How Funeral Homes Can Honor Breast Cancer Awareness Month

The statistics that surround breast cancer are startling:

  • – On average, a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every two minutes
  • – 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime
  • – 1 woman will die of breast cancer every 13 minutes
  • – Over 3.1 million breast cancer survivors are alive in the United States today

 

But breast cancer awareness is about more than just numbers.

As funeral professionals, we see the up-close impact that this terrible disease can have on families. We hear the inspiring stories from breast cancer fighters, but we also see the difficulties that come when the battle itself has ended.

However, in spite of these daunting statistics and first-hand experiences, we still hold out hope for prevention and a cure… and we’re slowly getting there. Death rates from breast cancer have been steadily declining since the 1990’s, and this is largely due to the increased awareness surrounding things like early detection signs and growing options for screening and treatment.

In October especially, during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, people all across the world come together to spread knowledge and information, and to wear their pink in hopes of spreading awareness.

But for funeral pros who want to rally around the cause at their funeral home, it’s important to encourage prevention and awareness in a way that is appropriate and respectful to families who may have lost loved ones to this disease. Here are a few ways in which you can do just that…

1. Host a Pink Day

One of the most common ways that many organizations show their support for Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October is by donning the color pink. This international color symbol for breast cancer not only promotes solidarity and moral support for women who have battled breast cancer, but it’s also a great way to subtly band your entire staff together to support a cause.

To host a “Pink Day” at your funeral home, simply encourage your staff to wear a token of pink on a specific day during the month of October, whether it’s a statement piece like a pink tie, or a small accent like pink socks or a simple pink bracelet. You could even make “Pink Day” a once a week trend if you really want to increase your opportunities for awareness.

However, to ensure that you do not take away from a loved one’s upcoming celebration, ask you families if they are okay with your staff participating in a “Pink Day,” or choose a day that does not conflict with any services that you are hosting.

2.  Make Awareness and Support A Part of Service

Breast cancer awareness doesn’t just have to be something that is supported by your staff. You can also get your families involved. If you are working with a family who has lost a loved one to breast cancer, or is passionate about supporting the cause, inform them of the different ways that they can incorporate this important cause into their loved one’s life celebration. For example, you could ask family and friends to send pink flowers to a service in support of their loved one’s journey.

You could also help families support the cause directly. Many families who have a breast cancer charity near and dear to their heart ask their friends and family members to take the money that they would typically spend on a gift, and instead donate that money to a support foundation.

Another classic way of making breast cancer awareness a part of a loved one’s life celebration services is to offer friends and family pink ribbons to wear as they walk through the doors of your funeral home. This helps everyone in attendance show solidarity and support to the person whose life was impacted by breast cancer.

3. Host a Support Group for Families

Last, but not least, don’t just let your funeral home be a beacon of education and awareness for breast cancer. Also use the amazing resources and connections that you have already formed in your community (with grief counselors, support groups, hospice care workers, etc.) to create safe spaces of support, advice and guidance for those in your community who are currently living through the struggles of breast cancer, or who have been impacted by disease in one way or another.

You don’t even have to put on these support groups yourself. Simply offer up your facilities, your resources and your time to others in your community who may not have the space or the platform that you do at your funeral home.

These support groups will not only help others in your community learn about what they can do to spread awareness of breast cancer, but it will show that your funeral home is a safe place of support for those who have been impacted by this disease… now and in the future.

What is YOUR funeral home doing to support Breast Cancer Awareness in the month of October AND all year round?! Let us know in the comments below.

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  1. Billy Jacson

    Great information! Our Sherman’s Flatbush Memorial Chapel loves learning new things about the funeral industry.

  2. Marion Delmaire

    Very good article, thank you very much for the remainder! My mother was suffering from breast cancer and I can say that it was the hardest period of ours lives but with the wright support we got throught it. So love, patience and communication can realy be helpful during that time.

  3. Rilee Chastain

    Marion, thanks for the comment and sharing your story. I am so happy to hear you received great support through your journey!

  4. Death Care Network

    Lots of good information and thoughtful suggestions here. Thanks for sharing!