The 15 Most Popular Connecting Directors Features of 2021

Funeral Industry News January 4, 2022
Top 15 Stories of 2021

The 15 Most Popular Connecting Directors Features of 2021

Perhaps one of the best things about 2020 is the fact that it’s finally over! The fact that there’s another edition of Yearly Departed on Amazon Prime TV — a hilarious “funeral” for the previous 365 days — shows we’re not the only ones happy to say our final farewells. But this year did produce some interesting — and perhaps controversial — content for Connecting Directors readers. With no further ado, here are the 15 most-read CD stories of 2021:

  1. Top 4 Death-Tech Start-Ups Killing it in 2021

Was this the year you first heard the term “death-tech?” Probably not, but this year four relatively new companies received tremendous financial infusions and support from major investors — proving they’re not going away anytime soon, and that more will probably follow in their footsteps.

  1. Does “Buried By the Bernards” Show the Reality of Family-Owned Funeral Homes?

The reaction to this story ran from praise to distaste for the Bernards, who opened the doors to their Memphis, Tennessee funeral home to the Netflix cameras. We’ve seen our share of TV depictions of the deathcare profession, but this is one of the first to show it from a “reality” perspective.

  1. 10 of the Oldest Funeral Homes in the U.S. | Connecting Directors

In collecting the data for this article, we found that no definitive list of the oldest funeral home establishments exists — even the definition of “oldest” is hard to agree upon. Thankfully, several readers sent us funeral homes that should be added to the list, and we hope to do an updated version in 2022.

  1. SCI Acquires 166-Year-Old Schoedinger Funeral & Cremation

Whoa. This story definitely got some of you fired up. Our Facebook post announcing this monumental purchase drew nearly 100 comments and lots of intriguing, thoughtful conversations.

  1. NFDA Will Host Conventions in Baltimore, Las Vegas and New Orleans

Could it be that the prospect of getting out of the office, perhaps out from behind the masks or even boarding a plane, and interacting face-to-face with people again was just so darn exciting that we couldn’t wait to read about the opportunity?

  1. 6 Deathcare-themed COVID Posters to Keep your Staff Smiling

Speaking of pandemic fatigue … Our friends at Parting Stone created these clever and fun deathcare-themed posters to break up the monotony of the boring (yet necessary) safety protocol notices.

  1. “Buried by the Bernards” Funeral Home Under Investigation for Alleged Mixup With Cremains

Bless the Bernards’ hearts. It seems that their five minutes of Netflix fame elevated the firm’s mid-2021 chain of custody error to a national news story. Will this harm their chances for an encore season? Who knows. Those reality TV viewers certainly relish a good scandal.

  1. The CANA 2021 Annual Statistics Report and Surprising Impacts of COVID on Cremations


We can always count on the Cremation Association of North America (CANA) to provide important information gleaned from their in-depth research. This report on the impact of COVID on cremation offered several surprises, as Alexandra Jo of Parting Stone explained.

9. “Human Composting” Funeral Home Makes Long-Awaited Debut

Despite a number of hurdles, Katrina Spade’s innovative and gutsy labors to create and legalize the process of natural organic reduction finally culminated in the opening of her Recompose facility in Washington state. The placement of this story in our top 10 shows we’re all still curious about this new method of final disposition.

10. “Don’t Get Vaccinated.” – Wilmore Funeral Home

Did this story get you as fired up as it did our team? As this piece shares, the virality of the fake Wilmore Funeral Home mobile advertisement for COVID vaccinations proves one thing — adding the words “funeral home” to your promotion can definitely give it a boost.

11. 3 Brilliant Tips for Building a Cremation Business from the Ground Up

Eric Neuhaus, a first-generation deathcare professional who built his business, Green Cremation Texas, from the ground up, shared his three tips for anyone who wants to follow in his footsteps. The popularity of this post makes us wonder … Did any of you take Eric’s advice and embark on your own deathcare adventure?

12. Canadian Embalmers Get Legal Go-Ahead for Visible Tattoos and Piercings

Opinions are divided on what is the “proper” appearance of deathcare professionals. Whether it’s tattoos, piercings, or suits (see #13), generational differences are starting some interesting debates on the standard deathcare dress code.

13. Shifting Generational Values Could Mean the Death of the Suit in Deathcare

See #12 above! Again, this story became the subject of much debate online. It seems, though, that the majority of our readers believe suits or business attire command respect, are expected by families, and shouldn’t go away anytime soon.

14. Death Tech Startup Parting Stone Rocked its First Year

All we can say is how proud we are of former Connecting Directors editor and our dear friend Justin Crowe on the phenomenal success of Parting Stone! After just a little over one year in business, Parting Stone has become less of a curiosity and more of a must-have for families and funeral homes alike. We wish Justin and his team continued success!

15. No More Excuses: A Solid Chain of Custody System is No Longer an Option

A lot of deathcare-related updates cross our desks every day, and it’s not always good news. When it comes to lawsuits and terrible PR about mixed-up cremains or the wrong body being buried, it’s even more frustrating because these are serious issues that could have been avoided with a proper chain of custody program. Our next story in this series will offer some solutions that should have a place in your 2022 resolution list!