Women in the funeral industry

As far back as ancient Greece, women have had a significant role in caring for the dead. In fact, until the 19th century, the job of preparing the body for burial was largely the job of the females in society. Read Full Article
Cemetery and funeral home weddings

The funeral industry is opening its doors to life events as well as death events these days. The latest trend–cemetery and funeral home weddings. What do you think of this latest trend? Let us know in the comments. Read Full Article
Chinese caskets

Malamas at a client’s storage facility in Gardena, Calif. If he finds a minor defect in a casket, he’ll often gift it to a needy widow.Photographer: Julian Berman for Bloomberg Businessweek (via Bloomberg Businessweek) Sourcing Chinese caskets at a fraction of the cost of US made versions seems like a no-brainer for cost conscious consumers. Turns out, however, that’s not necessarily the case. Read Full Article

InvoCare, a new San Deigo-based funeral services company is hoping to change the way people buy funerals. Read Full Article
Muslim Undertakers of East London

Haji Taslim employees prepare to move a coffin. In a recent article in the independent journal, Roads & Kingdoms, Liana Aghajanian takes a close look at the world of London’s Muslim undertakers. Read Full Article
Japan skyscraper graveyard

A woman prays at one of Japan’s “skyscraper graveyards”. (Reuters: Toru Hanai) A recent story published by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation highlights the boom in Japan’s high tech funeral industry. Almost all Japanese people get cremated and have their ashes put into family crypts in conventional looking cemeteries. However, with spaces costing up to $100,000, high-tech alternatives like skyscraper graveyards are becoming a necessity. They are fully automated and store thousands of urns. Relatives are given an identity card and robotic arms retrieve the loved one’s ashes from vaults deep underground. Read the full story: Japan’s funeral industry booms with high-tech solutions Read Full Article
live stream funeral service

In 2011 The New York Times published an article that discussed the growing trend toward remotely broadcast live stream funeral services (read the full article here). Since that time, many funeral homes have quietly been adding the service.   Read Full Article
Ebola Guidelines

On November 7th the World Health Organization issued updated guidelines for safe burial of Ebola victims. The new guidelines stress the need for safe burials but also address concerns about respecting the dignity of the victims and their families. Read Full Article
National Funeral Directors Convention and Expo

This statuesque fellow functioned a slow-motion carnival barker, moving only to shift positions slightly and summon convention attendees over to the Astral Industries casket display. (From NBJ) From the latest in hearses to an eagle eye spotting of “Dolly Parton”, NBJ reporter Eleanor Kennedy shares her impressions of the 2014 National Funeral Directors Association Convention & Expo which is taking place in Nashville October 12-15, 2014. Read Full Article
Supreme Court Building

On October 8, 2014 the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal intended to overturn outdated laws regulating Pennsylvania’s funeral industry. Read Full Article

Ivan E. Phillips, Paradise Funeral Chapel, Saginaw, displays the home’s new drive-thru viewing area There is no question that the funeral business is one that is steeped in tradition. So it’s natural that when a service such as drive-thru funeral viewings comes along we’re tempted to poke fun at it. Read Full Article
Ideal Death Show

Bicycle display at the Ideal Death Show. Over the weekend of Sept. 5-7, members of the general public mingled with funeral industry professionals at The Ideal Death Show, a gathering of Britain’s entrepreneurs, pioneers and progressives from the funeral industry. Read Full Article
Jaheim Benton

Jaheim Benton (left) slides safely into thirdGENE J. PUSKAR/AP When he found out that the family of Jaheim Benton, a player on the Chicago’s Jackie Robinson West Little League team was forced to leave their home when Jaheim’s mother’s hours as a home care worker were reduced, it didn’t take long for Spencer Leak to take action. Read Full Article
Crowdfunding funerals

Just a few weeks ago the son of a friend died in a tragic automobile accident. Like all deaths of young people, this was a heartwrenching experience for the family. To make matters worse, there was simply no money available for the burial expenses. To help, a family member opened a crowdfunding account to allow others to contribute to the expenses. It struck me at the time that this must have been a great  help to the family. I don’t know what the final tally was but I do hope that this boy’s loved ones found a little peace in having some of the financial burden lifted. Read Full Article
Funeral home updates for new customs

According to the National Funeral Director’s Association (NFDA), a group that tracks trends in the funeral industry, there are several significant changes that are driving the services the funeral home of today provides. While these are not the only trends, among these most significant are: the desire for personalization, increasing popularity of cremation, and the use of technology. Read Full Article
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