Art of Dying Art of Dying_Volume III_joomag | Page 28

CAITLIN DOUGHTY There are many facets to the end-of-life experience. There's the dying process, and then the postmortem process. Both are equally significant. As of now, they’re regarded as entirely separate. I think one of the revolutions we're going to see in the next 10, 20 years is recognizing the connection between them. Even the best case scenario—a beautiful hospice death with the best nurses—and immediately the nurse's job ends and your body is handed off to some unknown person from a funeral home that you may not have previously contacted. It's a whole new process at that point. Integration between dying and the death industry will help people comfortably design their death experience. The funeral industry in general is desperate to sustain the status quo. They have massive overhead costs that include all the real estate, the caskets, the fleet of hearses, their outfits, the embalming and prep rooms, all of the tools. They need families to continue to buy the same kind of services they’ve bought for the last 50 years. Their largest existential threat is families taking more control, just wanting a couple hours after the death for everyone to come over and sit with body that's been prepared by the family and the hospice nurse, instead of an embalmed viewing. All they need is for the funeral home to pick up the body for cremation. This trend threatens a funeral home’s livelihood. Hospices taking over some of the duties of a funeral director is a great idea. If you have someone who you've been working with for a period of time, a nurse or someone at the hospice who you're really comfortable with, after death, you could continue to talk to the same person. They can help you prepare the body in the home. It’s a more seamless process. It helps a family integrate the death. It's difficult to accept that you have to enter hospice, but it can be thought of as the start of the journey. Like, "Okay. Here we go. I'm going to be here with The funeral industry in general is desperate to sustain the status quo. 28 | ART OF DYING