Woeful Wages & Corpse Cocktails | 4M #134

Funeral Industry News Morticians' Monday Morning Mashup April 15, 2024
4M 134

Woeful Wages & Corpse Cocktails | 4M #134

Welcome to the hundred-and-thirty-fourth edition of Morticians’ Monday Morning Mashup, 4M #134, 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!

Today’s 4M is sponsored by Return Home, an incredibly cool and kind company committed to sharing all things Terramation with Connecting Directors readers. 

Here’s a Challenge for Connecting Directors Readers

Terramation is sweeping the nation! Yep, last week Arizona became the eighth state to legalize natural organic reduction, and Delaware is just a governor’s signature away from becoming the ninth. 

But what about the good people of the other 41 states and Canada? When will they get to experience the Earth-friendly phenomenon of Terramation?

Well, would it surprise you to know that Micah Truman and his team at Return Home have served families from 26 states, as well as Canadian families from Vancouver to Toronto — all from the Return Home facility in Auburn, Washington?

More than ever, all over the country, people want Terramation, even if your state has yet to legalize the process.

It’s time to learn all you can about Terramation. And as it happens, Return Home’s Micah Truman really and truly wants to share with you everything he knows.


For the next 12 weeks, Micah will be fielding your questions about all things Terramation. Don’t be afraid to hit him with the tough ones! What are your deepest reservations about this new disposition method? What have you always wondered but have been afraid to ask — or didn’t know where to go for the answers?

Email your questions to info@returnhome.com today! Stumped? Don’t worry. We’ve come up with a few questions to get you started:

  • From what walks of life have you seen people choose Terramation?
  • What do you put in the vessel with a decedent?
  • Is there odor? If so, how do you handle it?
  • How does partnership with Return Home work? What’s the incentive?

No question is off limits… Really. So ask away! 

Click the button below to submit your anonymous question (or questions, or send your questions directly to info@returnhome.com~

Legal updates

We’ll start this edition of the Monday Morning Mashup with news from our friends in the various and sundry court systems: 

  • The US Department of Labor has recovered more than $426k in wages and damages for 66 Oklahoma deathcare workers who were denied overtime by their employer. The Oklahoma City mortuary paid these employees “straight time” for all hours worked, even when most were clocking 50+ hours a week.
  • An Illinois senator has introduced Senate Bill 2643 in response to a 2023 incident where a funeral home was accused of providing more than 60 families with the wrong cremated remains. The bill would require crematoria and funeral homes to maintain chain of custody records that would uniquely identify every individual in their care.
  • The Trident Society has sued the California Cemetery and Funeral Bureau over a dispute regarding preneed agreements. Trident is appealing a previous judgment, arguing that money paid for merchandise delivered as part of a package that included preneed cremation services was exempt from having to be held in trust. 
  • Hoping to enhance the safety monitoring of funeral homes in Pennsylvania, a senator has introduced legislation to reduce the minimum number of years of experience required from 10 to seven before an actively practicing licensed funeral director could apply to become a mortuary inspector.

It’s not a kushy job

Armed guards are surrounding cemeteries in the West African country of Sierra Leone to stop drug addicts from digging up and stealing human bones to use to get high. Apparently, someone has figured out that adding ground-up bones to “kush” (a highly-addictive cocktail of marijuana, fentanyl, tramadol, and formaldehyde) enhances the high, supposedly because of the bones’ sulfur content. Sierra Leone’s president is so concerned about this abuse that last week he declared a national emergency over the epidemic. 

Cannibal cookies?

While we hope this isn’t true, it’s been alleged that a California high school student and her friend added a special ingredient — a portion of her grandfather’s cremated remains — to a batch of cookies she then fed to her classmates. A Reuters report says no one who ate the cookies has reported being ill, so again, let’s hope that was just a ridiculous tale a teenager told for attention. (SMH)

The other Lauren

Until recently, being mistaken for TikToker @LaurentheMortician wouldn’t necessarily have been a bad thing. After all, many of her 2.7 million followers have credited her for providing valuable safety advice gleaned from her experience in deathcare. Today, though, few would want to be confused with “that” Lauren; she’s recently been slammed for her alleged transphobia, buying someone’s cremains on Facebook Marketplace, and for possibly misrepresenting her mortician credentials. So when another TikTok Lauren (@thelightholer) started receiving “horrific” comments on a video she posted — while in the ICU — she was stunned, and instantly saddened. When she figured out what was going on, Lauren @thelightholer, who is a mental health advocate, explained the confusion in another video and just encouraged her followers to be kind, which is solid advice for all!

Clean and green

A German undertaker has started using an electric 4-wheeled cargo bike (like the one pictured above) with a custom box on the back to transport the deceased on shorter routes. Although the bike is built to be tandem, it doesn’t require two peddlers for power, and will pull nearly 900 pounds of payload. Green publication Cleantechnica found other deathcare providers who are using similar bikes to keep the transport portion of their services as green as the burials they’re providing, including undertakers in Paris, the UK, Switzerland, and Scandinavia.