Colorado Kudos & Odd Open Houses | 4M #141

ENJOY Funeral Industry News Morticians' Monday Morning Mashup June 5, 2024
4M 141

Colorado Kudos & Odd Open Houses | 4M #141

Welcome to the hundred-and-forty-first edition of Morticians’ Monday Morning Mashup, 4M #141, 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!

Kudos to Colorado

Last week, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed a much-anticipated trio of bills into law in the hopes of avoiding another Sunset Mesa or Return to Nature type of scandal:

  • Senate Bill 24-173 requires funeral home directors, embalmers, and other deathcare professionals to be licensed in order to practice in Colorado;
  • House Bill 24-1335 requires funeral homes and crematories to be inspected on a routine basis, including outside business hours; and
  • House Bill 24-1254 expands regulations on non-transplant tissue banks, requiring them to keep certain records and bans them from buying human remains.

Code Dove

A senior care facility in Ontario, Canada is changing the way they say their final goodbyes to their residents. When a resident passes away, the facility now announces a “Code Dove,” a signal to staff to gather at the front door. Rather than covertly whisking away the decedent through a back door and into a hearse, the staff joins the family in escorting their loved one out the same way they came in — with dignity. The deceased is covered in a quilt handmade by a local volunteer group, and employees hold candles and play music as they say goodbye to their resident for the last time. “It’s almost like having a celebration of life at that moment when they’re leaving, to say ‘thank you’ for enlightening us with your presence here,” one official said.

Exclusive access

Some of the “mystique” of deathcare can be attributed to all that goes on behind closed doors. Would some of that mystery and speculation dissipate if those doors were thrown wide open to the public? A UK crematory is going to find out soon during their open house event, during which they will give guided tours of their facility, complete with the “chance to get up close to the cremators with a demonstration of how the process works.” Similar events have been well-received, authorities told a local outlet.

Closed doors

On a similar note, potential visitors to an Oregon mausoleum were not all welcomed inside as expected for the facility’s once-a-year open house. The century-old Wilhelm’s Portland Memorial Mausoleum is the city’s largest, and boasts eight stories and seven miles of corridors. The mausoleum usually opens to the public annually during the Memorial Day weekend, but this year, ongoing renovations restricted visits to only those who had scheduled guided tours. No doubt folks are disappointed, as the incredible facility is described as having a “labyrinth of hallways and staircases that takes up three city blocks,” three fountains that “cascade down several floors,” and floor-to-ceiling niches, either 14-urns- or seven-caskets-high.

Another awesome reason to visit the cemetery


Replying to @sweetiePie Such a beautiful place 🥰 #babynames #family #wilmington #nc #graveyard #names #sopretty #fyp #viral #mom #julybaby #expectingmom #girlmom

♬ original sound – ✨ Hodge Fam ✨

A pregnant North Carolina mom of three has gone viral on TikTok for her unusual method of choosing baby names. Haley Hodge posted a video of her and her children wandering through a cemetery perusing names on tombstones. During the video, Hodge points out a Cooper family gravestone that served as her own mother’s inspiration for a name for her sister. Most of the 3600+ comments on the post have been positive, and Hodge mentioned that her mother often took her young children on walks through cemeteries to remind them that everyone has a unique story.

Start ‘em young

We’ve shared items with you before about some phenomenal grief camps for children, but this camp, while still death-related, is a little different. Since 2019, the owners of Afterlife Mortuary Services in Memphis, Tennessee — the city’s first mortuary that is both owned and operated by Black females — have opened their doors to youth and young adults looking to learn the ins and outs of deathcare. Students learn about the cremation process, embalming, the arrangement meeting, and how to respond to death calls in the hopes of sparking their interest in deathcare, forensic, or investigative careers. The program also provides a safe activity to keep kids busy during the summer. ““Anything that we can do to occupy their time and to engage with them is definitely a step closer to reaching them and saving their life,” said Dana Taylor, one of Afterlife’s owners.