Many facilities work in tandem with those in the cremation industry, including hospitals, hospices, doctors, and other caregivers. Learn more about how Boston Cremation works with others to help honor the life of someone who has recently passed away.
John Maher: Hi, I’m John Maher and I’m here today with Rebekah Peoples, a licensed funeral director with Boston cremation. Today we’re talking about Boston Cremation’s appreciation of related organizations. Welcome, Rebekah.
Rebekah Peoples: Hi. Thanks, John.
Organizations Related to the Cremation Industry
John: Rebekah, as a funeral home, what are some of the related organizations that you interact with in your industry?
Rebekah: Well, the most obvious ones that we interact with are hospitals, nursing homes, hospices, nurses, [and the] people who are usually the ones who call to inform us, either that someone has died, or that someone is dying and they’re calling to get information to help people.
Working with Hospitals
John: Tell me a little bit more about hospitals and your interaction with them.
Rebekah: Hospitals are really different than they used to be. A lot of times we will get a call from, not just necessarily a nurse calling to tell us that someone has died, but sometimes, now there are very active social workers who are dealing with people, helping them through this time. It’s really nice for the family, on their part of it, because statistics show that probably most of you who are listening to this have experienced the death of someone close to you. So you know how difficult that can be.
A lot of times today, instead of waiting until the person died, the social workers or these people at the hospital get involved ahead of time and help these people navigate through, unfortunately, what is inevitable. They’ll call us on behalf of that family and ask us what they can do to help the family through this time or what we can help them do before the person actually passes.
John: Right. In some cases, it might make the family feel better to know that they have funeral or cremation arrangements done before the person passes away, just as a peace of mind, then.
Rebekah: Yes. Sometimes it can be as simple as calling us, getting information to find out if what we offer suits what it is that they expect or what they think that they want to do to honor this person’s wishes. Sometimes it might be as simple as saying, “Hey, my mother is being admitted to a nursing home and they’re asking us who we’re choosing as our funeral home when something happens.” It might be as simple as just saying, “Is it okay for us to give them your name?” Absolutely. We want to do whatever we can to help people. If it’s something that simple, that’s fine. Usually, people have questions; if they’re not familiar with who we are, they have questions just to make sure that we’re able to do exactly what it is that they want.
Working with Hospice
John: Tell me more about what hospice workers do and your interaction with them.
Rebekah: Yes. Hospice workers are a perfect example of what I just talked about. Because, not only do hospices have social workers, but many of the people on their staff are caregivers. This is the same with hospitals and nursing homes. [The term] “caregivers” is such a broad term for all these people who come in contact with these families. Whether they’re doctors, nurses, social workers, even volunteers at some of these places.
The thing that we hear is that, now, with a lot of people being on hospice, with being able to die at home or die in a hospice house, is that these hospice people and these social workers become part of the family. By the time that they call us to tell us that they need us, we hear a lot of good stories about what the hospice workers, the social workers and people who are related caregivers do to help these people through this time.
John: Because, naturally you’re there, obviously, as a hospice worker to help the person who’s passing away, but you’re also in contact with that person’s family on a daily and hourly basis, so you are there and able to help the family through this situation as well.
Rebekah: Yes. You’re exactly right and they frequently tell us, “Oh, this person, they became part of our family.” Because they end up having meals with these people and being part of the family and being there with them. Because, a lot of times, they’re there not just to administer medication or things like that, but they’re there to just be there. Just be there with them, walking them through this. They say sometimes that your presence is more important than doing anything. It’s just being there and I think that they’re just perfect examples of that.
Working with Doctors and Nurses
John: Right. You mentioned doctors and nurses as well. You actually do have conversations with doctors and nurses at the hospital as well.
Rebekah: Sometimes we do and [it’s] part of the legality of forms. I tell people everybody has a birth certificate when they’re born and everybody has a death certificate too, sadly. And the doctor’s signature is required on the death certificate certifying not just that the person died, but [also] what the cause of death was. It’s always refreshing for me when I call a doctor’s office and say, ‘’I’m calling from Boston Cremation, we just need the doctor to fill in his part on this death certificate. Can I fax this form over?” and when the doctor or the nurse says, ‘’Oh, who is the patient who died?’’ and I tell them the name, and they go, ‘’Oh, she was such a nice woman.” I love hearing that these people impact so many people’s lives.
We spoke a little bit earlier about other people who come in contact with these people. Like people who are bus drivers that pick these people up and take them to their doctors’ appointments. Or people who deliver meals to these people’s homes. Everybody who comes in contact with these people feels impacted by their life. So when that person dies and it’s like, “Oh, I just heard that, you know, Jon Jones just died. Oh, I used to take meals to him every day, he was the nicest guy, he would talk to me for a couple of minutes and he always said a good word.”
I think that it’s a time that those things are important for us to share with people, to share with their families or share with them in some way. Because everybody wants to know that their mother or their father or the person that they loved who died had some impact on other people. Even if it’s just, ‘’Oh, I used to see him sitting at the corner stool in the coffee shop every day and he always looked up and gave me a smile.’’
When somebody dies, we hear more about what they did, no matter how small, that made somebody’s day. We just appreciate hearing those stories and all of the people that are kind of in care giving situations, even though they are not labelled as caregivers.
John: That’s important for us to remember. Especially at the end of somebody’s life. All of those people that they come into contact with, that help not only them but their families get through what is ultimately a very difficult time in their lives.
Rebekah: Yes. It helps to give us insight into who the person was, because these people spend so much more time with this person and this person’s family members than we do. We are a part of their lives for a couple of days. These other caregivers have been there for them all along and we appreciate what they do.
John: That’s great. It was excellent to speak with you about this today, Rebekah. Thank you.
Rebekah: Thanks, John.
John: For more information, you can visit the website at www.bostoncremation.org or call (781) 322-0909.