We are thankful for you, all the families who we’ve served and connected with. We asked our staff members to share their words of thanks. Liz Sanchez and Kristen Van Ryswyk are sharing their gratitude today.
I am thankful that I am able to work in such a compassionate field with such kindhearted and genuine people. We get to meet so many families and hear amazing stories about their loved ones and the richness of that person’s life is truly felt. I feel like the content of my life becomes more significant every time I hear about how much someone meant to someone else. I have been able to experience how different cultures honor those they love on a very intimate level. My eyes have been opened over the last 6 months and I have gained a higher level of value and perspective. I have learned the true meaning of the word “loss” and the phrase “celebration of life” at the same time.
One of the families we served during 2011 interred their son and brother near the waterfall in The Cremation Gardens at Rocky Mountain Memorial Park on a lovely early summer morning. Just the three of us, Mom, Sister, and cemeterian, were present for the burial but the family made the moment very special by writing their own service, prayers, and committal prayer. As one of the Park families, they received their fall invitation to the Luminaria Service of Remembrance…
Each year, we hold a Service of Remembrance on the first and second Sundays in November at the Cremation Gardens, both at Parker Road @ Dartmouth and at County Line Road, just west of Holly St. respectively. This year, our Parker Road service was on the 6th, concluding just after sunset when families placed decorated Luminaria candle bags near the grave or memorialization of their loved one. After Jennifer McBride’s lovely thoughts and compassionate prayers, the candles were lit and families gathered to hug, mourn, and heal from their loss. As folks processed through the park back to their cars, the mother mentioned above stopped me to say ‘Thank You’. I replied, ‘No, thank you for being with us tonight.’ Her response reminds me of why working with the ‘family’ of people at Horan & McConaty means so much. She told me that working with the Cremation Gardens and the resulting interment of her son has reinforced her belief that she made the right choice for her son’s remains to be placed forever in one of the most peaceful and beautiful settings she could ever imagine. She stated that at a ‘normal’ cemetery, you are forgotten as soon as the last shovel of dirt is placed on the grave but here, at Rocky Mountain Memorial Park, she felt a sense of belonging and peace that she had never felt before. She was thankful for everyone she had met (and continues to meet) through her connection to the park… I am thankful for people like her.
~Kristen Van Ryswyk
Thank you, from the Horan & McConaty staff. You have touched our lives.