Until just weeks ago, the hard work, dedication and sacrifice of the bereavement industry, or death trade as it’s sometimes called, wasn’t even listed as an essential service. Despite this recent shift in designation, I suspect there’s little or no applause or acknowledgement for the essential workers like the ones named by our provincial government: coroners and workers performing mortuary services, including: funeral homes, crematoriums, cemeteries and workers supporting the appropriate handling, identification, storage, transportation, and certification of human remains.
I believe in the possibility of responsive, respectful funeral services.
I believe in the power of useful tools and thoughtful opportunities to inform and inspire people to make the most of our finite and precious lives.
I believe in the value and beauty of exploring the mystery that is death.
One of my mentors along the way has been Ngaio Davis, the founder, owner and Managing Director of the Vancouver location of KORU Cremation | Burial | Ceremony, a locally-owned and operated, grass-roots funeral business. KORU is a leader, innovator and educator in what I see as a new age of death, dying and end-of-life care. It was an honour for me to complete my funeral director apprenticeship under Ngaio’s mentorship.
Responsive funeral services
While you may or may not have a KORU-like firm in your parts, you do have the power to get informed, plan ahead when possible, and to expect responsive, respectful funeral services that meet your needs – whatever they may be.
It’s my fervent hope that in your travels you find yourself being served by one of the many good souls who bring their knowledge, compassion and care to work everyday – regardless of the size and ownership of the funeral home.
One dimension of responsive funeral services is finding ways to support people to be better equipped to carry out their own end of life planning or to make arrangements for someone else. Our communities need public education opportunities for people to explore the reality of their mortality and learn about options for deathcare that reflect their values and priorities.
What about you?
What do you believe?
What does responsive funeral services look and feel like to you?