Fetid Flowers & Vase Vandals | 4M #89
Welcome to the eighty-ninth edition of Morticians’ Monday Morning Mashup, 4M #89, where we’ll serve up bite-sized, easily-digestible nuggets of the deathcare news you need to crush conversations in the week ahead. Bon appetit!
This newsletter is powered by MemoryShare, a funeral livestreaming platform that you can set up in 30 seconds or less.
They say April showers bring May flowers, and, at least in Houston, May isn’t disappointing. At the Houston Museum of Natural Science, Meg, a three-foot-tall “corpse flower” is expected to go into full bloom before month-end. The best (worst?) part? Along with the full bloom of the corpse flower comes its famous stench, which smells like rotting flesh.
Mushrooms are back
Despite the mixed reviews of the biodegradable “mushroom burial suit” (of Luke Perry fame, RIP) people are still experimenting with shrooms as a viable option for green burial products. For example, a Dutch inventor has been “growing” his own coffins and urns made from hemp fibers and mycelium, the fungal threads from which mushrooms sprout. According to the 29-year-old inventor, the vessels can be grown in a week and will decompose in the ground in less than two months.
Speaking of ‘shrooms …
A hospice organization based in Florida is working to educate lawmakers, healthcare providers, and the public at large on the therapeutic use of psychedelics for terminally ill patients. Citing recent research that has shown that psychedelics relieve anxiety and depression and help patients cope with their own mortality, the End of Life Psychedelic Care (EOLPC) is also leading the charge for decriminalization of psychedelics in various jurisdictions.
(MORE 4M BELOW!)
Say goodbye to Facebook
If you’re using Facebook for live streaming, does this sound familiar?
- Copyrighted music is silenced (even with proper certifications!)
- Advertisements out of your control pop up during the livestream
- It’s difficult for families to access because it requires a Facebook account
This is why Carlton Stevens Jr., Operations Manager and Mortician at Stevens Funeral Home in North Carolina, said goodbye to Facebook and switched to MemoryShare—a live streaming platform built specifically for funeral professionals.
“Now, families don’t have to worry about Facebook accounts. It works, and it’s easy to use,” Carlton said. “It’s the best, I’m telling you. It’s liquid gold.”
After he started offering live streaming during the pandemic, Carlton saw Stevens Funeral Home call volume bump from 20 calls to 41 calls.
Today, Stevens Funeral Home live streams a service every other day.
And with MemoryShare, all they have to do is push a button.
“It’s a no brainer,” Carlton said.
Read how Carlton is using livestreaming to grow his business in our latest case study—click here to read it!
A different kind of #Deathtok
A young TikTokker is getting both praise and criticism for sharing her terminally-ill grandmother’s decision to end her life via euthanasia. Ali Tate Cutler’s grandmother, whom she calls “Bubbie,” plans to take advantage of Canada’s Medical Assistance In Dying (MAID) option, which was legalized in December 2022. Over a series of TikTok videos, Cutler and Bubbie have discussed not only the act of euthanasia, but her illness, and what she expects to experience after life. While most viewers are touched by the tenderness and honesty of the videos, some have trolled the two for “publicizing” the MAID option. You can read more about Cutler and Bubbie here.
Scammers gonna scam, unfortunately
The despicable scam targeting the families of the recently-deceased has made its rounds to Savannah, Georgia, hitting one funeral home six times within the last few weeks. It’s the same scam that we mentioned here last month and that NFDA has been warning of throughout May. There are variations on the scheme, but basically, these thieves watch the news for recent obituaries, spoof the phone number of the funeral home handling services, and call family members requesting money, whether in the form of a deposit or an outstanding balance. The Savannah funeral home shared a warning with their area via local news outlets — a great idea and a service to the community.
After lowlifes stole more than 100 bronze vases from gravesites in one Texas cemetery, one family decided to take matters into their own hands. They replaced the stolen vase on their loved one’s grave with one addition — a discreetly-placed AirTag tracking device. Sure enough, the vase was stolen. The family shared the GPS location of the AirTag with local authorities, who obtained a search warrant for the location. Since the investigation is ongoing, they haven’t said whether an arrest was made or if the vases were retrieved, but we have high hopes that justice will be served — Texas style.