Comforting and Sentimental - This lapel pin has no gender, ethnicity or religious reference. Everyone relates to the family tree.
This poem touches hearts. When read aloud while offering the pin, wearing it becomes more meaningful. It 'becomes' their loved one.
Identify family members
to staff and callers alike.
Make it easy to
Sometimes, we only know
the one who died.
to wear Oaktags
after services to keep
their loved ones close.
Some, for special occasions.
Some, every day.
When you see a leaf pin,
say, "Who is your leaf?"
You grant the gift of saying their loved one's name
after the world fell silent.
It would be really neat to say Ruthann designed this leaf pin, but truth be told, a Creator far more divine accomplished that. Ruthann was just the one who discovered the fallen leaf on a sidewalk in Lambertville, New Jersey. When she picked it up, she thought it looked like a hug. Then it hit her. This is the emblem she had been waiting a dozen years for, something everyone could relate to - the Mighty Oak, the Family Tree.
With 50 years in funeral service, Ruthann has seen traditions change. Years ago, black veils and armbands identified the mourners in a funeral home, but times have seen these emblems fade away. The one place where identification can still be found is at a Jewish service, where black kriah mourning ribbons are worn by the immediate family.
Ruthann thought, "Wouldn't it be nice if every family were identified somehow? It should have no religious connotation, no ethnic identity and be something which would be lovely for a woman to wear but handsome enough a man would feel comfortable wearing it."
The leaf was transformed into a memorial lapel pin families are honored to wear. The antique gold finish of the Oaktags memorial pin makes it a subtle marker for others to discover.
Signage by the guest register offers, those waiting to sign, information about this important aide put in place to help them locate those to whom they wish to offer condolence.
The leaf pin is a treasured keepsake, worn every day, on family occasions or special outings.
Ruthann is a graduate of Dallas Institute of Mortuary Science and has devoted her career to designing environments, products and services for the care and comfort of the grieving; focusing on the relationships we share.