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“At Jerry’s request, no services will be held.”


My barber Jerry is a wonderful man. I have known Jerry for years, and appreciate his big and generous heart. When his clients are sick or unable to come see Jerry, he packs up his kit and goes to them. He is alert to helping people in every way he can. I see Jerry at the funerals for his clients, sometimes as a speaker. Jerry knows it’s important to show up because it means so much to the survivors and as part of his own need to grieve.

So, perhaps you can imagine my shock and surprise when Jerry announced there will be no funeral for him. He has advised his wife and son this is his wish. He doesn’t want people to grieve and wants to leave this world without fuss.

With over 40 years of experience and extensive training in helping people cope with grief, I know there are many others like Jerry and I believe people who state such things are well-meaning, though misguided. Please allow me to explain.

Since the dawn of recorded history, humans have come together to mourn, to view their deceased loved ones, and to allow others to share this experience. Grief shared is grief diminished. Dr. William Worden, a noted researcher in the area of grief, writes there are four tasks of mourning:
1. To accept the reality of the loss.
2. To work through the pain of grief.
3. To adjust to an environment where the deceased is missing.
4. To find an enduring connection with the deceased while embarking on a new life.

Dr. Worden acknowledges there is work involved in each of these tasks and reminds us that these are not meant to be a linear progression, though there is a logical sequence. One cannot expect to “complete” one and then move to another. These can all be in play at any given time, with more emphasis on one or some than another. Funerals and memorial services play an important role in giving structure, comfort, acceptance, and meaning to people who are grieving.

Dr. Worden, Dr. Alan Wolfelt, and others who conduct research and are widely regarded as experts on this subject all acknowledge what I see all the time, that people who lean-in toward their pain are doing the work of mourning and moving forward in that process.

Funerals and Memorial Services represent opportunities for people to come together with a common purpose, to share the loss and to provide and receive comfort and meaning. It’s important to get this right. As I explained to my friend Jerry, the dead don’t care, but the living do.

I know Jerry would want what is best for his family. That’s why I hope I convinced him not to micro-manage the needs of his survivors, because these are their needs. It should be their right to come together for a meaningful goodbye without the guilt of feeling that they acted contrary to his wishes.

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Understand Your Veterans Benefits for You and Your Family

VeteransSeminarMonday, February 23, 2015
Dinner served at 6:00pm
3101 S. Wadsworth Blvd. (Lakewood)

At Horan & McConaty, we are eternally indebted to our military veterans who courageously serve our nation and protect our freedom. We honor our veterans by assisting their families with obtaining all veterans’ benefits, Social Security benefits and life insurance benefits.
Join us for a complimentary dinner and learn how planning ahead can give you and your family peace of mind and how your Veteran’s benefits can save you a substantial amount of money. We specialize in explaining and obtaining the federal burial benefits you and your dependents are entitled to receive.

RSVP’S APPRECIATED by February 21st. Please call 303.743.8804

What You Should Know about Colorado

Did you realize Colorado is the least regulated state in the United States and anyone can hold themselves out to do this work without training or experience? Unfortunately, this means that many local funeral providers offer substandard services.  However, we at Horan & McConaty have voluntarily adhered to the highest funeral industry standards for more than 112 years. That’s because we are fully committed to excellence.

Because losing a loved one is one of the most difficult challenges you’ll face, it’s important to choose a funeral home you can truly trust. As you search for the right funeral provider, we hope you’ll keep these ten facts in mind:

  1. Because we own and operate our own facilities, we are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year—and we respond rapidly to requests. It takes other funeral homes days to accomplish what we can achieve in hours.
  2. Not only do we offer fair prices, but we clearly disclose them on our website and in our General Price List. We offer the widest range of options and are confident no one provides the same level of services for less.
  3. Our professional staff procures death certificates quickly, in most cases within five business days from the date of death.
  4. We employ the best, most knowledgeable experts in the industry. Our unsurpassed staff provides kind, caring and professional service.
  5. We offer the finest, most modern and comfortable facilities in the metro area. We encourage you to visit one of our seven beautiful locations and see for yourself.
  6. We own our crematory, located at Parker Road and E. Dartmouth Avenue, and we encourage you to visit for a tour any time. Because our dedicated crematory professionals sign oaths attesting to their personal commitment to our high standards, you can take comfort knowing that your loved one is in good hands.
  7. Horan & McConaty is a family owned funeral provider. While most other local providers are part of a large conglomerate and report to stockholders, we only answer to you—and we offer the level of compassionate care only a family can provide.
  8. We consistently earn phenomenally high customer satisfaction survey results.
  9. We offer a top-notch Service Guarantee that assures your satisfaction with us—or your money back.
  10. We own the Cremation Gardens at Rocky Mountain Memorial Park, Denver’s most beautiful, serene location for permanent cremation memorialization. Visitwww.cremationgardens.org for more information.

Cremation Standards at Horan & McConaty

Safe and secure for your peace of mind.

Discover peace of mind with our superior cremation services. When you choose Horan & McConaty for cremation, you’ll take comfort knowing that your loved one will always be in our staff’s compassionate, capable hands. Because we offer cremations at our very own crematory, your loved one never leaves the shelter of our expert care. Our certified, trained professionals handle every step of the cremation process with dignity and respect.

Personal inspections

Additionally, we are the region’s first crematory to encourage each family’s personal inspection of our facilities. We also offer a special viewing room located next to our crematory for those who wish to be present for the start of the cremation.

To learn more or schedule a tour of secure crematory, call 303-745-4418.

Reserve Your Spot for Great Food and Insight into Pre-Planning

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

Pizza, salad, beverages and dessert will be served.

Join us for lunch or dinner at either of the two below locations. Come for the food and stay for Horan & McCoanty’s presentation on what you can do in advance!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013 – RSVP’s appreciated to Janice (303) 280-4688
Thornton Maps/Directions
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p. m.
6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013 – RSVP’s appreciated to Lisa (303) 327-7220
Arvada Maps/Directions
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p. m.
6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.



June Caregiver Award Winner

Jamie Weatherly, Director of Nursing at Suncrest Hospice is a winner of the Hospice Caregiver Award, presented by Horan & McConaty.

Pictured: Jennifer McBride, MA, FT, DM VP Horan & McConaty, Jamie Weatherly, Director of Nursing at Suncrest Hospice and John Horan, President Horan & McConaty

Jamie was nominated by Janet Moeller, RN Suncrest Hospice who shared just one story of how deeply Jamie is committed to the care for the patients she serves.

“Last week we had a patient who wanted to go home from the hospital to die.  Her family was willing to care for her, but their apartment was extremely hot.

Jamie got permission to purchase a swamp cooler from our business manager and went and bought the swamp cooler.

Then she took it to the apartment and carried it up a flight of narrow stairs (in heels no less!) and installed it in the window.  The patient and family were very appreciative.

When I came to admit the patient, the room was much cooler and the patient and family were very comfortable.”

Thank you Jamie for your commitment to those you serve.

Each 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!

Advance Planners Receive National Certification

The National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) has awarded the nationally recognized Certified Preplanning Consultant (CPC) designation to Advance Planning staff of Horan & McConaty Funeral Service.  Those receiving this prestigious certification include, Jane Baki, Paul Dwyer, Larry Hagan, Vicki Hook, Rebecca Pfoff, Jordan Smith, Kristen Van Ryswyk and Dena Winters.

The CPC certification program is considered the standard of excellence in funeral service for individuals who help families plan funerals and cremations in advance.  In order to become a Certified Preplanning Consultant, candidates must meet specific program requirements and pass an examination based on a standards manual.  CPC’s must demonstrate their on-going professional commitment by fulfillment of specific requirements as they renew their certification every four years.

Horan & McConaty is Colorado’s most preferred family-owned and operated funeral home.

“Colorado is unique,” said John Horan, President and CEO of Horan & McConaty.  “We are the only state that does not require licensing for funeral directors, embalmers and cremationists. We have always held our employees to the highest standards in the profession and so it just makes sense for our Advance Planning Advisors to be held to the same level of professionalism.”

John Horan President Horan & McConaty

As an independent funeral service and cremation provider, Horan & McConaty offers a complete array of options at seven locations throughout the metropolitan area.

“Our goal is to help families prepare for the worst day of their lives,” said Thomas Folkert, CPC, Vice-President of Advance Planning at Horan & McConaty.  “We plan in life for so many other things.  We should also be thoughtful of those we leave behind and have our final wishes prepared.”

Thomas Folkert, CPC, Vice-President of Advanced Planning

NFDA’s Certified Preplanning Consultant program, established in 1997, recognizes qualified, knowledgeable individuals who are committed to provide to provide ethical and caring advance planning services for all families.  “Those who have earned the CPC designation have achieved a unique career distinction that is highly valued by families that want to plan meaningful funeral in advance,” according to Colleen Klein Murphy, who manages the program.

NFDA is the world’s leading and largest professional funeral service association, serving 19,700 individual members who represent nearly 10,000 funeral homes in the United States and 39 countries around the world.  NFDA is a trusted leader, beacon for ethics, and a strong advocate for the profession.  NFDA offers comprehensive educational resources, tools to manage successful businesses, guidance to become pillars in their communities and the expertise to foster future generations of funeral service professionals.

The Mythical Pursuit of “Closure”

Jennifer A. McBride VP- Director of Grief Support & Community Education

“Closure” around our grief at the death of someone loved is a commonly held myth in our society that must be talked about.

Nancy Berns, sociologist at Drake University, does an excellent job in this 17 minute video of a talk she gave discussing this powerful issue.

We grieve because we have loved and grief is not something we “get over” after a period of time, just as we don’t “get over” the love we have for this person.

Rather we learn how to live with our loss, embracing the wide range of emotions that arise.

Please take the time to watch Nancy’s talk and share it with others! >>View Video

April Caregiver Award Winner

Horan & McConaty HospiceDebbie Summers, RN with Halcyon Hospice is this month’s winner of the Hospice Caregiver Award, presented by Horan & McConaty.

“Debbie Summers is a phenomenal hospice nurse who works tirelessly to provide compassionate care for all of her patients.  She is dedicated, knowledgeable and thorough in her attention to detail.  I have had the pleasure of being part of care coordination meetings where Debbie is the RN Case Manager and I am always impressed.  She has such a gentle-natured way about her and relates so naturally with patients and families.

Debbie is the epitome of what a hospice nurse encompasses.  There should be many more people/nurses like her!”, stated Meredith Baldwin the Community Liason for Halcyon Hospice.

Thank you Debbie for your dedication.

Each 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!

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!


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