6 Tips On What To Say To A Grieving Friend
















Grieving can be extremely challenging. When someone you love has recently suffered a loss, you may not know what to say.  This article highlights six ways to help a loved one struggling with loss.

Six Tips On What To Say To A Grieving Friend

#1: Hold space for them
Someone who is grieving doesn’t need you to fix anything for them. They need you to just be there. So whatever capacity of listening you can offer helps them to feel heard and seen in their experience.

#2: Validate their grief with reflection
When your grieving friend speaks to you, reflect what they’re saying to you. Especially when you can sense they are sharing in their vulnerability. Listen and let them know you understand.


#3: Show up, offering support
Saying you’re there for someone and being there for them are two different things. Show up with lasagna. Rub their neck. Pick up their groceries. Make their bed. The initial stages of grief are a great time to act more, listen more and speak less.

#4: Embrace little moments, it’s not always what is being said. Sometimes just sitting silently with a friend can be just what your grieving friend needs. Don’t feel the need to fill the verbal void.


#5: Be consistent
Grief is a very isolating journey. Showing up for your friend consistently gives them a sense of safety. It can be as simple as a text saying you’re thinking of them, or a drop in on them to say hello. It doesn’t need to be complicated, simple is great.

#6: Be proactive
Take the initiative, reach out to your friend. Sending them a gift, can let them know you are there. Be the first one to call them. It’s hard to put any effort into relationships when you’re grieving, so do that heavy lifting for them.

If you want to know more ways you can help your loved one struggling with a loss, contact our experts at Found and Sons. Our expertise and insights can help you support your loved one through a difficult time.




An Interview with Monument Counselor, Jeremy Grimes


Setting a Memory in Stone

Having a flat grave marker or monument created are two ways to represent a loved one’s final resting place. Although with more people preferring to be cremated, not everyone finds it necessary to have a flat grave marker or monument made. For those who are interested in these options, here is a brief introduction to grave markers and monuments.

Grave markers are flat bronze plaques that are installed on a granite stone base for the purpose of identifying the deceased. Monuments are upright for the same identification purpose. There are many different styles and types of flat grave markers and monuments available, with different designs, granite options, and personalization options. Because monuments provide more space, more can be personalized in terms of shape, size, and inscription. Whether you choose one over the other, it is a sure way to show that the deceased was loved and continues to be remembered.

Monument Counselor of Our Fredericksburg Chapel, Jeremy Grimes

Jeremy joined our Found and Sons chapel of Fredericksburg in 2016. Since 1997, he’s worked as a Funeral Assistant, Crematory Operator, and Monument Counselor. He is a lifelong resident of the Fredericksburg area and currently lives in Spotsylvania County. He is an avid mountain biker and enjoys agriculture as a hobby. The most important part of his life is his son, Mason.

How long have you been a Monument Counselor at Found and Sons?

I have been helping families create monuments and memorials for just over 20 years and now. Since being with Found and Sons for the past 4 years, I take pride in sitting down with families to design a monument that they are happy with. Providing families with a beautiful monument can also help with their grieving.

What type of monuments do you tend to recommend to families and why?

I always present the most cost-effective option first so I tend to recommend the Blue Ridge and Eagle Blue.

What’s the most rewarding part of the process when helping families with their monuments?

I enjoy passing by and walking through the cemeteries. I have always admired the art and hard work that went into the making of these monuments and markers. Since starting in this line of work, I can now say that I’ve helped with the making and placing of some of these monuments.

What is one common misconception that families have when it comes to having a monument made?

I think the most common misconception is that families think that they can’t come back to the drawing board when designing a monument. Families are always welcome to change what they want in the layout multiple times before reaching a final design. Another misconception is that we as Monument Counselors have to stick to what is available in the books or brochures when we present options to families. We can create custom monuments as well. Almost any sketch can be made into a memorial and almost any picture can be etched or sandblasted. 

If there was one thing that you could tell a family about monuments, what would it be?

I would encourage families to think about what they would like to express and accomplish on the memorial. It’s wise to visit the cemetery to see if there is a specific style, color, or size to match up to or replicate. 

Is there anything else that you would like to inform people about?

Monuments and bronze plaques have often been very popular for businesses that wish to memorialize an employee. Stone benches are also a popular option as you can engrave a company logo or a message that can be very eye-catching on sidewalks or in green areas.

Because you help so many families in creating unique monuments, what is one monument that has been of significant importance, and why?

My cousin’s monument from design to the installation in the cemetery was particularly important (see Brian Kearns’ monument below). His family decided to go with a rough, rock pitch border on the sides and polished midsection of the Die (stone above the base), with his picture placed in a recessed oval. I believe that adding a porcelain picture to any monument really ties in all of the other elements that are featured. I chose to make the top of the monument a bit taller than others so that it stood out in the cemetery. In my opinion, his monument looks like it could be stacked of multiple pieces but it is only composed of two. The piece also has ivy carved into it, which gives it a contemporary look with a bit of old style.

Installing this monument was an important task, being that it was the first row in this particular cemetery. I needed to set the tone for how straight the line of monuments would be for future headstones. The end result looks great and I’m proud to be able to be there for my family and create a memorial that shows who my cousin was.

It’s an honor to help all the families that come in to explore memorial options. It’s just more personal when it is my family I am able to help. My Grandmother’s marker was important to me going from a single bronze marker to including my Grandfather’s on a companion granite piece.













Pictured left, Bronze Grave Marker of Clifton and Dorothy Kearns at Sunset Memorial Gardens in Fredericksburg, VA.





What’s the most elaborate monument that you were able to assist a family with?

The most elaborate monument was one with a base of 80 inches that consisted of 2 wings with a plinth (base) in between the wings and vase set on top of the plinth. The family also asked for ceramic photos to be placed on the monument as well. It turned out beautifully and the family was more than happy with the final product.

When you aren’t assisting with families or helping families with monuments, what do you enjoy doing in your free time?

I am an avid outdoors person. I’m usually out working on my garden and riding ATV’s with my son, Mason.

Do you work closely with the VFW, American Legion, Sheriff’s Departments, and Cemeteries?

We work with Spotsylvania Sheriff’s Office, Fredericksburg Police Dept, and the Rotary Club. To see the monument that we created for the Fallen Fredericksburg Officer Memorial, you can click here.


What is the best piece of advice that was ever given to you? What is one quote that you have lived by?

The best piece of advice that was ever given to me was to do a job that I would be proud of. I get that gratification as a Monument Counselor at Found and Sons. A quote that inspired me is “Leave things better than you find them” by Robert Baden-Powell


To see more monuments on our website or to contact us, click here. We look forward to assisting you in creating a monument that best represents your loved one.






Granite Stone Options for Monuments



Always There, No Matter How Far

You Don’t Need to Be Close to Have Closure

One of the hardest things we may endure in life is losing a loved one. During the grieving process, many people find the closure they need by attending the funeral. Unfortunately, due to varying circumstances, your loved ones may not be able to attend the funeral. This inadvertently may cause more grief and may lead to feelings of guilt.

To make things easier for those who are unable to attend, Found and Sons has integrated a live-streaming feature that friends and family can utilize. Your friends and family now have the ability to be there for the service no matter the circumstances preventing them from attending. While watching a live-stream of their loved one’s service, they will have the ability to select between two cameras. One camera is positioned to focus on the speaker at the podium and to view the casket or urn. The second camera allows for an overall view from the back of the chapel and also allows viewers to see the casket exit with the pallbearers.

Invitation to View the Service

Once a director has scheduled the service to be live-streamed, an email will be sent to designated family members. The email can then be forwarded and shared with whomever you choose to share the invitation with. Found and Sons also provide the option of putting the link to view the service on your loved one’s obituary page. Since your privacy is important to us, this option is entirely up to you.










Viewing the Service Details and Obituary

By clicking on the link, you will be taken to a new screen. Depending on what time you click the link, it will either display a picture of your loved one or it will be showing the live stream if the service start time has been reached.






Event Tab

Here, you will find details such as the name of the deceased, date of the service, and the time.







Venue Tab

Under this tab, you can see which chapel the service is being held at, the chapel’s phone number, the director’s email address, and the memorial page of the deceased.







Front Camera

This angle provides a closer view of the speaker and arrangement.








Guest Camera

This angle provides an overview of the service.


Found and Sons are excited to provide this new feature for the families we serve. It will give people the opportunity to be a part of something that they otherwise would have missed. In the past, this industry hasn’t been known for technological advancements, so this feature is truly a blessing. Now you can be assured that friends and family, near and far, will be there to honor and celebrate you. If you have been considering pre-planning to make things easier for your family, click here to get started. We are available to answer any questions that you may have.

A Memory To Hold On To

There are many ways to honor and remember a loved one after they have passed. For Christi Thompson, her way of honoring someone is by creating memorial pillows, made from the clothing that a loved one wore.

Christi has been a Culpeper resident since moving here from Fairfax, VA when she was 15. It’s no surprise that she picked up sewing since her mother, Cynthia Godfrey, was the seamstress for the Culpeper County Sheriff’s Department. Cynthia became well known in the community for her seamstress skills. After doing some work for one gentleman in the Sheriff’s Department, she soon had other officers requesting her to tailor their uniforms. By referrals and her quality of work, Cynthia found herself with a full time job of keeping the officers uniforms looking sharp. 

Cynthia had a very close relationship with Christi, her son-in-law, and grandsons. “She was basically a second mom in our household” says Christi. Known as “Mimi” to her grandsons, she helped Christi in homeschooling her grandsons. In 2016, Cynthia passed away after fighting a brave and courageous battle with ovarian cancer. Her spirit still lives on through Christi, as she has filled her mother’s shoes and is now the seamstress for the Sheriff’s Department.

The first pillow that Christi ever made was actually made for a very close friend and co-worker that had passed away. The daughter of her late and former co-worker came to have a pillow made out of a shirt that her mom, Carol, often wore. The shirt that was that was provided had a slight coffee stain underneath the collar. For the people that didn’t know Carol, they wouldn’t quite understand the meaning behind the stain. Carol was an avid coffee drinker when she would be working with Christi in Belk Department Store of Culpeper. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Carol with a coffee stain on her shirt from drinking too quickly. Co-workers and friends always found it funny and somewhat normal to see the stain on Carol’s shirt by the end of her shift. Carol’s daughter had the pillow made as a way to keep her mother’s memory and presence with those that are still here.

Christi enjoys making these memorial pillows because of how they represent the person without words. As Christi finished telling the story behind Carol’s pillow, she began to explain that the pillows in our showroom were pillows made from pieces of her mom, Cynthia’s, clothing. She went on to explain how special it is to see a person’s clothing and just feel like you’re right back at home with that person. “It really is about keeping the spirit and presence of a loved one alive” Christi says. 

To have a memorial pillow created for your loved one that is deceased, you can contact Christi at [email protected] or visit Found in Sons Funeral Chapel and Cremation Service in Culpeper, VA.



An Interview with Funeral Director, Ray Rhodes

How long have you been a funeral director? What were you before you became a funeral director? 

I have been a funeral director for about 8 years. I worked for Coca-Cola as a Sales Manager.

What led you to this profession?

I started out part time working for Found and Sons and liked the business. Sam Found asked me if I wanted to become a Director. I really liked what I was doing and felt like I was helping people, so I decided to go for it.

What is the most rewarding part of doing what you do?

Helping families that are having the most difficult time in their lives.

What does a typical work day look like for you?

Every morning I view all the cases we have in our care to make sure every individual is being cared for appropriately. After that, it’s emails, giving out work assignments for the day to my staff, checking on the services that are scheduled to make sure we have completed any tasks that are needed (confirming ministers, church availability, staffing, etc..), transporting individuals for cremation, embalming as needed, and reviewing building maintenance.

What is one misconception that you think people have about funeral directors?

That funeral directors don’t care about their loved one and that we are only interested in selling the most expensive services to them. With every family, I try to provide them with the best information available for them to make decisions that they are comfortable and satisfied with.

If there is one thing that you could inform people about in regard to this industry, what would it be?

Start planning now! We will all eventually need the services of a funeral home, whether it is for ourselves or for a loved one. It is much easier to make decisions about what services you will want before someone passes away. Making those decisions after someone has passed is inherently more difficult when you are in a difficult emotional situation.

What advice would you give someone who is considering becoming a Funeral Director?

Work in the field first, even part time. Yes the industry is interesting, but it is not for everyone. Most directors have a preference on the types of duties they enjoy, and some that are difficult for them. Without hands-on experience, it is difficult to fully understand what this vocation requires of an individual.

How does being a Funeral Director play into your life compared to having a “normal” job How do you manage to keep a good balance of work life and personal life?

Being a funeral director does not always leave a lot of time and energy for personal time. Take the time when you can. You will spend many days dealing with other people’s personal crisis’s, but it is important to separate your personal life from this. This is not difficult for me; however, it can be very taxing on some people.

What do you enjoy most about living and working in the Fredericksburg area? 

Fredericksburg is a great place to work and bring up a family. There is a huge amount of history here, and many things to do as well. Of course, this area is growing, but it still has the home town feel about it.

Who is one person that inspires you?

The person that inspires me most would be Jesus Christ. Without forcing my religious views on anyone, he is my pick because he preached love and caring for all people. I think we all should take time to look at ourselves and strive to overcome our faults and help others to overcome theirs.