Christmas Greetings from Shoobridge Funeral Services - 2016
It is truly hard to send 'best wishes' to our clients, past and present at any time but it is particularly difficult at Christmas.
Christmas, as we know celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. Amongst Christians, the importance of this event is both without question and also, a matter of debate.
To qualify this statement involves the inclusion of Easter and the crucifixion of Jesus.
Which of the two events is the most important IS the debate and an instance I experienced comes to mind.
Offering a 24-hour service restricts Bank Holiday planning for many vital services, none more than those we offer. As such, I was called to a family some years ago to deal with the passing of a male, over the Easter period.
With true feeling, I was empathetic to the family who surprised me with ‘Alleluias’ and praise and I was cordially invited to join them in prayers of thanksgiving. Somewhat puzzled and taken aback, I discovered the family to be practising Christians who were joyous that, though sad the passing of their relative, they were happy to celebrate the passage to Heaven at this poignant time! ‘To be with Jesus, the Lord, when He was taking away the sins of the world’ were words I recall only too well and I learned some valuable lessons from the experience, which I am naturally influenced by, to this day.
Commercially, irrespective of any and all religions, ‘we’ all know that Christmas is a time for family sharing, goodwill, seasonal cheer and generally warm feeling towards our fellow human beings. If we have grievances, we overlook them or put them aside. If we have stress, we postpone its effects until after Christmas.
There is no one I can think of that is unaffected by this event.
I have considered often in my years of being a funeral director, the ‘advantages’ or ‘disadvantages’ of people suffering loss. Whether it is harder for the survivors, those left behind, to deal with and cope without the person who was loved. I’d like to say, “Or the one who passed away?” but I have no knowledge regarding the answer to that question.
Does having a family help? Would ‘I’ rather spare them the pain of my loss?
Of course, there can be no definite answer - it is personal and individual. What I do know is this; to experience the pain of loss means there must have been a degree of love – another unquantifiable factor but a very important and fundamental emotion.
As a parallel, I have also considered the ‘pros’ and ‘cons’ of having children, having a family? I have pondered the question of loneliness and sometimes, finality when a partner dies. I have coupled all these thoughts together often but especially around Christmas and again, have never found a satisfactory conclusion as everybody is so different.
With these puzzles in mind, I return to my purpose: how to send good wishes to the friends we have made throughout the year and in the past as a result of the loss they have suffered or experienced?
I would like to think that we have given everyone, more than they needed; that we helped them take one step forward at a time. At the every least, that we met, if not exceeded their expectations whether they could identify them or not.
That they would look back at some stage and feel that my family and I, gave them a purpose or eased them gently into or through their bereavement process.
One could be cynical and discuss payments for our services and I would totally agree – to an extent but that would not convey our purpose. Not only do we, as a family feel this purpose from our inner core but we are committed to our customers, to help at such a strange and difficult time of ‘their’ lives. If we could perform this service freely, without financial mention, it would remain our chosen goal. That practically, we have to pay to be in business is the way of this world. In order for us to provide the commitment we do, unfortunately, requires that we too are in business and require payment.
And so it remains, for me, on behalf of myself, Penny, Paul and the staff who serve us and therefore ‘you,’ so well over the years to thank you for choosing us, coming into and being a part of our lives and beginning lasting friendships.
Strangely, as I wrote this, I also wrote some ‘greetings’ that at first were difficult. I soon found numerous ways to express our ‘thanks’ and send our ‘best wishes’ because you have affected us resultantly in such a nice way but, I have settled on one to convey that which is in our hearts. I hope this says as much as we feel and that it is received with the sincerity that we feel at this time.
Because the goodwill of those we serve forms the foundation of the trust you placed in us, we remember you at this difficult time and offer our personal "thank you" as we wish you hope for the future. May we assure you that you are truly remembered by us, often but none moreso than at this special time.
Terry, Penny & Paul Shoobridge and our wonderful team – ‘the staff.’