Everyone has a story to tell.
The conversations we have determine the direction we’re heading.
And these professionals prove that the funeral profession is heading straight into transformation with some of the most inspiring conversations we’ve ever had as an industry, right here in this blog!
Check out these 8 videos that will show you how the profession is changing and leave you inspired to get in the game and hit a homerun:
1. “I Plan People’s Death For a Living” with Alua Arthur
Death Doulas are quickly becoming a leading force when it comes to pre-need planning and hospice care. By combining the practical with the spiritual, death doulas help families face death with grace, compassion, and an awesome amount of joy. Whether it’s finalizing legal documents or leading the dying in death meditations to help them find peace with the inevitable, death doulas are there to provide holistic support to the entire family.
Why this conversation is important: This conversation is a game changer because so many people would rather avoid the conversation about death. On top of that, the options that were out there for having these conversations were previously highly uninspiring and, quite frankly, lacking humanity. When families show up to pre-need planning together as they did in this video, everyone feels less alone. This means that the dying gets to spend their precious time with family celebrating life rather than stressing about death. And this is a huge win for all those who die…. which is everyone.
2. “Let’s Talk About Death” with Rochelle Martin
“How will we die in a way worthy of our lives?”
– Rochelle Martin
Death midwife (another name for death doula) Rochelle Martin shines a light on an upcoming population shift she calls the “Silver Tsunami”. Who are they? They’re the Baby Boomers who will be turning 65 to the tune of 1,000 people every day. Soon they will account for 25% of the population, which means there is a serious opportunity for pre-need planning that truly honors the unique legacy baby boomers want to leave behind.
Why this conversation is important: We’ve been expecting this tsunami for some time, and planning for it, too. But, how do we best serve this growing community? This is the golden question to ask.
The simple answer? By offering services that reflect what they valued in life. Green burials that bring us back to the cycle of life and death matter to a generation that spent their life fighting for peace & the wellness of the Earth. By offering pre-need planning that highlights these values, we can engage families in a conversation people spend a lifetime avoiding.
3. “I Planned My Own Burial” with Selorm
Like many millennials, Selorm wants a burial that is low impact on the Earth, but where to start? She checks out BioUrn – a compostable urn that transforms the deceased into a plant… and even comes with a smartphone app to help monitor the growth! Or how about donating her body to science to be displayed as part of Body Worlds? She could even turn her cremains into a beautiful piece of memorial glass art! The options, she found, are pretty amazing.
Why this conversation is important: Who knows which one she will ultimately pick. The important thing is that millennials are engaging with pre-need planning NOW because they see how their death impacts not only their loved ones, but also the earth and future generations. This is taking social and emotional responsibility to a whole new level. And for that, we should feel proud of our millennial generation… and learn how to engage with them in these conversations and thought bubbles.
4. “Dying Fat: Your Funeral Options” with Caitlin Doughty
“Our population is getting bigger. Ignoring that fact is unrealistic as a social model and a business model. Funeral homes should acknowledge their larger caskets and services, it’s not a secret. Both sides – funeral directors and families, need to be able to have a respectful, honest, and transparent conversation about the dead persons size and what that’s going to mean about the burial or cremation.”
– Caitlin Doughty
As the body positive movement becomes more prominent, we’re discovering unexpected places people of size run into discrimination. Luckily, that doesn’t have to be the funeral profession since funeral directors excel at offering care with compassion! Caitlin Doughty from Order Of The Good Death covers simple ways funeral directors can make sure their services are inclusive to people of all sizes – from extra wide caskets to proper cremation practices.
Why this conversation is important: The most idea around this video is that both funeral directors and families get comfortable having conversations about the size of the deceased so funeral professionals can tend to them with the same dignity and care as a smaller person. With so many conversations happening around other discrimination types, this is one not to be ignored.
5. “I’m 30 & I Embalm Dead Bodies for a Living” with Miranda
“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, Director of the Funeral Services Program at SUNY Canton
Women are entering the funeral profession with a bang! In 2017, nearly 65% of graduates from funeral director programs in the United States were female. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that women have been welcomed into this traditionally male profession with arms open wide.
Why this conversation is important: Female funeral directors face discrimination from within the industry, as well as from client families who think they aren’t equipped for the job. Despite the fact that they excel at their services, women in funeral service deserve a gentle embrace by our industry. It’s time to welcome the change and bring the new generation of funeral professionals into the fold.
6. “Death Cafes – Discussing Death, and Especially Life” with Megan Mooney
A spoonful of sugar (or cake) helps the medicine go down! Death Cafes are sweeping the nation and bringing people together to talk about a topic most consider unsavory. Some funeral directors have even started hosting Death Cafes at their funeral homes as a way to build community. The most awesome part about talking about death? It inspires you to live life to the fullest!
Why this conversation is important: To get out of the funeral home and into the community is a huge opportunity to understand the needs of people as they face their mortal responsibility. By embracing trends such as Death Cafes in our funeral homes, we as a profession can take some leadership in this movement — a place where we can really shine.
7. “A Good Goodbye” with Gail Rubin
“Shop BEFORE you drop…dead.”
– Gail Rubin
Gail Rubin is a leading figure when it comes to pre need planning. She brings a lot of humor and relatability to a topic that can be overwhelming and frankly, scary to a lot of people. She says leaving the planning of your “final journey” to your kids and family is like leaving the planning of your next epic vacation to them… no one wants to do that! What a pain for everyone!
Why this conversation is important: People want to have a plan for their death, but they hate having the conversation. We know this. And Gail helps find a route into pre-need planning that is sure to inspire that connection between funeral directors and families, by making it relatable and bite sized.
8. How This Drive-Thru Funeral Home Celebrates Life After Death with Ryan Bernard
Would you host your viewing in a drive thru? It’s not as crazy as it sounds! Ryan Bernard wanted to find a way to offer something truly original in his funeral home, so he created a drive-thru viewing case that allows families to pay their respects at their own pace. He discovered that it had extra hidden benefits like diffusing awkward family feuds and creating accessibility for disabled family members.
Why this conversation is important: Although the benefits above are awesome, this conversation truly highlights what we believe funeral homes should really be about – creating one of kind services that are CREATIVE, not cookie-cutter.
PS. Do you want a website that inspires conversations as inspiring as this one? Check out f1Connect, the funeral profession’s leading all-in-one website platform. Click here or give us a call at 1-800-798-2575 to talk to one of our Website Success Specialists today!
How are you changing the game for good? We would love to hear about your inspired conversations in the comments!