Justin Reflects on his Training as Funeral Director
Funeral Flowers by Arrangement.
Today a woman called Sally came into our Coolock office of Jennings Funeral Directors – I had met Sally the week before because her brother Jimmy had passed away after a long illness.
Sally felt a need to do something for Jimmy’s wife Mary and the children and she had an idea but needed Jennings to advise.
Bereavement – No two funerals the same – Arrangements as varied as the flowers in a mixed bouquet.
Helping Sally with her query reminded me that the training I receive here as a Jennings Funeral Director is second to none. Bereavement – looking after the needs of people suffering loss and trauma – there is so much involved in arranging a funeral – before the funeral, during and even after the service – that good guidance is essential for a new Funeral Director.
Jennings encourage me to be involved at every level of when it comes to arranging a funeral, but as a trainee Funeral Director, my work is always in close association with the senior professional Funeral Directors here at Jennings on the Oscar Traynor Road. But today was indicative that I must be settling into the job as I was able to answer Sally’s questions without having to check with someone else as we’d had a similar situation last week.
Sally lives in Edenmore, Co Offaly but had been staying with Mary, Jimmy’s widow, and the extended family here in Coolock throughout the funeral time and Jimmy’s Reposal here at the funeral home. During the funeral arrangements, I got the strong impression that this was a great comfort all round. Jimmy had died quite suddenly, he was retired but still a hugely active husband, father, and brother. The sense of collective loss and grief was palpable and you could see the family gather courage from each other.
Sympathy Flowers for the grieving family after a Cremation or Burial.
Sally was getting ready to go home, and came into me because she had an idea and hoped I could help. Jimmy, in accordance with his own wishes, had been cremated in Glasnevin Cemetery, and a couple of days after the funeral, Jennings had facilitated the family later by collecting Jimmy’s ashes, and helping the family choose a decorative urn. Jimmy’s ashes by now were back in his home alongside a family photo.
“But the one thing we feel we missed out on was floral tributes during funeral times for our beloved Jimmy” explained Sally. The family were deeply pleased to say in the newspaper notices:
‘Family flowers only please, donations in lieu to the Irish Heart Foundation’. Now Sally wanted to do something to bring solace. We spoke about how people visited graves in times of grief, brought flowers and potted plants to give themselves a lift and pay tribute to their beloved departed relative.
Sally had already dealt with Jennings dedicated flower service at Flowers123.ie. I was able to put her in touch with the florist and they came up with a heart-warming solution where for the next four weeks until Jimmy’s Months Mind Mass, Flowers123 would deliver a fresh bouquet to the family in Coolock every Friday. Sally felt it would bring light and hope to the table near the late Jimmy’s urn.
Flower arrangements: warm, personal, the comfort of colour in times of loss.
The florist took time with Sally to work on budget and floral arrangements and between them they opted for Lilies & Roses in white and yellow the first week, followed by bouquets that involved Spring posy qualities like Snap Dragons, Dahlias, Peonies, Pink & Cream Rose arrangements, themes that might bring light and solace.
Sally hadn’t ordered any flowers for herself – she had a big garden to tend in Edenmore and her husband had phoned to say that the Daffodils were blooming. Now Sally left Jennings Funeral Directors with a lighter heart. She knew she had a long road coming to terms with the loss of her brother. But she also knew the warm comfort of extended family. And flowers!
Names have been changed.