August 31st was International Overdose Awareness Day. We have all listened and read the saddening news reports of the opioid epidemic across our country. Funeral Director, Caleb Wilde wrote this article in July 2017 called, “An open letter to Heroin from a funeral director.” Despite some ugly harsh language, we couldn’t say it any better.
Overdose deaths are difficult and sensitive. Meeting a family’s needs when a death occurs is what we are trained to do. A death caused by a drug overdose leaves loved ones struggling to explain what they often believe could have been preventable. Funeral Professionals too, profoundly feel the loss and struggle to find the right words to comfort easily. Caleb Wildes article mentioned above says it all. Our staff can often be found crying quietly in a corner with a family member who is overcome with grief.
The Anton B. Urban Funeral Home is a 30-year member of the International Order of the Golden Rule (OGR). OGR is an organization of independently owned and operated funeral homes around the world that exemplify excellence in service. OGR’s Executive Committee heard their member’s pleas for help as many funeral homes are overwhelmed with the increasing number of deaths, of people of all ages, who should have had a wonderful future ahead of them.
In response, OGR’s staff created an educational brochure for Funeral Directors to explain how they can respond to the Opioid Crisis. It addresses our staff’s need to understand the crisis, our professional risk, and ways we might work with our community. OGR has had an overwhelming request for copies. Why? Because most funeral directors are loving, community oriented caring citizens. It is likely their own family or close friends, like so many, have also experienced a senseless death that has broken their heart.
Although we don’t know Caleb Wilde personally, he shared his frustration and we completely understand. Therefore the Urban Funeral Home is taking OGR’s initiative to heart. We are here to help by educating ourselves and our community. We will share appropriate educational resources on our web page at UrbanFuneralHome.com and on our Urban Funeral Home Facebook Page if you like and follow us.
If you are grieving the loss of a loved one please consider joining others that understand your journey in November for our Holiday Grief Workshop Series, now in its 8th year. This is what we do best. We are committed to educating ourselves and the community.
From our home to yours,
The Urban Family
Skip, Dolores, and Peter