Trashed Traffic Cones & Tarnished Titles | 4M #107

Funeral Industry News Morticians' Monday Morning Mashup October 2, 2023
4M 107

Trashed Traffic Cones & Tarnished Titles | 4M #107

Welcome to the hundred-and-seventh edition of Morticians’ Monday Morning Mashup, 4M #107, 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.

Winner, winner

Did you know that the term “mortician” was the result of a unique PR campaign? According to several sources, the idea to adopt a new moniker was first proposed in 1895 by The Embalmers’ Monthly magazine. It seems that the old title of “undertaker” had grown “tarnished by its centuries-old association” with death. Readers submitted ideas, and “mortician” won the honors.

Handle with care

A Texas family has filed a $1 million lawsuit against a funeral home alleging that “a pair of clumsy mortuary workers” dropped their deceased relative down a flight of stairs during a 2021 removal, and then denied it. The lawsuit says that the two employees seemed “young” and “visibly hesitant” and refused the family’s assistance in navigating the stairs. It also says that after family members “heard a thump” they went outside to find the deceased’s body partially uncovered and “exposed” on the cement courtyard. One family member claims he was injured when he helped the workers replace the deceased on the gurney. Lastly, the lawsuit alleges the family saw “denting and bruising” on the deceased’s head during the wake.

“High and hyper”

Shame on you “lawn workers” (aka cemetery caretakers) for daring to ask someone to please slow down and stop swerving, hitting traffic cones, holding down the car horn, and nearly hitting bystanders as they drive through a cemetery! Apparently, this audacious request prompted a Las Vegas woman, who was described as “high and hyper” by an employee, to call the cemetery office and threaten to kill everyone on staff. Apparently saying,“I’m going to kill all of your workers,” in her first call, the woman then called back to add, “[Expletive], I’ll [expletive] kill you [expletive].”

Move over, millennials …

Those young whippersnappers in deathcare are already making a name for themselves, and they seem to be shining a positive spotlight on the profession. A California news station recently shared a lengthy feature on 24-year-old funeral director and embalmer Jasmine Berrios. A 2020 graduate of Cypress College, Berrios has amassed 50,000-plus followers on her @jasminethemortician TikTok account, where she “shares her thoughts on death and answers commonly asked questions.” Hey, you have to admit that the GenZs and millennials are creating a buzz like none this business has ever seen, and as long as it’s helpful and factual, we’re here for it.

Under fire after a fire

A Kentucky woman has questions about her mother’s cremains after a February fire destroyed a funeral home. The woman says that the funeral home offered to place a permanent memorial at the site for her mother, who died in 2021. She says she was also told her mom’s cremains were spread in a communal cemetery without her knowledge or consent, and she has hired an attorney. 

Healing amid an epidemic

The grief and sense of loss that follows the death of a family member can be crippling for anyone, but the experience of a grieving child is truly unique. And when a child is impacted by death from an overdose, it’s often accompanied by stigma that can be nearly impossible to fathom. Bless the kind souls behind the Overdose Loss Camp, a specialized project by Comfort Zone Camp, a bereavement organization based in Virginia that focuses on children aged 7 to 17. The group created the three-day Overdose Loss Camp after noticing a 30% increase in applications in 2022 alone from families of overdose victims. Most of the $600 per-camper fee is paid through the organization’s fundraising efforts. If you’re looking for a charitable organization to support, here’s one that definitely deserves a look.

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!