A “Contemporary” Funeral Home

We’ve noticed, recently, several funeral homes billing themselves as “modern” or “contemporary.” They claim to have a new way of doing things; that they are bringing a new awareness to death and making it less sad. Really!? Light and airy reposing rooms will not change the abject sorrow felt by a family whose daughter has…

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….

Five Things

Five Things I’ve learned in my long career as a funeral director I was pleased to share my view of funeral service with Life. Death. Whatever., gleaned from the work I’ve done, the experiences of my colleagues, and the perspective of the thousands of families I’ve served over the years. Despite what you may read…

Definition of Funeral Service

Southern Calls is a prestigious funeral service journal. The SouthernCalls.com website has interesting articles and images on their pages that are a mix of old and new.  The Funeral Profession page has two separate pages, The Present and The Past.  The Present page has this as its headline: THE PRESENT Steeped in history, defined by…

Carolyn Jones (aka Morticia Addams)

By Melissa Johnson Williams Thirty-five years ago today Morticia Addams died. The woman we knew and loved as Morticia was of course Carolyn Jones.  A very talented actress who performed in both movies and television. She crossed several movie genres but even the younger generation knows “Morticia”. She was the original and favorite goth beauty….

Extreme Embalming

By Melissa Johnson Williams There was a picture that circulated on the internet recently showing a young man posed at his wake in a laid back style.  Many commentators used the phrase “extreme embalming” to describe this supposedly new phenomenon. Most of those commentators know nothing about embalming or its history. If they did they…

The Real Death Deniers

Perhaps it’s a consequence of being on social media, but barely a day passes that we 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. Our colleagues who…

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,…