Professional Workshop – Dr. Alan Wolfelt

Dr. Wolfelt Vancouver - McKenzie Funeral Services

Dr. Wolfelt in Vancouver May 20th-22nd

We are excited to announce our co-sponsorship with Kearney’s Funeral Services to bring noted author & educator Dr. Alan Wolfelt to Vancouver from May 20th – 22nd. Dr. Alan Wolfelt is a gifted, inspirational, and compassionate speaker who speaks to the heart when the mind has trouble knowing what to do after the loss of a loved one. Presenting workshops on grief -related topics to both laypeople and professional bereavement caregivers throughout North America.

We have an informative three day schedule lined up which includes the following:

May 20th: Healing Your Grieving Heart: “Exploring Practical Touchstones for Caring for Yourself”

Unitarian Church of Vancouver: 7:00 PM – 9:00PM
949 West 49th Ave, Vancouver
Complimentary Seminar
RSVP by calling 604-926-5121

This presentation is offered to anyone in the community for anyone experiencing the loss of a loved one. We invite anyone to attend.

May 21st: Professional Workshop – “Exploring the Value and Function of Grief Symptoms: The”Companioning” Helping Role

Location: University Golf Club, 5185 University Blvd. Vancouver, BC
9:00 AM – 3:30 PM
Registration Fee: $150 (price increases to $195 after April 16th)
Register by calling 604-926-5121

This one day workshop is designed for professional caregivers; hospice/ palliative and ‘end-of-life” care volunteers; social workers, nurses, physicians, funeral directors and other bereavement caregivers. Registration includes Dr. Wolfelt’s professional workshop; lunch buffet; refreshment breaks; Dr. Wolfelt’s handouts; access to Dr. Wolfelt’s book inventory – available for sale on site.

May 22nd: Exploring the Features of Sudden Death, Suicide Grief, & Trauma Loss: A “Companioning” Philosophy of Caregiving

Location: Kearney Funeral Services, 450 W. 2nd Ave, Vancouver (at Cambie St)
9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Register by calling 604-926-5121, limited space available

This one day workshop is for Clergy, chaplans, and celebrant funeral directors. It is designed to help those learn more about how to support survivors of sudden and traumatic loss. Interdenominational Clergy, hospital and institutional chaplains, counselors, and other interested health care professionals helping individuals cope with traumatic grief are invited to attend. Regardless of your specific job title or life role, you can and will benefit from this learning experience.


Have You Heard of Funeral Selfies?

While I was driving to work yesterday I heard something rather interesting on the radio involving the funeral profession; the newest trend…..Funeral Selfies. Now some of you are

Funeral Selfies

Selfies at Funerals?

probably wondering what the word “selfie” implies. Well a “selfie” is when someone takes a picture of them self doing some daily activity, at an event, or some were important. It essentially is a picture of them self that they post through different social media sites such a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and etc….

Now the controversy over these photos, in which I have linked below, is that teenagers are taking photos of themselves in an important situation of someone’s life. The funeral is suppose to be a time for family and friends to mourn the loss of their loved one. It helps with their healing and is a proper way to say good bye to someone they truly loved. The question is are kids taking ‘selfies’ at funerals for attention, are they using “selfies” to mourn, or is this whole pop culture world making this into to too much of a big deal? So please take a look at the link below and comment on what you think these photos imply to such an important life event such as a funeral.

If you haven’t already seen the pictures, here is a link that will show you some teens trying to mourn at a funeral by taking a selfie.

Fall Seminar Series – McKenzie Funeral

We are happy to announce that we will be having some important and educational seminars returning this November; our Executor & Estate Planning & Estate Taxes Seminars. Both seminars are complimentary and include beverages, snacks, and helpful planning information. RSVP by calling 604-926-5121.

Executor & Estate Seminar: 

West Vancouver United Church: Nov 7th, 2013 – 7:00 PM

McKenzie Funeral Estate Executor Seminar

Estate Planning Seminar with McKenzie Funeral Services

If you have appointed an executor for your estate, or are named as an executor for someone else’s estate, you should attend this complimentary seminar. Topics will include pros and cons of joint ownership, what is probate, capital gains tax, cremation & burial pre-planning, estate settlement fees, and much more. Experienced Funeral & Estate Planning Director, Kevin Holte, will lead an educational yet entertaining seminar on the importance of having a well balanced plan in place for your family.

Estate Taxes Seminar: 

West Vancouver United Church: Nov 21st, 2013 – 7:00 PM

John Lakes - Estate & Taxes

North Vancouver Lawyer John Lakes will be speaking about important estate and tax issues

Tax time approaches faster than you think. Come join us as lawyer John Lakes and C.A. David Miller come discuss situations regarding personal taxes and estate planning. Such topics will include RRSP‘s, power of attorney‘s, income tax, personal wills, and much more. These topics can and will help you prepare yourself when planning and discussing yours or your loved ones estate.

If you are interested in attending any of these complimentary seminars please RSVP by calling 604-926-5121 or email As well look for some of our future events in the Fall we plan to schedule.


How to Write a Eulogy

Journalist Peggy Noonan said, “I love eulogies. They are the most moving kind of speech because they attempt to pluck meaning from the fog, and on short order, when the emotions are still ragged and raw and susceptible to leaps.”

While writing and delivering a eulogy is a noble gesture, that is worthy of thought and effort, it can be a challenge to write – and if you’re not comfortable in front of a crowd of people, it can be equally as challenging to deliver.

Giving a Eulogy Speech

Giving a Eulogy Speech

However, it is an opportunity to make a contribution to a memorial service, a contribution that your friends and family will remember for a long time. For that reason, if you are asked to write one, we suggest you consider doing so, if only for yourself.

That’s because writing a eulogy is a therapeutic tool to help you deal with your grief. The power of writing is undeniable and there is no better time than now for you to discover and take advantage of this.

What Should Your Eulogy Accomplish?

People often think one of two things about a eulogy:

• it should be an objective summation of the deceased’s life

• it should speak for everyone who is present at the memorial service.

Both of these assumptions are just plain unrealistic, don’t you think? How can you possibly be objective after losing a loved one; or sum up a person’s life in just a few minutes of time?

Let’s think of the eulogy as being much simpler. It should convey the feelings and experiences of the person giving the eulogy. The most touching and meaningful eulogies are written from a subjective point of view and from the heart. So don’t feel compelled to write your loved one’s life story. Instead, tell your story.

Clearly, the burden of the eulogy does not have to be yours completely. If you have the time, ask friends or relatives for their recollections and stories.

Honesty is very important. In most cases, there will be a lot of positive qualities to talk about. Once in a while, however, there is someone with more negative traits than positive qualities. If that is the case, remember, you don’t have to say everything if it would make you, or the guests uncomfortable. Just be honest as you can, and do your best to show the full humanity – both the good, and the not-so-good, characteristics of the deceased. After all, everyone there knew them, and is there because they want to acknowledge their relationship to the deceased. In other words, you have a “warm” audience, who will welcome your words.

Don’t Strive for Perfection – You’ll Make Yourself Go Nuts

Remember, you do not have to write a perfect eulogy. Whatever you write and deliver will be appreciated by the people at the funeral. If you are inclined to be a perfectionist, lower your expectations and just do what you can, considering the short time frame for preparation and your emotional state.

Writing A Eulogy needs to be from the heart

Writing A Eulogy needs to be from the heart

When You Walk up to the Podium

• Realize that people are not going to judge you. They will be very supportive. No matter what happens, it will be okay. If you break down in the middle of your speech, everyone will understand. Take a moment to get composed, and then continue. There is no reason to be embarrassed. Remember, giving a eulogy is a noble gesture that people will appreciate and admire.

• Make the eulogy easy to read. On a computer, print out the eulogy in a large type size. If you are using a typewriter, put extra carriage returns between the lines. If you are writing it by hand, print the final version in large letters and give the words room to breathe by writing on every second or third line.

• Before the service, get a small cup of water. Keep it with you during the service. When you go to the podium to deliver the eulogy, take the water with you in case you need it. Sipping water before you start and during the speech if needed, will help relax you.

• If you are nervous beforehand, breathe deeply. Remind yourself that everything will be fine. It will be. Look around at your relatives and friends and realize that they are with you 100 percent.

• Realize that it is acceptable to read the eulogy a loud. You don’t have to make eye contact with anyone.

If you need any more information on Eulogies, Funeral Planning, Estate Issues please contact your local Funeral Home, Lawyer or us at McKenzie Funeral Services.