Saying Goodbye: Planning a Funeral, Writing an Obituary

The medical staff at Forsyth Medical Center in Winstom-Salem, NC, declared Kristen legally deceased on Monday, March 4 at 3 p.m.  I left the hospital with my parents, returned home to collect some things, and drove back with them to be in familiar surroundings with the people who’ve known me the longest.

Kristen’s death still wasn’t real to me, even as I had to go to the funeral home to make the arrangements.

I never thought I’d be planning my wife’s funeral.  She was 30.



March 6, 2013 – 1:06 a.m. – Salisbury, Living Room

Went to Cumby funeral home to plan out the details of Kristen’s arrangements.  Took nearly 2 hours, & she would be pleased w/ the decisions I made.  They were very hard, & I cried a lot, but I’m glad it’s taken care of.

Oh, how I miss Kristen.  She was my best friend, my second self, my best earthly companion.  I love you, Sweetie!  ❤ Joseph


OBITUARY — High Point Enterprise, March 7, 2013

Kristen's MLIS Graduation

Kristen Ann (Almand) Ross

TRINITY — Kristen Ann (Almand) Ross, 30, passed away unexpectedly on Monday, March 4, 2013, at Forsyth Medical Center. She was the loving wife of Joseph A. Ross, whom she married on June 18, 2005.

Kristen was born on November 18, 1982, in Tampa, Florida, a daughter of Barry Almand of Wilmington and Margaret (Schisler) Almand of Greensboro. She was a 2001 graduate of Enka High School in Asheville; a 2005 graduate of Western Carolina University, earning a B.S. in Education; and a 2012 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro where she received a Master of Library and Information Studies degree.

Prior to getting her master’s degree, Kristen taught English at South Davidson High School from 2005 to 2010.

Kristen was a loving, gentle, patient, compassionate and intelligent woman who enjoyed spending time with her family and friends. She had a special kindness in her heart for children as well as all animals. She enjoyed crafts, painting, needlepoint, scrapbooking and debating important issues.

In addition to her husband and parents, Kristen is survived by two children, Elizabeth Jane and Ian Alexander of the home; a sister, Aileen McMahan and her husband, Jamie of Asheville; father and mother-in-law, Jack and Rosemary Ross; two brothers-in-law, Stephen Ross and his wife, Stephanie of Raleigh, and John Ross and his wife, Bekah of Edmond, OK; and several nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. A celebration of life service will be 2:00 p.m. Friday, March 8, 2013, at Hayworth Wesleyan Church, 1696 Westchester Dr., High Point, with Rev. David Clark and Rev. Bill Kinnan officiating. Burial will follow in Floral Garden Memorial Park. A visitation will be held from 12 to 2 p.m. Friday at the church.

Memorial contributions may be made to Compassion International, 12290 Voyager Parkway, Colorado Springs, CO 80921,

Condolences may be left on Kristen’s memorial page at

Arrangements made by Cumby Family Funeral Service, High Point.


One thought on “Saying Goodbye: Planning a Funeral, Writing an Obituary

  1. Oh boy, planning a funeral is always an emotional process. Thanks so much for sharing your experience. I remember when I planned my husband’s funeral, I was an emotional wreck. I definitely think that one of the best things you can do is have help; professional, or just helping hands from friends. I’m really glad that everything worked out for you and you were able to make decisions that you feel like she would have liked.
    Lisa |


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