Latest Event Updates

I Want a Direct Cremation, Please.

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71% of Americans are projected to choose cremation in the year 2030.

Let that sink in.         

Seventy-one percent!

The newest data from the 2015 NFDA Cremation and Burial Report: Research, Statistics, and Projections predicts that the cremation rate will surpass burial by the end of this year. If the projections bear out, we will see even higher numbers in 2020 and 2030.

Cremation (%)
Burial (%)

– Chart and summary from NFDA.

So what’s the big deal? Read the rest of this entry »


Tips for Delivering Great Funeral Service

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Everyone has their own ideas about giving and receiving great service, but funeral directors and staff are often expected to go above and beyond every time.

Each year, OGR awards three member firms with the Exemplary Service Award. Winners are chosen from comments received from families through the Family Contact Program. This year’s winners had a lot to say about the type of service they strive to provide and how they deliver great funeral service.

Their advice for being exemplary? See below.

Read the rest of this entry »

Seven Ways to Reach Out to Your Local Hospice

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Funeral directors may see hospice as competition, but this shouldn’t be the case. Developing a relationship with your local hospice can be a rewarding endeavor. In my conversations with funeral directors, I’ve come across several ways to connect with these end-of-life caretakers.

Bridge the gap with your local hospice and see how you can work together to serve the families in your community. Here are some ways to get you started:

  • Have someone from your funeral home be the main person that will develop the relationship with the hospice staff and volunteers. Read the rest of this entry »

“Creative Options for Cremated Remains”

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Untitled design

Cremation is on the rise in the United States. According to the 2014 NFDA Cremation and Burial Report: Research, Statistics and Projections, the number of cremations is expected to surpass that of burials in 2015. As more people began to turn to cremation, more creative ways of spreading ashes have developed.

Traditionally, cremated remains (or “cremains“) are kept in an urn in the house or buried in a cemetery. It is also quite common for people to scatter the cremains of their loved ones over land or sea. Thanks to the creative minds of an eccentric generation, these are no longer the only options.

Here is my countdown for the top five, most unusual options available for handling cremated remains. Chances are you have heard of some of them or maybe they have never even crossed your mind.  Read the rest of this entry »

5 Reasons to Consider “Family Desairology”

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Desairology? Is that a thing? According to, “The art of Desairology involves caring for the hair, skin and nails of the deceased in a funeral home preparation room. The specialty is performed by a Desairologist who is licensed in cosmetology under state law.”

But wait! Like everything in funeral service, Desairology is in the process of morphing.

In her commentary for Mortuary Management, Kim Stacey describes how a young woman named Monica Torres, a licensed funeral director, embalmer, Desairologist and owner of NXT Generation Mortuary Support Services, is pushing the boundaries.  Monica agrees with many funeral professionals who believe poor feature setting and terrible body appearance have helped push people away from traditional funerals. She integrates her skills as embalmer and cosmetologist to create a life-like look that will leave families with positive memories of their loved ones. It’s a blend of restorative arts, embalming and cosmetology. Read the rest of this entry »

5 Reasons Why Aftercare Programs Matter

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By Connie Haymes, GSG Director

OGR is partnering with The Foresight Companies to offer step-by-step instructions on how funeral directors can improve their aftercare programs. We recognize the challenges of trying to provide the highest level of care for those who have experienced the death of a loved one. OGR’s new aftercare program will bring together the best ideas and proven strategies on the most important issue in funeral service – care of the survivors.

If you’re like most funeral professionals, you’re offering some form of aftercare to the families you serve. Have you ever thought about the importance of aftercare? Here are 5 reasons why Aftercare and Outreach Programs are important now.

Read the rest of this entry »

Will Mr. Hyde Save Dr. Jekyll?

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Dr. Jekyll Mr. Hyde Funeral Service OGR
Photo credit: Profound Whatever / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

Lately I’ve been feeling a bit like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The Dr. Jekyll side of me wants to stick with tried and true ways to serve OGR members. My Mr. Hyde side is itching to try all sorts of crazy new ideas. Mr. Hyde is scary and unpredictable. Turns out his approach may be necessary for OGR and its members’ long-term survival because an even scarier and more unpredictable foe is about to hit funeral service: disruptive competitors.

Although disruptive competitors are making headlines these days, they’re not new. What’s new is that technology is enabling their numbers to explode. Southwest Airlines is an “old-school” disruptor that made a name for itself by offering inexpensive, no-frills service on underserved routes. More recently, ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft have cut into taxi companies’ market shares. Air BnB is threatening hotels connecting people who have rooms, apartments or houses to rent temporarily with those who are looking for places to stay temporarily.

What makes an innovator so disruptive? Read the rest of this entry »