DIY Funeral Home

Purchasing a funeral home that needs updates is a challenging proposition. In 2003, we came to Andover and purchased the local funeral home, knowing that we would make many changes.

It is amazing to me now as I consider all that has transpired and as I remember that all the while the work was going on, we were living in the midst of the remodel.

Whenever Bud would begin a remodel phase, he was always trying to contain the scope of it so that he could shut it down in the event of a funeral call. He wanted to be able to shut it down in a way that would still provide a good experience for our families. (Since we never call our clients by the word clients, and we always call them families, I’m hoping that my post will not be confusing…!)

I think the most inconvenient funeral we ever had was when the Andover gathering room was increased in size. It only increased about 14 feet, but in the process of making the addition, we did get a funeral call. The family we were serving at the time was very gracious, and I think the accommodations worked so that story ends on a good note.

Anyway, the goal with renovations, is to start them and keep them moving along in the hopes of avoiding just such conflicts.

When it was time to work on the front porch, that was also the goal. The weather was good, the work space was covered, and Bud just worked and worked barely stopping for meals.

At that time, the girls were attending Andover Central School. Every day, we would have our breakfast and they would scoot along out the front door off to school. The day before “the incident” they had come home from school and entered the house up the front steps like usual and had spent the rest of the day either in the house or in the back yard via the back door.

Meanwhile, Dad came in for supper, and went back out to work on the front porch project.

And another school day came. The girls came down for breakfast and we were having a good time together. Then they realized that they were running late. Karissa was the first to lay hold of her things and she took a speedy departure. As she got to the front door, upon zipping through

she found herself airborne!

And then she went “kerplunk.”

Unbeknownst (yes, people still use that word) to us, Bud had gotten to the part of the porch project where the floor boards needed to be removed. It was a good place to stop for the night, but he didn’t remember that the girls would be exiting the front door, so precautions for a safe exit were not considered….

Thankfully, Karissa was not injured badly. Horrible as it seems, we had a hard time expressing our true empathy because our laughter was vying for first expression. Thankfully, Karissa can now laugh with us and understands the mental image we had; continue to have as I am barely able to contain myself as I write this post… (I love you Karissa! Thank you for permission to post this story.)



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