HHK Funeral Home Shares How They Help Families Heal.
Honor. Remember. Heal.
This is the goal of LifeSource’s partner, Hamlin Hanson Kosloski Funeral Home.
Hamlin Hanson Kosloski (HHK) Funeral Home in Moose Lake, Minnesota has been serving families for over 100 years. Mike Kosloski became the funeral home’s 4th owner in 1998 but he started working there in 1987. It’s a hometown business, serving about 80 families a year; families that Mike and his team are often familiar with
Because they’re small, partnerships are important, “You have to be willing to collaborate and be creative to serve families,” Mike explains. One example of this is using a streaming service called Gather, which allows HHK to live stream funerals, this service has been particularly helpful in 2020 when physically gathering wasn’t possible because of COVID.
Mike says, “This is how we survive – we adapt.” Another way HHK has adapted to better serve families is with their online Collaboration Center. Here, everyone involved in planning a funeral can see changes made to arrangements, eliminating the need to send hundreds of emails back and forth during a time of loss and grief.
One thing that hasn’t changed in 100 years is HHK’s commitment to its employees. “When I started here, I was treated so well by my predecessor and that’s always my top goal. I try to give my staff the best job I can, I want them to have the best working environment possible. I know that if I don’t have them, I don’t have anything and that if my team is happy, the families we’re serving are happy.”
It isn’t everyday you get to sit down with a Funeral Director, so I had to take the opportunity to ask, “What makes a good funeral?” Mike was happy to share his strong and thoughtful opinions on this. “Funerals should be as unique as the person. They should talk about the life that was lived, what the person enjoyed and what they did while they were here.” Mike explains.
While Mike’s relationships with his employees and families have always been positive, his feelings about organ, eye, and tissue donation have evolved over time. He shares, “Ten years ago I didn’t always encourage families to see if their loved one could be a donor because I knew the impact it would have on me – it would mean a lot more work for me, a much later night and time away from my family.” When asked how this changed, Mike drew a line straight back to the work of Melinda Van Waus and Kelley Romanowski, LifeSource’s Medical Examiner, Funeral Home, Coroner and Hospice support team. “Now, because of the education, stories of healing and the resources LifeSource has provided, I’m an advocate for donation.” In fact, Mike is now a registered donor and HHK is LifeSource’s first ever Donation Champion Funeral Home, an award they received in recognition of their passion and commitment to serving families, especially donor families.
Caring for families and helping them heal is at the center of the work that Mike and his team do. It’s also at the center of his feelings about donation these days. “People are excited, they might say, “Mom was a donor, what do we do?” They really want to honor their loved one’s wishes. We have to be willing to help them [families] help someone else. I want to support donation so the family gets the positive feelings that come with knowing their loved one helped others. It provides so much healing knowing their loved ones helped someone else, I need to do my part to make sure my families get that little bit of healing.”