There may be no more personal emotion that mourning a loved one. Everyone is a little bit different in how they mourn and how long they mourn. Part of the reason our custom includes a visitation to celebrate a life, is to promote a healthy and very necessary emotional response. While every experience really is truly unique, there are many commonalities among people going through a mourning process. Key events and anniversaries are always liable to inspire an emotional reaction. All of these “firsts” are a reminder that your loved one who celebrated with you is no longer humanly present to do so. These times can be especially difficult. Perhaps the most positive thing about these dates and events is that they are predictable and families can make the effort to be together during these times. It’s wise to plan these events and anniversaries well in advance of the actual dates. They can often be moments of sharing very positive memories of your loved one as well.
Death can be expected or sudden. During particularly long illnesses where debilitation of mind and or body has occurred, much mourning has taken place prior to the actual moment of death. It’s not unusual for people to seem to recover emotionally a bit sooner in these circumstances. It is possible that family has been “all cried out” during a long illness where their loved one has been uncommunicative or compromised significantly over the time of the illness. In cases of sudden deaths, families may be looking for answers and trying to think of ways they may have been able to help, or prevent a death from occurring. In these cases, it is important that friends remain close and help families deal with the grief of losing someone too soon. People need assurance and reassurance from family and friends that death can come randomly and is almost completely beyond anyone’s control.
The most important thing to remember is that “Listening” is the most important gift a friend can offer. Being a good listener is being a healer. The most common phrase at a visitation is “If you need anything, please don’t hesitate to ask”. What nearly everyone will need is a good listener. Be ready and be generous with your time when the call comes.
So much of what we do relies upon generations of traditions and customs in comforting families who have experienced loss. Gathering with the family is an instinctual and compassionate response for people. Our mission is to provide a comfortable environment and professional service that leaves a family with only one responsibility; greeting their guests and celebrating the life of their loved one.
Technology is now a part of our service.
When you enter Sheehy Funeral Home, among the first things you’ll see is a large screen image of the person you are there to honor and a directory to which chapel the visitation is in. It can also relate the information for religious services and place of burial. The person you are coming to honor is usually the first image you will see upon entering. Aside from the very practical benefits of this use of technology, it is viewed as a very warm welcome too.
When you enter our chapel, we have an electronic kiosk for registering visitors. It’s still new for many people, so we have an attendant nearby to help anyone use the kiosk to register their name and address in the guestbook. It’s easy to use and our families have appreciated how much easier it has made it for them to send “Thank you” cards after the services. The technology of the electronic registry has eliminated the problem of trying to decipher handwriting and more complete information is available when the services are over. We provide completely accurate pre-printed envelopes addressed to your guests who signed in at the visitation, saving families hours of time and effort when the efficiency is most appreciated.
At Sheehy Funeral Home, we’re always looking for any way to make a difficult time a little easier.
Robert and James Sheehy are carrying on the tradition of their grandfather, Roger, their uncle Roger and father, Robert that started in a storefront at 76th St. and Halsted Ave. in 1913. This year marks the hundredth anniversary of the Sheehy family providing service to Chicago’s south side families. Continuing their tradition with funeral homes in Burbank, IL and Orland Park, IL, Bob and Jim Sheehy are the standard bearers of the Sheehy Family Funeral Homes in Chicago. Jeff Vorva of The Regional News and The Reporter newspaper sat down to interview the Sheehy Brothers recently and filed this story documenting the Sheehy Family history in the funeral industry.
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