On the day that Norma, a branch banker, wore her pin that said “Ask Me Their Name,” seven people inquired. In response, she was able to share about her father-in-law, who died from COVID on Easter Day 2021

Ask Me Their Name is a new non-profit ministry supported by Roberts Park United Methodist Church and The Garden Community Church, both in Indianapolis, that focuses on grief awareness, education, and counseling.

Due to COVID restrictions, thousands of grieving families have been forced to forego traditional funeral services for their loved ones. While some post-COVID celebrations of life have occurred, many have not. Without these traditional rituals, many are vulnerable to the consequences of unresolved grief including physical and mental health issues.

According to grief educator Deb Brandt, often people are afraid to ask about how someone is doing after a death loss for fear of causing pain. However, those who are mourning actually find it comforting and healing to talk about their loved one. 

The ministry created pins and black arm bands, which have long been a visual representation of those in mourning, that say “Ask Me Their Name,” giving people permission to inquire about their loss—and for those grieving to talk about it. 

To receive a pin or arm band, one needs to subscribe at askmetheirname.org  Subscriptions include regular thoughtful emails about relevant topics, resources, tests, access to liturgies for church services, etc. (An early bird discount of 20% is currently being offered.)

As it attracts more donations, Ask Me Their Name is looking forward to working with local providers to offer low-cost or no-cost professional counseling and grief support.  

On August 30, National Grief Awareness Day, at 11:30 a.m., Ask Me Their Name is officially launching in the parking lot of Roberts Park UMC, during which Deputy Mayor Judith Thomas will be in attendance.