The Feds Probe the Funeral Industry

Funeral industry leaders in the early 70’s tried to redirect the public interest in reforming funeral traditions by touting the sociological and psychological benefits of traditional services.

Chaos at the Funeral Church: The Death of Rudolph Valentino

The hysteria surrounding Valentino’s funeral demonstrated a deep desire in the American people at the time to have a continued relationship with the dead.

Grief Mythology Triumphs

Simply “exposing” something as mythology may not be the death of it, even in the funeral industry.

Final Intimacy

“The practice of embalming had much to do with placing the undertaker in the professional class.”

Expect Anything in the Funeral Industry, Even Druids

Death is not a topic that is avoided within Druidry.

The Art of Dying, or Ars Moriendi

By the time of the Civil War, the theme of the Good Death inspired songs, stories and poetry for and about the Civil War.

Notes on the Old-Fashioned Home Funeral

…She began to tell me about how my great grandmother’s casket was draped with roses, and about the black lace dress that she wore to her grave.

Public Opinion Polls and End-of-Life Decisions

Have you thought more about end-of-life decisions since the recent debate over health care? While some individuals claim that the health care bill (or variations of that bill) carry information about ‘death panels,’ you can rest assured that this term is not used in any terminology.

DeathCare Workers Talk about What Happens After Death

Have you ever wondered what happens to your body after death, especially if you have not planned your funeral? The Guardian ran an article in the U.K. in 2008 entitled, “What Really Happens When You Die,” and this article provides death care workers’ perspectives on their jobs and what those jobs entail.

The History of Funeral Cards

If you attended a funeral, you may have received a card – similar to a bookmark or the size of a playing card – that commemorated the deceased. Although these cards became popular in the 1880s, today they most often are issued by a funeral home or church. You may be surprised, however, that the history of these cards dates back to the invention of lithography in the 1700s, when the Catholic Church began to print and issue Holy Cards.