What Are You Most Grateful For? These Funeral Pros Answer

Posted November 27, 2019

6 min read

This time of year is an ideal time to pause, give thanks, and share gratitude for all that we have.

That’s why we’re sharing a few of our friends’ and employees’ reflections on what they are most grateful for looking back over this past year.

Melissa S. Sullivan, Executive Director at the Ohio Funeral Directors Association:

I am indeed fortunate to easily fill multiple pages with reasons I am grateful this year. Simple observations of Mother Nature’s splendor…a bright sun peaking through the clouds, a vibrant red maple tree leaf effortlessly floating to the ground, water rippling against the pond edge.

Doing work that matters with and for people I admire and respect. Seeing family and friends gather who genuinely enjoy and appreciate each other’s company. The 2 ½ year old granddaughter steals the show, of course! Her infectious giggle may deserve top billing for what I am most grateful for this year.

Alyssa Singleton, Customer Success Project Specialist at CRäKN:

This has been an exciting year for me and I have grown a lot. This year included a lot of “firsts” for me and I am thankful that everything I accomplished was a part of a smooth process. I am thankful for my family and friends for always being just a phone call away, despite my distance from them. I am thankful for my busy schedule, being bored is completely… boring!

I am also thankful for all of the opportunities to grow in my career this year. I am thankful for learning new skills, no matter how small or how large—in which I must attribute my colleagues to my growth and for their constant positivity.

Last but not least, I am thankful for my colleagues’ constant positivity and willingness to show a new dog old tricks.

Lacy Robinson, Director, Member Development at National Funeral Directors Association:

I am most thankful for the consumers who participated in NFDA’s Consumer Awareness and Preference Study. NFDA’s inquires about everything from how many funeral homes they contact to gather information to their knowledge of funeral celebrants.

Every year results from this study helps us to understand where the disconnect is and how funeral directors can improve upon their communication as well as services offered. Learning that 93.3% of consumers have not attended an event where a funeral director presented relevant funeral information is difficult to process. But it’s that kind of information funeral directors need to know right now in order to fine tune their 2020 vision.

Matthew Howes, Chief Innovation Officer at CRäKN:

This year I have a lot to be thankful for. As a big part of my life, I am thankful for the great employees and mentors at CRäKN—that they let me grow myself—mind and talent—everyday. I am also thankful for the love and support of my wife, Amy, who enables me to be the best version of myself. There are loads of other things but those are definitely my top two.

Ann Marie St. George, Cooperative Funeral Fund Regional Manager:

No matter how bad your year may seem there is always something you can be grateful for. Personally, I am grateful for those people I surround myself with that keep me grounded when I become over-confident and encourage me when I am feeling less than capable.

Physically, I am grateful for a doctor who believed in DNA screening for predisposition of the BRCA 1 gene. I tested positive and had all the necessary surgeries to make me less likely than the average person to develop Breast or Ovarian cancer. In a roundabout way I am grateful for my husband’s passion for researching his family history in ancestry.com; it was his constant sharing of his findings that made me really take a look at my own family and the fact there was an extra ordinary amount of deaths due to cancer. Maybe I should apologize for making fun of him as he spent hours finding his Sicilian ancestors.

Professionally, I am grateful for making mistakes; without them one may develop a false sense of perfection. Yes, it is hard to believe one is not perfect and trust me the realization is humbling; but you will get over it, eventually. Now mind you, I am not talking about game changing mistakes but fixable mistakes, mistakes that can lead to bettering one’s self if you choose to let them.

I am grateful to work for a company that backs me and helps me to move forward when I make a mistake and who generously invest in me, helping me grow both professionally and personally.

Lastly, I am grateful for a loving, supportive, calming husband who listens to me without rolling his eyes… that goes a long way in “any” relationship.

Wishing everyone a ground-breaking 2020 with lots of love and laughter!

Bettina Burgess, Business Analyst at CRäKN:

“I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual.”

Reflecting on this quote by Henry David Thoreau, I am moved in remembrance of how much I have to be grateful for this year.

Professionally, it has been a wonderful year of growth, change, and continued admiration for those who serve the funeral profession. Being part of the CRäKN team continues to be a wonderful opportunity to support those in the profession all while we continue to grow, enhance, and create an even more powerful tool.

Personally, I am thankful for my beautiful family who continues to surprise and awe me daily (teenagers!), my faith, freedom, the ability to take a deep breath and all the glory and beauty around me. Watching both my husband and son race BMX together and my daughter pursue her artistic passions gives me a sense of gratitude and peace that is irreplaceable.

Lastly, I couldn’t possibly leave out my thankfulness for warm fires in the woodstove, my adorable dogs, finding new musical ear candy, and good creekin’ and fishing!

Alan Creedy, Small Business & Funeral Home Consultant:

What am I grateful for? God’s gift of salvation; 48 years married to a great woman; 2 wonderful children and 7 grandchildren; purpose; many, many friends; a rewarding career; living in the United States; and my health.

This Thanksgiving, We Want to Acknowledge How Grateful We Are for You

We want to give thanks and express how much we appreciate you—that is, the community that supports CRäKN. Without our partners, clients, team members, local community, advocates and other supporters, we wouldn’t be here.

To learn more about CRäKN, contact us here.

Categories: Industry


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