New York State Funeral Directors Association

Funeral Director Michael J. Cushman, Peg Cushman and sons Robert H. and William T. Cushman of Rhoney Funeral Home in Niagara Falls

Editor's Note: Peg Cushman previously shared this article with the Buffalo News

Death is a part of life that everyone experiences at one time or another; for my husband, my two sons and myself, it’s almost on a daily basis.

Most boys dream of becoming sport stars, astronauts or firefighters.

My husband’s aspiration was to become a funeral director.

Some of the late Dorothy "Bobbie" Joslin's Plants are Now Cared For by Her Daughter and Son-in-Law

My grandfather’s grandfather, Willard, sold things to people in his community – apples, lumber and other goods.

I’m not sure if he had a store at his farm or whatnot, I just know he kept records of what he sold and who he sold it to because I have a couple of the small ledgers he used for jotting down details.

Like most of the family history stuff I keep, they’re all locked up in fireproof containers.

Friend consoling a friend

Talking to someone who has just lost a loved one is never easy.

In fact, many people avoid the situation by staying away or sending a generic card. They are afraid of saying the wrong thing.

While there is no one right way to offer condolences, there are a few mistakes well-meaning people often make.

Learn from others so you don’t make the same errors.

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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