What Can We Learn From Immediate Cremation Families?
Article by: Barbara Kemmis, Executive Director – Cremation Association of North America
Turn and face the strange
—David Bowie (Changes)
Honey I know, I know, I know times are changing
It’s time we all reach out for something new
That means you too
—Prince (Purple Rain)
As the times change—and the death care industry changes along with them—what can we learn from immediate cremation families? 2016 is rapidly becoming known for a string of high-profile celebrity deaths—and cremations—and there is a lot of useful information to take away from the headlines.
Cremation is the new tradition in the U.S. It is now the preferred method of disposition for most Americans—and why should the rich and famous be any different? More often than not, the mega-stars who died during the past year arranged for an immediate cremation, followed soon after by a private family gathering, with the public celebration of their lives and careers taking place weeks or months later. Do you see a similar trend with the families you serve?
While this trend may not bode well for the traditional funeral home or cemetery business model, be assured that all is not lost. Celebrity funerals may seem like do-it-yourself affairs, but they have staff to plan these events—and, likewise, the families you serve have you.
All the elements of a traditional funeral are still at play. There are gatherings, celebrations, remembrances, committals, and memorializations. But the form these standard elements take is evolving, happening in highly personalized and unusual ways, and, sometimes, only virtually.
This is where your connection to your community is key. Celebrities are famous and news of their deaths spreads across social and traditional media. But the deceased individuals in your neighborhood matter, too. They raised families, built businesses, volunteered their time, and were loved by friends, neighbors, and family members. They deserve to be remembered and celebrated.
Celebrities are memorialized while they are still alive—a star on the walk of fame, induction into a Hall of Fame or the like. Their families and fans have a place to go to remember them and their careers. Where are your families memorialized?
Are you prepared to assist your families in highly personalized and less traditional ways? Do you know how to memorialize a Facebook page or help a family set up a webcasted service? Are you willing and able to sit down with people and find out what they really want and offer creative solutions to fulfill their wishes? Do you even make the attempt to offer these options to immediate cremation families?
The elements of a funeral are still necessary for healthy grieving. Your business can thrive when you become a specialist in the new tradition.
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