a line. Many times it is your presence, a hug, a smile, that means more to the family than eloquent words of wisdom.
Q - Should I bring my children to a viewing?
A - As parents, we want to protect our children. Death is a painful part of life that we’d rather not have to expose them to. But, just as we teach our children about strangers and crossing the street safely, we must teach them that death is a part of life. Taking your children to the viewing of a distant relative or neighbor that they are not emotionally attached to is a good way to begin the lesson.
Q - My children have experienced a death for the first time. What do I do?
A - “Any child old enough to love is old enough to mourn,” says Dr. Alan Wolfelt, Ph.D., author of Healing the Bereaved Child. Realize that children will be able to sense that something is wrong so tell them the truth as soon as possible. Encourage them to participate in the funeral service and viewing. Clinical psychologist Lyn Sontag insists that “children should be included appropriately in all family grieving rituals. For kids to be shut out is wrong and potentially damaging.” A child’s imagination is very vivid. By discussing death and dying with your child, you are helping them to replace fear with truth.
Q - My friend is still grieving. Shouldn’t she be over it by now and return to normal?
A - We all grieve differently. There is no time limit. Realize that your friend will never be “over it”. Life for her will never be the same. You can help her by coming along side her and helping her to find the new normal. If you feel she may need professional help, there are many good support groups in our area. A good place to start is the PATHways Center at Hospice of Lancaster County. It is available to all area families whether or not you used Hospice care. For more information,
call (717) 391-2413.
Q - Whenever I visit my grieving friend she wants to talk about her son who died which makes her cry all over again. I am running out of ways to change the subject. How to I help her to not hurt so much?
A - One of the best things we can do for a friend who is grieving is to talk about the one who has died. They need to know that you haven’t forgotten their son. They need to know that his life and his memories made an impact on this world. By listening, sharing your own stories, crying together, you are giving her an incredible gift, you are affirming her son’s life. That is being a great friend.
Q - I have prearranged a funeral with another funeral home but want to change it. Can it be done?
A - Yes. It is a simple process. With a simple phone call to Shivery Funeral Home, INC., we will be able to easily handle the transfer for you.
Q - We are talking about planning ahead. Where do we start?
A - There are many ways to begin to plan for your final expenses. Some people just put their wishes in writing while others set money aside. There are options available through Shivery Funeral Home, INC. even if death occurs many years in the future.
The information contained here is provided to assist you. If you have a question about a specific issue or would like additional information on a topic, contact us and we will be happy to assist you in any way we can.