Article originally printed in the Memorial Business Journal
Not to be lost under all of the “fiscal cliff” posturing over the past two weeks in Congress was the action on December 30 when the House passed, by voice vote, S.3202, the “Dignified Burial and Other Veterans’ Benefits Improvement Act of 2012.” The bill now goes to the president for signature.
According to John H. Fitch Jr., senior vice president of advocacy for the National Funeral Directors Association, the bill was strongly and actively supported by NFDA and includes several key provisions that NFDA has been working to have passed.
Fitch outlined those provisions:
• Requiring the secretary of Veterans Affairs to furnish a casket or urn “of such quality as the secretary considers appropriate for a dignified burial in a national cemetery” for veterans with no next of kin or when sufficient resources for
the burial are not otherwise available. The casket or urn must be in compliance with appropriate industry standards. This provision is effective one year after enactment.
• With respect to the burial, interment or funeral, memorial service or ceremony of a deceased veteran at a national cemetery, the secretary shall ensure that the expressed wishes of the next of kin or other agent of the deceased veteran are respected and given appropriate deference when evaluating whether the event affects the safety and security of the national cemetery and visitors to the cemetery. This provision is effective from and after enactment.
What are the grief concerns as children re-enter an environment when last present resulted in a deadly massacre? Last week we featured an article on ‘Facebook ghosts’ and the setbacks in the grief healing process users had when they would see a Facebook post or recommendation from deceased friends and family, what about these children and teachers who are now spending 8 hours a day in a place that is a constant reminder of horror?
The unlikely companionship that developed at a Kansas City cemetery between a stray dog and a motherless doe. The doe, named Ella, and the dog have been at each other’s sides in the 43-acre Elmwood Cemetery for the last few months.
To this end, we tapped into the role humor plays in the grieving process. According to experts, humor not only breaks tension in the air, but it can also make death seem less scary and intimidating by poking fun at it. So we shot the spots in a documentary interview style featuring seniors being “brutally honest” on the subject, which allowed us to introduce humor into the spots in an appropriate manner.
I’ve never heard of hazing practices in the funeral industry (although I’m sure it’s happened). And, thankfully, I’ve never been hazed. But if it was common place to haze interns, here’s what hazing might look like in the funeral industry:
1.) At 2 AM in the morning you call out Intern Johnny and say, “Johnny, there’s a call at ‘such and such’ address. Mr. Johnson has died.” If we’re hazing Johnny, it’s assumed that Mr. Johnson’s death is fictitious, but the address doesn’t have to be.
Ron Browning, CEO of Funeral Home Resource, reports, “Based on the success of our current programs, we are expanding our business, accepting applications for new exclusive partnerships in major cities. Interest in our programs draws both from our no-risk, performance basis, and our programs’ success.”
Alan Creedy announced today that he has made available a new calculator to help funeral homes determine when to expect current downward trends to become critical at the local level.
The Funeral Cliff Calculator is available free to subscribers to his website and is part of the soon-to-be-launched 2020 project.
Wilbert Funeral Services, Inc. (WFSI), the leading provider of burial vaults and cremation-related products, has acquired the assets of the Pierce Companies, based in Dallas, Texas. The transaction was closed on December 28, 2012. Pierce Chemicals manufactures embalming fluids and sells a variety of complementary products for embalmers and Funeral Professionals.
Many times I have encouraged funeral companies to press the envelope on advertising, but I am wondering if Australia’s Just Cremations pressed the envelope a little to far when they held nothing back and swung for the fences with a “nude no fuss” cremation ad.
The custom touchscreen keyboard on Expression Guest Registry now has a more integrated look for the number and ampersand (“&” sign) keys. “The redesign came as a result of funeral director requests, and enables guests to register in a more efficient manner,” said Michael Kane, funeral director and founder.
Powered by iPad™ technology, Expression Guest Registry provides numerous benefits to funeral homes through its portable kiosks, simplified printing process and unique outreach component.
For additional information, please contact Expression Guest Registry at 1-866-231-5874, or visit www.expressionguestregistry.com.