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I'm a sixth generation funeral director. I have a grad degree in Missional Theology and a Certification in Thanatology.
And I like to read and write.
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Posts by Caleb Wilde
For Those Who Like Quiet Neighbors, Buy a Church and Adjoining Cemetery on Craigslist for under $100K !!!
Yes. You can own both a church and a cemetery and live in them too!!! That is, if you don’t mind living with about 50 other permanent residents, all of whom are reportedly very quiet and peaceful.
And if you have kids, what’s better than have a cemetery as your playground? C’mom, who doesn’t like playing hide and go seek in a graveyard? And just think of the Halloween parties!
Here’s part of the description on Craigslist:
I am an Artist selling my lovely Art Studio in the Catskills- which was once a church! WHICH MAKES THE PERFECT HOME ! and the good news…it is under 90 miles from New York City! That is right! You can drive an hour and a half and have this Open Loft-like space for your Art Studio, business or your weekend Home! I use it for all !
I bought the building about 5 years ago with the hope of renovating it to be more like a home….and, sadly, my permanent home in Jersey City was destroyed by SANDY- so finances have forced me to sell this amazing weekend Home and getaway Art Space .
Well, after spending all my savings fixing the Jersey home…it looks like I am forced to sell my upstate getaway.
But- my loss is your gain.
I am selling this GEM for the same price that I paid for it in 2009- just $99,000
And here are some photos:
Last month we had a large service for Tommy, a 40-something father of two, brother of two, half-brother of three, step brother of one, son of two parents, and step-son of two step-parents. All loved him – his entire blended family and the 600-plus people who came to his memorial service.
After those 600 people expressed their condolences to the grieving and exhausted family, the service began. It’s become a good trend to allow a sharing time during the service, and this service was on trend. It gives family and friends the opportunity to eulogize (though often it devolves into an open mic to say whatever the hell you want about the deceased).
short little eulogies change the pace and welcome back the dead in both the audience and in the casket. At services like the one today, people have been waiting over four hours in the pews for the visitation to end. They are hungry, tired, and grieving, and a hot head blowing his air in the form of a sermon can put them in a daze faster than a punch to the face.
But these listless and lackluster mourners miraculously perked up when the family stepped up to the pulpit to share.
The deceased’s dad told the story, when — at the age of 10 — Tommy played hooky for a couple days. After Tommy’s dad got a call from the school principal, he hurried home to find his son fishing in a little thing “you could barely call a stream.” When he asked why Tommy had been skipping school, Tommy responded that he’d been getting picked on at school. Tommy’s dad did what any good dad does – he taught Tommy how to fight. Apparently, he taught him too well.
This theme of “Tommy was a fighter” found its way into each of the five spontaneous eulogies: Tommy liked to fight. Sometimes physically, but always figuratively. Tommy knew what he wanted and he’d fight for it. He’d fight for his family, for his friends and, even though he’d eventually lose, he fought for his life.
Over the years I’ve noticed something about fighters: they get the good funerals. Seriously. Fighters stand for something. Fighters value and believe in something. For every one enemy, they have five friends. People-pleasers, teacher’s pets, and “yes men” have the boring, we’re-all-here-because-we-have-to-be funerals. But fighters? They have friends till death and beyond. Their friends stand up and share crazy stories at the funeral.
Tommy’s friends will be there for his kids, supporting them with time and even money if needed. In a way, Tommy’s fighting spirit will live on in his friends and family.
There’s a simple recipe for a good funeral. It goes like this:
1. The deceased LOVED others.
2. The deceased FOUGHT for those she/he loved (I’m NOT talking about the fist to face type of fighting, I’m talking about the figurative passionate pursuit of something we love and value … the pursuit of which is often bereft with hardship and pain and struggle).
Fighting does something to us. The struggle does something to us. To borrow a line from Fight Club, “How much can you know about yourself if you’ve never been in a fight?”
Fighters know their limits. And they know what they value. And they know how much they’re willing to risk. They’re confident in who they are.
So, what do you fight for? And who do you love?
If you can answer those questions, let your funeral director know that when you die, she/he should be prepared for one helluva funeral.
All of these photos have been sourced from the inspiring facebook page, “Growing Bolder”. Here’s their mission statement: “We share the real stories of ordinary people who are living extraordinary lives and prove that it’s never too late to discover your purpose and passion; never too late to reinvent yourself, begin a new relationship, start a new business, learn a new skill or make a difference in your community. Our products are hope, inspiration and possibility. Our message is dream, believe and persist.”