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Horan & McConaty wins Best Large Business Award in Thornton

The City of Thornton recently held its annual Business Expo, which features the Business Recognition Awards recognizing five businesses that stand out from the crowd in their contributions to the community. Through a month-long online nomination process, a total of 12 businesses were nominated by business owners, managers, employees and customers. From these nominations, the BTAC Commissioners selected award winners for five different categories. The Best Large Business Award went to the best business in Thorton with over 21 employees. We are pleased to announce that Horan & McConaty was awarded the Best Large Business award at the 2012 Thorton Business Expo. Stephanie Grein, location manager, accepted the beautiful award that is now displayed proudly in the North Metro location.

We have been giving back to the community through our support of the Children’s Chorale and the Thornton Chorus, among other organizations. We are tremendously honored by the award and congratulate all who were nominated.

Grief and the White House Families: What Lessons Can They Offer?

On May 10, 2012, Dr. Harold Ivan Smith will be presenting: Grief and the White House Families: What Lessons Can They Offer?

Sooner or later, everyone is touched by grief—even those who live at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Twenty-seven presidential families have had a child die, some while in the White House. Three first ladies have died in the White House. The East Room has been the location for many funerals and wakes. These White House families have insights that may prove valuable in our grief.

This presentation will cover the following topics:
Objective One: Identify White House families well acquainted with grief.
Objective Two: Describe principles the families used for facing the grief and for finding gifts in the grief.
Objective Three: Develop a new appreciation for the universality of grief.
Objective Four: Apply one principle that can make a difference in a griever’s life.

Dr. Harold Ivan Smith, the presenter, is a writer, speaker & storyteller.

This event is free and open to all. The presentation will be held on Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 7pm at Horan & McConaty Funeral Home located at 1091 S. Colorado Blvd., Denver, CO 80246 (at Mississippi Blvd.). Please join us for this presentation!

Making space in caregiving for “Ahhhhhhhhh”moments

Please join us as we welcome back Dr. Harold Ivan Smith, speaker, writer, teacher and story- teller extraordinaire. As a grief educator, Harold Ivan Smith is a wordsmith and storyteller, whether through his speaking, teaching, writing, or counseling. Through his word pictures and stories, listeners and readers say, “I never quite thought of it that way before.”

Harold Ivan Smith is a graduate of The Mid-America College of Funeral Service, Scarritt College (M.A.), George Peabody College of Vanderbilt University (Ed.S.), and has a doctorate from Asbury Theological Seminary. He is recognized as a Fellow in Thanatology by the Association for Death Education and Counseling. Harold Ivan also leads Grief Gatherings—innovative storytelling groups—at Saint Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, where he is a member of the teaching faculty.

Objectives:
*To diffuse negative strategies that prevent adequate self-care
*To explore common elements of “Ahhhhh”experiences.
*To enfranchise permission strategies for self-care.

When: Thursday, May 10, 2012. The same session will be offered in both the morning and afternoon to allow teams to take turns attending. Morning session from 9 – 11:30am. Buffet lunch from 11:30 – 1:30. Afternoon session from 1:30 – 4pm.
Where: Horan & McConaty 5303 E. County Line Rd. Centennial, CO 80112 (just west of Holly St.)
Who: Hospice and hospital staff and volunteers, victim advocate professionals and volunteers, clergy, lay ministers and others caring for our community
Cost: FREE, but you MUST register by May 7, 2012. Certificate of attendance provided.
How to register: Please Email ejohnson@horancares.com or call 720.748.9908.

Flag Day Retirement Ceremony

American Flag

In honor of Flag Day, we will be celebrating with our first Annual Retirement Ceremony. The ceremony will be held in The Cremation Gardens at RMMP, Parker Road, at 2pm on Thursday, June 14th. Scout troop, Jim Lockard (Retired Air Force), a representative of the Wounded Warriors, and an Honor Guard will officially retire our tattered flag in the park and raise the new one.

Horan & McConaty Funeral Homes is accepting tattered, frayed or old flags. The flags will be cremated then placed in the ossuary. All are welcome to drop off their flags at any of the Horan & McConaty locations for proper disposition.

This ceremony is open to all who would like to attend. Refreshments will be served following the ceremony. This ceremony will take place on Thursday, June 14th at 2pm in The Cremation Gardens at RMMP, Parker Road. If you have any questions, please contact Jessica at 303-743-8804.

Supporting a Grieving Child

When a death occurs, it’s important to acknowledge that children grieve as well. Here are some ideas to help you support a child dealing with grief.

Offering support to a child can be as simple as opening up a conversation, or making a simple statement. Here are a few suggestions of things to say: “I’m sorry your ________ died.”; “Would you like to talk about it?”; “I care about how you are feeling”. Try to avoid comments that could be harmful, such as “I know just how you feel”, “Get over it”, “Be strong” or “Don’t cry”. These types of statements may be more harmful than good, even with the best of intentions.

Giving the child a memory bag can also be a nice way to support the child through this difficult time. Get a sturdy tote and fill it with a variety of items, such as seeds (to plant in honor of the loved one), a journal for the child to write their thoughts/feelings in, a book, some paper and markers/crayons for the child to create a picture, and any other items that the child would like to keep as memories of the loved one who has passed.

The power of touch is a very powerful thing. Give the child physical contact.

It’s important that no matter how you choose to support the child, that you allow them as much time as they need to grieve. Some children may regress, which you should allow them to do.

If you’d like more information on helping a child who is grieving, please visit these websites:

http://childgrief.org/childgrief.htm
http://www.centering.org/index.php?page=book&id=50
http://www.nasponline.org/resources/crisis_safety/griefwar.pdf

Helping Loved Ones By Pre-Planning

Even though it is often a difficult topic to discuss, it’s important to talk about your wishes with your loved ones. In sharing your thoughts now, you will help in relieving the burden associated with trying to make the “right” decision on how arrangements should be made in the future. This insight will give peace of mind to those closest to you, especially in the event of an accident, illness or injury.

Upon sharing your wishes, you may decide that you would like to pre-arrange your services. By planning your own funeral in advance, you will allow for those closest to you to concentrate on the difficult process of grieving and coping with the loss without the worry of details associated with your funeral.

By fully pre-planning, it relieves you and your family from future financial responsibility. Our funeral home has options to make sure your funeral is fully funded and price protected years in advance of your need.

Pre-planning gives you the opportunity to personalize your funeral and make it a tribute to the life you lived. It’s a great way to get your loved ones involved and can make a difficult experience a more positive one.

To walk through our pre-planning guide, please visit the following link: http://www.horancares.com/_mgxroot/page_10818.php

Remembering a Loved One

It can be very difficult to think about your loved one just after they have passed away. However, there will come a time when comfort will be found in reminiscing about the wonderful experiences shared with that person.

There are many ways you can remember your loved one. The simplest way is by talking about him or her. When you feel that you are ready, try to tell a close friend or relative your favorite memories and stories about the deceased. Gathering with family or friends to share stories and memories can be very comforting.

During special occasions like birthdays, holidays, or anniversaries, make it a point to find ways recognize the presence of the loved one who has passed away. Using a favorite utensil or displaying a favorite item could be enough to bring up happy memories. Light a candle or make a toast in memory of the loved one.

Another effective and inexpensive way to reminisce about past experiences is by creating a photo album or scrapbook of your loved one. Drawings, poems, and letters both made for and by the deceased could be incorporated in the scrapbook along with pictures.

If you have larger pieces that remind you of your loved one, place those items in a special chest or box. These could include letters, diaries, photo albums, plaques, favorite books and other items that had great meaning to that person.

There are many ways you can remember your loved ones and cherish the happy memories. However you choose to do so, choose what feels right and what’s comforatable for you.

The Power of Music

Music has the power to effect our emotions in many ways. Research shows that memory of high emotional charge stimulates the brain to record that and all the other things that were going on at that specific moment.

Our brain connects sounds, smells, and feelings to the event that has occurred and links them together. In the event of a tragedy, if there is a specific sound or musical background, those involved may find themselves experiencing the feelings associated with their tragedy every time they hear that specific sound.

This explains why certain songs create emotions and why the songs we associate with funerals can create sadness. These emotions sometimes even escalate to a physical response, such as sobbing.

Because the brain makes the connection between song and emotion, the same song will not affect everyone in the same way. The song that may create sadness for one, could give another person the strength they need to help them through the grieving process.

There is something about music that evolves over time. When we hear a song we re-live the emotional sequence that happened when we heard it previously. When you start looking at the songs you listen to, pay attention to your emotions.

You might be surprised at how songs effect your emotions. Think of the songs you heard at the most recent funeral you attended? Is there an emotional response to any of those songs?

Loneliness on Valentine’s Day

Along with other holidays such as Christmas and Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day can be a particularly difficult time of loneliness, especially if you have lost your spouse.

While all of the television commercials and retail stores are packed with roses, hearts, candy, and messages of love, these messages may deepen feelings of distance between the life you once had with your spouse, and the one you lead today.

If you are experiencing these feelings, we suggest that you plan on doing something on Valentine’s Day. Plan your day to help in overcoming loneliness. Here are some suggestions:

1. Prepare your spouse’s favorite meal and invite friends and family over to enjoy it with you.

2. Visit your spouse’s resting place. If you’d like, bring a poem or card to read.

3. Spend time with others you love, possibly children, grandchildren, or good friends. Re-define the romantic holiday into another form of love, the love for close friends and family. If you feel up to it, reminisce of past Valentine’s Days you shared.

Valentine’s Day can be an opportunity to share memories, and reflect on the wonderful moments had with your loved one. Sharing your stories and memories with others you are close to can be a truly great way to share your love and surround yourself with goodfeelings this Valentine’s Day.

The Etiquette on Funeral Attire

For many people, wearing black to a funeral has and still is a symbol of grief and sympathy. Although society has become more relaxed about appropriate attire at a funeral today, it is typically customary to wear clothing that is in subdued colors and more conservative.

If you are unsure of what to wear, a good rule of thumb is to dress in your “Sunday best”. Generally speaking, you do not want to dress too casually. Jeans, t-shirts, sneakers, and sweatshirts are probably not the most suitable attire. To that end, women should also avoid wearing clothing that draws attention, such as short skirts and low necklines.

In certain traditions, there may be colors and styles that are culturally inappropriate. It’s important to check into what is appropriate to wear if you are attending a service of a faith or ethnicity that you are unfamiliar with. You can find this information by asking friends or family members that are aware of the culture and traditions.

If you’re still struggling to determine what you should wear, pick an outfit, and have a friend give you their opinion. At the end of the day, it isn’t about the clothing you choose, and in most cases, no one will remember what you were wearing. What they will remember is that you were there.

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