Funeral Industry Press Releases

Selected Independent Funeral Homes Announces Launch of 'Why We Gather'

January 25, 2012

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Selected Independent Funeral Homes Announces Launch of 'Why We Gather'

DEERFIELD, ILL. — January 24, 2012 — Selected Independent Funeral Homes, the world’s largest and oldest association of independently owned funeral homes, has launched a resource for people who are grieving to connect and hear from experts. Why We Gather connects people in a number of ways, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Each offers unique opportunities for those who grieve to experience a sense of gathering and to share and learn from one another any time of the day or night.

“Grief is a universal emotion that we all have experienced,” said Thomas Belford, President of John A. Gentleman Mortuaries of Omaha, Neb., and President of Selected Independent Funeral Homes. “By offering those in mourning an easy—to—use, highly accessible place to share experiences, along with expert insight on grief, we hope this community provides comfort during what, to many, is a significant life event.”

Why We Gather’s launch follows the holiday season, which is often a trigger for grief. By providing a number of ways to connect, Selected hopes to reach as many people as possible.

The program’s features include:

  • YouTube Channel ( — This Channel houses short videos from grief experts (including Dr. William G. Hoy, director of Grief Connect: The Center for Bereavement Education) speaking on the topic of grief, the role a funeral plays in the mourning process and more. Users can watch videos on demand, create a free YouTube account and subscribe to the channel to receive real—time updates when a new video is posted, comment on videos and interact with other users.

  • Facebook Page ( — Facebook users can “Like” this page to receive updates in their News Feed, comment or post on the page’s Wall to share their story and get feedback from others.

  • Twitter Page ( — Twitter account holders can follow @WhyWeGather for news and updates, with links to videos and articles on the topic of grief.

Selected members serve families worldwide with compassion and the utmost care following the loss of a loved one. As such, Selected believes social media is the next step to reach more people with these grief resources, as the public increasingly uses such outlets to connect with one another.

“We are excited to launch this program and see it grow,” said Belford. “We hope to see the community flourish, and have a lot of content to come in the form of new videos being uploaded in the future,” he added. “Our goal has always been to be there for individuals in their time of need, and we hope that ‘Why We Gather’ allows us to do that in a virtual way while providing a place for people to share and know they are not alone, which sometimes is the best form of healing.”

For more information on Selected’s programs, becoming a member of Selected Independent Funeral Homes or to locate a member, visit Selected’s website at or call 1—800—323—4219.