One upon a time, a young woman walked into a funeral home in Queens, New York. She needed an after-school job to earn some money, while she worked her way through college, and the funeral home was hiring. She had dreams of one day becoming a great writer. Well, if not a great one, atContinue reading “A Dying Business”
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”
In our recent interview with Authority Magazine, we reiterate the importance of funeral service & how we continue to uphold cherished traditions. Clearly, the Covid pandemic underscored (in a major way) what any funeral director can tell you: #funeralsmatter.
Last night, the Morte Girls attended Moonrise, a most unique event at Green-Wood Cemetery. It was a two mile stroll through the grounds, after dark, on a perfect fall evening . Along the way, we encountered performance artists stationed in and around some of Green-Wood’s many notable mausoleums and monuments. Food stations, too, were available.Continue reading “Moonrise and the Morte Girls”
In the past, I’ve written about the horrific conditions I, and my family, were subjected to at the funeral (if you can call it that) of my mother in 2015. Then again, at the funerals of my uncle in 2017, and my aunt in 2019, we were treated badly. Having experienced such callous treatment byContinue reading “Yet Another Trying Day at Pinelawn Memorial Park”
An essential component of our role as funeral directors is to maintain the sanctity of our work and protect the privacy of those in our care. Something that continues to trouble me is the prurient interest some have in the most private part of funeral service. “I want to watch? Can I?” It is anContinue reading “I Want to Watch”
By Melissa Johnson Williams Madame CJ Walker was a remarkable African American woman, a distinguished early 1900’s self made business woman. @Suntimes article about the sale of her estate, Villa Lewaro led me to look at her biography. She is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery, NYC.
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”
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”
By Melissa Johnson Williams It was my great pleasure to work on the National Geographic program Italy’s Mystery Mummies. I had the opportunity to work two distinguished anthropologist, one of whom was a living legend at the time. Dario Piombino-Mascali known for his work with the Sicilian mummies made it possible for me to completeContinue reading “Rosalia Lombardo”