25 Quotes to Empower You To Become a Part of The Future Of Funerals

The “Future of Funerals”.

A topic we’ve spent many a day writing about, researching, reading about, and talking to our clients about. 

If you’ve popped your head out of your funeral home long enough to attend a conference, workshop or event that’s funeral industry related, you’ll hear more of this “future of funerals”.

This “future” isn’t so much a future anymore at all actually. It’s quickly becoming a NOW. A present tense experience that is asking for, and dare I say, REQUIRING, your attention and cooperation.

If you haven’t caught wind of these shifts just yet, here are 25 quotes to give you a peek into the beauty and wonder of what’s happening in this profession… and to EMPOWER you to become a part of it!

We’ve broke them into sections to highlight the major themes of change happening. Check them out below:

Major theme #1: Empowering the older generations to consciously choose to die a good death:

  1. “How will we die in a way worthy of our lives?”

Rochelle Martin, Funeral Alternatives

2. “There are tremendous similarities between birthing and dying. There’s a great deal unknown, there’s a great deal of pain and a need for support for the people around the person who is going through the experience.”

— Henry Fersko-Weiss, Inelda.org

3. “Dying as one wishes has become a luxury.”

— Rina Raphael, Fast Company

Major theme #2: Empowering the feminine to bring a new presence into the death process:

4. “If the current generation of funeral home owners don’t start taking and treating women with the respect and dignity that they deserve, there is going to be a time to pass on the funeral home, and there is going to be no one there to buy it.”  

— David Penepent, SUNY Canton

5. “Dying is a human experience. We’re trying to put the person back into the center of the experience.”

— Ellen Goodman, The Conversation Project

6. “We’re part of a movement, and it’s really a return to a female presence at the time of death.”

— Amy Cunningham, Fitting Tribute

Major theme #3: Empower younger people to think about, talk about, and destigmatize death:

7. “Just like talking about sex won’t make you pregnant, talking about death won’t make you dead.”

— Lauren Carroll, Deathwives 

8. “It’s really our reluctance not to face or talk openly about death that’s helped create a $20 billion funeral industry that doesn’t really serve most people’s needs.” 

— Sarah Chavez, Death Positive Activist

9. “Nothing is certain except death and taxes, and yet our society only ever really talks about the latter.”

— Mark Wilson, Fast Company

10. “Why are there a zillion websites and references for being sex positive but nothing for being death positive?”

— Caitlin Doughty, The Order of the Good Death

11. “We don’t have many spaces in our lives or our culture that are conducive to talking about death and dying. But people are hungry to talk about their experiences, to listen to others and to reflect on death.”

— Abby Buckley, OffTheCuff.Net

12. “The more challenging, the more taboo the topic, the more potential there is for transformation and human connection.”

— Michael Hebb, Death Over Dinner

13. “If we can talk about death and dying, maybe that will spread to easier conversations about grief and terminal illness.”

— Ms. Israeli, a volunteer caregiver at the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care,

14. “We just don’t know what to do with death anymore. It’s this big, scary thing. We don’t have a set of rituals around it that contains it or gives it meaning. Ours is the first culture to pathologize an interest in death.”

— Joanna Ebenstein, Morbid Anatomy

Major theme #4: Empower funeral directors to #rethinkfunerals”

15. “You’ve got to adapt or you’ll fade away” 

— Jeff Thompson, Bryers Funeral Home 

16. “Everything around dying is getting radically rethought–from making the experience more humane to mourning and funerals getting reimagined.”

Global Wellness Institute

17. “People don’t want to go to a funeral anymore. They want to engage in an experience. [With] society becoming more secular, people want something unique. Funerals that are disconnected, inauthentic, and impersonal leave us with a negative perspective on end of life services.”

— Linda Stuart, Life Cycle Celebrant

18. “Those in the funeral profession should work to eradicate the word ‘closure’ from their vocabulary. Closure doesn’t happen after a funeral or burial. The bond continues long after the individual is gone.”

— Lynn Gibson, Smith Life & Legacy Funeral Home

19. I think there’s kind of a move back to nature, and natural options. Nature is going to be the place where funerals take place, and natural disposition options are all going to be on the increase.”

— Jason Troyer, Mt Hope Grief Services

20. “I that I think the funerals are going to go low tech, not high tech. I think we’re headed towards green burials with families digging the site and having the service. No more caskets. No more urns.”

— Kathy Grande, Funeral Director

21. “The word tradition is probably something that we need to let go of.”

— Robert Falcon, Affordable Burial & Cremation

22. “I think that the future of funerals is yet to be written. I don’t think we really know. It’s going to be what we make it. 

— Sandra Chancellor, Chancellor Funeral Home

Major theme #5: Empowering a greener way to die:

23. “You drive a hybrid. You eat local. You recycle. But odds are your deathcare choices won’t reflect this eco-friendly lifestyle.”

— Kelly McClean, MentalFloss.Com

24. “There’s such a better way to say goodbye than shooting a bunch of carbon into the atmosphere”

— Sonia Baker, via Seattle Times

25. “I would prefer to have the last gesture I make on this planet be something that was gentle and, perhaps, benefited the planet,” 

— Katrina Spade, Recompose

What’s your favorite quote that describes the future of funerals? Tell us in the comments below!