The death care industry makes me a bit crazy. I know that some who work in the industry do care for families and do good work. What gets to me quite frankly is that the industry conveys the sense that THEY are the experts in the situation. No one else can know about death care more than the death care workers. Who can blame them? The death care industry saw a need and capitalized on it. As a result our society has lost the basic knowledge of death care. Most of us do not understand what it takes to care for the dead. Most of us have come to rely on the industry to tell us what needs to be done at the time of death. Most of us think we need embalming or cremation and to suggest otherwise makes us appear uncivilized or perhaps a bit crazy. Most of us do not know our basic rights we have facing the death care industry. Most of us do not want to know the truth about what happens to our bodies after death. Who can blame anyone for this? It’s not pretty.
The industry has taken advantage of our discomfort. Funeral directors would like nothing more than to make the market place where they would not face competition from other care givers, and in ten states they have succeeded. We have lost so much to this industry, but we have allowed this. Those in the death care industry suppress knowledge, and in many cases give out wrong or misleading information. I have sat with many funeral directors who have told me things I know to be false. I have had people tell me stories of a funeral director and how they were pressured into paying for something or changing their plans because the directors who told them they needed to so something when in fact they did not. The funeral directors were just trying to make a better sale for themselves - not serve their client’s needs. When I look around and see evidence that we are beginning to turn away from the conventional industry and seeking other ways of caring for our beloved dead, I am pleased. I know we have far to go, and the work of restoring family rights is a difficult one. What industry who has guaranteed clients would want to give them back? We can change the nature of market place, little by little. We can if we look at our fears honestly, start speaking about death and doing our own research. We can change the market place if we remember who we are and have the desire to change.