Recently my wife died, the details are not important. In what may be the most difficult time of your life, know there will people and institutions to help you. They understand what you are going through.
I was a mess, personally, unable to stop crying or think straight. First, I contacted our families and friends. Through sobs, I got the information out. And even though I wasn't on the best footing with some of them, they were all supportive. They were all sensitive and everyone said the right thing.
Next was the funeral home. You'd never know the director was running a business. He talked to me, genuinely interested in my wife and me. He let me talk my heart out and had plenty of Kleenex at the ready. There was no pressure and in a town of nearly all Baptist churches, he steered me to the only Catholic Church around. He told me who to speak with and made all the necessary arrangements with them.
And that's where I went next. The fact I wasn't a Catholic and was completely lost didn't matter. Everyone there took it on himself or herself to make it as easy for me as possible. And on the day of the funeral, somehow it all came together. I got all the credit and praise for putting together a beautiful and touching ceremony. I accepted the kudos gracefully, but really had no idea how it all got done.
So even though you may find yourself at sea and despairing over the loss of a loved one, remember, you aren't alone. I don't know if I was just lucky or if everyone in these areas is as professional as the people I dealt with. All I know is I could never have gotten through it without them.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
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