Cheryl Fuhrmann has built a career helping people cope with grief, so when she and her husband pre-planned their funerals she knew it meant their children wouldn’t have to shoulder the task.
“When we did that, it was such a burden lifted knowing it’s all paid for and laid out and done,” said Fuhrmann, founder of nonprofit Dusk-to-Dawn Bereavement Services, which is based at Christ Lutheran Church.
While older people may be ready to tackle end-of-life planning, their families aren’t always ready to begin the conversation. With demand for grief counseling increasing amid the coronavirus pandemic, Dusk-to-Dawn is seeking to provide more resources on death and dying.
The organization, which offers its services free of charge, received funding for support staff as it was flooded with new clients. By September, Dusk-to-Dawn had served as many clients in 2020-21 as it had in the previous two years.
Certified life and bereavement coach j Miranda was hired to help counsel clients and provide guidance on advanced care planning, like establishing last wishes.
“Advanced care planning is terrifying for some people … because it’s terrifying to talk about mortality,” said Miranda, who recommends people start making the plans at age 18.
Dusk-to-Dawn will raise awareness of its services from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 6 at Christ Lutheran during its traditional Harvest Festival. The event, which is the organization’s main fundraiser, returns after a year’s absence due to the pandemic.
The festival features craft vendors and a silent auction with a new children’s section offering toys and bikes. Masks are strongly encouraged at the event.
Proceeds benefit the organization’s programming, which expanded over the past year to include telehealth services.
For more information about Dusk-to-Dawn, visit www.dusk-to-dawn.org or call
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