New York State Funeral Directors Association

Book Cover of "From Here to Eternity" by Caitlin Doughty

Keep your hands off.

Don’t touch. It’s not for you, not safe, not to be handled. Leave it alone, it’s dirty and unclean, hands off.

In most Western cultures, we think that about the deceased human body - but why?

Anita Freer had career goals decades ago, but she put those aside to focus on raising her family.

And, just like the late First Lady, Barbara Bush, Freer carried with her the grief of losing a young child.

Though she’d put her personal goals aside, Freer raised children and grandchildren and had no regrets by the age of 72.

When Barbara Bush passed away, she lost a role model.

Funeral Director Stephenie Nowak Bernius and Daughter Katerina

Being a funeral director can be exhausting, it is a 24 hours a day, 365 days a year job.

Being a mom can be exhausting, it is a 24 hours a day, 365 days a year job.

I am both.

Video: Slaves No More

New York's Capital Region honors, re-buries Colonial-era slaves. Found by accident in an unmarked cemetery, scientists pinpointed their African origin and the community held a wake and funeral.

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SympathyNotes is written to stimulate discussion of death and grief. Opinions do not reflect the views of NYSFDA.

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