We pride ourselves on providing funeral directors with an inspiring mix of personalization products and helping them serve, educate and support their communities. But what inspire us are stories of compassionate customers like Mat, who believe in creating real healing moments for grieving families.
Fueled by a passion for helping families live life after loss and helping them grieve, The Signature Group’s Mat Forastiere dedicates himself to “facilitating moments of healing.”
Mat got his start in funeral service at a young age holding doors during visiting hours at the family funeral home. Today he thrives as part of a community-focused organization committed to the “lost art” of reaching out to families and forming relationships. He embraces being a shoulder to lean on and a helping hand in his community.
“My dad taught me that funeral service is more than just a business. It’s about caring for people,” said Mat. His father also taught him to have the courage to show emotion. “You know you can’t be afraid to reach out, touch people and show them you care,” he said. Following his dad’s example as a “constant volunteer,” Mat spends a significant amount of time educating and supporting the Overland Park community, so “people know we’re here when they need us.”
Creativity and listening are the keys to being a good funeral director, according to Mat. “Healing begins here. We spend more time learning about the life that was lost and that person’s relationships. We learn where the survivor is, how they’re feeling, how they’re grieving … so they understand how important saying ‘goodbye’ is going to be and how we can facilitate that for them.”
To create the most meaningful experiences for families, Mat encourages his staff to “put the pen down and have a conversation.” He recommends they form a relationship; build trust; show some compassion and then make suggestions. “And, don’t be afraid to strike out,” he says. “‘No’ is just a word that leads you to the next question.”
By paying attention to stories and knowing what’s available through Batesville, Mat and his team are able to provide exactly what the family needs. “Batesville has products that allow you to truly capture who an individual was, what they believed and the impact they had on life, which supports everything we do.”