The Business End

The business end of death is a profitable one.

As morbid a subject as this may be, the plans for yourself and your loved ones require decisions that are not easy at any time, but far more complicated at the “time of need”.


The internet is full of information, so are your friends neighbors and relatives.

What was once a local family owned funeral home may now be a conglomerate gobbled business with little resemblance to the neighborhood undertaker of years ago.

You can search for reviews on funeral homes and cemeteries.

You can buy plots on Craigslist!

Visitation and Memorials

The decisions for visitations and memorial services are layered with emotions, desires, expectations, rituals and traditions.

My Mom always said she did not want a viewing or a memorial – yet when she was nearing death my brother asked her again and told her this was not really about her as much as for her friends and family. Mom did a very rare thing and changed her mind.

There was a list Mom had of her closest friends, the “lunch bunch” from church and the “Wednesday Breakfast Group”.  I volunteered to make the calls . I sat in the hotel room in my hometown with my notes of time and place and the church directory with pages of notes on the back in Mom’s hand writing. Not all of her friends were members of the church.  I assumed I could get through the list in an early evening. I only made 3 calls in the first hour. The stories they told me about my Mom are pressed in my heart like petals of a rose from her funeral. it took 2 nights, a lot of kleenex and many hours to make it through the list. This was the “Viewing” I cherish, not the one where the life was out of her. Although she looked wonderful in that sparkling lavender suit my Mother never was that still or that quiet ever in a room full of people.