Good Life

Know your choices after the death of a loved one

Last Monday when we awoke to the horrific news of the mass shooting in Las Vegas, our son came downstairs to see if I had heard. Together we shared our sadness and shock. In that moment, I tried to think of what I could say to bring some light to such a dark situation. I told our son to hold fast to his beliefs.

Richard Rohr, a Franciscan monk, author and speaker, has said, “The best criticism of the bad is the practice of the better.” When we see bad things happening in our world, we need to practice the better. Much of my work is helping people practice the better around end-of-life issues. When a loved one dies, how you choose to care for, memorialize and grieve their loss says a lot about how you value love and life. When a life stops, do you stop to honor that life?

A funeral is the process that takes the deceased from their location of death to their final resting place. The choices you make on each step of this journey reflect what is important. Some of these choices include:

▪ a visitation or viewing

▪ cremation or burial, and if it’s cremation, a funeral home with a crematory on-site or one with cremation services that transports your loved one’s body elsewhere

▪ a traditional service or a more personalized one

▪ a member of clergy officiant or a celebrant

▪ memorialization in a cemetery, mausoleum crypt or columbarium niche.

Once the funeral is over, how you continue to grieve says something about how you value love and life, too. When a life stops, do you allow yourself to remember the love, grieve that loss and heal?

Our goal is to provide choices and opportunities for you to live out what really matters to you after the death of a loved one. Contact Koch Funeral Home to speak with a funeral director about your many choices and if you’re grieving, RSVP to attend one of our Monday’s Moments Complimentary Luncheons held from noon-1:30 p.m. at the Courtyard by Marriott, 1730 University Drive, State College.

▪ Monday, Oct. 16, “Grief Education and Support Group Introduction” — The purpose of this session is to introduce you to how and why a Grief Education and Support Group can help you and provide you with information about local groups.

▪ Monday, Nov. 6, “Stories, How Do They Heal?” This session will include information about how sharing and hearing our stories of loss can help us heal.

Please RSVP for the above events, space is limited. To contact us, call 237-2712, email or visit our Facebook page. For additional information, visit the Koch Funeral Home website,

Jackie Hook, MA, is a spiritual director and celebrant. She coordinates the Helping Grieving Hearts Heal program through Koch Funeral Home in State College.