New York State Funeral Directors Association

Mother and Daughter

My salt and pepper shakers are skulls.

At my wedding, I had skeletons dressed as a bride and groom sitting on my head table. I took monthly maternity photos in a cemetery.

For as long as I can remember, death and its symbols have been woven into my life.

Sometimes, life stinks.

Bad things happen to great people but truly horrible things happen to you - things like losing a loved one, and that’s indescribable.

Your emotions feel like shuffled cards: you’re foggy, sad, angry, exhausted, and tired of dealing with it all. So what do you do next?

Most Americans have seen the traditional folding of the American flag, at specific events, such as funerals.

Have you ever wondered why Old Glory is folded that specific way?

Much more than just pomp and circumstance, each of the 13 folds holds special meaning.

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.

Video: Family History

Today, resources are becoming more widely available, giving people the ability to learn exciting stories about their ancestors. Find 14 great tips on the Blog.


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

SympathyNotes Facebook

Connect with SympathyNotes

FB Blue    Twitter Blue

SympathyNotes is copyrighted but may be reproduced with attribution. For reprint permission, please contact Ed Munger.