The Penn State DuBois Library, in conjunction with faculty in the Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) program will host “Ask a Funeral Director” at 12:15 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14, in Room 204 of the DEF Building. This event is free and open to the public. The featured speaker will be Jeff Baronick, director of Baronick Funeral Home and Crematorium, Inc. in DuBois, Pennsylvania.
Faculty and library staff organized this event in hopes of offering members of the community the chance to ask difficult questions. They say many people don’t look for answers about funeral arrangements until they are under heavy stress at a time of loss.
“For all living beings, death and life are inextricably linked, yet conversations surrounding the end of life are often avoided or strained,” said Jessica Clontz, lecturer in the HDFS program. “Due to this resistance to talk about death, many families feel unsupported and unprepared to make critical decisions when the inevitable occurs. Eventually, we will all face our own mortality and the mortality of those we love. End of life planning and education regarding death care options empower individuals and families to prepare for the inevitable and support each other in those decisions.”
This event will also serve as a learning opportunity for Clontz’s students, as she has tied the program into her gerontology class. She said, “Students within the HDFS program are future helping professionals who may one day work with a family facing end of life issues. These students are learning in various aging classes how to have those difficult conversations, guide families to local death care resources, and reflect on their own wishes at the end of life. The death care industry is continually evolving with more options including natural burial, cremation, and more. Bringing in a local funeral home director allows students and community members to engage with a professional in the field of death care, understand the importance of end of life planning, and break down the taboo of death.”
Topics Baronick will cover in his program include average costs of funeral arrangements, pre-planning, arrangement options, the evolution of the industry, and more. There will also be a question-and-answer session.
For more information, call the Penn State DuBois Library at 814-375-4756.