Art of Dying Art of Dying_Volume III_joomag | Page 28
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
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