Farewells are never easy.  When its goodbye forever, it seems almost impossible.  There is no task more important to me as a funeral director than making those final moments with your loved one as comforting as humanly possible.

Age and illness take their toll on all of us.  The final months or moments of a person's life can change their outward appearance drastically, so much that some families may consider holding a closed casket funeral, relying on their past memories from happier days. 

Though death has robbed you of your loved one, I don't believe death should cheat you of those final moments with that person.

Illness or tragedy releases its hold over the body at death. Carefully, I work to erase the signs of pain and uncover the natural beauty of the person you knew before their illness or tragic ending.

When we throw a stone into the tranquil, calm, refective waters of a lake, it disturbs the surface. The reflective quality is gone. No longer can we see the majestic, sturdy images that it previously imitated of its surroundings.

Then after time, sometimes a long time, the surface returns to its calm, peaceful, tranquil state again.

Seeing a person for the final time in a casket helps begin the healing process, though it may not seem so at the time.

Over the years, your mind will return to that image.  I want it to be as comforting an image as it can be.  I want you to look at your loved one, smile and say "Oh, there you are"..... I hope only for you to have peaceful reflections.

Julian Donaldson, Funeral Director & Manager of Betts Funeral Services.