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'The Conversation Project' Turns Focus on End-Of-Life Care

‘The Conversation Project’ pushes forward with global initiative about end-of-life care. From the outside it sounds like an amazing movement with extreme healing and grieving benefits for the bereaved. But I notice one major thing is missing from the conversation, the funeral director.

From theconversationproject.org:

The Conversation Project is dedicated to helping people talk about their wishes for end-of-life care.

Too many people are dying in a way they wouldn’t choose, and too many of their loved ones are left feeling bereaved, guilty, and uncertain.

If there is a large movement being made where the discussion is about end-of-life care and providing an appropriate way of dying shouldn’t the funeral process and funeral director (in general, as a representation of the profession) be involved in the conversation? I understand funeral directors don’t provide end-of-life care (from a medical point of view) but you do provide the end-of-life disposition which would be included in such a conversation.

I don’t think the funeral director has to be represented for “a marketing” purpose either. I believe that discussion about end-of-life care should also include the decisions that need to be made when the “end of life” occurs. With out the funeral director (representative of the funeral profession) involved in the conversation, the bereaved are getting that information some where else, which means they probably aren’t getting the best information.

As members of the funeral profession why are we ok with the conversation about our area of expertise being controlled by someone else?

Read this excerpt from theconversationproject.org:

It’s time to transform our culture so we shift from not talking about dying to talking about it. It’s time to share the way we want to live at the end of our lives. And it’s time to communicate about the kind of care we want and don’t want for ourselves.

We believe that the place for this to begin is at the kitchen table—not in the intensive care unit—with the people we love, before it’s too late.

Together we can make these difficult conversations easier. We can make sure that our own wishes and those of our loved ones are expressed and respected.

That sure sounds like a conversation the funeral profession should be apart of.

For more information visit: theconversationproject.org

Ryan Thogmartin

Ryan Thogmartin is founder and CEO of two innovative companies. Connecting Directors LLC (www.connectingdirectors.com) and Disrupt Media Group, LLC (www.disruptmg.com). ConnectingDirectors.com is the premier progressive online publication for funeral professionals. ConnectingDirectors.com is a thriving global publication with a reader base of over 15,000 of the most elite and forward-thinking professionals in the industry.

Disrupt Media Group, LLC is a social media marketing solutions firm. Disrupt MG focuses on proficiently assisting small businesses in creating engaging social media marketing strategies. Without a social media marketing strategy companies and brands are just aimlessly posting without any coherent direction. Social media marketing is more than just having a Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube page; businesses have to have a strategy to telling their story, one that opens the door and starts the conversation.

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  • Guest

    A unified voice is lacking for funeral service. It would help if the whole industry (through the numerous associations) were to get together and create a campaign that sends out a national message that funerals are changing, and that your local funeral director is willing to meet and discuss the needs of today’s funeral client. Even the California Raisin Marketing Board knows they have to have to create a discussion put their services and products in front of consumers.

  • BT Hathaway

    I think it would make perfect sense for us to contact the organization and recommend that they expand their materials to encompass post death rituals, or at least suggest to their participants that speaking with a funeral director may be of particular help. But as is true with many of these organizations and approaches, they don’t know what to say or do after the death has occurred.

  • Don

    I don’t believe such an organization sees funeral directors as allies; more like
    disposition experts, necessary contractors – strangers in the process.

    • alan

      Don, I emphatically disagree. I recently wrote a soon-to-be published article in the American Funeral Director about this and several other organizations that have made this agenda a worldwide movement. They see funeral directors (at least for now) as both experts and allies.
      I believe we need to reorient our bereavement care initiatives to precare initiatives. this movement represents an opportunity to preempt hospice

  • Monty Thornburg

    As a senior center director and the only funeral director/embalmer that is a member of our local end of life coalition, we recognized this problem a couple of years ago and organized funeral home tours in our county. These events were very successful and has helped bring attention to this often forgotten component of end-of-life planning. We now include funeral planning in workshops and seminars where end-of-life issues are discussed.

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