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Ostriches in Canada: When Not Knowing Hurts

Posted On 7/13/2017 By Admin

Did you know ostriches actually don’t bury their heads in the sand? When the birds are scared, they run as fast and as far as their scrawny legs can take them.  

The adage “burying your head in the sand” was recently debunked for me thanks to my myth-busting, animal-loving six-year-old daughter.  I still believe there are plenty of ostriches roaming around Canada.

Canadians are smart, kind, compassionate and inclusive people. We’re blessed with a beautiful country and an insatiable desire to learn about and welcome the world into our homes and hearts.

Here’s where I get confused and start seeing ostrich “Run! Hide!” behaviour.

How is it that the majority of Canadians are open-minded, open-hearted critical thinkers but not when life demands we deal with death?  
How is it we “put our heads in the sand” when someone we love dies? And why is it that so often price trumps dignity?

Most people have zero interest in knowing the difference between direct cremation and funeral service, whether a traditional funeral or a celebration of life.

If you’re thinking right now, “Well, Brad, one is a heck of a lot cheaper than the others!” your thinking is exactly my point.

Rather than knowing and deciding if Gramma is to be picked up, washed and dressed at a funeral home, a lot of families, using the sole beacon of price, are often unknowingly sending Gramma to an industrial plaza where the cremation company’s neighbours are auto-repair shops, offices and oil changes.

If an industrial plaza sounds ugly, desolate and grey; it is. 
Most people approach the technical aspects of a death (i.e., pick up, transport, disposition) by only talking about price because money is something they know. And when you know you feel empowered, in control and comforted. I understand.  

But when we don’t understand something, especially life-shaping events like dying, death and disposition, a powerful opportunity opens for us. 
We can make the decision to not bury our heads in the sand. We can be brave and we can learn. We can make informed and compassionate decisions that reflect who we are and what we care about.

Rather than acting like an ostrich, choose to ask questions of funeral professionals that force them to tell you the truth about what they’re doing, now and later. Encourage the funeral director or direct-cremation salesperson to describe exactly where it is Gramma is going. If you want to follow her there, you can. It’s your right and perhaps your final parting gift.

When we accompany our loved ones right to the End, whether to a funeral home or industrial-plaza crematorium, we are not just informed consumers.

We are compassionate and courageous family members and friends willing to watch one of our flock rise, fly away and be free.