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Sensitive, Honorable, Accommodating, Respectful & Professional……S.H.A.R.P.

February 24th, 2013

Having spent the better part of my life in service to humanity, I am privileged to be a part of the healing process for so many everyday people; individuals who have undergone the most dreadful of all human experiences…the death of a loved one. For these people, nothing is more important. When I see the pain and sorrow edged on their faces, my instinctive reaction has always been to come to their rescue by imparting a foundation of understanding that will make their mourning much more bearable.

My approach involves innate characteristics that are inherent of my persona. These are described through the pseudonym SHARP, which refers to Sensitive, Honorable, Accommodating, Respectful, & Professional. I embark each of these attributes to bring about a comforting resolution that ranges from the initial handling of your loved one through the cremation or traditional funeral, whether you are present or not. Most importantly, however, all the services offered at Guiding Light Funeral Home & Cremation Center are affordable to every family.

Our economy lacks the sophistication with which to traverse in a financially careless manner. More to the point, every dollar must be spent wisely. The time has come to reduce the high fees associated with death-care expenses. Toward that end, we at Guiding Light provide the best of services at prices within your means. Aside from owning the most state-of-the-art crematory facility anywhere, our Family Room, Waiting Areas and Conference Room have a luxurious appeal uniquely to SHARP. Members of our families are immediately made to feel at ease. Once they walk into our facilities, our families know they have come to the right place.

As owner and operator of Guiding Light, I have listened to families as they have shared countless stories relating to the loss of their loved one. Often times a close family member is left emotionally vulnerable. Sometimes the affected person is incapable of knowing exactly what to do or how to express their feelings. It is my responsibility to listen attentively before offering any words of alleviation, advise or suggestions. No matter how my clients respond or what they decide, they are assured to receive the most kindhearted guidance that best reflects their needs and financial circumstances. I am very sympathetic to all the families I serve because every person is entitled to the most humane treatment possible. By the time our arrangement conference comes to an end, my families know exactly what they want. It is always our commitment to guarantee that you will receive the utmost care and respect. At a time when your emotional resistance may be at its lowest, Guiding Light will provide the best professional care at a price that is affordable. This is my pledge to you.

If you wish to discuss cremation or funeral arrangements, or if you are interested in our Pre-Need Services, please call me at your convenience. I will schedule a special time for us to meet and discuss your special set of circumstances. You will be glad you did. Please know that I am here to always serve you and your family!

Geronimo Mena Jr, LDD
Chief Operating Officer
Guiding Light Funeral Home & Cremation Center

Baby-boomers, CANA, Florida Cremations, Guiding Light, Hollywood

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