Let’s Be Truthful

The Morte Girls are often asked by young people (and some not so young) about how to forge a career in funeral service, and what it’s like. We explain that the hours are long, that most of us work nights, weekends and holidays, and that the pay is generally little more than adequate. Additionally, theContinue reading “Let’s Be Truthful”

RIP Dr. Jacquie Taylor

We were saddened to learn about the recent passing of Dr. Jacquie Taylor. Funeral service lost an excellent champion in her. An educator, who was also licensed as a funeral director, Dr. Taylor  truly “walked the walk and talked the talk” unlike so many others today. In 2013, I attended a continuing education seminar Dr.Continue reading “RIP Dr. Jacquie Taylor”

Fake Funeral News

The funeral as we know it is becoming a relic — just in time for a death boom blared the Washington Post headline. Whoever wrote this garbage must have scoured the depths of kook-dom. This article bears no resemblance to what funeral directors do on a daily basis. Perhaps if newspapers interviewed actual, experienced funeralContinue reading “Fake Funeral News”

How a Common Death Ritual Made It Harder to Mourn the Loss of My Mother ————-Say What!?

How a Common Death Ritual Made It Harder to Mourn the Loss of My Mother We can barely contain our disgust at this article. In essence, the writer is complaining that the funeral home made her deceased mother look too good, and it has traumatized her. She writes: “I thought she was alive again. SheContinue reading “How a Common Death Ritual Made It Harder to Mourn the Loss of My Mother ————-Say What!?”

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”

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”

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”

When My Yiayia Died

  Marjorie Kunch is a funeral director, and writer, based in Arizona. When her grandmother died, Kunch, the mother of two young children, searched for books to answer the questions her two young children had about funeral rituals. Not able to find what she was looking for, Kunch decided to write her own book. WrittenContinue reading “When My Yiayia Died”