Are You Thinking of Hiring a Funeral Photographer?

Today, photographing the dead is making a comeback. But this time it’s not only the deceased who are being photographed – it’s the entire funeral service. Candid shots of the somber rituals, loved ones embracing, mourners comforting one another, are all captured with empathy, and discretion by professional photographers. Duane Knight is one of the…

What You Need To Know When Considering a Home Funeral

In 1911, when newspaper publisher and journalist Joseph Pulitzer died, he was waked in the library of his Manhattan home. The room was filled with floral tributes and the furniture arranged for the assembly of mourners. Throughout the morning, family, friends, and employees came to pay their respects to the journalistic icon who reposed in…

DOA -RIP

For a brief time, when I was a young funeral director, I had license plates on my car which read DOA-RIP. Admittedly, I thought they were clever and set me apart. The plates garnered mention in a few newspapers, and other funeral directors who read about --or saw--them were not amused. In fact, they chided…

NYSFDA, Spare Us the TikTok eClips

Lately, the weekly eClips, sent by the NYSFDA, have contained more and more links to embarrassing articles by so-called viral sensations on TiKTok. The most recent article, about a mortuary student who "has lifted the lid" (this expression is gag-inducing) about repairing "injuries on deceased people" with clay (which is not used in actual practice)…

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…

Sure, Let’s Dumb it Down Some More

Last spring, the New York State Funeral Directors Association sent licensed NY State funeral directors a survey about creating a new –and unlicensed –position: funeral director’s assistant. When the survey responses were tallied, the results showed a majority against creating such a position. Seemingly, that was not the desired result. So, we were all asked…

We Compost Trash, Not Our Mothers

The New York State Legislature will soon vote on whether composting (like we do with our kitchen waste) of human remains will become legal. If it passes (sadly, that seems likely), New York will become the third state to allow this desecration. The Morte Girls want to go on record as to our disgust. The…

A Dying Business

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, at…

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, the…