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Archive for January, 2012

Death of Fame: In Honor of Felipe Acevedo

January 29th, 2012

Growing up in Spanish Harlem during an era in which ‘el Barrio’ carried its own social identity encompassed an inner-city diversity that only those who lived there could fully understand. For me, the character of ‘el barrio’ provided a plethora of paths from which to choose. Those who chose erroneously would surely fall through the cracks to be consumed perhaps by the destructiveness of the heroin plague that besieged both Spanish and Black Harlem during the 1940′s and 1950′s. The psychological and physiological addiction to such a powerful opiate also included acts of criminality, family rejection and other maladaptive behavior that forever blemished the character of the individual by imposing permanent labels of negativity that lead straight to the pitfalls of social disgrace. I was fortunate to have been reared in a nuclear family that was held together by a generous love that provided an all-around nurturing foundation. My upbringing was epitomized further by a superb mother who possessed the wisdom of Solomon, the perseverance of Job and the pure love of God.

The memories of my childhood triggered emotional references of unique experiences that were simultaneously sad, happy, frightening and exuberant. Such is the foundation of any normal rearing, inside any society and by any individual practicing any religion. The biggest exception, of course, is that this compelling story references my history and no one else’s. It was the combination of these unique experiences that paved my character and personality to what they are today, notwithstanding the genetic input by both my mother and father. After all, we are each the product of our genetic makeup and environmental learning, which has made all the difference in the world to me. The rest, as they say, is history.

The one particular event that set the stage for my future in death-care was connected to the death of my maternal uncle, Felipe. At the age of twenty three, he had risen to fame as guitarist and vocalist in the Latin sensational group called El Trio San Juan. I was almost four when he died, an age that was emotionally tender, but old enough to allow conscious memories to instill permanent influence. I recall vividly the details of his funeral service, which was held at the popular Gonzalez Funeral Home on the corner of Madison Avenue and 109th Street in Manhattan. The three days of his funeral wake before the open casket containing my uncle’s body was tantamount to overkill, leaving an emotional scar that forever marked the most somber of all human experiences. Even I felt that at such a young age.

Perhaps it was the manner of his death that carried such an emotional burden. You see, he died when his car crashed with a tree outside Newburg, New York, on his return trip to his home after The Trio played at a concert in an upstate New York villa for three days. Perhaps physical exhaustion, lack of sleep and an abundant level of emotional exuberance proved too mentally distracting for the lone driver. All I know was that my mother was totally devastated at the loss of her baby brother. She was close to Felipe since childhood. My mother’s older brother, Frank, also felt the emotional torment that overtook him at the passing of his brother. My uncle’s wife, Damaris, and their three children, Felipe Jr, Iris and Veronica were also affected immensely by his untimely death.

As if my uncle’s death hadn’t already affected enough members of my family, let me add that as a public figure, his demise also brought his fans to their knees, tearing at their emotional seams and slaughtering the smiles and laughter Uncle Felipe had provided as an entertainer. His three day wake at the funeral home was a spectacle to behold as hundreds of thousands of emotionally depleted people cried, screamed, ranted and raved over the loss of their most beloved latin star. Felipe Acevedo may have died, but his music will live forever. Such a dichotomy of emotional sensation and cognitive intellectuality left me overly-stimulated and forever curious about death and dying. Not even Elisabeth Kubler Ross, herself, could shed light on the obscurities associated with death that would satisfy my intellectual thirst many years later.

When I realized how much pain and sorrow death could actually bring, I had to pursue the art of emotional healing, at first through religious application, but finally through the more hands-on approach involving human cremation. I had finally found my niche in the overall scheme of things. I learned that I could best help humanity by handling their dead. For many years I excelled in the death-care industry, eventually coming full-circle when I founded Guiding Light Cremations. I have finally earned my badge of honor through an art that provides a true sense of closure that when performed honorably and with dignity, it is the best show of human fulfillment and satisfaction.

I have learned wholeheartedly that only in extending a helping hand to our fellow human being at a time of need can we truly demonstrate the pureness of our thoughts, the kindness of our souls and the love in our hearts. Only by giving can we truly show our humanitarianism. Each and every time I sit with a family who is prepared to trust us with the remains of their love loss, I do recognize how fortunate I am to be able to come to their aid. I value my profession and vow to always fulfill the wishes of my families. The way I see it, personal satisfaction and inner fulfillment cannot possibly exist without honorable interactions.

Experiencing losses is part of our humanity. Why not let Guiding Light Cremations guide you through your loss. Avoid having to undergo the labyrynth of emotional ups and downs that are so inherent whenever the wrong death-care provider is in charge. We are sensitive professionals who have been trained for the expressed purpose of bringing emotional stability, psychological support and financial closure that relieves monetary burdens. Give us a call today and ask for me, Geronimo. I will first listen attentively, then I will speak. I guarantee that our facility will provide an instant passivity not found anywhere else. Call 954-729-8827. Don’t be surprised when I answer!

Geronimo Mena, Jr., LDD
Chief Operating Officer
Guiding Light Cremations
Hollywood, Florida 33023

Guiding Light

Pre-Need Versus At-Need Contracts

January 24th, 2012

Determining if cremation arrangements made on a pre-need basis is more advantageous than those made at-need is a question with which many death-care providers must often contend. The pervasive question posed by many families is, why should anyone have to pay for something that will not be needed for quite some time, especially in an economy that imposes severe financial constraints. The answer, of course, will be dependent on a thorough understanding of those factors associated with pre-need from both perspectives, the cremation provider and the family.

From a cremation service provider’s point of view, pre-need arrangements secure future business. Regardless of the services selected, the knowledge that these services are earmarked and paid for does provide a measure of financial security for the death-care establishment. The more experienced death-care specialist should be able to write additional pre-need contracts through referrals made by families, and if pursued astutely, these may bring in even more pre-need business. With continued persistence, most well-established funeral service providers can secure a substantial portion of their pre-need business in this manner. Of course, the provider must first take into consideration the future cost of doing business in order to calculate the appropriate fees and prices to charge.

Because pre-need arrangements are not often associated with emotional and psychological stresses that are present when a loved one has suddenly died, the arranging family member is usually more at ease during the entire conference. In a much calmer ambience that is less time-restricted, one can easily explore the diversity of the establishment’s services. More significantly, when devoid of those emotionally crippling effects that are associated with the death of a family member, well-run pre-need conferences are intended for the complete satisfaction of both parties: the provider and the buyer. Family members are encouraged to spend the necessary time and energy with matters that will ultimately make the entire process a successful one. Such a luxury is virtually non-existent with at-need arrangements. At the end, however, the value of the pre-need contract must be recognized by both signing parties. The family member must walk away with feelings of satisfaction and the provider must also recognize the value in the contract.

In contrast, at-need usually brings out comparative price-shoppers, whereas pre-need prices are more readily accepted on their own merit. The public-at-large seems less interested in bickering with prices when the services are intended for an unknown future date than they are when the services are needed at the moment. The unexpected and unplanned death of a loved one often stirs an emotional upheaval and is oftentimes accompanied by financial unpreparedness, and sadly, today’s economy places the average family in that predicament. This is, perhaps, one of the best reasons why pre-need makes so much sense.

Locking in today’s prices for future services and paying for them over time can be a great advantage for many families. Providers, on the other hand, must benefit just as well. Securing business for the future only creates a solid financial foundation if it is well thought out. Offering everything at ridiculously low prices for the sake of engaging in pre-need is counter-productive and will eventually drive the provider into the pitfalls of financial despair. This must be avoided at all cost.

When pre-need pricing is shrewd and competitive, and when an active staff is enthusiastic and willing to follow every lead, more pre-need policies will prevail. This measurable success will prompt many establishments to develop a selling strategy that promises to increase the future number of pre-need contracts written. This way, both the family and the provider share a symbiotic relationship. The days of sitting around and waiting for at-need business, whether in a funeral home setting, a cemetery, or crematory facility, is very definitely antiquated. Cremation service providers can procure future business by reaching within the community with creative strategies. Many places that can provide potential leads can be found throughout the community, such as social outlets and centers, churches, temples, mosques, assisted living residences, and nursing homes are but a few of the many institutions from which pre-need business can be generated.

Pre-need arrangements also offer individuals the unique opportunity to plan their own death-care handling, either alone or in the presence of other family members. This way, the burden of decision is left directly up to the person, thereby further reducing the burden of decision-making at the time of need. Because selecting their final disposition is such a personal matter, the mere act of participating in their own finale strengthens the foundation between the individuals involved and solidifies the bond between them. Pre-need contracts can be written between many individuals; such as husband and wife, mother and son, brother and sister, or any possible combination. The additional time allotted to decide, along with a flexible payment plan, should make pre-need very worthwhile.

In these times of demonstrated social creativity, individuals are showing deep interest in making an exit statement at the time of their deaths. This can be accomplished in many different ways. Combined with inventions of modern technology, individuals can now express themselves even in death. Of course, in order to ascertain that their wishes are carried out, the best way is through pre-need. Detailed instructions can be included with your pre-need arrangements and any funeral service provider will honor the contract in your absence.

I recall a specific incidence during a cremation inurnment ceremony that was held in Virginia Beach some years ago. The decedent had left instructions in a pre-need contract that asked for the release of one-hundred helium-filled balloons just prior to placing the urn in the columbarium. I drove miles to rent a helium tank two days before and spent countless hours filling them. As a small, independent funeral home, there was no one else available.

After having made all the preparations, I realized that releasing so many balloons would probably violate the airspace above. Sure enough, after contacting the Virginia Beach Police Department on 18th Street, and after speaking with local airport authorities, the air tower controller (ATC) supervisor gave us exactly fifteen minutes to release all the balloons on the morning of the funeral. The balloons had to climb twenty five hundred feet above ground level (agl) in order for us to be in compliance with the ATC. The balloons must have reached the safe zone because we never heard from them.

As our society evolves further and the diversity of our cultures continues to influence each of us, the need for self-expression will also grow. Individuals will want to be remembered in some unique way, thus paving the way for the proliferation of the pre-need contract. Pre-need is perhaps the last bastion in the implementation of these creative requests. In today’s death-care market, more and more service providers are coming in contact with the insatiable need to outdo the previous one. No longer are simple direct cremations considered the norm. Nowadays, an elaborate compilation of death-care requests continues to infiltrate the pages of many written pre-need contracts. More and more individuals are teaming with family members and friends in order to express the details of their sensationalized death-care specialties.

By honoring each and every request, barring those that fall well outside the legal parameters in any jurisdiction, those who have successfully climbed the ladder of creative sophistication through outlandish after-death requests will most likely be remembered the longest. The age of the drug culture and sexual revolution already paved the way toward implementing individual creativity. However, individual expression must be allowed to evolve. The death-care industry offers society the best means for further evolution of society via death-care planning.

As death-care providers, we owe it to the industry we serve to use all of our talents to pave the way toward all kinds of societal growth. In the collective sense, we must continue to encourage the writing of pre-need contracts for reasons that stem from pure social progressiveness, professional continuity, and individual expression. When we give of ourselves without hesitation, the people we serve will always gain from our dedication and commitment. It is not our decision, nor is it our responsibility to pass judgment in matters about which we are involved. It is, however, our expressed professional and moral obligation to educate those individuals who seek our professional leadership. We must not stand in the way of societal growth. We must, nonetheless, promote society and individual growth by any means possible.

Guiding Light Cremations is ready to provide all the answers you may have abpout Pre-need. Our multi-talented Pre-Need Counselors await your call and will be eager to help you prepare for the future. The first move is yours…….and you can simplify matters by calling 954-381-8888. Make a sound decision now and save against future fees by locking into today’s prices and fees.

Geronimo Mena, Jr. LDD
Chief Operating Officer
Guiding Light Cremations

Guiding Light

Two Years in Service to Humanity

January 19th, 2012

I am proud to announce that Guiding Light Cremations has completed two years in service to humanity. Our dedication to all families is relentless and our commitment to the death-care industry is unsurpassed. But perhaps the highlight of our workday is when we respond to the needs of a family inquiring about our services. That’s when our collective efforts spring into action and, like any well-oiled machinery, each of us shifts into high gear and provides the elucidation that best gives emotional and psychological support to each member of the family in need.

Although death always involves the culmination of physiological function, it is also very personal to each family. By listening attentively to what families have to say, we can offer the best options with which to procure a healthy closure. In so doing, we minimize suffering and limit your time in mourning. It is our professional obligation to demonstrate the most effective treatment to each family. And although we are not able to erradicate the anguish and sorrow associated with the death of a loved one, we most certainly provide an ambience that is both respectful and honorable, and all our families feel the resurgence of our compassion.

Because our professional behavior conveys empathy and our manner of speaking demonstrates compassion, families perceive our true roles as humble servants always ready to effect their healing process. All of our personnel are highly trained professionals who express a genuine concern for the delicate situation in which each family is found. All of us identify with our families because at one time or another each of us has experienced personal losses. This human frailty serves to unite us all.

Guiding Light’s directive is to create a foundation of support while simultaneously lessening the emotional burden inherent of such a trying time. Whether we are in the presence of one member of the family or many, our focus is to evaluate the specific set of circumstances that each family is facing. By understanding your dilemma through clarity, and by focussing on our commitment, we are able to provide a suitable delivery of services and merchandise that ultimately brings integrity to all concerned. Most importantly, however, by exercising keen judgment through team effort, thousands of families can attest to the respect we hold for all humanity.

Guiding Light is truly the epitome of humanitarianism. We are comprised of dedicated individuals who really care about our fellow human beings. What we do on a daily basis requires strength of character, human sensitivity, immense commitment and personal sacrifice. Without these very special qualities, none of us could perform the varied tasks expected of us day after day. The immense responsibilities that we each face in the performance of our duties is overwhelmingly huge. We triumph through each task because we care about coming to your aid at a time of great loss. We do these things on your behalf, for your benefit, and for your wellbeing.

Our success is measured not by our financial reward or by taking a large order of varied merchandise. We measure our success when you attain psychological closure, emotional satisfaction and spiritual fulfilment. When we see their evidence, we know we have gained your trust and our jobs were performed to perfection. The combined subleties of your facial grimaces, body language and verbal remarks awaken an overwhelming level of personal pride in all members of the Guiding Light Professional Team. This is why we are here.

Guiding Light Cremations is immensely proud to have earned a ‘badge of honor’ for all our hard work during the preceding two years. Not only have we received professional recognition by members of the death-care industry, we were also invited to appear in a television program on two occasions to discuss our services and educate the public about cremations. But we are especially excited about the immense number of verbal testimonials by members of our client families, those for whom we provided great service during their time of loss. It is our intention to continue our dedication to families of all faiths. Our genuine love for humanity will continue to shine for the benefit of all people.

Geronimo Mena, Jr.
Chief Operating Officer
Guiding Light Cremations
Hollywood, Florida

Guiding Light

The Ticking Time-Bomb

January 8th, 2012

Time will come to an end for all of us one day. When that happens, we will be dead. Prior knowledge of our expiration will most likely be accompanied by the pronouncement of a fierce frown, an indication that we would prefer to wait rather than submit to this end-all experience. Such is the unwelcomed grimace of death. Regardless of our ages, irrespective of our levels of wealth or degree of physical attractiveness, we all deplore that aspect of life, although we know that one day it will swoop upon each of us like a hungry hawk snatching an escaping rabbit. What will we be doing when that indescriminate knock is heard upon our door? Will we be aware of its impending approach or will it hit us like a thief in the night?

Regardless of our determination to bypass this inevitable occurrence, we will never be able to deter nature’s ticking time bomb. No matter how conscientious we are about its effect upon us, the reality is that we cannot stop, prevent nor postpone our enigmatic fatality. We must therefore resign ourselves to accept this harsh reality. There is nothing we can do because no one has ever escaped its awesome force. Nonetheless, religious indoctrination purports to have found a continuance of life in the spritual realm and asks that we prepare to reign in the afterlife. My instinctive response is that with faith mountains can be moved.

In the absence of faith, however, conclusions may lead you in a different direction. For instance, the act of thinking is connected to the physiological functions associated with our central nervous system. Thoughts are a bi-product of electrical energy through the synaptic process that involves billions of neurons, or nerve cells, contained in our brains and spinal cords. In the absence of our brains, as would be the case when we die, the formation of thoughts will no longer be possible. If we cannot think, then we cannot understand. And if we cannot understand, then we will not be able to exist outside our bodies because our rational cognition is what makes us the individuals we are.

In addition, our brains contain the master endocrine gland called the pituitary, which regulates all the other endocrine glands in our bodies, such as the thymus, thryroid, pineal, pancreas, adrenal, and our gonads, which in males are the testes and in females, the ovaries. Our human emotions are linked to our endocrine system. This complicated system contributes in a major way toward making us the human beings we are. You see, humans go beyond our intellectual composite; we are compassionate as well, are able to get angry, become tender, experience frustration, able to love, display bitterness, and plan retaliations unlike any other animal on earth. Without our bodies, however, we cannot possibly exercise our humanity. And without our humanity, we cannot possibly behave as human beings. A human being, after all, is very much tied to its physical being. If you deprive us of our physical bodies, we might as well not even exist. The truth is we have not yet reached the ultimate stages of our evolution. Evolution, after all, is an ongoing process that never arrives at a final stage.

Never has any one person understood the essence of everything, although many have contributed much to different disciplines and given to overall causes. Brilliant minds have added to our expanding knowledge. This collective contibution over ions of generations has added to the bulk of human understanding and will continue to expand until vast knowledge uncovers much about everything. The day will come when our understanding will counteract what we once thought to be true. Time will be the judge of our understanding and the knowledge we uncover will ultimately set us free from the bonds of ignorance.

As I absorb the effects of global tension, I can’t help but wonder why our expansive knowledge has not been used to quench the widespread disputes between the differing nations. Is it possible that intellectual awareness is simply an exercise in futility? Why do international governing bodies fail to effectively unite the people with opposing views, regardless of the issues in dispute. Are we not the homo sapiens that utilize strength of cognitive understanding for the resolvement of inner and outer conflict, or is this merely a facade?

I discovered many years ago that the death industry provided me with a special perception of the tenderness all people displayed while interacting with others during their time of loss. Their expressions were sincere, compassionate, honorable, sentimental, genuine, selfless and courageous as they mourned collectively. Whether it involved mother, father, spouse, sibling, extended family member or friend, their expressions represented the essence of all that is good with humanity. It was easy to become part of this homogeneous assembly of positive traits. Ironically, not even at church was I able to find such pureness.

I am very grateful for having found this magnificent side of humanity. Consequently, I will continue to uphold the highest standards when dealing with the dead. After all, it’s because of our dearly departed that I am able to function within such an honorable assemblage. Taking it to a higher level, I urge everyone to pay homage to those who are in imminent danger of dying. Don’t wait until that person has expired before you express how much that person meant to you. Express your sentiments while the person is able to see, hear and feel what you have to say. Your expressions of love can be a great source of psychological, emotional and spiritual sustenance.

In the final analysis, humanity should spend more time and energy creating a world in which each of us can live harmoniously with one another. Eliminate the hatred that sets off the wars that kill people and we will all live in a peaceful existence. As intelligent human beings we have what it takes to create such an environment. Rather than pondering on the existence of an afterlife, why not perform a true miracle here on earth by creating an ambience of peacefulness rather than escaping into spiritual oblivion in the expectation of an existence that may probably never happen. Here lies the true challenge of humanity and each of us can make a difference.

Geronimo Mena, Jr. LDD
Chief Operating Officer
Guiding Light Cremations
Hollywood, Florida

Guiding Light

Service with Honor…

January 4th, 2012

Many years ago family and friends would ask why I chose death-care for a profession. I knew that I had been drawn to this industry but I didn’t exactly know why, so I answered the best way I knew how. I explained that there was a certain mystery associated with death and that’s why I was compelled to pursue it. Actually, my explanation could not have been further from the truth. It took almost twenty years before I discovered the underlying reasons for my professional pursuit.

The truth is death-care wasn’t my first commitment, it was my second. I was first indoctrinated in the art of religious pursuasion, wherein my clerical habit set the foundation as spiritual representative for all those who believed and practiced the nuances of ritualistic Christian worship. I soon discovered that its educational foundation served more to instill in me an inner spiritual deterrence that served to counter my role as faithful leader. I had to denounce for reasons of existential honesty.

During my tenure, however, I had performed requiem services that had inadvertently helped awaken in me an interest in death-care that went far beyond my ecclesiastical responsibilities. I eventually felt at home in funeral homes and cemeteries, which subsequently lead to the maximum engulfment of my prep-room proficency. The latter, I have to admit, set the groundwork for my eventual evolvement in the art of cremation. I had finally awakened an inner sleeping giant and I was, at last, able to reach the zenith of my current vocation. I ultimately found my niche at Guiding Light Cremations, albeit many years later, but nonethless a remarkable find.

The tumultuous journey of my career was not clearly defined from the onset. It was an arduous travel along bumpy roads that presented many challenges and just as many deviations. However, my love of humanity was never abondoned. I pursued the industry that allowed me to give of myself to all people. You see, my profession has absolutely nothing to do with serving the dead. Instead, I serve the living through acts of honor and compassion and love of humanity. My dedication to all people, of all faiths and from all walks of life has given me a unique richness that has made me flourish in all areas of life. My wealth is internal, where it counts the most!

It has taken me most of my life to unravel the mysteries surrounding my own commitment to humanity. I now know why death represents the essence of life for me. I can state with absolute certainty that when people suffer a loss, they are usually very vulnerable and in great need of guidance. This is the time to come to their aid, not take advantage. Unscrupulous people, professionals and non-professionals alike, always reveal their tentacles of destruction at the most unsuspecting time and always at the expense of innocent people, either for sadistic satisfaction or monetary gain. Instead of offering acts of kindness through behavior that is deemed honorable, they sometimes generate gruesome acts of selfishness that create pandemonium in their living prey. Instead of empathy, they epitomize deceitfulness; rather than operating with truthfulness, they instill contempt and corruption. A careful look through the internet will easily reveal the horror stories that have affected so many innocent people.

During the past decade, a lone crematory operator in Noble, Georgia took possession of three hundred thirty four human remains over a two-year period for the expressed purpose of performing their cremations. The Tri-State Crematory was a third-party crematory provider for the funeral home industry. As it turned out, rather than performing the services for which he had been paid, he tossed each human remains within the forested land behind his establishment, thus allowing each human body to decompose over time under the hot Georgia sun and amidst the harsh natural elements. After two years, all were recovered and each was disposed of properly and legally after their families had been notified. Family members and friends were outraged at the inconceivable treatment of their loved ones. Many were in shock while others demanded justice. The man responsible for such decadence was Ray Brent Marsh, now serving twelve years in jail for his actions.

In an unrelated story, twenty three families sued a Boca Raton, Florida university because their loved ones were taken to the university so that their funeral students could learn embalming techniques by practicing on the cadavers. The lawsuit indicated that none of the families had given consent for such practices, according to court depositions. The judge who presided over the case ruled in favor of the families, giving them the go-ahead to seek punitive damages from both the university as well as the body transport company, who, acting as transporter, collected fees from the university for each body, as well as from the county or funeral homes for their actual cremations.

The transport company operator, which also owned the crematory, stood to gain financially on both ends. Similarly, the university gained by keeping their funeral service program quite active with a seemingly endless supply of fresh cadavers for their students. The litigious entanglement pointed fingers every which way in an attempt to assign blame and impugn the character of each defendant, both the university and the crematory. The university insisted that they did not know that the crematory never obtained permission for the embalming practices. The transport company and crematory, on one side, and the university, on the other, both stated that they were innocent of the charges. Culpability is easy to deny. What could not be easily overlooked were the thousands of emotionally devastated family members and friends of the decedents. Here again, as with the Tri-State Crematory, the innocent were left in total devastation. The defendants in this case were Lynn University, Professional Transport and Oakwood Crematorium.

Our final story reveals the shocking behavior of cemetery employees at the Palm Beach County Menorah Gardens in which the remains of a war veteran, Air Force Col. Hymen Cohen of Lake Worth, were dug up and tossed into the woods inside the cemetery grounds. Thousands of people were represented in this class action lawsuit against the operator of the two troubled cemeteries in Broward and Palm Beach counties, both owned and operated by Service Corporation International, the largest provider of funeral services in the country. The court reached a $100 million settlement in favor of the plaintiffs.

These three unrelated stories serve to illustrate that even without provocation, some people still act maliciously against innocent individuals, exercising a wanton disregard for human compassion and societal ethics. It seems to always happen against our unsuspecting, law-abiding citizens. One of my recent blogs, appearing in this website, discusses the manner in which you can defend yourself against the potential threat of rogue operators, especially at the crematory level. Please refer to my blog entitled, CREMATORIES ARE NOT ALIKE…

For your edification, the three helpful points that appeared in the blog are presented below for your knowledge and convenience. Please follow these simple techniques so that you too may benefit from my many years of experience:

1. Call and speak with the target crematory’s licensed representative and ask about their services and corresponding fees. Make sure there are no hidden fees or charges. Some funeral homes and crematories are notorious for masking fees and only reveal these items once they have taken possession of your loved one.
2. Visit the crematory website and determine if the remains will go directly to the crematory of your choice or if they are first stored at another location. Become highly suspicious of facilities who first send your loved one to a holding place. Such a practice is an indication that they are not crematories, but rather funeral homes or direct disposal offices that ultimately negotiate with a bonafide crematory to cremate your loved one. You do not want your loved one traveling from one place to another.
3. Visit the crematory and evaluate their representative’s professionalism based on ten minutes of interaction. Listen attentively to the person attending to you. Does he or she sound compassionate, concerned and caring or is he simply acting as a salesman interested in making a sale. Also, ask to tour the facility. Evaluate the crematory’s physical condition, overall cleanliness, as well as the sanitary condition of their refrigeration system. Crematories with small refrigerators usually cram bodies atop or beside each other. Find out how many human remains their refrigeration system can hold. Does it have a lingering foul odor due to sanitary neglect or carelessness.

Guiding Light Cremations of Hollywood, Florida is here to serve you at your time of need. We also specialize in Pre-Need contracts, if that’s your desire. Either way, please call to schedule a tour of our facility. I will be most willing to show you every aspect of our crematory. I wish you the very best of health, wealth and happiness. I also state without hesitation that if you are in need of our services…….we truly are your best selection!

Most sincerely,
Geronimo Mena Jr, LDD
Chief Operating Officer
Guiding Light Cremations
Hollywood, Florida

Baby-boomers, CANA, Florida Cremations, Guiding Light, Hollywood, In Memory of 911

Protecting Our Sacred Memories Through Pre-Planning

January 1st, 2012

We move from one event in our lives to the next in chronological succession that in due time will leave us with only replicated memories of each event. The element of time, for all its miraculous wonderment, is the one factor of which we have but a limited amount. It is this precise factor that should always influence us to behave in a manner that is conducive toward keeping and monitoring our behavior with honor, respect and integrity. When we reflect on the experiences throughout our lives, they should always elicit the most positive sentiments. This is what makes us civilized.

By the time we begin to speak, each of us has already learned the necessary social skills that will enable healthy interaction between and among all people with whom we will come in contact throughout our lives, including our parents and all other family members. The manner in which we express oursleves, whether in words or through action, must reflect the civility with which we were indoctrinated into society. While exceptions do exist, their numbers should be kept to a minimum. That is our collective responsibility.

Our travels through life should include planning ahead for our losses. One common denominator that each of us shares is death; the death of a loved one as well as that of our very own. This process is inescapable and constitutes the one peculiarity that makes us all vulnerable. It is what makes us human. And as human, we must take the necessary steps to insure that we are prepared for that day. This is what gives us the foresight to Pre-Plan.

To assist each family with their pre-planning experience, Guiding Light Cremations has obtained a special license from the State of Florida that helps make these decisions with gentle ease, while promoting inner harmony. We are comprised of dedicated servants who will take the needed time to explain what these services are, what they cost and which ones are better suited for your family. This is Guiding Light’s responsibility. And as commited professionals, we provide the proper guidance to each family, free of charge.

Guiding Light Cremations was established as a state-of-the-art facility for the strict purpose of bringing psychological and spiritual closure to each person procuring our services. This is our guarantee! This is what each of us strives to accomplish every time we sit with a family. The loss of a loved one should not be an overwhelming experience; it should never instill fear or create emotional paralysis. Handling the death of a loved one should be met with confidence, and only be decided upon with clarity of mind and the easeness of service selection. Please let our compassionate personnel walk you through the various approaches offered at Guiding Light Cremations.

A simple phone call or email is all it takes to initiate communication. Kindly contact Mr. Geronimo Mena Jr at 954-381-8888 and let us guide you. You will immediately realize that everything takes place at our facility. Once your loved one is in our care, he or she will receive all the needed attention from beginning to end, including cremation and placement of cremated remains into the selected urn. We are vigilant to insure that your loved one will always be treated with the utmost care and respect. Our vigilance is your security. And this too is our responsibility.

Geronimo Mena Jr, LDD
Chief Operating Officer
Guiding Light Cremations

Guiding Light