Have The Talk of a Lifetime

by MSO
FAMIC's ad for Have the Talk of a Lifetime.

“Have the Talk of a Lifetime” is a global campaign launched by the Funeral and Memorial Information Council (FAMIC) to encourage families and friends to actually take the time to find out how they want to be remembered.

today’s technology-filled world we have endless opportunities to communicate with each other from mobile phones to email, social media and texting. In fact we have never been so well connected with instant contact options.

For all of the advantages of today’s communication tools it seems that we are now spending less time sitting down to actually talk with those who mean the most to us as it’s often much quicker and easier just to converse with a text message than to take the time from our busy routines to meet with someone face-to-face.

The reality is this lack of personal interaction and direct contact means that many people are now missing out on the sharing of stories from their close relatives and learning about their values, accomplishments and their family heritage. However this may soon change thanks to a grassroots effort by a forward-thinking group of funeral service professionals who are encouraging today’s families to actually stop and sit down with their loved ones to learn what matters most to them.

“Have The Talk of a Lifetime” is a global campaign recently launched by the Funeral and Memorial Information Council (FAMIC), an umbrella organization that includes ten funeral service associations encompassing all areas of funeral service and memorialization. For many in funeral service “Have The Talk of a Lifetime” is a well-timed, grassroots educational initiative that will benefit everyone from families (by helping them re-connect) to funeral service professionals who are frontline supporters when it comes to helping people understand and navigate through the process of a death of a loved one.

Many professionals in funeral service are seeing a shift away from how people have traditionally been remembered and memorialized in favor of quick and impersonal methods including immediate, direct disposition where there is no gathering, no goodbyes or sharing of memories. This quick and simple method is a troublesome trend in the opinion of funeral industry veterans who recognize that every life should be acknowledged and celebrated. The “Have Talk of a Lifetime” initiative from FAMIC encourages people to learn more about their loved ones and remember the difference they have made in our lives and honoring the life that they lived because once we lose a loved one it is too late to find out what mattered most to them.

Head shot of Jim Kepner, president of FAMIC

Jim Kepner is the President of FAMIC and a fifth generation funeral director from Wheeling, West Virginia.

According to FAMIC President, Jim Kepner, a fifth generation funeral director who operates five funeral home locations in Wheeling, West Virginia, “The goal of FAMIC’S ‘Have The Talk of a Lifetime’ campaign is to motivate the public to actually talk to their family members about their lives, whether it is their grandparents, parents, children or even friends about life and what matters to them most. You can talk about values, goals, their accomplishments, favorite memories and even talk about how they want to be remembered when they pass away.”

Kepner adds, “Having this personal information is very important to funeral homes. When the family comes in to make arrangements for whomever has passed away, they can now tell the funeral director all about their loved one and what their wishes are.  They’ve had the opportunity to have the talk with this individual and can relay this information to the funeral director and we can educate them about their options. Now the loved one can be memorialized and a service of some kind can be held. It now becomes a ceremony or personalized life celebration instead of a direct disposition. As funeral professionals, we know from experience, that this type of personal memorialization allows the family to go away with the closure necessary when saying goodbye.”

This initiative from FAMIC is unprecedented with their ten associations and sixteen thousand members coming together with one common goal, and that is to encourage people to talk about their lives. On the surface it may seem a little unusual that funeral professionals are encouraging people to talk about their lives but the reality is that they are experienced, caring professionals who help bring closure to people’s lives and also help start the healing after the loss of a loved one. An important part of the memorialization process is helping people remember and cherish memories and share stories to help create a truly personalized celebration of a life lived.

Headshot of Linda Darby, Incomng President of FAMIC

Linda Darby is the incoming President of FAMIC, CEO of Trigard Inc. and operator of six family funeral homes in Illinois and Arizona.

Linda Darby, CEO of Trigard Inc., one of America’s leading burial vault, urn and bronze plaque manufacturers and operator of six family funeral homes in Illinois and Arizona is very excited to see how so many key funeral service organizations have united around a common goal. As incoming president of FAMIC, Darby believes that the families they serve are worth the effort to get them talking again with “Have The Talk of a Lifetime” campaign. She feels that having so many funeral service professionals join together with one voice and one message is impressive and inspiring.

Darby says, “In our fast paced world we live in, we want everything quick, easy and we want it now… a very sad documentary of our world. We believe that if we will take some time to actually talk to those we love, share stories, share our heritage, it will help us on our journey of healing in a much healthier way.  We really don’t want to be a part of a lost generation where we couldn’t take the time to learn from the people who helped shape our lives. These stories are the backbone of who we are. We know this campaign is a bold one, however, we believe so strongly in getting people talking again, we are not afraid to be bold and we are encouraging everyone from our families we serve to our funeral service colleagues to join in to make ‘Have The Talk of a Lifetime’ a success.”

Learn more about the FAMIC’s Have the Talk of a Lifetime .

FAMIC Members include: Casket and Funeral Supply Association, Cremation Association of North America, Funeral Service Foundation, International Memorialization Supply Association, International Order of the Golden Rule, Monument Builders of North America, National Concrete Burial Vault Association, National Funeral Directors & Morticians Association, National Funeral Directors Association and Selected Independent Funeral Homes. FAMIC is committed to making available to the public direct and open information regarding funeral service and memorialization from the leading associations of service providers and businesses.

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