The 5 Most Important Times to Reach Out To Grieving People

1. Upon hearing about the death.
Respond quickly. Pick up the phone and call or visit your friend to offer your condolences and support.

2. At the funeral service.
Attend whatever funeral services have been scheduled. This may be in the form of a visitation, a funeral service, or a memorial service.

3. Within two weeks after the services, reach out again.
A griever’s support network dwindles quickly after the funeral services are over and people go back to their own lives.

4. The first holiday or birthday without the loved one.
Often times grieving people don’t want to be around celebrations because they feel as though they are going to bring down the party goes with them. Invite your friend to your family celebration with the understanding that no one is going to try and cheer them up, make them happy, or tell them how to feel.

5. The anniversary of the death.
The first year is often the period of most intense mourning. Send your friend a card acknowledging that you remembered it has been one year since their loss.

House Committee Votes to Pass the Bill

On February 4, 2008 the House Business Affairs and Labor Committee voted 7 to 4 to pass HB 08-1123 and send it to the House Appropriations Committee with a favorable recommendation.

What happens next:

• The House Appropriations Committee will vote soon (date to be determined) after reviewing the fiscal impact of the bill. There is no testimony on the bill at that time as it is evaluated not on merit, but from a financial impact.

• If the House Appropriations Committee passes the bill then it goes to the floor of House for a final reading and where all of the Representatives will be given the opportunity to vote in favor of or opposition of the bill.

• If the bill passes the House then it moves to the Senate. There Senator Johnson will introduce it on the Senate floor, it gets assigned a Senate Committee, and the process begins again only in the Senate.

• If the bill passes on the Senate floor then it is considered as having passed both chambers and unless the Governor vetoes the bill, then it becomes law on July 1, 2008.

As in common in politics several amendments have been made to the bill. This is not the final version, but to download the current working version, Click Here.

House Business Affairs and Labor Committee Testimony

On January 31, 2008 the House Business Affairs and Labor Committee heard testimony on HB08-1123. However, they did not vote on the bill at that time. Here’s the status of the bill:

After the initial bill was introduced, there were two major amendments which needed to be added to the bill. A major player in the Colorado Funeral Service Industry submitted a multiple page amendment to the bill that would specifically address the issue of cremation including definitions, authorization to cremate, and cremation procedures. It was not submitted in time for the State bill writer to evaluate and include the amendments into the bill. The second amendments came by way of DORA, the Department of Regulatory Agencies. A representative from DORA took a position yesterday that they could not support the bill as written. Remember that DORA recommended a registration system, not licensure, which is what HB08-2133 recommends. There were also several pieces of technical language which DORA needed added to the bill before they would consider supporting it.

The State bill writer will add the appropriate amendments to the bill over the weekend, the amended bill will be delivered immediately to the committee members, and on Monday, February 3, 2008 at 1:30 P.M., the House Business Affairs and Labor Committee will review the final version of the bill and vote to pass or kill the bill.

Several people from the funeral industry testified in favor of the bill on January 31st . One piece of testimony given by Representative Stafford provided a staggering statistic. She stated that in 1982 when licensure of funeral service was sunsetted there were 175 registered funeral directors/embalmers. Currently the Colorado Office of Vital Records has 1,216 people registered as funeral directors able to sign death certificates.

Click here to read the fiscal impact statement on HB08-1123.