“Death is a negative aspect of our lives, and unfortunately, we all have to go through it, but if we try to stay in a positive mind frame in the other things we endure in our life, it helps us get through a lot.”
Those words of encouragement come from Janice Smallwood, who, with her husband J.D, owns Norberg Memorial Home, Inc. & Monuments, in Princeton, Illinois. Janice, who has seen the death of both parents in her early twenties, and her husband, is no stranger to sorrow.
“Stay busy during those times,” advises Janice. “Watch videos of children playing or laughing, or puppies; whatever you need to do. Just try to make it till tomorrow, because it’s coming with or without you.”
Janice is a firm believer in the 3 C’s of Life: Choices, Chances and Changes: “You must make a choice to take a chance or your life will never change.”And, she says, “Just be kind. The world is a hard place to live in. Just be kind, because you don’t know what somebody else is going through. Karma is a thing.”
Janice encourages folks to stop by and just talk.“Because we’re a funeral home, people think they can only come here to talk to us about death. We’ve got rocking chairs on the front porch. Let’s just sit out there and watch the traffic for a minute, if that’s what you need. I’ll drop everything and do it with you.”
It’s common to be sad at a funeral. Janice sees it all the time. “Instead, I want them to rejoice in their time they had with their loved one. Everyone has lost someone, and if we were all just a little more kind, it would make that time easier. Be there for the person months later, when everyone has gotten on with their lives. Nights are the hardest. Give them a call just to check in, send them a card, just try to be there.”
Norberg Memorial Home, Inc. & Monuments: 701 E Thompson Street, Princeton, IL