Lonely Americans & Swinging Chairs | 4M #142

ENJOY Funeral Industry News Morticians' Monday Morning Mashup June 10, 2024
4M 142

Lonely Americans & Swinging Chairs | 4M #142

Welcome to the hundred-and-forty-second edition of Morticians’ Monday Morning Mashup, 4M #142, 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!

Controversial crematory

One of the most common complaints from neighbors of crematories is the potential for air pollution; it’s the reason many local governments block new construction or relocation. While most crematories are careful to follow all local, state, and federal regulations regarding emissions, unfortunately, sometimes one bad actor validates the neighbors’ concerns. This is the case in one New York town, where an owner who was grandfathered in when new laws restricted crematory building was given an inch and took a mile (or more). The crematory was actually closed for six years for violating state clean air laws, and shut down just four years later when its pollution control system failed. Now the senator who has tried for years to work out a solution with the crematory owner has officially introduced legislation that revokes his privileges — and the legislation has passed both the Senate and the House.

Misleading headlines

As more people are taking on the difficult, yet so rewarding, vocation of death doula, the press is, naturally, getting more interested in what they do. The DailyMail recently ran a story about death doulas that was well-researched, informative, and includes quotes from multiple doulas on the vast responsibilities of the job — but you wouldn’t have known that from the headline. “EXCLUSIVE | REVEALED: The lonely Americans paying $3,000 for death doulas to hold their hand while they die” is obviously a click-bait title. But it’s not at all fair to the people who perform these services and do SO MUCH MORE than hold hands. Just my two cents, folks … 

Everybody WAS kung fu fighting

Emotions tend to run high at funerals, and you’ve all probably seen your fair share of family fights and arguments. But the fight that took place last week might take the cake, sadly. According to reports, a Wisconsin 911 dispatcher related to police that “apparently there are 150 people fighting and swinging chairs inside” a local funeral home. When it was all sorted out, only about 15 to 20 people were actively involved in the fight, and five of those were arrested, including one who was brandishing a gun.

To clean or not to clean?

A North Carolina cemetery is working to solve an interesting dilemma, and its highly possible that other cemeterians might have a similar problem. Here’s the issue: A citizen has volunteered to supervise and raise funds for a “major cleanup operation” in a city-owned cemetery, mainly to restore older and illegible gravestones. However, city officials are reluctant to approve the project because “individual grave sites constitute private property and they don’t want to risk damaging the stones.” It’s a true conundrum, and there’s really no right answer; if the stones are damaged during cleanup, would the owners blame (or sue) the city — even though, technically, the city doesn’t own the plots or stones? But because the stones in question are so old (there have been 6,000+ burials since the cemetery opened in the late 1800s), would the owners still be around to voice their concerns? This is a tough one, folks, and no answers have yet been issued.

Speaking of cemetery problems …

A UK cemeterian was confused last week when he found a freshly-dug grave — that no one on his staff had authorized in a spot that wasn’t reserved for anyone. Police say that the grave was probably a mistake and not “something sinister,” but it certainly does make you go “hmmm…”