The Top 10 Funeral Articles of 2016December 17th, 2016
Here on the funeralOne blog, we always love the end of the year… not because it’s the crazy busy season in the funeral profession, or because all the holiday hullabaloo is about to start. (Everyone say it together: “We’ll get through it!”)
We love the end of the year because it’s the time when everyone comes together to reflect upon the year that is coming to a close, and put together a collective highlight reel of the previous year. What were the most important moments? What were the biggest lessons learned? What new innovations were released that will change the world in the future? And, in the blogging world, our all-time favorite… What were the top articles that were written this year?
If you think about it, the media has never been more of a wealth of information and learning than it is at this very moment. All of the magazines, TV channels, radio stations and blogs are putting together their top lists of 2016, and we, as an audience, get to benefit from an entire year’s worth of information… all boiled down into one tight, efficient collection.
In fact, we love end-of-the-year lists so much that we decided to join the party ourselves and pull together the most popular funeral articles that we’ve shared in the last year. From helpful tips to share with your families, to advice blog posts about finding funeral success, here are all of the best articles to come out of the funeral profession in 2016. Enjoy!
1. ‘The Misunderstanding About Grief and Death’ by Nathalie Himmelrich
This powerful article about the assumptions and misunderstandings of grief is great for both funeral professionals and the families they serve. It tackles some of the most common beliefs that our society has about grief, and challenges people to take a step back at look at the real truth behind the things that they are feeling.
“I speak boldly when I say that society largely misunderstands grief. Even as a trained psychotherapist specialising in grief and relationship, I misunderstood grief. I thought I understood it, knew about it. I was mistaken. What was interesting to me was that according to my clients I was well equipped to support people through their losses even though I didn’t fully understand grief. From the perspective of personally LIVED loss experiences, deeply inhaling the grieving process, struggling to keep up the resilience to get up every day, dealing with mundane daily tasks… I really had no idea about grieving prior to my own losses and I believe not many people do – until life shows them death…”
2. ‘This Undertaker Buries The Bodies That Nobody Else Will Touch’ by Kevin Koczwara
This amazing profile of Peter Stefan, a 41 year veteran in the funeral profession, takes a look into the complex — and often complicated — role of a funeral director. And in Stefan’s unique case, that means taking on cases that the rest of society has deemed undesirable, including AIDS patients in the ‘80s and the Boston Marathon bomber, and giving them a proper send-off.
“‘People say to me sometimes, ‘We don’t go to you because you bury those people’ – the poor people,’ Peter Stefan tells me in the second-floor office of his Worcester, MA funeral home. ‘I say, ‘Then don’t come. We don’t need you.’ You bury who you bury…’”
3. ‘5 Famous People Who Got Their Start In The Funeral Profession’ by funeralOne
Celebrities… they’re just like us! Especially in the case of this article, which uncovers a secret past in the funeral profession from some of society’s most famous celebrities. Can you guess which of your favorite stars got started in a mortuary before making it to the big screen?
“Most people are surprised to meet someone who works in the funeral profession because we’re a rare (and special) breed. It’s not a profession that people boast about, or hear about at their career fair…at least anymore. But I think people would be surprised to learn that some of the most famous people in the world got their start working in the funeral profession in one way or another…”
4. ‘Six Feet Under: Why These Women Chose The World’s Saddest Profession’ by Melissa Wylie
Women become a bigger, more significant part of the funeral profession with each passing year. (Don’t believe us? Just check out this post about all of the women who are shaking up the profession.) This article takes a close look at just a few of the women who have stepped into a historically male-dominated profession to fulfill their passion for helping families during their time of need.
“While the rise of women in the field may come as a surprise for those of us who still think stereotypically of a funeral director as a straight-faced man in a black suit, industry insiders have seen women in the profession for quite a while … However, the level of their involvement has changed dramatically in [the last] 15 or 20 years…”
5. ‘Funeral Home Workers Describe The Creepiest Thing That They’ve Witnessed On The Job’ by Rosa Pasquarella
Working in the funeral profession carries with it it’s fair share of uncomfortable or creepy moments, no matter how much time you’ve spent in a funeral home. That’s just what you get when your main company at work is no longer living or breathing. In this article, funeral directors recount some of the most hair-raising experiences they’ve ever had while on the job.
“For most people, just the idea of being around a dead body gives them the creeps, but for funeral home workers, death is the only way to make a living. Embalmers, morticians, and funeral directors spend most of their time with the no-longer-living, collecting some pretty grueling stories along the way…”
6. ‘10 Things To Remember If You Love A Funeral Professional’ by funeralOne
The funeral profession has to be one of the most misunderstood and underappreciated fields out there. To help bring light to the amazing work of the tireless people in our profession, this article challenges the wonderful friends and family of funeral directors to look past the dark, scary unknown of our profession and, once and for all, learn about the caring, humble, caring funeral directors in their life.
“Working in this field we’ve been called to isn’t easy. Some people will assume that’s because we’re so often surrounded by loss and sadness and spend long days supporting the grief of others—but that’s not even the half of it…”
7. ‘Stopping Traffic For Grief’ by Rev. Cindy Maddox
Of all of the pet peeves of funeral professionals, people who get frustrated and angry at passing funeral processions has to be one of the worst of them. This article is a plea to any person who has ever yelled, honked or angrily gestured at funeral procession to think carefully about what this chain of connection really means — a visible sign of the invisible bond of grief shared by the people who make up the procession.
“Perhaps you don’t know. Perhaps you didn’t recognize the hearse and the flapping flags on the first few cars. Perhaps you didn’t notice that we all had our lights on and our hazards flashing. Perhaps your mama never taught you to show respect to the dead by showing kindness to the grieving…”
8. ‘This Darkly Clever Billboard for a Funeral Home Leaves Toronto Motorists Aghast’ by Tim Nudd
One of the most viral funeral-related stories of the year was prompted by a billboard advertising three simple words: “Text and drive.” The sign, sponsored by a ‘Wathan Funeral Home’ in Toronto, seemed to encourage motorists to text and drive as a way to increase business for the advertiser (which, of course, caused a lot of controversy). But the billboard may have actually carried a message far more powerful…
“If you’re here, you’ve probably seen our “Text and Drive” billboard. And if you have, you probably came to this website to tell us what horrible people we are for running an ad like that. And you’d be right. It is a horrible thing for a funeral home to do. But we’re not a funeral home…”
9. ‘Always Go To The Funeral’ by Deirdre Sullivan
Given the sensitive and emotional nature of a funeral service, it can sometimes be difficult for friends and family members to navigate the difficult water of what is expected of a funeral attendee. Is 10 too young to attend a funeral? If you haven’t spoken to the loved one in a while, should you still attend their funeral? This article attempts to tackle these very questions.
“I believe in always going to the funeral. My father taught me that. The first time he said it directly to me, I was 16 and trying to get out of going to calling hours for Miss Emerson, my old fifth grade math teacher. I did not want to go. My father was unequivocal. ‘Dee,’ he said, ‘you’re going. Always go to the funeral. Do it for the family.’”
10. 5 Reasons Why Kids Should Grow Up To Be Funeral Directors
Last, but not least, a little encouragement for the generation of the future… when it comes to finding a profession that is rewarding, fulfilling, full of opportunity and an endless opportunity for creativity and imagination, our children should look no further than the funeral profession. This article outlines just a few of the many reasons why growing up to be a funeral director is one of the best (and most fulfilling) career choices a person can make.
“Firefighter, president of the universe, pizza maker, astronaut—all common answers from kids when they’re asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” And they’re all good ones, but we happen to think there’s another great answer missing from the list: funeral director…”