I practiced family law for over 25 years, and about 15 years into it, I found myself becoming a little hardened and less compassionate to my clients. I realized that it was sort of a defense mechanism, which protected me from taking everyone's problems to heart and getting bothered and depressed. I was relieved to find that other family lawyers, as well as medical doctors, did the same thing. I have to say, however, that after watching you organize my father's wake and funeral, and deal with my family, I am now embarrassed and a little disappointed in myself: I feel that I might have let my clients down. This is because if anyone has an excuse to become a little hardened and less caring it is someone like you, who deals with death on a daily basis. You are truly a special person, however, because despite years of dealing with people’s grief day in and day out, you remain full of compassion, patience and comfort.
My father’s death was very unexpected, and all of us, especially my mother, were a little numb when we first met with you. Right off the bat, however, you made us feel comfortable, and we found it very easy to put our trust in you. This trust was well founded, as well, because my father’s body looked so natural, and the obituary you prepared was a wonderful tribute to my father and his life. Also, when my mother explained that my father has always been a little afraid of the dark, and asked you whether his body was in a dark place, you took her seriously, and assured her that he was in a well-lit section of the room. You seemed genuinely concerned, and this gave her so much comfort. You gave us advice about finances, and you took control of all of the arrangements so that we could concentrate on contacting our family and friends, and get to the matter of grieving. You kept your composure at all times, when we were unable to keep ours, and you stepped in and took control whenever you saw us struggling with certain aspects of the arrangements. The prayers and hymns you recited during the wake were relevant and reassuring, as well.
Moreover, your funeral parlor, itself, was beautiful and functional, and catered to all our needs. Having the slide show and the photos all around was comforting to everyone who was mourning the loss of my father. These photos were invaluable in helping us celebrate my father’s life; to remember all of the good times, and why we loved him so much. I know that this sounds kind of weird, but we have gotten so many comments from family and friends who said it was a “beautiful” funeral. I have heard that description about weddings and other happy celebrations, but never about a funeral. In retrospect, however, it was a beautiful funeral, and in great part because of your guidance and direction. I am sure my father would have been very pleased.
Every member of my family agrees that we don’t know what we would have done without you. You helped my family get through one of the most difficult times we have ever experienced. The words “thank you” are really insufficient to convey our sincere gratitude and appreciation. You are an exceptional individual, and we are truly blessed to have had you with us at this difficult time.
With Warmest Regards,