Shelfari edited the description of When a Loved One Dies: Preparing a Dignified and Meaningful Goodbye Friday, September 30, 2011.
When a Loved One Dies, by author Katherine Mariaca-Sullivan is a how-to book for families and friends struggling to create a dignified and meaningful goodbye for their loved ones. Born out of necessity when first her father, Peter Mariaca, died of pancreatic cancer, and then her niece, Jahmila Kyla Bertie-Mariaca, was killed in a car accident, the book examines the funeral industry from one who has been embroiled in it and who wants to help others navigate through it. Understanding Your Options When confronted with the death of a loved one, most families do not know where to turn or have any idea of all of all they must accomplish in a very short time. A time when they are at their most vulnerable. The first half of the book examines all the death-care options open to friends and family members. It discusses the choices that must be made about their loved one’s body, as well as the many (legal) forms of final disposition available. Each option is discussed from historical, philosophical, legal, religious, customary and personal points of view. The pros and cons are weighed and, when appropriate, pricing is included. Short, actionable chapters provide you with the information you need in order to make the best possible decisions for your family. Preparing the Services In the second part of the book, Mariaca-Sullivan takes readers through the many different services that can be planned to memorialize their loved one, from home funerals to memorial services. She offers considerations for each type of service, ways to balance dignity with budget, and provides helpful examples to help readers get started. Tools to Help You Prepare With more than twenty checklists and worksheets to work from, this book gives readers the tools they need to make the best decisions possible. There are questionnaires to help families interview funeral homes and cemeteries, as well as step-by-step instructions for caring for a loved one’s body at home. Resources at Your Fingertips No matter what your decisions are, you will need resources. This valuable section provides you with the contact information for government agencies you will need to contact, funeral home, crematorium and cemetery trade organizations, funeral merchandise vendors, green cemeteries, support groups and so much more. Hyperlinks allow direct access to the resources you need. Katherine Mariaca-Sullivan is a hospice volunteer with the Visiting Nurses Association of Manchester, N.H. A one-time college writing professor, she now concentrates on her own books, both fiction and non-fiction, as well as on her art (her paintings have been shown in the United States, Puerto Rico and Mexico). Katherine offers bi-annual workshops, How to Write a Compelling Novel, and continues to help other writers at her website, http://TheEssentialeBooker.com. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Tufts University and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing from Lesley University.