Lessons of the season

Do you ever notice that during the Christmas season, we always hear the comment “Christmas comes so quickly, it's over before you know”?

Indeed, it seems this way. We anticipate the season – Christmas dinner, presents, family gatherings (although in a COVID world, our gatherings have changed depending on where we live) and hopefully having a day or two of rest before we resume serving families and our communities. It is like the world goes back to normal after Christmas.

The holidays can often be a period of both excitement and wonder, as well one of stress and anxiety. We look forward to the time, deal with the highs and lows, and look forward to getting back to normal. I think in many ways the Christmas season is not unlike our role as funeral professionals. We enjoy helping families through challenging times, being active members in our communities and maintaining relationships that help build our firm's reputation. At the same time, we deal with the stress of getting families through these difficult times wishing we could do more. We scramble with multiple roles at once while trying to maintain an image of calm and professionalism. Then somewhere in all the deadlines, long hours and emotions that our profession brings, we find time for our own family and friends.

It is important that we appreciate the holiday season and do our best to enjoy our time with family and friends. We know the season will pass and we will look back and say, “Where did it go?” It is not unlike our time in this profession. We help families, create relationships and will look back on our careers and wonder why it went by so fast, and where did the time go! During the holiday season - and any time of celebration - I encourage all of you to take the time as you can to be with your family and friends. Enjoy what time you can have to rest and relax, and enjoy! Appreciate your staff, the families you serve and the community that supports you. Take some time to reflect and have a good thought for those who struggle with the Christmas season, those who cannot be with family and, if you can, perform an act of kindness for someone during this time. What we do for others is what defines us.

Please have a thought and prayer for those affected by the tornadoes in Kentucky and the southern states. If you can, reach out to our members in those affected areas and see how they are doing. A phone call can mean so much. The strength of OGR is in our members and relationships, and we need to be together and supportive now more than ever.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas season and I wish you the best as we move into the new year. Enjoy your time with family and friends, be thankful, be safe and keep serving your families as you always have done.

In service,



Evan J. Strong
OGR President, 2021-22

This message was originally published in the Winter 2022 issue of The Independent®. Click here to read the entire issue.

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