Funeral Webcasting: What’s All the Fuss About?August 1st, 2012
When Marine Nicholas Uzenski passed away while serving in Afghanistan, his father, former Marine William Uzenski, wanted his colleagues in Afghanistan to be a part of the service somehow.
So, he chose to webcast it.
The result? Family and friends gathered to view the webcasted service in nearly 80 cities and 4 countries.
Talk about community support.
Webcasting is an extremely valuable technology for funeral professionals. I believe it helps them do 3 things:
1) Extend the amount of support your families receive
As a funeral practitioner, serving families is your forte. You want to make your families feel as much support as possible, so it’s easier for them to start on their journey of grief. But what if someone important in their life couldn’t make it to the service?
Webcasting provides a medium for members of the community to show they care, without actually being there. Imagine the positive impact on your family if they saw that hundreds of people tuned into their loved one’s service online. The family would feel that their amount of support extends beyond having someone physically be there – it will comfort them knowing that they have a community of people who are there for them online as well.
2) Helps your families face their grief
In some instances, webcasting a funeral turns a celebration of life into a permanent memorial that the bereaved can choose to watch again after the service. For William Uzenski, watching his son’s funeral webcast again helped him heal. Watching a service again can help families re-visit their feelings and face their grief – whether in private, or with a small group of supporters.
Or, for those who can’t bear to attend the service, webcasting offers them a chance to face that grief when they’re ready. That way, they can still be a part of the service, even if they’re having problems coming to terms with the death.
3) Connects friends & family from around the world
Webcasting is a great example of a technology that has adapted to the changing behaviors of families today. We live in a busy, mobile society where people are working more than ever, and have less time to take off – even for a family funeral. Webcasting is a tool that helps members of the community feel like they’re a part of the service, even if they can’t make it.
While it isn’t meant to replace physically attending the funeral, webcasting is designed to serve as a supplement for friends & family who truly can’t make it. For example, if a family member passes away, and small group of friends & family who live across the country can’t attend, they can still gather in one place and watch the webcast, creating a sense of support, and celebrating the life lived together.
Funeral professionals everywhere are webcasting
Last year, we streamed more than 17,258 funerals with webcasting services. And, many funeral homes report streaming more than 95% of their families’ funeral services.
Webcasting is a tool that is growing in popularity – and one I predict will explode over the next five years. I believe it’s an important technology that will help the funeral profession prove that we’re investing in technologies to adapt to our customer’s changing behaviors and needs.
Don’t just take it from me – news outlets like USA Today and ABC News are saying that webcasting is “changing the way we grieve” and is “death in the digital age”.
Does your funeral home offer webcasting to families? How have families responded to it? Share your thoughts!