Green Burials and Responsible Reporting

We submitted this piece to The New York Times @nytimes as an Op-Ed letter seven days ago and have never heard from them. We are publishing it here so our voices can be heard regarding this topic. Recently, The New York Times published an article: Green Burials: At the End of Life, Thinking Outside theContinue reading “Green Burials and Responsible Reporting”

3 MYTHS ABOUT GREEN BURIALS: A FUNERAL DIRECTOR’S PERSPECTIVE

In funeral parlance, ‘green burial’ may be the most hyped phrase around. References to this ‘new’ and seemingly popular type of disposition seem to be everywhere these days, particularly in the press. And since we, or a loved one, may be headed in that direction, we might have looked up the subject. Reading those storiesContinue reading “3 MYTHS ABOUT GREEN BURIALS: A FUNERAL DIRECTOR’S PERSPECTIVE”

What It’s Like To Work As A Funeral Director

A few months ago, I was invited to be among the bloggers at sixtyandme. The site, begun by the extraordinary Margaret Manning, has grown by leaps and bounds, now reaching 500,000 readers. The bloggers on the site share their professional expertise gleaned from long careers in their respective fields. I will be blogging on all thingsContinue reading “What It’s Like To Work As A Funeral Director”

The Real Death Deniers

Perhaps it’s a consequence of being on social media, but barely a day passes that I don’t read some nonsense article, post or tweet about funeral service. Shooting ashes into space, turning cremains into bullets (Seriously, With all the gun violence these days !?), mushroom suits, and so much more fill pages. My colleagues whoContinue reading “The Real Death Deniers”

Women In Funeral Service, Circa 1900

By Melissa Johnson Williams These pages are from the funeral service publications of the early 1900’s called The Casket and The Sunnyside.  As can be seen in these photos women are prominent in the care of the dead, specifically teaching embalming.  More than 100 years ago these women lead the way for every woman practitionerContinue reading “Women In Funeral Service, Circa 1900”

Funeral Customs

By Melissa Johnson Williams While browsing for other books about funerals, I happened upon this. I love the description of it from Amazon. All reviewers give it 5 stars. “A funeral is a ceremony marking a person’s death. Funerary customs comprise the complex of beliefs and practices used by a culture to remember the dead,Continue reading “Funeral Customs”

Chicago Cubs Great Andre Dawson – His Quiet 2nd Career

By Melissa Johnson Williams I don’t think I would have ever thought that Chicago Cubs outfielder Andre Dawson would have been counted as one of the ranks of my profession. For more than ten years he has quietly owned a funeral home in Florida. No flashy publicity or news stories to get more business. NothingContinue reading “Chicago Cubs Great Andre Dawson – His Quiet 2nd Career”

What Is Death Positivity?

By Melissa Johnson Williams We hear so much today about a “movement” called Death Positivity. As a funeral director, I couldn’t tell someone what that means. Once we are born, we all move toward death. It’s just a matter of when and how. It’s also a concept that some people have a hard time wrappingContinue reading “What Is Death Positivity?”

The Gratification of Visiting Graves

  In 2004, I traveled to Atlanta’s Oakland Cemetery to do research for an article I was working on about the place. My trip there was also a pilgrimage of sorts, as the first monument I wanted to see was that of Gone With The Wind author, Margaret Mitchell. As a teen, I had readContinue reading “The Gratification of Visiting Graves”