The health, wellness and sustainability community is vast and includes many types of businesses that we think are interesting and different.
We caught up with Annie Gibbons, owner of with Amazing Grace, which is a service which helps people through possibly one of the toughest times and processes of their lives: losing a loved one, so she could tell us more about what she does and why she does it.
EF: Can you explain what with Amazing Grace does?
AG: When we are hired by a family that has lost a loved one, we initially meet with them to assess what their immediate needs are. Each family has very different needs. Some need help in choosing a funeral home, or deciding whether they need to use a facility at all. Many have already made those decisions in which case, we help them with other aspects of the upcoming funeral that are overwhelming them. This can include, travel arrangements, accommodations, bereavement gathering/life celebration, personalizing touches for the deceased, house, pet, child and elder sitting and personal shopping.
Because there are always details that cannot be anticipate, with Amazing Grace is able to identify each of these details and thoughtfully arrange anything that may come up throughout the event and its planning, to allow the family and friends to come together to grieve.
EF: How did you get into the field?
AG: My next door neighbor and I essentially raised each others' kids. When I was home I had them, when she was home she had them. The five of them were all like siblings. So when her oldest son CJ was killed just after his 21st birthday, like most people, I felt helpless.
I went to work identifying every possible need they could have and took care of each thing as it came up. They were so overwhelmed and I was determined to make sure I would do everything in my power to help at the time of this horrific tragedy.
So it was when I experienced my own loss that I realized how much people need a service like this and that I was really good at addressing every detail. This is when I decided to start, with Amazing Grace.
EF: Why do you think it is important
AG: Losing a loved on is one of the hardest times of our lives. When we are emotionally overwhelmed, the smallest decisions can be daunting.
We can advocate and be objective, offering options that they might not be aware are available. Because we are able to take care of incidental tasks, both large and small, the family can come together undisturbed to mourn, with the privacy and space that they need.
EF: Some people might call what you do morbid, how do you respond to that?
AG: Death, grief, mourning and extreme sadness is never an easy subject. However, this is when people have their greatest need. Being comfortable with these very difficult times, so help can be provided to families and friends that have experienced loss, does not seem morbid, I feel it is a blessing.
EF: What is your favorite thing about what you do?
AG: The look of relief on my clients faces. The little bit of peace that we provide them by helping them commemorate their loved one. Coordinating the perfect life celebration, music/picture presentation, food and personal touches. To know that I have the skill set to be able anticipate, identify and then execute a families needs successfully.
In the end, we want to be remembered. We want our stories told.
The commemorating of our lives has trended beyond the funeral services. It has also become about our favorite music, food, art, sports, hobbies, passions, life’s work, family and friends.
With Amazing grace, handles the details, and so much more…It’s about the story.