This post was first shared on Have the Talk of a Lifetime’s blog on May 4.
When I was in elementary school, I discovered that one of my classmates was the child of a funeral home owner. I pitied this attractive, popular girl for having a parent that my 8-year old brain imagined to be a beady-eyed, sallow-skinned man who lurked around a cobwebbed funeral home on dark and stormy nights. One day she invited me to a birthday party at her home. I accepted despite dreading the thought of meeting her creepy father. To my surprise, on the day of her party, a man resembling Will Ferrell, not Bela Lugosi, greeted me at the door. He was funny, charming and warm. This was a funeral director? I couldn’t believe that all those Hollywood movies got it so wrong.
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Most people don’t like paying for things they don’t want to buy. And most people don’t want to even think about their funerals let alone pay for one. That puzzles funeral directors. They know the great lengths they go to when putting details together for smooth-running ceremonies. According to the National Funeral Directors Association, the average funeral cost $7,360 in 2016. Compare that to an average price of $25,449 for a new car, $35,329 for a wedding and $352,500 for a new home, and funerals start looking like bargain. But not to John Q. Public as demonstrated in the following exchange:
The percentage of Americans who were cremated reached an all-time high of 50 percent in 2016. Cremation opened the doors for people to hold funeral ceremonies in places that were meaningful to them and gave them more time to consider options. There’s just one problem, and it drives funeral directors crazy: the guest of honor is often conspicuously absent from his or her own funeral. With no body present, people have to imagine to whom they’re paying tribute.
A conversation between a member of the public and funeral director about cremation might go something like this: Read the rest of this entry »
Attitudes about Funeral Service: The Public Vs. Funeral Directors, Part I – Funerals and Visitations
When talking about funeral service, one sometimes wonders if the public and members of the funeral profession are from the same planet. Never before have opinions varied so much regarding what families want from memorialization and what funeral professionals think they should experience. To demonstrate the often-wide gap between these two groups’ perspectives, we constructed imaginary conversations between a fictional Johnny Q. Public and an equally fictional Mr. Funeral Director based on articles, research studies, interviews and personal experiences. The first of three blogs examines attitudes about funerals and visitations. Read the rest of this entry »
This article originally appeared in the 2018 winter issue of OGR’s Independent magazine. This is part 2 of two-part series. By Stephanie Ramsey, The Foresight Companies, LLC
Last week, OGR’s blog discussed the problem of sexual/sex-based harassment in the workplace and how it’s defined. But what are some examples that might occur at the funeral home according to the EEOC😕 Read the rest of this entry »
This article originally appeared in the 2018 winter issue of OGR’s Independent magazine. This is part 1 of a two-part series by Stephanie Ramsey, The Foresight Companies, LLC.
Almost daily there are new reports of well-known public figures accused of sexual harassment. From Hollywood superstars to political figures, the growing list of accusers and abusers astounds the public. There has not been this much public interest in sexual harassment since 1991 when Anita Hill accused U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment.
Historically, sexual assault has been one of the lowest reported crimes in the United States. It is believed that sexual harassment is also significantly under-reported. In fact, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) estimates 75% of workplace harassment incidents go unreported.
However, it seems that the tides are changing. More individuals are coming forward with accusations in virtually every industry. Is your funeral business at risk of an EEOC investigation for sexual harassment/sex-based harassment? Read the rest of this entry »
Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard once wrote, “Life can only be understood backward, but it must be lived forwards.” That’s a poetic way of saying that we can learn from the past, especially as the world continues to rapidly change. OGR’s weekly e-newsletter, Independent Insider, reported on events, issues, and trends of interest to funeral professionals. Here are the five most popular articles of 2017. Read the rest of this entry »