Male funeral directors who routinely work with embalming fluid might be at increased risk of developing amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a new study finds. Those whose jobs involved continual exposure to the formaldehyde in embalming fluid were three times more likely to develop the neurological disease, compared to people never exposed to the chemical, researchers reported in the July 13 issue of the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry.
It’s hard to face the business of death when you are busy living. According to one survey, 51 percent of Americans aged 55 to 64 don’t have wills. Even if they have prepared estate documents, their adult children often have no idea where to find them. Fresh from the latest Y Combinator batch, Willing is a startup that takes on the $20.7 billion per year U.S. funeral industry by making arrangements simple and painless (or at least as painless as anything that involves contemplating your mortality can be).
Elephants die; we all do. In elephants and some others, it matters who has died. It’s why they are “who” animals. The crucial importance of memory, learning, and leadership in a family’s survival is why individuals matter. And so, death matters to the survivors. A researcher once played a recording of an elephant who had died. The sound was coming from a speaker hidden in a thicket. The family went wild calling, looking all around. The dead elephant’s daughter called for days afterward. The researchers never again did such a thing.
Daniel M. Isard, MSFS, President of The Foresight Companies, LLC, the nation’s leading financial and management consulting firm serving funeral homes and cemeteries throughout North America, announced today the dates for a new and revolutionary seminar. “If you own a cemetery it is not just about mowing, digging and coloring a map a few times a month. The operation of a cemetery is a holistic operation that speaks a whole different language than any other business including the language of funeral service. This event is called CEMETERY IMPOSSIBLE!”
“When I first heard DISRUPT Media’s name, I thought it was a great name in a profession so adverse to change,” Givnish went on to say. “We have found their systematic approach is very understandable and quantifiable. That’s the reason why Givnish Funeral Homes selected DISRUPT Media.”
It is a beautifully shot wedding photo. The setting is verdant, an open field with old gnarled trees and lush foliage. The gorgeous bride is in a stunning burgundy taffeta gown, the handsome groom in a crisp white dress shirt. But wait, is that a white coffin they are sitting in? In another shot, the tuxedo-clad groom is sitting on the same white coffin while, next to him, his bride oozes sexiness in a lacey white gown.
Some things, however, change more slowly. Until very recently, the obituary section was one of the most widely read parts of the newspaper. Not only is this a way to inform people with details about the person’s death, it becomes a medium through which to discuss their accomplishments as well as note the survivors of the deceased.
The National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) Policy Board met on July 11 in Orlando, Florida, and elected Randy Anderson, CFSP, CCO, and R. Bryant Hightower Jr., CFSP, to serve as at-large representatives on the association’s Executive Board. They will begin two-year terms of service immediately following the 2015 NFDA International Convention & Expo, October 18-21 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Sitting in the back of a Los Angeles café, Amber Carvaly holds a butter knife to her neck. Head tilted back, eyes shut, she places two fingers near her collarbone. “Make an incision right here and slide something underneath the carotid artery to pick it up,” she says, and a lesson on embalming begins. She brings her chin down, eyes now wide with enthusiasm. “It goes from this tiny, tiny little thing to this really amazing large vein,”
Two centuries ago, English poet, Percy Bysshe Shelley, remarked, “the cemetery is an open space among the ruins, covered in winter with violets and daisies. It might make one in love with death, to think that one should be buried in so sweet a place.” Today, the gothic beauty and rich history found within cemeteries still hold a special wonder for many people. Historians, artists, horticulturists, and many others find a quiet sanctuary within the gates of these sacred burial grounds. In addition to providing a final resting place for loved ones, cemeteries offer wide, open spaces away from traffic and crowds. Visitors can get a glimpse of the past by taking in the old headstone statues and reading ancient inscriptions.