People encounter true generosity periodically throughout their lives. Generosity can be interpreted in many different ways. If you were to ask me, generosity is an act of giving to others in a manner that is selfless or compassionate. People in today’s day and age are hurried, distracted and basically selfish. Seldom do you encounter someone who cares or takes the time to help another fellow out, unless it benefits themselves.
I went through a traumatizing two weeks in late summer of 2005 with the birth of my second daughter. It was apparent to the Doctors that she was sick. Seven days later she died in the NICU at the University of Iowa’s Children’s Hospital. Needless to say it was all unexpected and the worst experience I have had. But it was from these events that I learned of the Westover Funeral Home in Des Moines and experienced true selflessness and generosity. It was more then someone holding a door for you. It was profound. It was a relief of burden for my heart even though nothing could ease my pain of my loss. The reality was setting in that Andy and I were going to have to pay for a funeral.
I was so lost and confused and faced with so many decisions. Where, who, what, when, and the worst of all how much. We didn’t have a lot of money; we were both in our 20’s living in an apartment, with modest jobs, and now facing a two thousand dollar bill.
After we picked out what we thought we would want to do for Ava’s funeral, we wrung our fingers under the desk waiting for the staggering price for our services.
The director had been so careful and patient while we had made our decisions. He paused and told us that our funeral services were to be taken care of by the funeral home.
They would provide us with a little white casket, pay our pastor for speaking for us during the funeral, the use of the parlor, staff, and vehicles were not going to cost us anything.
They couldn’t bring her back, but they did the next best thing, and relieved us of the financial burden we had been thrown into. I can’t tell you that we paid nothing at all because that wouldn’t be true. Police escorts, obituary ads, cemetery preparations, and death certificates are not free. But the cost of these things paled in comparison to the bill we had been spared.
The people of Westover Funeral Home had nothing to gain by not charging us for their services. They provided us with a true act of generosity and kindest that I believe no one else will ever be able to compare to. Their contribution to me gave me faith in society again and restored my ability to give back to others. I dream of a day when I can return the favor of generosity to someone else in need.
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