James A Rutherford Funeral Home


Today’s post is timely, in that I’ve been asked about the Death & Dying Informational pop-ups that I have been holding at the 125 Downie Street (Town Crier Marketing) offices recently. What are they? Well – they are specific days at a specific place (not a funeral home) where one can come in and ask any question one wishes and pick up printed information about everything concerning death and dying. Such as: wills, probate, procedures, aquamation, cremation, costs, medical assistance (MAID), cemetery info, what is needed, what is not needed, and more. There are two still to come: Thursday, September 14th between 12-8 pm and Saturday, September 23 between 10-5pm.

Have you ever been asked a “simple” straightforward question by someone and realized the answer is not as simple as the question purports it to be? The reason for that is partially because questions, in their asking, sometimes hold within them all of the attachments and assumptions made by the one asking them. Here’s an example: “Do you believe in God?” The question holds within it two very interesting things – an assumption that the person receiving it believes or does not believe in the God that the questioner has in mind; and the question implies that the person receiving it should give a yes or no answer. A more revealing and thoughtful question might be “what does God mean to you?” And so it goes with many things. The questions we ask are most often based upon the “yes” or “no” answer and based upon what we already think we know. 

In any service industry, questions and answers can be a gauze that we shyly speak through or hear an answer through, but not as clearly as we would like. In a service industry, it is or should at least be recognized, that the person asking the question would not necessarily be fully informed about even the question they are asking. And so, it behooves those of us in service to the public, to clarify and inform. To not wait to be asked. The foundational word for the public to rest their conviction on is in the word “service” which implies a few things.

It should be automatically accepted, without doubt, that the answer to anyone’s question be thorough, honest and provide additional information related to the question asked. As a professional in the field, there is a responsibility upon the giver of information. Hence, my posts, whether informational or philosophical are all written from the seat of “service.” That is number one! That’s why I absolutely love “the question” – because people have stretched themselves enough to ask it before I give them the answer anyway.

For the sake of healing in the world in which we live, let not your questions go unasked and let not my answers fall short! To clarify and inform is the very beginning of that service we are to provide.

It is, for that reason that you see that persistent “R” logo flash up on your computer screens each week. Because it’s necessary to give the information. That is number one. It is that service on which we are privileged. A funeral home is a service provider after all, not a retail store. And giving information, beyond all else – even beyond compassionate care for family and deceased, is the first and foremost function when in service to the public. 

Like you, I will need it myself one day. I want to live and die knowing that I have served well. It is, after all, one of the few things we have any real control over. And the information I give, well... I’m okay with doing that in any way that I can, because I know it won’t kill you.




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