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She helps to lighten death’s load

Anesta Henry

She helps to lighten death’s load

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Rosemary Mayers-Haynes knows how to deal with death. She deals with it almost everyday.
While most people cannot testify to that fact, on any given day she is speaking to family members who are overwhelmed with emotions as they cope with the loss of a loved one.
Her job is to help them plan the funeral for that loved one while offering them a sense of sympathy.
“When a family comes to me, I know that they come to do business but I have to be mindful of the nature of the business. Some families can be very sensitive, while others come knowing what they are focused on and they get to the point.
“What you do with the sensitive ones is that you console them and you try not to do anything to ruffle a feather. You carefully go through the process of finding out where the person died, how long they died, what church they are going to, if they have a family grave . . . . At the end they should feel that they are in good hands,” she said during a recent interview with the MIDWEEK NATION.
Mayers-Haynes is an office manager and mortuary assistant at Downes & Wilson Funeral Home, where she started as an accounts clerk in 1995.
Over the years, her responsibilities and roles in the funeral home started to grow. At one point, she attended funerals under the home’s charge to oversee the proceedings.
Dealing with families from different backgrounds and religions in their time of mourning is not always an easy task.
“When they come you don’t know what to expect,” she stated clearly.
But standing on a neutral ground, the office manager uses her soft spirit, which she exemplified throughout the interview, to sympathize and keep matters under control.
“You have to like what you are doing when you come to work in a funeral home. If you don’t, then in a couple of months you are turned off.
“Sometimes family come with not only grief but also vengeance and family disputes. But you have to be strong and you can’t take sides,” she said.
When asked about her greatest reward, without much thought Mayers-Haynes indicated “insuring that at the end of the day the family is satisfied.
“I like to know that when you have a funeral to plan you know that you can come to Rosemary.”

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