A Gift You Shouldn’t Give A Grief Counselor

About a year after my parents’ deaths, my family visited Alaska and had the privilege of meeting the wonderful organ transplant team at Life Alaska.  One team member, the grief counselor, had recently received a gift that turned out to cause more than a couple of awkward moments.

Life Alaska works with coroners’ and medical examiners’ offices throughout the USA and beyond.  Through various symposiums and conferences, they develop strong relationships with these offices.  When this grief counselor received black coffee mugs with “LA County Coroner’s Office” on them, she thought they would be practical for offering her clients coffee and tea.

I must have been the first one to have coffee served in such a mug.  I happened to turn mine around to look at the opposite side.  It looked something like this:

Having worked with Fran over the previous year, we knew she was incapable of insensitivity and so it was with great reluctance that I showed her my cup.  Predictably  she was mortified.  We, on the other hand, found that the mug, despite its dark humor, lightened the mood in the room.
© 2011 Laura Hedgecock


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