P.O. Box 856
Arcata, CA 95518
Sat., April 13th, starting at 1 pm
Unitarian Universalist Church
ABOUT OUR KEYNOTE SPEAKER AND TOPIC…
The Different Sides of Grief..."Change, Grief and Transformation"
At this year’s annual meeting, the FCA of Humboldt is proud to host the venerable, Sheri Whitt, MFT, known locally for her outstanding presence as the former manager of Grief Support Services at Hospice of Humboldt. Currently Whitt divides her time working as the Clinical Director at Humboldt State University and running her own private practice.
In the wake of so many traumatic deaths in our community, Whitt is inspired to speak about the nature of change; particularly challenging change, what we can notice about painful events in our lives and how we can best support ourselves and each other as we mourn. “We each have a unique grief experience and the experience of grief is something that will touch us all,” says Whitt.
“Just as we are seeking to change our relationship to death and how we approach the end of days and the burial or cremation of our loved ones, I believe there is a growing momentum to change the kind of mourning so many of us have experienced at some point in our lives-- isolated and alone with our despair, absent language from the heart and community with which to share it, disoriented and cast out into a place of un-knowingness which causes so many of us to question our very sanity.”
Whether our friend, loved one, or pet passes away suddenly or wilts away over time, death is something everyone will experience. Just as we plan for a baby, there are many ways people can plan for death and dying, too.
Learn about the rights and choices available to you in the (too often avoided) final chapter of your life. Our annual meeting is FREE and open to all. Come early to join us for socializing and homemade treats (so good!). Keynote presentation begins after a short-and-sweet business meeting, Saturday, April 13th, 2013, 1-3 pm, Humboldt Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 24 Fellowship Way, Bayside. For more information call 707-223-6867.
The Funeral Consumers Alliance (FCA) is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting a consumer's right to choose a meaningful, dignified, affordable funeral.
Your local Funeral Consumer Alliance is a nonprofit group that empowers people with informational resources for end of life planning so that we may face this transition gracefully. FCA provides information on traditional and non-traditional funeral/burial options, serves as a consumer advocate for legal and regulatory reform, monitors funeral industry practices and offers guidance in pre-planning for end of life matters.
82% of people say it’s important to put their wishes in writing.
23% have actually done it.
(Source: Survey of Californians by the California HealthCare Foundation -2012)
Dear FCA of Humboldt Members,
Here at the Funeral Consumers Alliance, we stress the importance of preplanning. While it is so important, and I know and preach this, even I have been dragging my feet. I am partway there, having made most of the decisions and put them on paper. The step I must now take is communicating these details and decisions to those who will be faced with my disposition and with wrapping up my affairs.
Planning for and talking about death are topics most people conveniently steer clear of. Not sure if this classifies as optimism, but if that’s what it is, then a little pessimism may be healthy here. My own parents clammed up in the past when I attempted to voice some of the decisions I was contemplating for myself.
…And sadly, I know nothing of what they want for themselves. If I let this information remain unknown, I foresee a likely unpleasant debate between my five siblings and I, during a time of grief, to decide for them.
This glimpse of “what may be” serves as a motivator for me to finalize and share my plans with them, in hopes it will facilitate a discussion of their last wishes. I also hope that in sharing this with all of you, I might inspire you to follow through with your own preplanning, if you haven’t done so already.
Two documents that got me going are available through your very own local FCA. They provide a template to clarify what you want (and don’t want) and assist your loved ones in wrapping up your business.
Before I Go, You Should Know (Gorey Pouch) details:
- Where to locate your helpful and required legal documents
- Who you have appointed to oversee/carry out your wishes
- How you want your remains handled
- Family, friends and other significant contact information
- Active accounts, account numbers, passwords, etc
- Obituary notes
This packet also includes an Advanced Directive form.
Five Wishes details:
- Who you have appointed to make healthcare decisions for you when you’re not able to
- Medical treatment you want and don’t want
- How comfortable you want to be
- How you want people to treat you
- What you want your loved ones to know
This document can be completed online and printed for free at AgingWithDignity.org.
Both documents are recognized as legal documents in California and will be available for sale at our upcoming Annual Meeting. (There are eight states in which Five Wishes does not yet meet the legal requirements.)
Before I Go You Should Know - (Gorey Pouch)-$10 Five Wishes -$1
While no doubt thought provoking, the documents are very simple to complete. Spelling it all out left me feeling a bit liberated as well as grateful to have a say in these matters. My next step will be to share the details with family and the few friends I have asked to be involved. I have already found I am comfortable talking about these topics with my friends. It’s the communication with my parents I expect to be challenging.
In the end, I know it will bring me considerable peace of mind to know that my loved ones know what I want and that I am making the whole business end of it significantly easier for them when my time comes.
Motivated to walk the talk,
Denise George, Your FCA Board President
“There is no death, only a change of worlds.” --Duwamish
FCA OF HUMBOLDT IS PURSUING NON-PROFIT STATUS
A standing ovation to
champion board member,
Lionel Ortiz, for all the
blood, sweat, tears and time
he's given towards
a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and
tax-deductible status for our
local FCA. We absolutely
would not be able to achieve
this without you, Lionel!
“Life is not separate from death. It only looks that way.”
Board of Directors
Aisha Kavanaugh Coriell
Advisors to Board
WANTED: BOARD MEMBERS
A friendly, inspired, go-getter type who is
interested in joining and being an active FCA
About half of our current board
has more than put their time in and are looking
to pass the torch to new people who share the
calling to bring attention to the topic of
conscious death and dying to the Humboldt
The FCA board is a friendly group
of people who meet quarterly over a mellow
potluck of snacks and we welcome all those
interested to attend a meeting and see if you’d
like to commit.
It’s enormously satisfying to
serve an aspect of life that is often shied away
from, and instead to meet it with courage and
compassion (and as it turns out, people who
work with death have an extraordinary sense of
Hope to see you soon. We need bright
minds to join our group and
get our message out!
We never rent, sell or share your information with organizations
outside of the Funeral Consumers Alliance.
HELP US STAY AFLOAT
Please consider adding a donation to the “coffin” at the Annual Meeting, or mail your donation to:
FCA of Humboldt
P.O. Box 856
Arcata, CA 95518
Have You Moved?
MEMBER DISCOUNT RATES FOR LOCAL SERVICES ARE NO LONGER AVAILABLE
In pursuit of 501(c)(3) status,
we may no longer offer special prices or benefits
exclusively for our members.
After many years of service and partnership, we
had to discontinue our agreement for FCA
Member reduced rates with Pierce, Paul’s and
serve as an educational resource assisting in
providing access to simple, dignified funeral and
mortuary services for all.
Thank you Pierce,
Paul’s and Goble’s for the excellent service that
you’ve always provided to our members.
|"I don't think about dying...it's the last thing I have to do!"
A PERSONAL STORY OF GREEN BURIAL
By Nancy Ihara
Years ago my husband, Danny, expressed his wish to have a green burial. While he was alive his passion was to work
to avert climate change. For him green burials were the most environmentally sensitive way to dispose of our bodies
when we die. They negate the need for caskets and concrete liners and avoid the CO2 producing effects of crematory
Danny was buried in the 18 plot green cemetery site at the Blue Lake Cemetery. The representative of the Ocean
View Cemetery – Sunset Memorial Park, owners of the Blue Lake Cemetery, the only presently permitted green
cemetery site, was extremely supportive of Danny’s decision. Ayres Family Cremation, too, provided incredibly
sympathetic and helpful assistance. (Danny chose to donate his brain to the Mayo Clinic for research into his atypical
Parkinsonism and thus needed the services Ayres provided.) Our friend, Kathy Morris, made Danny the perfect
shroud in which he was buried. Woven natural fiber caskets and shrouds are available locally.
Danny’s burial was, as he would have wished, largely carbon neutral.
"What is the definition of a will? ...A dead giveaway."
Treasurer's Report: Year 2012 Highlights
Active Members of FCA of Humboldt = 1,540 ~ New Members = 58
Income for the Year
|Donations (thank you!)
| Total Income
Thank you so, so much
for your support!
Expenses for the Year
|Annual meeting expenses
|Dues & Fees
| Total Expenses
FROM MEMBER SERVICES SECRETARY JAN ROWEN
After 10 years of being on the board of our local chapter of the Funeral Consumers Alliance I have had to
step away. I remain committed to educating the public about the importance of talking with family members
and friends about their end-of-life wishes and, equally important, putting aside some money for the
expense of a cremation/burial/memorial service. I have been honored by many families to assist in the
passing of beloved family members and am thankful. I will continue to be a voice for the FCA and will do
some public speaking. I am available for questions and will continue to answer the phone. Many use the
internet now for information and to that note we have a very good website which is updated as news
comes to us. Still, it is nice to know one can pick up the phone at all hours and hear a friendly voice on
the other end. I am able to maintain this service and enjoy it. As I say farewell for now, please get your
affairs in order, no matter your age.
2012 LEGISLATION AFFECTING FUNERALS
These bills were passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Brown.
Probably the most important was SB No. 658, which requires all licensed funeral service establishments to list their
services on their websites. Unfortunately the section of the bill which required that they post their prices for each
service online was amended out at the last minute.
Several other important bills affect military veterans. Here are
the most pertinent new laws:
SB No.611 makes it a crime to picket within 300 feet of a funeral for one hour prior to, or one hour after, the service.
This follows a national law signed by the President after demonstrations disrupted numerous veterans funerals.
AB No. 1225: Protection of Veterans Markers: makes it a misdemeanor to sell, trade or transfer veteran's commemorative
property. Defines "commemorative property" in detail.
AB No. 1806: called the "Burial With Honor Act of 2012" it requires county veterans service officers to determine if
unclaimed remains are those of a veteran or dependent of a veteran, and if they are, do they meet the criteria for burial
by a veterans organization. Also details use of that information.
A bill passed in 2010 provided for the burial of honorably discharged veterans by veterans organizations if the family
has insufficient funds.
Other legislation passed and signed in 2012 covered the disposition of small estates (under $100,000); strengthens an
employee's right to bereavement leave; requires the Cemetery and Funeral Bureau to put on the internet information
about funeral industry operators of various services, their licenses, etc.
Additional information can be found by Googling "California Legislation/Funerals."
Also of note is a national bill (HR3655) to protect cemetery users. It puts many requirements on funeral industry
establishments, especially the disclosure of prices, and assures the choice of services. This bill grew out of Congressional
hearings on the scandal in the Chicago area which revealed that 300 graves had been dug up and then resold.
The National Director of Funeral Consumers Alliance, Josh Slocum, spoke at this hearing and urged lawmakers to
look into the many deceptive practices in the funeral industry which "take advantage of vulnerable families."