I find the conventional death care industry a strange place. The industry grew up around the urbanization of North America. People left the farms and moved to the cities. Their homes became smaller so they could not hold their wakes. They also did not have much in the way of land to bury their loved ones. The industry moved in to fill the need. I find the notion of a funeral director a curious one. I get that people need assistance when their loved one dies. There are many details that must be attended to at the time of death. When someone we love dies, many of us go to a funeral director that eier comes recommended to us or to one that our family has used before. Most of us do not preshop and find a director who will suit our needs. Often the person we hand over the details of our loved ones death is someone we do not know well.
What is so lacking in much of the North American view on death care is community. Few pastors go with the family to a funeral director or even hold their own meeting to have a conversation about what might be expected in a particular faith community. Many North Americans are not connected to a spiritual community or service community at all and are left to figure things out on their own. I don’t know what solution to offer. We live in a fractured society. Many people feel disenfranchised so much in their everyday life. Many have no idea what options they do have at the time of death. The alternative death care industry has a lot of work to do. We must keep on educating the public when we can and as often as we can.