Richard Paul is the 56 year-old, third generation owner, and 29 year licensed funeral director, of Paul Funeral Home in Powassan, Ontario Canada. He was raised over the funeral home, attending Powassan Public School and Almaguin Highlands Secondary School. He is married to Jo-Ann and they have a son Isaac and a daughter Emily.
Mr. Paul earned his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at the University of Guelph and his Bachelor of Education at Nipissing University, North Bay. Richard taught Kindergarten and Special Education in Fort Albany, James Bay, Ontario. He then chose to leave his Special Education Grade Two teaching position in Ajax, Ontario following his father's death in 1980. He obtained his Funeral Service Education Diploma at Humber College and earned his Ontario Funeral Director's License in 1982.
Mr. Paul is a Certified Death Educator through the Association for Death Education and Counselling. He speaks with many groups and organizations each year on the subject of grief and, among many other venues, has been a presenter on four different occasions at the University of Western Ontario’s King's College Annual International Death Education Conferences in London, Ontario between 1980 and the year 2000.
Richard has co-authored one chapter titled "The Six C's of Christmas & Grief" in a book titled Personal Care In An Impersonal World and has authored three other chapters titled "Funerals and Funeral Directors: Rituals and Resources For Grief Management" in a book titled Thanatology: Readings For Undergraduates; and "Viewing The Body and Grief Complications: The Role of Visual Confirmation In Grief Reconciliation" in the text titled Understanding and Treating Grief Complications. His most recentchapter is titled "Intentional Aftercare" in the textbook When All The Friends Have Gone - A Guide For Aftercare Providers. All edited by the late Dr. John D. Morgan, Professor of Philosohy at King's College, London, as part of the Death, Value and Meaning series published by Baywood Publishing, Amityville, New York.
Richard has a special interest in the subject of critical incidents response particularly as it relates to grieving people. He was a director on the North Bay & Area Palliative Care Association and was also a founding director of the Near North Palliative Care Network. He has also served as Chair of Guaranteed Funeral Deposits of Canada, Northeastern Ontario Funeral Service Association, Bereavement Ontario Network, and is secretary and past-president of the Powassan Lions Club. He is a member of the Guaranteed Funeral Deposits of Canada, Ontario Funeral Service Assocation, the Funeral Service Association of Canada, the Northeastern Ontario Funeral Service Association, the Rorab Shrine Club, the Powassan United Church, Lions Club, Masonic Lodge and Legion.
For five years Richard Paul Chaired the Board of the “Loss, Grief and Growth Education Project, Inc.” This project’s goal was the production and distribution of a curriculum resource that assists teachers and students in developing knowledge, skills and attitudes about loss and grief to all Ontario schools from Kindergarten to Grade 12.
Mr. Paul is dedicated both to learning all he can about grief and to sharing this information to assist people in growing through their losses. He believes that the quote from Richard Bach's book Illusions, "We teach best that which we most need to learn" applies to him.
Richard has observed that, “Life inevitably presents each individual with losses, and crosses, to bear. As a caregiver and funeral director it can be exhausting to walk beside others as they plan and implement a funeral while experiencing the pain of their grief. Facing and embracing all that life offers each of us – the pain, sorrow, love, growth, humour and joy – is the challenge to appreciating life which I enjoy meeting most as a funeral director. Standing at the edge of life and death on a daily basis can provide some very powerful insights, inspirations and directions for truly valuing life and loved ones. I am passionate about my work making a difference in other people’s lives. I believe fervently that the funeral process serves as a bridge for the bereaved between the physical relationship that ends and the memory relationship that begins following the death of a loved one. I am also firmly convinced that the “good” funeral is the foundation for building a memory relationship and a new view of the world without the deceased.”