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What Should We Do When We Hear Someone has Died?

John Horan and Jennifer McBride discuss this often asked question with Rick on KEZW. Listen as they provide guidance and suggestions to assist you.

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Interview1

Funeral Etiquette: Sending Flowers

floweretiquetteWhen one hears of a death, the thought of sending flowers to be displayed during the wake and funeral service most likely will come up. Sending flowers is a traditional and appropriate way to convey your sympathy for the family, while at the same time honoring the deceased. The following guidelines are based on the most common questions we receive with regard to flower arrangements:

Who should send flowers?
Unless the family has requested donations in lieu of flowers or have directly expressed wishes not to receive them, it is always appropriate to send flowers as a show of respect regardless of your relationship to the family or deceased.

What kind of flowers should I choose?
Because the wake and funeral process often lasts up to a week, you should choose flowers that will last for several days. it’s important that you make sure to select flowers that are sturdy and do not require much care, such as roses or lilies. Tulips may be very nice to look at but they are too delicate to last for a day or two without proper handling and care. In most cases, your florist will have suggested arrangements that include the flowers that are best to last the necessary duration.

A NOTE OF CAUTION: Flower color choices should stay within what is considered respectful, based on the customs of the family. In most cases, light colors such as white, light pink and peach are deemed acceptable, as are dark purple or magenta. Red flowers are accepted in some cultures, but not in others. If you are not aware of the family’s belief system, we caution you on purchasing red flowers. For example, in Chinese traditions, red symbolizes happiness and would be very inappropriate at a funeral/wake.

When should I order flowers?
As flowers are typically delivered to the funeral home on the day before or the day of the wake, it is best to order flowers as soon as you’ve heard the news of the passing.

Should I send flowers directly to the family?
Please call the location serving the family to verify that the funeral home is involved in the service.  If the funeral home is involved in a service, we recommend you send flowers to the funeral home.  We take a photo and attach the photo to the sympathy card, making it easier to write a thank-you note later.

What should I write on the card?
When sending flowers, the florist should attach a sympathy card to the arrangement.  Your sentiments should be authentic and sympathetic.  Avoid clichés.  You might consider a message such as “We loved and thought of Mary as a member of our family.  She will be greatly missed.  Our deepest sympathy is with you.”  A simple and sincere message will go a long way.

Can I send items other than flowers?
Oftentimes, people choose other tributes or gestures such as sending a meal, baked goods, a fruit basket, or a food-basket.  For example, the morning of the service when the family is gathering, you might see if it would be appreciated for you to bring over pastries early that morning and set these up with coffee and juice for family members as they arrive at the family home.

In summary, as far as flowers go, there isn’t much you can do incorrectly. Unless the family has requested you do not send or bring flowers, your gesture will be well-received, and will offer a sense of comfort and express your sympathy.

August Peace of Mind Dining Events

LunchandLearn

We invite you to join us as our staff presents information and answers questions about the important topic of advance funeral and/or cremation pre-planning.

Join us for lunch or dinner at any of the below locations. Come for the food and stay for Horan & McCoanty’s presentation on what you can do in advance. Planning in advance is the best way to ensure you “Leave Well.” It’s easier than you think and we can help you get started. Our staff is specially selected and trained to help you and your loved ones through planning a final farewell.

RSVP’s appreciated as space is limited.  Please call 303.743.8804 to register for the date and time that works best for you.

Monday, August 18
Northwest/Arvada Map & Directions
Noon and 6:00 p.m.

Wednesday, August 20
Centennial Map & Directions
Noon and 6:00 p.m.

Thursday, August 21
South Denver Map & Directions
Noon and 6:00 p.m.

Monday, August 25
North Metro, Thornton Map & Directions
Noon and 6:00 p.m.

Tuesday, August 26
Central Denver Map & Directions
Noon and 6:00 p.m.

Wednesday, August 27
SW Denver/Lakewood Map & Directions
Noon and 6:00 p.m.

Thursday, August 28
SE Denver/Aurora (The HeartLight Center) Map & Directions
Noon and 6:00 p.m.

July Caregiver of the Month Award Winner

JulyCaregiver2014

Suzanne Caverly, RN with The Denver Hospice was selected as the winner ofthe July Hospice Caregiver Award, presented by Horan & McConaty.  She was nominated by Peter Repka, son of Edie Repka,who had the following to say about why he nominated her.

Why would you like to nominate this person as “Caregiver of the Month”? 

A year ago last Thanksgiving, my mom, Edith Repka, went to the hospital for about five days for heart related problems. Within two weeks, Mom was back in the hospital and at that point she told us that she didn’t want to go back to the hospital again, so we, Mom, Lisa, her daughter, and I called a couple of hospice care centers. After a short deliberation, we decided on The Denver Hospice. As it turned out, we could not have picked a better place.

So at the beginning of 2013, The Denver Hospice was set to come into Mom’s home and take over the care of her. Her first nurse, who happened to be a good friend of the Pete Lansing family, soon after taking care of Mom, decided to retire. As disappointed as we were, this lead to Suzanne Caverly coming into Mom’s and our lives. After the first few visits, we all had come to the conclusion that Suzanne was not only a great nurse but an awesome person. Suzanne started off seeing Mom once a week on Wednesdays and the longer she came, all of us, especially Mom, realized how special of a person had come into her life.

Suzanne treated Mom with so much love and caring that the comfort level soared to incredible heights. Suzanne started off leaving me notes about Mom condition and then she started talking to me on the phone on a regular basis. Which for me was much more personable and allowed me to ask questions immediately. This was so helpful to me. Mom would tell me that after a while that she felt so comfortable with Suzanne, she felt she could and did talk to Suzanne about anything, including her eventual death.

At this point, when Suzanne would come visit with Mom, she would stay much longer than the required one hour and often, depending upon Suzanne schedule, she would stay upwards of a couple or three hours. This gave mom great peace and allowed the both of them to really get to know each other beyond either ones expectations. As Mom’s disease got worse, Suzanne’s support and visits increased. Suzanne would call and talk to my sister in Glenwood Springs, and update, as well as console her as best she could. Suzanne and all of my family became so close over a relatively short period that seemed like an eon of time. In other words, she became part of our family. She told me how much she loved my mom and how my mom gave her so much strength.

When the time came nearer to Mom’s death, I could tell how much this was affecting her. But Suzanne never allowed this to affect her caring of Mom. In fact, it seemed to strengthen the bond between her and Mom, Lisa and me. Suzanne became the person that I turned to for support, knowledge and strength and she did this with open arms and a caring and loving heart. Suzanne did her job and then some with as much grace as my mom lived her life, and certainly with as much grace as Mom when she died. Suzanne meant so much to my mom and means that much more to myself and Lisa. Suzanne has carved a place in my heart and family that will be there as long as I’m around.

May God bless this special woman,
Peter A. Repka

Each monthly Caregiver Award winner will receive a gift card that can be used for whatever the recipient decides and an award.

At the end of twelve months the review committee will select the Caregiver of the Year to be revealed at a banquet honoring the twelve finalists. The Caregiver of the Year will win a trip for two within Colorado.

Do you know a Caregiver? Nominate them today!

 

May and June 2014 Hospice Caregiver of the Month Awards presented together

Sonia Mall, DCS and Stan Manickam, Chaplain, were selected as the winners of the May and June Hospice Caregiver Award, presented by Horan & McConaty.  They were nominated by Sonja Onstad, Halcyon Hospice and Palliative Care, who had the following to say about why she nominated them together.

I would like to nominate Sonia Mall, DCS and Stan Manickam, Chaplain, for creating a profoundly moving ritual to celebrate our hospice nurses during Nurses Week 2014. I will attach the ritual in a separate email. What made this event so powerful is that it involved the entire team, all disciplines, in the ritual so all were able to “bless” our nurses. The nurses honored each other and received an individual anointing while surrounded by their team. At the conclusion, there was not a dry eye in the room. A few of the comments that were made included “I’ve been a nurse for 40 years and have more coffee cups than I know what to do with. This is the first time I’ve ever felt so honored.” Another nurse then stated” I’ve been a hospice nurse for 2 years and I can’t imagine being anywhere else.” This ritual was not only a blessing to our nurses but to every member of the team present. This was only made possible by the sincere gratitude made manifest by these two amazing hospice practitioners.

Sonja Onstad
Halcyon Hospice and Palliative Care

Each monthly Caregiver Award winner will receive a gift card that can be used for whatever the recipient decides and an award.

At the end of twelve months the review committee will select the Caregiver of the Year to be revealed at a banquet honoring the twelve finalists. The Caregiver of the Year will win a trip for two within Colorado.

Do you know a Caregiver? Nominate them today!

Back by Popular Demand- Preplanning Lunch and Dinner Events

You are invited!  The Horan & McConaty Staff is speaking and answering questions about the important topic of advance funeral and/or cremation pre-planning.

Join us for lunch or dinner at any of the below locations. Come for the food and stay for Horan & McCoanty’s presentation on what you can do in advance. Planning in advance is the best way to ensure you “Leave Well.” It’s easier than you think and we can help you get started. Our staff is specially selected and trained to help you and your loved ones through planning a final farewell.

RSVP’s appreciated as space is limited.  Please call 303.743.8804 to register for the date and time that works best for you.

Tuesday, July 22
Wadsworth Maps/Directions
Noon and 6:00p.m.

Wednesday, July 23
Federal Maps/Directions
Noon and 6:00p.m.

Thursday, July 24
East Dartmouth (HeartLight Center)  Maps/Directions
Noon and 6:00p.m.

We Encourage Families to Have the Talk of a Lifetime

People talk about many things with their loved ones: from day-to-day details to big events. Sharing stories with those who matter most isn’t just important today; it will be especially significant when it’s time to commemorate a life. Horan & McConaty is proud to announce its participation in Have the Talk of a LifetimeSM, a national effort to encourage families to have conversations about life and what matters most. These discussions can help families make important decisions about how they wish to remember and honor the lives of their loved ones.

Through meaningful memorialization – that is, taking time to reflect on the unique life of a loved one and remember the difference they made – families and friends take an important step in the journey toward healing after death.

Individuals and their families have more options than even before for memorializing their loved one at the end of life. From simple to very elaborate, there are a variety of ways a family can honor their loved one in a personal and meaningful way.

“Memorialization is so much more than it used to be,” says John Horan. “It can reflect a person’s life story – their values, interests and experiences – and be transformative, healing and comforting. Meaningful memorialization starts when loved ones talk about what matters most: memories made, lessons learned and how they hope to be remembered.”

Horan & McConaty is pleased to offer individuals and families in the Denver Metro area a free brochure, Have the Talk of a Lifetime, that will help them begin a conversation about life.

“It’s not easy to talk about death,” says Horan. “I think this brochure will be particularly helpful because it focuses on life, rather than the details of a service. It’s life stories – family vacations, pieces of advice, favorite pastimes – that will help you remember those who matter most and begin to heal after they die.”

(View Video or download your free Have the Talk of a Lifetime brochure.)

“We are here to support and encourage people as they ‘have the talk” with their loved ones, states Horan. “Please call us if we can help you or if we can provide additional information about your memorialization options.”

The Have the Talk of a Lifetime campaign is sponsored by the Funeral and Memorial Information Council.

Meet Advance Planning Advisor Juan Moreno

Juan Moreno is an Advance Planning Advisor at Horan & McConaty’s Central Denver location where you can find him assist families daily with their preplanning needs.

What does “Live Well” mean to you?  I volunteer as a teacher and love watching the little ones grow. (I have a 2 year old.)

Why is it so important to preplan? Planning and paying for your funeral in advance offers you peace of mind knowing your final goodbye will be easier for the people you care about most.

What is the most important thing families should know about Horan & McConaty? At Horan & McConaty we truly care and we really are a part of the community.

Why should families choose Horan & McConaty? We care that our families are treated with dignity, respect, and honesty.

Call Juan today to start the conversation.  He can be reached at 303-743-8804 or if you’d prefer you can email him at jmoreno@horancares.com.

April Hospice Caregiver of the Month Award

Ron Urban is the winner of the April Hospice Caregiver Award, presented by Horan & McConaty.  He was nominated by Danielle Andrews, RN, Supervisor at Porter Hospice Residence and Andrea Helsel, LSW who had the following to say about why they nominated Ron.

From Dani:  Ron Urban has worked for Porter Hospice Residence for many years as housekeeping and maintenance. I could talk forever about all the ways he helps us at PHR, keeping us safe by shoveling and deicing, scraping windows, keeping our environment clean, repairing the inevitable things that go wrong with such a quiet and competent spirit and a kind smile every morning, but this is a caregiver award, so I’d like to describe how he cares for our patients. He cleans the rooms, respecting a patient’s need for quiet or a gentle, supportive, “normal” conversation, for instance, inquiries on their favorite colors. He gets to know the patients and is a welcome sight. Many patients might wake up to find a handcrafted butterfly in their favorite colors on their wall. After the patient leaves us, their family has a beautiful, individual reminder of their family member, and a butterfly that color will show up on our gazebo or in our trees. Ron’s humble gift is a reminder to us all that our patients are beautiful, different individuals that are with us physically for a short time, but their spirit remains in our hearts.

Danielle Andrews, RN
Supervisor
Porter House Residence       

From Andrea: I’ve worked with Ron over his past 3 years at Porter Hospice Residence. What surprises me about his role is he provides not only maintenance and expertise with our 18 room in-patient hospice facility, he also provides expertise in compassion and love. I don’t know of many maintenance men who come to work with the objective to not only repair and maintain a facility, but also outreach and support the patient’s, families, and staff. Ron does this in his own, quiet, unique way. If you weren’t paying attention, you might almost miss the signs that Ron has visited with someone. But inevitably, in conversation talking with families, if Ron has met them, he has left his mark. Ron’s humble and quiet countenance is a symbol and an example of the servant-like quality we wish to demonstrate to patients and families. Recently, Ron has taken on more leadership in his work area and been able to present issues that have come up within the team. Ron’s ability to be humble, love, and have compassion, sets him up to be a leader at our inpatient hospice. When Ron addresses things that are not going as they should, the staff listens. Ron’s dedication as well as his optimism and encouraging spirit, make him an integral part of our hospice team. Certainly, running a facility is vital, AND Ron Urban’s maintenance role goes far beyond that. With efficiency and grace he accomplishes emotional support and facility maintenance. He is a gift from God to our PHR team. Thank you Ron.                      

Andrea Helsel,LSW  
Porter Hospice & St. Anthony Hospice

Each monthly Caregiver Award winner will receive a gift card that can be used for whatever the recipient decides and an award.

At the end of twelve months the review committee will select the Caregiver of the Year to be revealed at a banquet honoring the twelve finalists. The Caregiver of the Year will win a trip for two within Colorado.

Do you know a Caregiver? Nominate them today!

 

 

 

 

 

Join us for a Complimentary Lunch or Dinner and Learn about Preplanning

You are invited!  The Horan & McConaty Staff is speaking and answering questions about the important topic of advance funeral and/or cremation pre-planning.

Join us for lunch or dinner at any of the below locations. Come for the food and stay for Horan & McCoanty’s presentation on what you can do in advance. Planning in advance is the best way to ensure you “Leave Well.” It’s easier than you think and we can help you get started. Our staff is specially selected and trained to help you and your loved ones through planning a final farewell.

RSVP’s appreciated as space is limited.  Please call 303.743.8804 to register for the date and time that works best for you.

Monday, June 16
Thorton Maps/Directions
12:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.

Tuesday, June 17
Arvada  Maps/Directions
12:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.

Wednesday, June 18
South Denver Maps/Directions
12:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.

Thursday, June 19
Centennial Maps/Directions
12:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.

 

 

 

WE LOOK FORWARD TO MEETING YOU

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