French Funeral Home has opened a unique service at their location at 421 E. National Ave.
"I set myself a goal of opening a grief resource center in the funeral home after listening to a speaker at National Convention in 2001. It took some time to research and find a source for quality products for the community," states Susie French.
The Grief Store was founded by Darcie and Tony Sims in 2001. They are bereaved parents, and following the death of their son in 1976, they discovered a lack of information for their grief and grieving families. Darcie has made bereavement and grief management her career. Following her husband Tony's retirement from the military, they founded Grief, Inc., an international grief consulting and training business. The Grief Store evolved from this, supplying quality grief resources to communities.
"I have always said that we continue to care for families long after the funeral," French said. "Now I can provide an opportunity for families to have quality information, videos, music, mementos and keepsakes that may make their grief journey a little more bearable in the days and weeks to come."
The Frenches invite all to come to the Open House for the Grief Store on December 7, from 1-6 p.m. "The Holidays are a particularly difficult time if someone has experienced a death. We may have something that would be helpful for any age group," French said. The Grief Store has a large selection of books addressing children and grief, from coloring books, to teen grief, to books that may help teachers and parents to talk with children about death. Keepsakes such as angels, teddy bears, garden stones, and many other items are available. Specialty baskets will also be made up, or may be special ordered.
The Frenches hope to fill a need in our community for quality items during a difficult time.
At the Open House, you will also be able to see a new concept in casket selection. The Renaissance Room will also be open to the public on Sunday. "I think the community will be pleased with the new selection room. It is a lot less intimidating, and selections may be made in more pleasant surroundings," said French.
The new concept room was completed by Milso Casket Company. The idea is that consumers will be making informed decisions and be able to see many, many options that are available.
The French family is very excited about the changes that have been made. They feel like the selection area now looks like the year 2003, not 1903. Making additions and changes is important to the French family.
"We don't ever want to have the attitude of, 'that's the way we have always done it' we want to be in-tune with the needs of the community," French said.