Although Joe Wilson has been in the funeral business for 23 years, there's one thing he still hasn't gotten used to -- planning a funeral for a child.
"When someone has lived a full life and they’ve been sick, when they die it’s really more a release for them," said Wilson, who co-owns Parnick Jennings Funeral Home and Cremation Services. "When it’s a child, it’s much harder. It’s not natural for us to bury our children. I told a mom and dad last week (that) I don’t know any better what to say when someone has lost a child than I did 23 years ago. It never gets any easier."
In November, the funeral home will mark 37 years in Cartersville, and Wilson said he's gad to live and work here.
"I love Cartersville," he said. "It’s a very friendly community. When my wife and I started looking for a place here, we just fell in love. It’s a great place to live."
Wilson said that Parnick Jennings is different than other funeral homes because it is locally owned.
"We make our decisions here in the funeral home based on the best interest of the families that have placed their trust in us," he said. "We’re not controlled by any corporate mandate or by Wall Street. We treat people the way they would want to be treated. That’s what a funeral home is all about."
The funeral home also offers cremation services, something that Wilson said is becoming more prevalent because society is changing and becoming more transient.
"Peopel are more spread out than they used to be, and cremation affords them a better option instead of taking someone back to a place to be buried that they might not visit again," Wilson said.
Cremation also is less expensive than burial. While the funeral home offers cremation services, it's not something that is done on-site. Instead, Parnick Jennings uses a funeral home in Buchanan.
"A family doesn’t see any difference in that," he said. "It’s a seamless thing for them. If cremation is their choice, they wouldn’t see any difference. Funeral homes add cremation services to name because a lot of families are looking for that now. If they don’t see that in the name, they incorrectly assume the funeral home doesn’t offer that."
And, while working at a funeral home can be tough, Wilson said it's satisfying to help people through a hard time in their lives.
"Every family that comes to us is special to us," Wilson said. "It’s an honor to us to help people through this. It’s a great deal of trust that is placed in us."