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Selected Announces Launch of "Why We Gather" Community


Online Program Provides Opportunities for Sharing, Interaction for Those Who Grieve

DEERFIELD, ILL. — January 10, 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 FacebookTwitter 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.


About Selected Independent Funeral Homes: Founded in 1917 as National Selected Morticians, Selected Independent Funeral Homes ( is the world's oldest and largest association of independently owned funeral homes. Members of the association are expected to operate according to specific standards and best practices in order to provide the public with reliable, high-quality funeral services and funeral-related information.

Why We Gather Disclaimer and Terms of Use: Why We Gather is provided for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical advice. All the information provided through Why We Gather is made in good faith, but with no warranty as to its efficacy, completeness or accuracy. Persons using this information do so at their own risk and by doing so agree to indemnify Why We Gather and its content providers from all liability, injury and costs arising from such person's use. Anyone suffering from debilitating grief should seek help from a trained medical professional. If your grief is causing suicidal thoughts, call 911 immediately.

Lisa Gunggoll, LG-PR
708.829.8669 mobile

Date : 1/10/2012

What people are saying about Selected members

"This is the first funeral I have helped plan. The most meaningful action was when Mom died and the person who came at 2:00 a.m. was wearing a suit and tie. That simple action—showing respect to the family and Mom's remains—is so appreciated. All the little extras Groce did for us were above expectations; they knew what we needed before we did and they had everything prepared and ready when needed."

– A.L.., Asheville, NC
Served by member firm Groce Funeral Home

Read more quotes from people Selected members have served.