Beer-Bottle Burials & Y-Incisions | 4M #105

Funeral Industry News Morticians' Monday Morning Mashup September 18, 2023
4M 105

Beer-Bottle Burials & Y-Incisions | 4M #105

Welcome to the hundred-and-fifth edition of Morticians’ Monday Morning Mashup, 4M #105, 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.

Let’s start off on the right note (Get it? Note?! It’s a songbook!)

I found this on Pinterest, and would credit the creator if only I could figure out who that genius jokester actually was. My personal favorite song in this (fake) collection? “Shut Up and Mourn” (played to the tune of “Amazing Grace,” obviously).

Arlington bomb threat

Twenty-seven funerals were delayed at Arlington Cemetery on Friday after authorities received a bomb threat. First of all, can you imagine handling up to 30 funerals Every. Single. Weekday? Hats off the logistical skills of the folks who manage that task at Arlington. Secondly, how does a cemetery become a target for would-be terrorists … or pranksters? A local news outlet interviewed some of the families who had to wait patiently as the cemetery’s emergency response team (!) and law enforcement investigated the threat, which, thankfully, proved to be a false alarm. They all had one thing in common: This incident only made an already-difficult day even harder.

Speaking of Arlington …

A controversial monument depicting a “nostalgic, mythologized vision of the Confederacy” is slated to be removed from Arlington Cemetery at the end of the year. Last week, the board of the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) voted to accept the statue from Arlington for installation at the Virginia Museum of the Civil War at New Market Battlefield State Historical Park, which is owned by VMI. The base of the Confederate monument will remain in place so as not to disturb the graves of the more than 400 Confederate soldiers who are buried around it — including the designer of the statue, Moses Ezekiel. Ezekiel fought for the Confederacy at the Battle of New Market and was the first Jewish person to attend VMI. 

And speaking of cemetery monuments … 

A Ukrainian Catholic Church in Philadelphia has temporarily covered a monument in its cemetery that honors a Nazi military unit a Jewish nonprofit alerted the church to the monument’s meaning. The Forward found that the monument bears the divisional insignia of the SS 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS, which massacred hundreds of Polish villagers in 1944 during the Holocaust. Over the last three years The Forward has uncovered and shared with the media more than 1,600 statues, street names, and other monuments that honor Nazis. In most cases, the attention has put enough pressure on entities to take action on these horrible things that have hidden in plain sight for centuries.

He probably wasn’t “welcomed” into the profession

A former Fox Sports Australia on-air personality has a new job driving a limo for a Sydney funeral home. Why, you may ask, such a sudden, and perhaps shocking, career change? Well, the guy was recently fired from his high-profile position after being charged with domestic assault. In May, he pleaded not guilty to assaulting and choking a woman. While he awaits his December court date, he’s working part-time in the funeral business — something he says has always fascinated him and about which he’d like to write a book. 

Cookies and corpses? 

So I didn’t make it to Vegas for this year’s NFDA Convention, but I’m pretty sure there were no corpses there. However, that’s the headline for the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s coverage of the three-day funeral funfest. Despite the click-bait title, though, the story does a great job of describing the vibe of deathcare conferences — the camaraderie and happiness of reuniting with folks you only see a few times a year, the excitement of seeing new products and services, and the opportunity to enjoy free champagne at one booth and a complimentary tequila shot at another, for example. You might also appreciate the author’s efforts to humanize the profession for the Review-Journal’s readers, reminding them that you are people, too, and although you’re admiring services that put “dead relatives in your pocket” (Parting Stone) and provide “beer-bottle burials at sea” (Bluewater Voyage), your conventions are no different than those in other industries. 

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!