The Wise Choice Of Many Alternatives

Sun rise over beautiful landscape

My 15-year-old son recently asked me to buy him a new phone charger. After some persuasion, I agreed. 
I started scrolling up and down Amazon and suddenly realised there were so many. Which one do I pick? Some of them were unbelievably cheap, and I was tempted to go with the price, but then, just as I was about the click ‘buy,’ on a £2.99 charger, my inner voice told me to “Stop!” 
“Look for something a little more substantial and hard-wearing,” it said to me. “Go for something likely to last a little longer instead!” it insisted. And so, the charger headed, “High Quality, Longer Lasting,” won the day.
I recently received a lengthy letter from a family I served, who wished to thank me for a funeral I had arranged for a close member of their family. “Perhaps you would have preferred a simple, ‘thank you,'” it stated.  
However, the letter shared a great deal about why this one funeral was different from all the rest they had ever attended. And how it far exceeded any expectations. It also highlighted things like kindness, expertise, advice and how it was offered – sympathy, empathy, encouragement, and atmosphere, and how their mobile phones were starting to ping repeatedly from friends and family across the world who had participated online. It used the word ‘quality’ 17 times. 
William A. Foster was a United States Marine who received the Medal of Honour for his “conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty.” He once stated that “quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skilful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.” And in the funeral world, there are many alternatives. 
I have recently joined the Association of Independent Celebrants because I instantly warmed to their code of practice, one principle being “that members must always conduct ceremonies with professionalism and to the highest of standards.” As important as this principle is, I feel it is much more than this; it is about making a difference and being prepared to go above and beyond. 
In my work, I pride myself on providing the absolute best of care before, during and after the funeral if needed, which is why I work alongside the best grief specialists in the area. Being prepared to go that extra mile from a position of warmth and understanding is crucial to the grieving family—because when we’re grieving, every gesture is valued, and every word, cherished.  I encourage you then, to always go for the higher quality, longer lasting option.

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