Friday, November 9, 2007
Rotary Club - Death, Cremation and Burial
Today I had the honor to speak once again to a group of great people that makes a tremendous difference and gives so much to their community as well as many other communities around the world.
I spoke at a Rotarians luncheon for the Ceredo-Kenova Rotary Club held at the Tri-State Airport in Wayne, County, WV. During my presentation which encompassed one subject matter (Death) we also addressed many other sub categories such as caskets, urns, cremation, burial, funerals, viewings, etc. The group of about 20-25 Rotarians allowed me the opportunity to field many questions and hopefully answer those questions that one oftentimes is hesitant to ask.
Here are just a sample few of the questions the audience had:
1.) Is there other service and merchandise options available with cremation?
2.) Does law require Embalming when there is a public visitation?
3.) I heard that you could rent a casket to be used for a cremation viewing?
4.) What should the average funeral and cremation cost?
5.) Why is having the body present for viewing important?
6.) Pre-need or pre-planning funerals and cremations is this safe, will the money be there if the funeral home goes out of business?
7.) What is involved in the entire cremation process from start to finish?
8.) What is the difference in urns?
9.) What does one do with the cremated remains once returned to the family? What are our options?
It was quite interesting when we discussed the subject matter of cremation of how many questions this group had. I discussed the opportunities for families to have the type of ceremony, service and utilize cremation as the final disposition, which is what they desired. I also spoke about the many different service and merchandise options one has regarding cremation. We spoke about the importance of the public as well as private viewing of the deceased, the complications I foresee for many in our society regarding unresolved grief in the absence of a final viewing or service as a way to say goodbye.
Hopefully the takeaway was that this group of professionals understood there are many options with regard to the many experience related service types, urns, keepsake urns, cremation caskets, cremation rental caskets, burial, niche, scattering, etc.
If only we had more time we could have addressed so many more questions, there was good dialogue and a very interactive audience of participants.
This group of individuals seemed to believe in the value of the funeral but being knowledgeable and understanding their options was very important to them.
As humans we all like choices and we like to have what we want, the way we want it and when we want it. The message I also attempted to convey was that they can have any form of personalized, or non-personalized service that they wanted. The funeral service professional we had an obligation to simply educate the consumer on the available options, allow them to see the value in what has value to them then execute the desired service option. I did continue to re-focus on what I perceive as a very important part of the grieving as well as coping process, having some type of service with the body present. I also focused a few moments on the importance of a permanent memorial, place where the cremated remains would be placed at the conclusion of the cremation and service process. I will address and answer the questions that were asked of me in an upcoming post.