TRANSITIONAL TRIUMPHS OFFERS
PRACTICAL RESOURCES AND GUIDANCE
THROUGH THE JOURNEY OF GRIEF
The premise of this site was planted in my mind years ago. My dad was the local funeral director in a small town in northern Michigan. As a young child, I was amazed by the number of people who would come by our table at the restaurant, or stop my parents in the grocery store. Their loved one had died months ago, yet they still struggled. Not just with the feelings, or “stages” of grief, but with a lack of knowledge. So, my dad would set an appointment on the spot to take the widow to the bank, give a referral to a good attorney or explain veteran’s death benefits. For years, Dad had a snowplowing circuit, where he would clean out many a widows’ driveways in town…whatever he could do to help survivors transition to life without their loved one.
Once I joined the funeral business, I realized that “Aftercare” could mean so many things. Mostly, though, it was synonymous with the funeral home providing limited information on grief. This most often came in the form of a brochure or some other printed material. Some of the more progressive funeral homes might host a holiday memorial service or provide referrals to a support group. I would read articles and books on grief, but I still didn’t know how to help someone navigate life after the death of a loved one.
I felt a personal sense of frustration, as people would pick up their belongings after the funeral. Some seemed relieved that a long struggle had ended; but I knew most were entering a very confusing and emotionally demanding time in their life. And, honestly, I felt pretty powerless to help them.
At various times, I would look into grief programs, but none of them resonated. Finally, one day, years after my dad retired, I was talking to him again about my frustrations. He said, “I always thought what was needed was to provide practical information to people. That’s what “aftercare” should be- show them how to go on living when their loved one has died. Maybe the widow doesn’t know how to balance a checkbook, or the widower has never cooked a meal or done a load of laundry. Have someone show you how to maintain your lawnmower. These are the things that people need to know.” As I considered his words, I realized that what I saw at the restaurant and grocery store years ago, was my dad’s "Aftercare Program."
In that moment, I decided to seek out ways that I could help provide resources to those having experienced the death of a loved one. It had to be practical and actionable, as well as capable of reaching a person where he was “at.” Transitional Triumphs is my attempt to connect the bereaved with the resources they need. While I won’t be over to plow your snow, I hope the information contained on this site will provide the knowledge and information needed to navigate the difficult road ahead.
I dedicate this website to my parents, David and Vickie Wolfe for their years of faithful service to people just like you.