World Cemetery Customs – Part 1

Estonian Cemetery - Manicure Grave | Hansen-Spear Funeral Home - Quincy, Illinois

We recently visited the Republic of Estonia (see pictures below for a map of Estonia) to see our son, Kristjan, get married. While there, we had an opportunity to visit several cemeteries and visit with our Estonian family concerning cemetery customs. The first cemetery was the Rannamoisa Kirik (church) cemetery near Tiskre, Estonia. It was very similar to American rural church cemeteries with the exception that there was a ‘storefront’ … [Read more...]

Carrot-Pineapple-Pecan Cake

Carrot Pineapple Pecan Cake | Hansen-Spear Funeral Home - Quincy, Illinois

My mother and sister-in-law pretty much adopted me from the moment we met. They are like the family I was always supposed to have, I just didn't know it yet. One of our favorite trips is going to the best resale store we have found, Stage Two, and having lunch at The Ivy in Fort Madsion, Iowa. The Ivy is a great restaurant that started in the basement of two newly divorced friends looking for a way to keep their families going. They started … [Read more...]

Change of Life

Mums the Word | Hansen-Spear Funeral Home - Quincy, Illinois

Kids are funny. Their minds are learning something new and how to use it every minute. The younger they are, the more they can take in. They are so dependent on us, their medial higher power. Maybe the less control one has, the more likely they are to accept change. Kids lives are already a whirlwind of transformation. This world demands they must cope and adapt and because of this, they become better at accepting change. Death is change. When … [Read more...]

Rock, Paper, Scissors

Rock-Paper-Scissors | Hansen-Spear Funeral Home - Quincy, Illinois

When it came to settling our parents’ estate – and selecting the things we wanted from their personal possessions, my sisters and I used this familiar strategy. “Okay, rocks, paper, scissors,” one of us would say to another when there was an item we both cherished. Sometimes the winner would discover that she didn’t really want the item after all. Other times, it felt like the perfect solution because through the process of sorting … [Read more...]

Known but to God: America’s Unknown Soldier

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier | Hansen-Spear Funeral Home - Quincy, Illinois

In 1994, our family took a trip to Washington D.C. area, and one of the highlights of our visit was the trip to Arlington National Cemetery.  We explored the historic national cemetery and saw the graves of many great heroes, including President John F. Kennedy, and we watched the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider - in the rain. The precise movement and ceremony of the Tomb Guard sentinels occurs year round, … [Read more...]

Butterfly Moments 2014

Butterfly | Hansen-Spear Funeral Home - Quincy, Illinois

When people ask me what I do for a living I say that I am a Blessing Hospice nurse and I wait for the reply that follows. The usual response is on the lines of “Oh, I am so sorry” or “It takes a special person because I couldn’t watch someone die.”  What people do not understand is that hospice is so much more than that one moment. My role as a hospice nurse is not only about what I or the hospice team can do for a patient or family … [Read more...]