Shiny Trousers & Funeral Flatbread | 4M #101
Welcome to the hundred-and-first edition of Morticians’ Monday Morning Mashup, 4M #101, 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.
One last hike
The body of a missing Texas man was recently discovered in a national park in Utah. The family of the avid hiker and explorer said he died while “taking the cremains of his late father on a tour of the Southwest” and had planned to scatter his father’s ashes In Sierra Nevada. He had posted their stops on social media as “Travels with Neil” (his father), with images from locations across Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. His sister shared that her brother’s body “was found in a sitting position, as though looking forward, in one of the most beautiful places in the world.” A peaceful passing, indeed.
Why just 9?
A travel blogger recently posted her list of the world’s most “intriguing” graves, and, knowing she’s not the only one who finds a special kind of solace in the stories told within beautiful cemeteries, we thought we’d share:
- Taj Mahal in Agra, India — Built in 1632, it is the mausoleum of Mumtaz Mahal, the favorite wife of Shah Jahan, who died after giving birth to the couple’s 13th child.
- Pyramids of Giza, Egypt — Each is famously recognized as the final resting places of members of Egypt’s royalty.
- Dôme Des Invalides, Paris — Its distinctive shimmering golden dome in the center of the city is home to the tomb of Emperor Napoleon I.
- Chapel Of Saint-Hubert, Amboise, France — This small chapel was built to house the grave of Leonardo Da Vinci.
- Pyramid Of Caius Cestius, Rome — This 2,000-year-old pyramid/tomb is the only non-Catholic cemetery in Rome.
- The Cemetery Of Dogs And Other Domesticated Animals, Asnières-Sur-Seine, France — As the (rather long) name states, this is a cemetery for pets, including horses, monkeys, cats, Hollywood’s Rin Tin Tin, and a hen whose heartbroken owner inscribed a poem on its headstone.
- Père Lachaise, Paris — This cemetery is filled with famous folks, but the most intriguing grave is that of unmarried journalist Yvan Salmon, whose life-size, reclining representation is cast in bronze on his plot. The section of his trousers covering his private parts has been rubbed shiny by visitors hoping the action will enhance their fertility.
- Highgate Cemetery West, London — One of the most-visited graves is that of a 19th century bare-knuckle boxer, whose best friend, a mastiff named Lion, still stands over his grave (in statue form).
- Sainte-Geneviève-Des-Bois Cemetery, France — Named for the city in which it lies, this cemetery is the resting place of dancer and choreographer Rudolf Nureyev, whose grave is draped in a stunningly realistic rug made of mosaic stonework.
You won’t find this recipe on Pinterest
Archaeologists are finding an incredible amount of information about the lives and deaths of 9th century Vikings in one of the most curious places: Funerary bread that was cremated along with the bodies of the wealthy. And, best of all (?), they’re sharing the recipe so you can make your very own batch! A woman who has “made a career of interrogating the cremation burial breads of Viking-era Sweden” (??) has determined the main ingredients of the flatbread, and it is indeed something you could recreate in your own (funeral home) kitchen, if you are so inclined.
Deathcare’s in the news …
… but not for the best reasons. Even more deathcare providers have showed up in the crime section over the past week or so:
- A Georgia woman has publicly accused a funeral home of letting her grandmother’s body become infested with maggots, which she claims she saw during the viewing over a year ago. To his credit, the director is not responding to the allegations (this article says his wife told him he couldn’t be interviewed), and no formal charges or lawsuits have been filed.
- A Nevada funeral home is being sued for “accidentally” cremating a young woman whose family had hoped for an open-casket viewing.
- A Canadian funeral director has pleaded guilty to 66 counts of fraud for stealing a total of $425,000 from families who had prearranged services — and now will probably have to pay for those services a second time. A date has not yet been set for sentencing.
- Indiana’s state board unanimously voted to permanently revoke the license of a director and that of his funeral home after an investigation found “egregious” and “appalling” conditions, including 31 improperly stored bodies, some of which were waiting for months to be cremated.
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!