Weekly News: Funeral Customs and Holding Your Funeral Before You Die

By: Funeralwise | Date: Wed, March 23rd, 2016

Ma 'Nene Funeral Custom

Funeral customs and personalization top this week’s news, along with a new trend that features holding your funeral before you die.

New on the blog:

Weekly News: Funeral CustomsNew York Researchers
Will Light British
Cemetery With Decomposing Bodies 
Weekly News: Funeral CustomsAlexandra David-Neel,and the Enchanting Worldof Death She Discovered in Tibet
St. PatrickCelebrating Ireland’sPatron Saint, St. Patrick Ides of MarchBeware! Bewarethe Ides of March.


I told the truth in my sister’s obituary, so that others might choose to live

On February 20, 2016, Eleni Pinnow’s sister, Aletha, committed suicide. In a brave and stirring obituary, Eleni writes about her sister’s struggle.

Aletha Meyer Pinnow, 31, of Duluth, formerly of Oswego and Chicago, Ill., died from depression and suicide on Feb. 20, 2016. Read the full obituary here

In September 2014, the World Health Organization released an animated video titled “I Had a Black Dog.” The video illustrates the difficulties faced by those suffering from depresstion.

Depression is sometimes referred to as the “Black Dog”. Just like a real dog, it needs to be embraced, understood, taught new tricks, and ultimately brought to heel.

The video “Living with a black dog” is a guide for partners, carers and sufferers of depression. It advises those living with and caring for people with depression on what to do, what not to do, and where to go for help. Click here to go to the WHO Facebook Page where the video was presented


Japan’s funeral sector adapts as ‘peak death’ looms

3/21/2016–ft.com: Japan’s Y2tn funeral business is undergoing a wholesale cultural transformation as the world’s third-biggest economy enters its mournful demographic ascent to “peak death”.
The shift comes as Japan enters what actuarial tables show will be a two-decade boom of activity for the industry… Read the full story

The tough question we all need to think about: what type of death do you want?

3/21/2016–abc.net.au/: We can talk about good deaths and bad deaths, cheating death or embracing it, but the one thing that we all seem to reach for is this: when we die, we want to do it our way. Tony Smith* says his mother and father were lucky, if such a word can be used for death. For while they both experienced long-running, debilitating, and often traumatic health problems in the years before each of them died, when the time came, they died the way they wanted to… Read the full story

Dying neurosurgeon pens heartbreaking memoir before his death

3/20/2016–aol.com: Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer at the age of 36 just before completing a decade of training as a neurosurgeon.
In his heartbreaking and posthumous memoir, “When Breath Becomes Air”, Kalanithi explores the big questions surrounding how the prospect of death can impact what makes life worth living… Read the full story

10 Bizarre Customs From Around The World

3/20/2016–listverse.com: Death can be a very personal and upsetting thing, but it can also be a very spiritual and communal occasion. It’s something that has affected us since before we were even human, and it makes up 50 percent of life’s certainties (for the time being, anyway). How societies treat their dead is one of the most insightful ways to learn about their customs… Read the full story

Related: Poignant Pictures of Death Rituals (National Geographic)

29 secrets funeral directors won’t tell you

3/20/2016–msn.com: Organizing a funeral isn’t the most enjoyable thing you’ll ever do, but sooner or later all of us will need a fond farewell. While most funeral directors are thoroughly decent professionals who aren’t out to rip you off, unethical undertakers who are all too eager to overcharge for their services do exist unfortunately, so it pays to know their secrets. We’ve collected 29 insider hacks and little-known facts that funeral directors tend to keep quiet about… Read the full story

Living funerals offer way to say goodbye — before someone’s gone

3/19/2016–thestar.com: Grace Stephens gingerly steps into a room fit for royalty. The 79-year-old grandmother is clad in a handmade golden buttoned frock and glimmering gold jewelry — delicate earrings and a necklace — with her nails painted to match. She surveys the scene: Damask walls, elegant wall sconces, and a long dining table featuring more than a dozen teas, mint and cucumber sandwiches, and a rainbow of macarons… Read the full story

Related: Why wait for my funeral? I’d like one hell of a party while I’m still around (The Guardian)

What Happens When we die? Funerals help grieving process

3/17/2016–homernews.com: As people near death, there can be a forced intimacy, said Pastor Lisa Talbott of Homer United Methodist Church. For the elderly or those with terminal illness where death is expected, the last conversations with the dying can help ease the passing. It’s the time for healing and resolution to say the things that need to be said… Read the full story

China’s Government Is Trying To Ban Funeral Strippers

3/16/2016–refinery29.com: Funerals: a time for bereavement…and strippers? In China, the custom isn’t as strange as it may seem. Performances by strippers are common at Chinese funerals, but the country’s government wants to change that. The unusual practice is “held with the goal of drawing more mourners… Read the full story

Drawing portraits of dying people in hospice taught this artist about living

3/16/2016–washingtonpost.com: Claudia Biçen seemed to be living the millennial dream. The tall, striking British American worked at a San Francisco start-up, surrounded by people eager for the next big shining thing. But, living in that city she calls “the center of the future,” Biçen felt disconnected. She had studied anthropology and cultural narratives of mental illness… Read the full story

Funeral service changes mirror evolution in attitudes about death and grieving

3/16/2016–post-gazette.com: For much of his 30-year career as a Baptist minister, Doug Manning once believed it was his job to keep mourners’ emotions in check. “If I got through a funeral and people didn’t cry, I thought I’d done a good job,” said the former Baptist minister. After all, he’d grown up in a mid-century culture with a “horrid fear of any public demonstration of grief.” That changed for him in the 1970s when he tried to calm a devastated mother who had suddenly lost her 18-month-old child… Read the full story

Facebook is a growing and unstoppable digital graveyard

3/14/2016–bbc.com:  At some point, there will be more dead Facebook users than living ones – and for those left behind, it is transforming how we experience the death of those around us… Read the full story


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