Weekly News 6/5/2015: Beau Biden death and Swedish “death test”

By: Funeralwise | Date: Sun, June 7th, 2015

Beau Biden Death

Topping this week’s news was the news of Beau Biden’s death, word of a Swedish “death test,” and the laying to rest of the Savopoulos family that was tragically killed in their Washington, DC area home. Industry news included reports on rising cremation rates, the availability of holograms so that you may one day be able to deliver your own eulogy, and why death services are booming.

New on the Digital Dying blog this week:

Bonnie & Clyde Ambush MuseumJustin Nobel visits
the Bonnie & Clyde
Ambush Museum
Sheryl SandbergSheryl Sandberg
shares her grief

Weekly News 6/5/2015: Beau Biden dies

World dying to know about Swedish death test

Jun 4, 2015–thelocal.se: Professor Erik Ingelsson and Dr Andrea Ganna from Uppsala University developed a test for men and women living in the UK aged between 40 and 70, which they believe can determine which Brits will make it to 2020 and which won’t. “We show that, using a few simple questions, one can predict the risk of dying within five years with greater reliability than in any other way we know today,” said Ingelsson in a press release… Read the full story

>>Related: A two-minute D.I.Y. questionnaire can predict your risk of dying within five years.

>>Related: GPs should use online death risk calculator to assess patients, says study

The States With the Most People Dying From Cancer

Jun 4, 2015–247wallstreet.com: According to data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the leading causes of cancer death are generally the same across the country. Lung cancers were the top cause in 45 states, and digestive system cancers (colon, stomach, pancreatic) were the leading cause in the other five. Although the leading causes were often the same, the mortality rates from these cancers varied significantly between states… Read the full story

‘Queen Elizabeth has died’: BBC reporter sparks false death rumours in series of now-deleted tweets

Jun 3, 2015–mirror.co.uk:  The BBC apologised today after a post on a reporter’s Twitter account falsely announced the Queen had died. A series of tweets on Ahmen Khawaja’s account referred to the monarch’s health, including: “Queen Elizabrth (sic) has died. @BBCWorld” The tweet to over 7,000 followers was soon deleted but followed with: “False alarm to Queen’s death! She is being treated at King Edward 7th hospital. Statement due shortly… Read the full story


The Self-Mummified Monk Enmyokai (d. 1822). Credit: Ken Jeremiah via ancient-origins.net

Dying to Live Forever: The Reasons behind Self-Mummification

Jun 2, 2015–ancient-origins.net:  Sunada Tetsu (1768-1829) was arguably the most famous individual who successfully mummified himself. Early in life, he was not religiously inclined. He loved a prostitute in Akagawa, Tsuruoka’s pleasure quarters, and although the incident’s specifics are unclear, one day he fought two samurai over the girl. They drew their swords, and he killed them. To escape punishment, which would have been death, he fled to Churen Temple in Oaminaka. There, he embraced the Shugendo faith and became an ascetic… Read the full story

Dying in America: Elegant and humane, “The Lion’s Mouth Opens” is TV’s latest close look at death

Jun 1, 2015–Salon.com: The most remarkable thing about “The Lion’s Mouth Opens,” besides its subject matter, is its brevity: just 27 minutes, from title card to credits. It’s a documentary film that is about as long as an episode of “Girls,” but with her limited canvas, director Lucy Walker creates a brief but vivid journey that is intimate and sublime and educational, a snapshot that is so spare and elegant that it’s as crisp as a new dollar bill. “The Lion’s Mouth Opens” screened as a film short at various festivals; it debuts on HBO tonight… Read the full story

Review: ‘Unforgettable’ by Scott Simon: Saying Goodbye 140 Characters at a Time

Jun 1, 2015–NYTimes.com: There’s a lot of hand-wringing these days about the importance of having The Talk — not the one parents have with their mortified tweens, but the one we shy from having with aging parents or those terminally ill. The one about death and dying. Scott Simon, host of NPR’s “Weekend Edition Saturday,” proves to be an able guide to the art of saying goodbye in his deeply affecting new memoir, “Unforgettable: A Son, a Mother, and the Lessons of a Lifetime… Read the full story

Cremation trends changing death rituals

Jun 1, 2015–USAtoday.com: A more mobile society with less of a connection to the land is contributing to the death of funeral traditions. As attitudes and lifestyles change, more people reject burial in a family plot and adopt new traditions, which increasingly involve cremation. New trends in cremation and funerals include: 1. More people are personalizing cremation. Nancy Keil, CEO of Messinger Mortuaries, said an evolving trend in the funeral industry is more people making funerals unique, personalizing them as they do weddings. Cremation offers almost limitless options and flexibility which allows people to create traditions, she said… Read the full story

Beau Biden Death Savopoulos funeral

Katerina and Abigail Savopoulis follow their younger brother’s casket out of St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral. (WTOP/Megan Cloherty)

Hundreds attend funeral for D.C. family killed in their home

Jun 1, 2015–WTOP.com: An hour and a half after the funeral service began, the surviving children of Amy and Savvas Savopoulos followed their parents’ and younger brother’s caskets out of St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral. Wearing black dresses, Katerina and Abigail stood stoically at the entrance of the church watching as their family’s cherry wood caskets, draped in white flowers, were placed into three hearses… Read the full story

Beau Biden, Vice President Joe Biden’s Son, Dies at 46

May 30-2015–NYTimes.com: Joseph R. Biden III, the former attorney general of Delaware and the elder son of Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., died on Saturday in Bethesda, Md. He was 46. The cause was brain cancer, his father said. Mr. Biden had spent more than a week receiving treatment at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he died… Read the full story

Hologram company lets departed attend their own funeral

May 30, 2015–Fox29.com: Funerals can be a painful, trying experience for mourners. But imagine if the recently departed could appear at their own service to offer a few words of encouragement, and make everyone smile. That’s the goal of a 3-D projection company in Florida that says funeral holograms are the way of the future… Read the full story

Why Death Services Are Suddenly Booming

May 29, 2015–Reuters via Time.com : Baby boomers have a lot to do with it. Companies that provide end-of-life services stand to benefit from what boils down to a macabre version of high demand as the U.S. baby boom generation approaches their seventies. Roughly 2.6 million people died in the United States in 2014, up from 2.47 million in 2010, according to the Center for Disease Control, and demographic trends indicate that number will continue to rise… Read the full story

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