Passing of Richard Wojcik

On Wednesday, August 8, 2018, we lost our mentor, Richard Wojcik.  He passed away suddenly at the Grace Hospital at the age of 49 years.  Richard was a loving father, brother, son, uncle and friend to many.  Needless to say, his passing has been devastating for his family and the staff of Wojcik’s Funeral Chapels & Crematoriums.

We want to reassure the communities that we serve that Wojcik’s Funeral Chapels & Crematoriums is indeed open for business and that you can count on us in your time of need.  Your family will continue to be cared for by a licensed funeral director as we move forward without Richard.

The vision that Richard had when he established the business in 1998 has been instilled in all of us, and we will continue to maintain his high standards when serving your family.  Richard developed many systems and policies over the years that will assist us as we carry on his tradition of providing the highest quality of service possible.  You will continue to be treated as family by our staff as we provide good old fashioned and personalized funeral services.  Our goal will be to honour his memory by carrying on with his vision.

We have had a few inquiries regarding prearranged funeral contracts, specifically if these plans are “safe”.  We want to reassure everyone that has such a plan with Wojcik’s Funeral Chapels & Crematoriums that these plans are indeed safe and will be honoured in your time of need.  If you have more questions, please feel free to call us at any time.

We would like to thank our family, friends and the community as a whole from the bottom of our hearts for the kindness, support and compassion we have been shown.  The prayers that so many have offered have meant so much to us.  The many phone calls, emails, personal visits and floral arrangements are greatly appreciated. We are thankful that so many of our friends in funeral service have offered help.

We would also like to thank those that responded to Richard’s emergency, and to the skilled and caring staff of the Grace Hospital ER and ICU.  Words alone cannot express the gratitude we feel for the care you provided as you fought to save his life.

Thank you all for your continued support.  It has been the source of strength for us as we move ahead.

Sincerely,

The Wojcik family and the staff of Wojcik’s Funeral Chapels & Crematorium

Dealing With The Death Of A Child

Helping Yourself Heal When Your Child Dies

by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D.

Allow Yourself to Mourn

Your child has died. You are now faced with the difficult, but important, need to mourn. Mourning is the open expression of your thoughts and feelings regarding the death of your child. It is an essential part of healing.

With the death of your child, your hopes, dreams and plans for the future are turned upside down. You are beginning a journey that is often frightening, painful, and overwhelming. The death of a child results in the most profound bereavement. In fact, sometimes your feelings of grief may be so intense that you do not understand what is happening. This article provides practical suggestions to help you move toward healing in your personal grief experience.

Realize Your Grief is Unique

Your grief is unique. No one will grieve in exactly the same way. Your experience will be influenced by a variety of factors: the relationship you had with the person who died; the circumstances surrounding the death; your emotional support system; and your cultural and religious background.

As a result of these factors, you will grieve in your own special way. Don’t try to compare your experience with that of other people or to adopt assumptions about just how long your grief should last. Consider taking a “one-day-at-a-time” approach that allows you to grieve at your own pace.

Allow Yourself to Feel Numb

Feeling dazed or numb when your child dies may well be a part of your early grief experience. You may feel as if the world has suddenly come to a halt. This numbness serves a valuable purpose: it gives your emotions time to catch up with what your mind has told you.

You may feel you are in a dream-like state and that you will wake up and none of this will be true. These feelings of numbness and disbelief help insulate you from the reality of the death until you are more able to tolerate what you don’t want to believe.

This Death is “Out of Order”

Because the more natural order is for parents to precede their children in death, you must readapt to a new and seemingly illogical reality. This shocking reality says that even though you are older and have been the protector and provider, you have survived while your child has not. This can be so difficult to comprehend.

Not only has the death of your child violated nature’s way, where the young grow up and replace the old, but your personal identity was tied to your child. You may feel impotent and wonder why you couldn’t have protected your child from death.

Expect to Feel a Multitude of Emotions

The death of your child can result in a variety of emotions. Confusion, disorganization, fear, guilt, anger and relief are just a few of the emotions you may feel. Sometimes these emotions will follow each other within a short period of time. Or they may occur simultaneously.

As strange as some of these emotions may seem, they are normal and healthy. Allow yourself to learn from these feelings. And don’t be surprised if out of nowhere you suddenly experience surges of grief, even at the most unexpected times. These grief attacks can be frightening and leave you feeling overwhelmed. They are, however, a natural response to the death of your child. Find someone who understands your feelings and will allow you to talk about them.

Be Tolerant of Your Physical and Emotional Limits

Your feelings of loss and sadness will probably leave you fatigued. Your ability to think clearly and make decisions may be impaired. And your low-energy level may naturally slow you down.

Respect what your body and mind are telling you. Nurture yourself. Get daily rest. Eat balanced meals. Lighten your schedule as much as possible. Caring for yourself doesn’t mean feeling sorry for yourself it means you are using survival skills.

Talk About Your Grief

Express your grief openly. When you share your grief outside yourself, healing occurs. Ignoring your grief won’t make it go away; talking about it often makes you feel better. Allow yourself to speak from your heart, not just your head. Doing so doesn’t mean you are losing control or going “crazy.” It is a normal part of your grief journey.

Watch Out for Cliches

Cliches–trite comments some people make in attempts to diminish your loss–can be extremely painful for you to hear. Comments like, “You are holding up so well,” “Time heals all wounds,” “Think of what you have to be thankful for” or “You have to be strong for others” are not constructive. While these comments may be well-intended, you do not have to accept them. You have every right to express your grief. No one has the right to take it away.

Develop a Support System

Reaching out to others and accepting support is often difficult, particularly when you hurt so much. But the most compassionate self-action you can do at this difficult time is to find a support system of caring friends and relatives who will provide the understanding you need. Seek out those people who encourage you to be yourself and acknowledge your feelings — both happy and sad.

A support group may be one of the best ways to help yourself. In a group, you can connect with other parents who have experienced the death of a child. You will be allowed and gently encouraged to talk about your child as much, and as often, as you like.

Sharing the pain won’t make it disappear, but it can ease any thoughts that what you are experiencing is crazy, or somehow bad. Support comes in different forms for different people — support groups, counseling, friends, faith — find out what combination works best for you and try to make use of them.

Embrace Your Treasure of Memories

Memories are one of the best legacies that exist after the death of a child. You will always remember. Instead of ignoring these memories, share them with your family and friends.

Keep in mind that memories can be tinged with both happiness and sadness. If your memories bring laughter, smile. If your memories bring sadness, then it’s all right to cry. Memories that were made in love — no one can take them away from you.

Gather Important Keepsakes

You may want to collect some important keepsakes that help you treasure your memories. You may want to create a memory book, which is a collection of photos that represent your child’s life. Some people create memory boxes to keep special keepsakes in. Then, whenever you want, you can open your memory box and embrace those special memories. The reality that your child has died does not diminish your need to have these objects. They are a tangible, lasting part of the special relationship you had with your child.

Embrace Your Spirituality

If faith is part of your life, express it in ways that seem appropriate to you. Allow yourself to be around people who understand and support your religious beliefs. If you are angry at God because of the death of your child, realize this feeling as a normal part of your grief work. Find someone to talk with who won’t be critical of whatever thoughts and feelings you need to explore.

You may hear someone say, “With faith, you don’t need to grieve.” Don’t believe it. Having your personal faith does not insulate you from needing to talk out and explore your thoughts and feelings. To deny your grief is to invite problems to build up inside you. Express your faith, but express your grief as well.

Move toward Your Grief and Heal

To restore your capacity to love you must grieve when your child dies. You can’t heal unless you openly express your grief. Denying your grief will only make it become more confusing and overwhelming. Embrace your grief and heal.

Reconciling your grief will not happen quickly. Remember, grief is a process, not an event. Be patient and tolerant with yourself. Never forget that the death of your child changes your life forever. It’s not that you won’t be happy again, it’s simply that you will never be exactly the same as you were before the child died.

The experience of grief is powerful. So, too, is your ability to help yourself heal. In doing the work of grieving, you are moving toward a renewed sense of meaning and purpose in your life.

 

We at Wojcik’s Funeral Chapels and Crematoriums provide our professional services at no additional cost to those families who have lost a young child.

Preparing For An Expected Death at Home

The following information is helpful for physicians and families on the procedures to follow to facilitate the expected death of a patient in the community. Specific direction should be given to the family regarding the notification which must take place after the death occurs, and regarding the arrangements to be made for transportation of the deceased. If these directions are followed, the confusion that can occur if Police or Ambulances are called can be avoided.

FAMILIES AND PHYSICIANS EXPECTING A DEATH AT HOME

The family must advise the physician of one of Wojcik’s Funeral Chapels that they will be using after the death occurs.

The physician must write a letter to Wojcik’s Funeral Chapel & Crematorium to advise them of the pending death and who will be responsible for the Registration of Death. A suggested draft form of such a letter is included. Clearly state any specific precautions about which the funeral home should be aware, e.g. pacemaker, observe body fluid precautions. This letter authorizes Wojcik’s Funeral Chapel & Crematorium to transfer the deceased and complete Part I of Registration of Death.

The letter must be sent to Wojcik’s Funeral Chapel & Crematorium with copies to the family and to the Office of The Chief Medical Examiner.

When a death occurs at the family home, DO NOT phone 911 (ambulance or police). Call Wojcik’s Funeral Chapel & Crematorium to transfer the deceased and they will also advise the attending physician who will be responsible for completing the Registration of Death.

If the family calls 911, resuscitation efforts can be avoided if they produce the letter of expected death for the ambulance personnel. At this point the ambulance will leave and the family should notify Wojcik’s Funeral Chapel & Crematorium and the physician. Families should take as much time as they feel they need prior to calling Wojcik’s as will normally arrive within one hour from a family calling us.

Then Wojcik’s Funeral Chapel & Crematorium and/or the physician must notify the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office that the death has occurred.

Questions from Physicians may be directed to:
Office of The Chief Medical Examiner
210 – 1 Wesley Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3C 4C6
Phone: (204) 945 – 2088
Fax: (204) 945 – 2442

Expressions Of Sympathy

A friend has experienced the death of someone loved. You want to help, but you are not sure how to go about it. This article will guide you in ways to turn your cares and concerns into positive actions.

Listen with your heart.
Helping begins with your ability to be an active listener. Your physical presence and desire to listen without judging are critical helping tools. Don’t worry so much about what you will say. Just concentrate on listening to the words that are being shared with you.

Your friend may relate the same story about the death over and over again. Listen attentively each time. Realize this repetition is part of your friend’s healing process. Simply listen and understand.

Be compassionate.
Give your friend permission to express his or her feelings without fear of criticism. Learn from your friend; don’t instruct or set expectations about how he or she should respond. Never say, “I know just how you feel.” You don’t. Think about your helper role as someone who “walks with,” not “behind” or “in front of” the one who is mourning.

Allow your friend to experience all the hurt, sorrow and pain that he or she is feeling at the time. Enter into your friend’s feelings, but never try to take them away. And recognize that tears are a natural and appropriate expression of the pain associated with the death.

Avoid cliches.
Words, particularly cliches, can be extremely painful for a grieving friend. Cliches are trite comments often intended to diminish the loss by providing simple solutions to difficult realities. Comments like, “You are holding up so well,” “Time heals all wounds,” “Think of all you still have to be thankful for” or “Just be happy that he’s out of his pain” are not constructive. Instead, they hurt and make a friend’s journey through grief more difficult.

Understand the uniqueness of grief.
Keep in mind that your friend’s grief is unique. No one will respond to the death of someone loved in exactly the same way. While it may be possible to talk about similar phases shared by grieving people, everyone is different and shaped by experiences in their own unique lives.

Because the grief experience is also unique, be patient. The process of grief takes a long time, so allow your friend to proceed at his or her own pace. Don’t force your own timetable for healing. Don’t criticize what you believe is inappropriate behavior. And while you should create opportunities for personal interaction, don’t force the situation if your grieving friend resists.

Offer practical help.
Preparing food, washing clothes, cleaning the house or answering the telephone are just a few of the practical ways of showing you care. And, just as with your presence, this support is needed at the time of the death and in the weeks and months ahead.

Make contact.
Your presence at the funeral is important. As a ritual, the funeral provides an opportunity for you to express your love and concern at this time of need. As you pay tribute to a life that is now passed, you have a chance to support grieving friends and family. At the funeral, a touch of your hand, a look in your eye or even a hug often communicates more than any words could ever say.

Don’t just attend the funeral then disappear, however. Remain available in the weeks and months to come, as well. Remember that your grieving friend may need you more later on than at the time of the funeral. A brief visit or a telephone call in the days that follow are usually appreciated.

Write a personal note.
Sympathy cards express your concern, but there is no substitute for your personal written words. What do you say?

Share a favorite memory of the person who died.
Relate the special qualities that you valued in him or her. These words will often be a loving gift to your grieving friend, words that will be reread and remembered for years. Use the name of the person who has died either in your personal note or when you talk to your friend. Hearing that name can be comforting, and it confirms that you have not forgotten this important person who was so much a part of your friend’s life.

Be aware of holidays and anniversaries.
Your friend may have a difficult time during special occasions like holidays and anniversaries. These events emphasize the absence of the person who has died. Respect this pain as a natural extension of the grief process. Learn from it. And, most importantly, never try to take away the hurt.

Your friend and the family of the person who died sometimes create special traditions surrounding these events. Your role? Perhaps you can help organize such a remembrance or attend one if you are invited.

Understanding the importance of the loss.

Remember that the death of someone loved is a shattering experience. As a result of this death, your friend’s life is under reconstruction. Consider the significance of the loss and be gentle and compassionate in all of your helping efforts.

“While the above guidelines will be helpful, it is important to recognize that helping a grieving friend will not be an easy task. You may have to give more concern, time and love that you ever knew you had.But this effort will be more than worth it. By ‘walking with’ your friend in grief, you are giving one of life’s most precious gifts – yourself.”

About the Author
Dr. Alan D. Wolfelt is a noted author, educator and grief counselor.He serves as director of the Center for Loss and Life Transition in Fort Collins, Colorado and presents numerous workshops each year across North America. Among his many bestselling books are “Understanding Your Grief”, “Healing a Friend’s Grieving Heart” and “The Mourner’s Book of Hope”. For more information visit the website: centerforloss.com or phone 970-226-6050. You can reach out to Dr. Wolfelt directly at DrWolfelt@centerforloss.com

Advice For Choosing A Cemetery

Families who have lost a loved one may need assistance in choosing cemetery property for burial of a casket or cremated remains in an urn, if the deceased has not previously paid for a cemetery plot. You may wish to have a trusted friend or family member assist you in gathering and reviewing the information.

** IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT FOR FAMILIES TO KNOW THAT THEY DO NOT HAVE TO USE THE FUNERAL HOME LOCATED ON THE GROUNDS OF ANY CEMETERY.  WOJCIK’S FUNERAL CHAPEL IS ALLOWED TO BURY IN ANY CEMETERY WORLDWIDE **

General Questions

1.   What types of cemeteries are there?

  • Traditional cemeteries have upright monuments and may have private mausoleums and or Columbariums. They may be either nonprofit or for-profit ventures.
  • Memorial parks or memorial gardens have flat bronze markers. Both have beautiful landscaping and attractive features. Like traditional cemeteries, they are either nonprofit or for-profit ventures.

2.   Who owns/manages a cemetery?

  • The City of Winnipeg, religious groups or private organizations.
  • Each owner will have different policies for managing the cemetery.

3.   What are the options when choosing a grave?

  • A single grave or
  • Lots that accommodate two or more graves, depending on what is available.
  • Cremation Plots – some of which can hold multiples of cremated remains

Some cemeteries may allow for the burial of two caskets in a grave or have sections where this is available. Double depth means that one casket is placed in the grave at an approximate depth of seven feet. When a second interment is required, the second casket is placed on top of the first casket at standard depth.

4.   Does the cemetery require a burial vault and/or grave liner?

  • Both a vault and a liner are outside containers into which the casket is placed.
  • Burial vault: This is designed to protect the casket and may be made of a variety of materials including concrete, stainless steel, galvanized steel, copper, bronze, plastic or fiberglass.
  • Grave liner: This is a lightweight version of a vault, which keeps the grave surface from sinking in.
  • Most, but not all, cemeteries require you to purchase a grave liner, which can be several hundred dollars.
  • Wojcik’s Funeral Directors will assist you in your decisions.

5.   You can choose a monument or plaque:

  • a flat plaque/marker or
  • an upright monument.

6.   How do you choose a monument or plaque?

  • Find out what the cemetery’s policies are on types and placement.
  • Choose within your price range.
  • Monuments come in three grades of stone rated according to their density (light, medium, and dark with dark being the most-dense).
  • Plaques/markers are generally made of bronze.

7.   Ask about the policies on flowers or wreaths at the graveside.

8.   Ask about the year-round grounds maintenance routines.

  • Perpetual care on a cemetery plot is sometimes included in the purchase price; clarify this before you buy a site or service. If it’s not included, look for a separate endowment care fee for maintenance and grounds keeping.

Cemetery Costs

1.   What’s the price difference between a burial and entombment?

  • Earth burial, the most common means of disposition, includes a casket, cemetery plot, opening and closing of the grave, a grave liner or vault and a memorial or marker.
  • Entombment, or placing the casket above ground in a mausoleum, may be more expensive than a burial, depending on the cost of mausoleum space.

2.   What is the final cost for burial and what is included in that cost?

  • Most cemeteries will have a breakdown of costs either at their administrative offices or online.
  • Fees can include monuments, interment, recording fees, land size by child or adult, grave liner, opening and closing the grave, perpetual care etc.

**ONCE AGAIN, IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT FOR FAMILIES TO KNOW THAT THEY DO NOT HAVE TO USE THE FUNERAL HOME LOCATED ON THE GROUNDS OF ANY CEMETERY.

WOJCIK’S FUNERAL CHAPEL IS ALLOWED TO BURY IN ANY CEMETERY WORLDWIDE **

Obituary Guidelines

***OBITUARIES ARE TO BE EMAILED (wfc2157@mts.net) OR BROUGHT ALONG WITH A PHOTO, IF DESIRED, TO WOJCIK’S FUNERAL CHAPEL NO LATER THAN 10:00 A.M.,THE DAY PRIOR TO THE OBITUARY NOTICE RUNNING IN THE NEWSPAPER***

OBITUARY NOTICE GUIDE:

**PHOTO**

NAME OF DECEASED

(Nee _________) (If female)

Peacefully, after a lengthy illness, after a brief illness, suddenly, accidentally, after a courageous battle with ___________; It is with deep regret that we announce the death of _________.
On (day, month, year)
Place of death
At the age of _____ years
Residence ( i.e.: of Winnipeg, Portage La Prairie)
Surviving spouse (beloved wife/husband of _______) (wife/husband of the late _______)
History, achievements, affiliations with groups, hobbies, enjoyments of deceased.
Survivors – spouse (of ?? years of marriage), sons, daughters, grandchildren, brothers, sisters & parents (as well as numerous nieces, nephews, relatives and friends). Include spouses and residence if desired
Predeceased – spouse, sons, daughters, grandchildren, brothers, sisters & parents
Prayers / Viewing – (time, date and place)
Funeral Service – (time, date and place)
Officiating clergy
Place of Interment
Pallbearer’s names (Honorary pallbearers are placed before active – if required)
Special Thank You’s
Donations to organizations, societies – or mention of flowers
Poem (if desired)

Checklist For Estate Matters

PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS ONLY A GUIDELINE – FOR A FULL LISTING, WE RECOMMEND YOU CONTACT AN ATTORNEY.

1)If you have requested Wojcik’s to order a Death Certificate from the Province of Manitoba, it will be mailed from Vital Statistics directly to your home. (Usually around 6 weeks). If you have questions contact Vital Statistics directly at the below number.

VITAL STATISTICS
254 PORTAGE AVENUE, WINNIPEG, MANITOBA R3C 9Z9
204-945-3701

2)A possible Lump Sum Death Benefit of up to $2,500.00; monthly Spousal Allowance and Orphan Benefits is available. Make application at the addresses below. Inform Income Security (Old Age Pension) of the death. The deceased’s next-of-kin is entitled to all monies until the end of the month in which the death occurred.
Wojcik’s Funeral Director’s Statement of Death, a Marriage Certificate & an Invoice from Wojcik’s Funeral Chapel & Crematorium Inc., proving everything is paid for is required.

CANADA PENSION PLAN & INCOME SECURITY
P.O. BOX 818, STN MAIN, WINNIPEG, MANITOBA R3C 2N4
1-800-277-9914

SERVICE CANADA CENTRE WINNIPEG LOCATIONS
393 Portage Avenue, 1001 St. Mary’s Road, 2599 Main Street &
3338 Portage Avenue

***PLEASE PHONE PRIOR TO ENSURE YOU BRING ALL THE REQUIRED DOCUMENTS***

3)Inform Driver & Vehicle Licensing of the death. The deceased’s next-of-kin or executor is entitled to a refund of a driver’s license. (A Funeral Director’s Statement of Death, an obituary or a death certificate is required along with a signed letter from the family requesting a refund). The cheque will be issued and mailed to the estate of deceased.

ANY AUTOPAC AGENCY
4) Inform all Insurance Companies of the death, and make application for proceeds.

5)Inform current and/or past employers where pension and/or insurance maybe in place, and request information necessary for proceeds where applicable.

6) Close all accounts that are solely in the name of the deceased within 90 days.

7) Change all information on accounts that are joint.

8) File a date of death Income Tax Return from January 1st until the date of death.

CANADA CUSTOMS & REVENUE AGENCY
325 BROADWAY AVENUE
WINNIPEG, MANITOBA R3C 4T4
1-800-959-8281
www.ccra.gc.ca
9)Inform all companies where the deceased held assets, such as GIC’s, T-Bills, RRSP’s, Bonds, etc., and get professional investment advice.

10)Inform Manitoba Public Insurance (AUTOPAC) within 15 days of date of death 204-985-7000. Information on this matter is in the “Policy Guide”, page 29. Ownership registration can be made at any Autopac outlet.

11) Information concerning Lands, contact:

LAND TITLES OFFICE
276 PORTAGE AVENUE
WINNIPEG, MANITOBA R3C 0B6
204-945-2042

(A Provincial Death Certificate is required. They will photocopy, and then return to you)

12) For information concerning Probate, contact your Attorney and/or:

PROBATION OF WILLS; LAW COURTS BUILDING
408 YORK AVENUE
WINNIPEG, MANITOBA R3C 0P9
204-945-3184
13) GOODS AND SERVICES TAX (GST) CREDIT:

If deceased was receiving a GST Cheque every 3 months, forward a Funeral Director Statement of Death to the Winnipeg Tax Centre, 66 Stapon Road, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3C 3M2. For more information, please call 1- 800-959-1953.

14) IF YOUR FAMILY IS IN NEED OF SOCIAL SERVICES:

EMPLOYMENT & INCOME ASSISTANCE
2ND FLOOR – 111 RORIE STREET
WINNIPEG, MANITOBA R3B 3N1
204-948-4095

Funeral Director’s Statements of Death are provided from our Funeral Chapel. Though they are accepted as proof of death by many establishments, they are not an official proof. The death certificates issued by the Province of Manitoba open application, is the only official proof of death. Death certificates are always necessary for transfer of title of lands, and Wills that are to be probated. They are sometimes required for life insurance proceeds, and transfer of assets, such as RRSP’s, Bonds, and savings accounts, to name a few. Some establishments will only require seeing an original death certificate and placing a photocopy on file. Others will require the original to be placed on file.