Funeral Professionals Peer Support Meeting on Suicide and Disenfranchised Grief
WHEELING, IL—There may be no cause of death more silenced, stigmatized, and misunderstood than a death of suicide. Persons at risk for suicide death, as well as those who are bereaved by suicide loss, frequently do not receive the support they need, even from helping professionals. On March 21, 2023, Dr. Sara Murphy facilitates a virtual Funeral Professionals Peer Support Meeting to discuss the myths and realities of suicide and the challenges of navigating the arrangement conference with these grieving families. She will also discuss how to recognize suicide risk within the funeral services profession.
Participants are encouraged to share their experiences and bring their questions to discuss disenfranchised grief and suicide. These two experiences often go hand in hand, as suicide deaths are often misunderstood. Without support, a person can be left to grieve alone, their grief unseen and disenfranchised. Funeral professionals know each grief experience is unique, and this peer support meeting will invite discussion on these families we serve.
Leading our discussion is Dr. Sara Murphy, a death educator, certified thanatologist, and suicidologist. With more than 15 years of experience on death, dying, and bereavement, she understands what disenfranchised grief can do and the importance of support. This peer support meeting offers funeral professionals the chance to explore how they can support families and one another.
“Remember that you are also deserving of an empathic ear and emotional validation; in fact, maintaining a support network means that you will be better equipped to help loved ones without becoming compassion fatigued, overwhelmed, or irritated,” reminds Dr. Murphy. “The center of your support system is you. Ensure that you are undertaking acts daily that promote your health and well-being, allow for relaxation, and encourage self-satisfaction. While for many of us this tenet can be challenging, strive for a balance between supporting others and yourself. Doing so will benefit you directly—and indirectly—through the more focused and purposeful care you will be able to give others.”
Join Dr. Murphy for a meeting of funeral professionals’ peer support to share your own experiences of supporting grieving families and one another. Whether or not you have a particular pressing issue to discuss, the meetings are a valuable place to offer support to your colleagues, too. If you work for a funeral home, cemetery, or crematory serving the public or supporting those who do—connect with us on Tuesday, March 21, 2023 at 8pm ET / 7pm CT / 5pm PT via Zoom link at goCANA.org/peersupport. Students, apprentices, and interns are welcome.
About Funeral Professional Peer Support
Funeral Professional Peer Support Group is committed to providing support, healing, education and knowledge to funeral professionals. They promote wholeness and wellness by uniting funeral sector professionals through a Canada-wide network of regional organizations offering support, information and resources within their community.
Founded in 1913, the Cremation Association of North America (CANA) is an international organization of over 3,500 members, composed of funeral homes, cemeteries, crematories, industry suppliers, and consultants. CANA members believe that cremation is preparation for memorialization.