Let Freedom Ring ~ A Veteran’s Tribute

We are pleased to announce that Wieting Family Funeral Home will be holding the 5th annual “Let Freedom Ring” ceremony at 6:00 pm on Wednesday, May 21, 2014 at the Wieting Family Funeral Home in Kiel, Wisconsin

A Tribute to Those                     Who Have Served

We are honored to be able to remember and pay tribute to the men and women who have defended our country and preserved our freedom.  We especially recognize the veterans and their families whom we have served this past year at our funeral home.

This program is free and open to the public; however, registration is desired for planning purposes.  If anyone would like to remember a veteran or to register to attend, please call the funeral home at (920) 849-4941 or (920) 894-4943.

For more information, please visit our website: wietingfuneralhome.com and click on the “Let Freedom Ring” banner on the homepage.

Ask the Funeral Director ~ Why Do We?

It isn’t uncommon for us on a semi frequent basis to be asked, “Why do we have funerals?”  This is, truly, a tough question to answer, especially when asked by family members who have suffered the death of someone they love.  So…why do we have funerals?

Margaret Mead, a foremost anthropologist, described America’s increasingly common response to death as follows, “When a baby is born, we rejoice.  When a couple is married, we celebrate.  And when someone we love dies, we pretend nothing happened.”  Many people today don’t understand why we have funerals.  Things that we don’t understand, we tend to be skeptical of, even fearful of.

There are many misconceptions people have about funerals, but I’d like to highlight a number that tend to turn up the most frequent.

Funerals make us sad – When someone we love dies, we NEED to be sad.  Funerals provide us with a safe, supportive place in which to embrace the pain we have when we’ve suffered the death of someone we love.

Funerals are inconvenient – Taking a few hours out of your week to demonstrate your love for the person who died, and your support for his or her survivors is a privilege, not an inconvenience.

Funerals are rote and meaningless – They don’t have to be.  We are always stressing that Every Life Tells a Story.  With forethought and planning, funerals can and should be personalized rituals reflecting the uniqueness of the deceased and their grieving family.  Funerals provide an opportunity to tell that story which can be shared for generations to come.

Funerals are only for grown-ups – Anyone old enough to love is old enough to mourn.  Children, too, have the right and privilege to attend funerals.  I’ve heard frequently that adults have ‘learned a thing or two’ from children who are grieving as well.

This is by no means a complete list of funeral misconceptions, but I do hope this has shed a little light as to why we have funerals.  I would also like to offer myself as a resource to you, your church, or your civic group to come speak about any death, dying grief or funeral topic you may want more information on.

The Greatest Generation

History was one of my worst subjects in school.  I hated it with a passion and usually did just enough to pass.  I have to admit; as I get older I have much more of an appreciation for history and now have a keen interest in it.  Last night I finally went to see the movie Lincoln and I was embarrassed by the fact that I didn’t know a lot about the story.  As a funeral director most of the history I have learned has come from listening to people who belong to “The Greatest Generation.” The Greatest Generation is a term coined by journalist Tom Brokaw to describe the generation who grew up in the United States during the deprivation of the Great Depression, and then went on to fight in World War II, as well as those whose productivity within the war’s home front made a decisive material contribution to the war effort.

I absolutely loved listening to the stories told by family members of a loved one who was a part of this great generation.  The stories of how mom met dad during the war when she was a nurse and he was a G.I.  The stories of how a family of ten somehow made ends meet with little or no money and how the children didn’t even know they were poor because they never knew what it was like to have money. And they were happy.  Along with these stories are the pictures, actual photographs taken during this unique time in our history.  Actually, the pictures are what spawn the stories.

Years ago you very rarely saw photographs at a visitation or a funeral.  Today it is much different and in fact, not only do we have photos on display, but we also scan them to a DVD that plays during the visitation.  This is included as part of our funeral package.  The families enjoy them so much that they often purchase additional copies for each family member.  That way you never have to take the collage board down, you can just pop in the DVD and watch it whenever you want.  We also have made it easy for friends and family to see the pictures whenever they want as they can now be scanned into the Life Images section of the specific obituary on our website.  You can also share stories and memories in the  Life Stories and Memory Book section.  To see examples, please visit our newly designed website at:  http://www.wietingfuneralhome.com

I specifically talk about The Greatest Generation because these are the pictures and stories I have been most exposed to during my career.  I also talk about it because I, like many of you, feel that this was a special time in our history.  I may not have lived during this time, but hearing the stories and seeing the pictures certainly has contributed to my renewed interest in history. Sadly,  The Greatest Generation like all generations before it, is slowly slipping away and it is up to us to preserve their history and keep telling their stories. If you haven’t had a chance to sit down and talk with someone who lived through the Depression Years, I urge you to take the time to do it.  If you know mom or dad has pictures hidden away in the attic or sitting in a dusty photo album, urge them to get them out and tell their stories. Make an afternoon out of it and be sure to bring the grandchildren and great grandchildren. You will be glad you did and you might even hear a story or two you’ve never heard before.  Now…..back to my history book.