...to people who experience a loss. The grieving process can be overwhelming, and we truly care about helping your family cope during this difficult time.
One of my wife’s favorite quotes is from the author Khalil Gibran. He says, “And ever has it been known that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.” I think this quote speaks volumes to what we experience when we lose someone we love.
When I was 16 years old, I lost my mother to cancer. It was hard for me to process the loss at such a young age. But after attending my mother’s funeral services, I was able to take that first step towards healing. I think that having this understanding of loss so early in life is what makes me different from a lot of the other funeral directors that work in this field.
When dealing with grieving families, I feel their heartache but also sense their appreciation and love for that special person in their life. When I meet with families, I spend much of my time simply listening. I have heard some of the most amazing and incredible stories of what people have experienced in their lifetimes. At the end of our time together, I have been told countless times how therapeutic it was for them to share their stories with me.
I believe that you need somebody to trust and who truly cares at such a difficult time. At Woyasz, we do our best to be not only a funeral provider but also be a friend.”
- Jonathan Woyasz, Owner
...and “celebrating life”. What I have found in my twenty three year career is that most people don’t feel much like “celebrating” when they lose someone who they loved dearly.
Over time, I have learned that the process of planning a memorial service is different for every family. Here are a few examples:
Many years ago, a gentleman who worked with us mentioned that when his time on earth comes to an end, he was not going to have a memorial services. He wanted to be cremated and have his ashes scattered in the wind. I asked him what he planned on doing when, God forbid, something happens to his wife. He said she was going to get the best. He would buy her a beautiful casket, plan a funeral mass at a church, take her to the cemetery and have her placed in an expensive burial vault. Afterwards, everyone would attend a reception. I asked him if he realized that, in reality, his wife was going to be the only one missing out, because funerals really are for the living. I’m not sure he understood the concept, but it became my mission to make people understand how a memorial service can provide ease and comfort to grieving family and friends.
Another time, a relative came in with her daughter to pre-plan her burial arrangements. She mentioned that she wasn’t going to have a service. So I simply asked her, “if something were to happen to your daughter, would you want a service for her?” Without answering me, she turned and asked her daughter whether she would want a service. Her daughter said, “Of course, Mom! I would definitely want to have a service for you.” The woman turned back to me and said, “I guess we will both have a service then.” She was starting to get it…
And, now I would like to share my own experience. I was 16 years old when I lost my mother to cancer. I remember shortly after her passing, our house was filled with people. I remember thinking at the time that I couldn’t wait until everyone would just leave so I could just be alone. That was until of course everyone did eventually leave and I WAS alone. I am now 44 years old and can honestly say that being alone for the first time after losing my mom was definitely the worst night of my life. I was suddenly left to think about how much it hurt not to have her there. Having a funeral service allows you to be surrounded by people who love and care for you and --- trust me, that is a wonderful feeling.
Finally, I think about my own funeral. And I guess the first thing that comes to mind, (other than I hope it’s not for a long, long time from now) is that if something were to happen to me tomorrow, the service that would be held now would be quite different than one that would be held if I live to be one hundred years old. So, I decided I want a service that would bring the most comfort to my wife. I would want her to be surrounded by people that love and care for her. I’m not sure exactly what type of service that would be, but I believe that when my time comes, she will know what she will need and that is what I want for her.
And I do want people to cry at my funeral. Not because I want people to be sad, but because I want to know that I meant something to those people.”
- Jonathan Woyasz, Owner
...of my pain was taken away.”
“I’ll never forget that moment when a widow said that to me after her late husband’s memorial service. What I have learned is that words do not make it all better, only hugs and embraces to take “some” of the pain away.
What I have found in my years as a funeral director, is that even with those hugs, the process is never easy. The more we love, the more it hurts. There is a process we go through when we lose someone. Many people refer to it as the “grief process”, but I think the widow had it right when she told me it is really a ‘healing process”.
At the end of the process, is what many refer to as acceptance. I believe, at some point, we are able to accept what has happened and slowly adjust to life without that person. But what we will always have are precious memories of life that no one can ever take away.”
- Jonathan Woyasz, Owner