Tag: funerals

Business Cremation

Cremation rate at 57%. . . and it’s not coming down anytime soon

I recently read this article from author Harold Ivan Smith from Baptist News.  Smith offers a unique perspective as he attended mortuary school, is a grief educator, and works as a celebrant for Forest Lawn Mortuaries in Palm Springs, California. Smith indicates in his article that cremation was probably about 1% of United States dispositions when he attended mortuary school in 1966, was elevated to about 27% by 2000, and in 2021 reached a 57.5% number according to the Cremation […]

Business

Here’s a benefit that you didn’t see coming

I operated a funeral home business for over 33 years.  When I started in 1980 the only benefits offered were health insurance and paid vacation.  Over the next 33 years we changed with the times and I came to approve benefits that included not only health care and paid vacation, but also a 401k -like profit sharing plan, the option for benefit money to be put towards child-care expenses, the ability for Aflac-like health incident coverage, employee retention agreements with […]

Afternoon Edition

The Mondale urn

Editor’s Note:  A technical glitch stopped publication this morning.  But, here you go with today’s article a few hours late.  Sorry. As I write articles in this forum I sometimes have to remind myself that many of my readers are 30 to 40 years younger than I am.  That fact, and the experience of playing golf with a 25-year old in our group last Friday, also reminds me that I sometimes have to give a little background to the story […]

Cemetery Preneed

Catholic Cemeteries of NE Kansas partner with funeral homes to offer valuable services

Less than a month ago Funeral Director Daily published this article that questioned if the days of funeral homes and cemeteries helping each other are over.  That article questioned the competitive nature of each entity that now sold products historically affiliated with the other entity as a way of “full service shopping” for death care consumers. For instance, funeral homes are now, more than ever, actively selling monuments and cemeteries, now more than ever, sell burial vaults and urns.  Nobody […]

Business Cremation

Considerations for a crematory

The Cremation Association of North America (CANA) showed statistics that cremation dispositions in the United States accounted for about 56% of all human dispositions in 2020.  I’m guessing that percentage will grow slightly for 2021 as it has every year for the past 40 or so years. CANA’s futuristic looking statistics, which have been pretty accurate over the years, show that at some point in about the next 20 years, barring regulatory issues,  cremation will be over 75% of all […]

Business

The Seasonality of Death

I came across this article titled, “It’s funeral homes’ busy season, here’s what to be careful for”.  Seeing that title I didn’t really know what to expect so I looked into the article.  It’s a short article with some good thoughts — one of those thoughts was entitled, “The Myth of Holiday Suicides”. Now, over my career I dealt with budgets based on what my banking friends tell me is the “Law of Large Numbers”.  I’ve always taken that to […]

Business Finance Products

My hunch: Inflation, other factors will lead to rapid acceptance of “Online Direct Cremation”

Thursday night into Friday morning brought Minnesota’s first snowfall of the 2021-2022 winter season.  It was light, but created slippery conditions outside that forced me onto an indoor treadmill run on Friday morning.  My 2 1/2 mile daily run is punctuated by the fact that I have a lot of stamina. . . just not a lot of speed.  On an indoor run, the result of that fact is I get about 25 minutes to catch up with the morning […]

Business Uncategorized

What about Closure?

It’s Friday.  How about we take a couple of minutes to think about how death, dying, grief, and funerals deal with what is always termed as “Closure”.  Are you aware of how often we use the term?  What does it mean?  Do our client families desire this? I bring up the subject because this past Monday was November 1 — “All Saints’ Day.  In my Lutheran church we celebrate all who have died before us on the Sunday following All […]

Business Regulations

“Big Funeral” and some thoughts on “Universal Death Care”

The funeral profession has long had its critics.  Those of us in the profession have to understand that and know that from time to time we are going to be broadsided by those critics’ calls for change. Recently this article entitled “How ‘Big Funeral’ made the afterlife so expensive” was published in Wired.  It’s a good, if not one-sided, article that starts off by saying this, “You can’t die these days because it’s too expensive“.  It goes on to say […]

Finance Products

Death tech app Empathy raises $30 million in Series A funding

A relatively new death tech app, Empathy, recently raised $30 million in Series A funding according to this article from Tech Crunch.  The product is designed to help bereaving families navigate the choppy waters  that result when a family member or someone close to them dies. “Empathy is a customer-centric company with compassion at our core. We aim not only to help families who are dealing with loss but also to act as a catalyst for change in the industry […]