Care for the Dead. . .Comfort for the Grieving



It’s not every day that you turn to the magazine Popular Mechanics to find an article about the Death Care profession.  However, that is exactly where I found this article about “Have trocar will travel” embalming and body preparation specialist Monica Torres.


I was unaware of Torres and her company NXT Generation Mortuary Support until I came across the article.  As the article points out, Torres seems to be just what they say she is “a Phoenix-​based embalmer, funeral director, and reconstruction specialist. Torres, a 5-foot-2 Latina in her 40s, stands out in her colorful dresses . . . . “.


The article continues to say, “Torres is a visionary in the end-of-life industry and a specialist in traumatic deaths: miscarriages and murders, car crashes and suicides. Over the last decade, Torres has launched what she calls her “dark arts” into an internationally recognized brand with more than 27,000 Instagram followers who know her as “Cold Hands.” By day, Torres leads continuing education classes for embalmers around the world. By night, she drives from one funeral home to another with her wheeled embalming kit, restoring bodies in the perfect quiet.”


You can learn more about Monica Torres by going to the NXT Generation Mortuary website here.


Funeral Director Daily take:  I found this a somewhat timely article in that just last week I received an email from my friends at the marketing agency LA Ads that contained this link to a Funeral Home Compensation Report from Kates-Boylston Publications and sponsored by Domanicare.


The combination of the Torres article and the compensation survey got me to wondering, “How much funeral preparation work is now done by contractors as compared to employees”?


Tom Anderson
Funeral Director Daily

It seems that in the last decade I’ve seen a growth in “Trade Embalmers” and also in “First call removal services”.  And, it would make sense in that as the death care business has morphed into a predominantly cremation field, that maybe individual funeral homes rely more and more on these contractors over full-time employees.  The numbers would indicate less embalmings being done so a full-time embalmer would be more expensive on a per case basis.


By that I mean that if you employed a full-time embalmer and paid that person $50,000 annually and he embalmed 100 bodies, his/her cost per case would be $500 per case.  However, now lets say 30% of those 100 calls have become immediate cremations.  So now that $50,000 salary is being paid to only embalm 70 bodies.  That brings the cost per case to $714 per case.


In theory, and considering that is the only duty of this embalmer, using that thinking, at some point in time it becomes much more practical financially to use a trade service.  Anecdotally, it appears to me that is happening all around us as I’ve seen more and more trade services popping up.


So, as we move forward in our professions, do we see more and more contracted services playing a role in traditional funeral home operations?. . . . .What about contracted arrangers — especially if they are done on a “remote” basis?


Again, I apologize for an article with no answers, but a lot of questions.  However, it is my opinion that the businesses that answer these questions correctly will be the businesses that thrive moving forward.


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