Shopping for end of life services such as funeral homes and cemeteries is a daunting task for most people. Most are making important decisions for their loved ones while in a state of grief and often within a tight timeline. Typically, people search online or ask friends to find a company to help them plan for the care and service of their loved ones. The challenge is knowing which company to choose, what services are necessary, and how much they really should be spending. No one knows this more than Tom Crean.
Tom Crean comes from a family that has been in the funeral profession for over a century. He has been on the front lines of advocating for compassionate service and caring for families during their times of need. Tom founded our Surrey cemetery with his son Trevor Crean. During his 40+ years in this industry, he has observed a radical and positive change that could not even be imagined in the 90s.
What once started as a diary of sorts, Tom has written a book that casts light on the funeral industry, the many changes that it has undergone over the last 40 years, and what this means for families here in BC and North America. At first, Tom was writing down what he observed simply to keep all the information in one place and to make sure that he was equipped with all the facts when he met with suppliers, vendors, and regulating bodies. Over time, this diary began to tell the bigger story of the industry and he realized that people needed to hear it. The book is called, “It’s Your Funeral” and it taps into the inner-workings of a $20 Billion industry in Canada and the United States.
The story of how corporate conglomerates dominated this sensitive industry in the 90s and how the private, family-run businesses have reclaimed their profession is unlike any other sector of the economy. This book shows how “the little guy trying to do the right thing” can change the future for the better for so many families.
Tom Crean is the Vice President of the Partners in Care Alliance. PICA is creating a cooperative in BC that helps families make informed decisions and allows caregivers to offer service recommendations with complete confidence. This is PICA’s mission statement from their website: “The Partners In Care Alliance Society (PICA) is an association of caregivers moved to action by the vital need for education and advocacy when it comes to ‘end-of-life-care’ issues. PICA was formed in the largely unregulated Vancouver, B.C. of the early 1990s, by caregivers who supported ethical professionals in the funeral and cemetery professions and who helped lobby for better regulations.”
Tom’s hope is to inform the consumers that they have the power to make these difficult times easier through informed choices. If you are looking for more information about end of life care services please visit PICA’s website or contact us and our Heritage Garden’s staff would be happy to answer any questions you may have.