2011-02-02 “Cremorials”

A recent survey of Canadians would say that there are not enough options in Funeral Service and if there are options, they are not being communicated well.  With an estimated forty percent cremation rate and a move to what is described as a “simpler but more meaningful service”, it seems that everyone is trying to come up with new ideas.  Last week I read an e-mail that used the word “Cremorials” to describe a memorial service involving cremation.  From music to interchangeable casket corners you can reflect on important parts of a life lived.  You can purchase small urns that match larger urns so that you can keep some cremated remains at home, you can purchase jewelry that holds a token amount of cremated remains and you can purchase jewelry that has a fingerprint or a picture etched into it.    

While I do whatever I can to accommodate a family’s wishes I don’t try to get people to buy things that they don’t need or want.  And while that won’t put me on the cover of Forbes magazine, I hear all the time that people appreciate the fact that I am honest. 

At one time we did have equipment here to scan fingerprints but when I wasn’t selling any of their products I was approached by the company and was encouraged to take the fingerprint and e-mail it to them.  The next step was that they would rush me a piece of jewelry or a keychain and just before the initial family visitation I was supposed to hand it to the oldest child of the family.  That in turn was supposed to make the other children want one and generate sales.  I never did that.  Not only did I think it was wrong, but the Board of Funeral Service holds the position that a Funeral Home should not take anyone’s fingerprint without the permission of the estate trustee.   Eventually the company took their equipment back.  When I do need those kind of services, I help families through a local jeweler.