Funeral Cortege Laws & Rights in NSW

    There are a lot of misconceptions about the funeral cortege, what it can do.  A while ago I wrote this post about how to drive in the funeral cortege as a mourner and this one as an undertaker.  But I did not really cover laws or rights.  I often got asked questions about the laws involving the funeral cortege and funeral cars.  So here is a post where I finally explain them!


Britain's Youngest Undertaker

    This is a fun little documentary about the youngest undertaker in Britain.  She is only just in high school but joins her father at his funeral company.

Britains Youngest Undertaker

    Two things struck me about this documentary.  The first was how everyone talked about embalming.  They were so hesitant and put off by it despite working in the funeral industry.  I have come across many undertaker who would never want to be embalmers, but none ever spoke of it like this.  For me it was just strange how put off they were by embalming.  The second thing that stood out was at the 20:56 mark when the father admitted that he was happy to have two young and pretty girls working at his funeral home.  How they would bring in more business due to being young and pretty.  The age and gender of his daughters was obviously a reason he was promoting them, encouraging them, and something he was using.  He was using their age and gender to sell the business.

    This is something that happens all the time in the funeral industry.  Gender is a selling point, just look at White lady Funerals who advertise all female staff.



Who is the Customer?

    The question of who is the customer at a funeral is one which I have been asked and debated a few times.  The reason this is an important question as it is asking who is really important at the funeral, who the funeral is aimed at and thus shapes our understanding of funerals and how they should proceed and where the priorities should be.

    Many debate whether the customer is (or should be) the deceased or mourner.  Basically whether the funeral is really for the dead or for the living or for both.

    So I will briefly outline how I define "the customer" in the funeral industry and why.  Some might not agree with me, but that only goes to prove how debatable this idea is.


Quality Funerals

    Quality of a funeral and a funeral home is something which does come up, especially with those in the industry or those who are interested in the industry.  What I have noticed is that many of these people use little procedures or practices to value a funeral home.  Things like which way they turn the coffin.  Yet most mourners do not notice these things, nor care when they are told about them.  The way an undertaker looks at a funeral is completely different from the way a mourner looks at it.

    From this we can learn a lot about the role of the mourner and of the undertaker and start to question what is actually important in a funeral.  How perhaps many of the practices on a funeral are more for the undertakers than the mourners.


Misconceptions & Questions - Part 3

    I thought it was about time I did another misconceptions and questions post.  To fix some errors and answer some questions I have received recently.    Here are 15 short misconceptions and questions I have either come across recently or regularly.



    Not too long ago I wrote an article 'The InvoCare Share' about how much of the industry InvoCare really owns.  After much research, questionable numbers and a bit of guessing and discussing it with others I came to the conclusion that InvoCare does about 25% of all national funerals.  Not the giants people think them to be.  However InvoCare does about 50,000 SpY (services/funerals per year) while the next biggest company does about 6,000 SpY.  Thus while InvoCare does not own as much of the industry as people think they are by far the biggest single company.

    This then lead to a few questions from people about InvoCare, how good they are, how they treat bodies and funerals as commercial objects and so on.  So I decided to write a little post on what I think of InvoCare.


Funeral Fun - Uncle Arthur

    Funerals are seen as a sad or depressing event.  But this is often not the case, especially for the staff work work funeral every day.  Undertakers learn to make jokes in almost every situation, the job is just that, a job.


Necrophilia & Misconduct

    After I wrote this essay on nakedness of the dead body I have been asked about necrophilia.  What I look at in the essay is about how we interact/entangle with the external world with the case study of dead bodies and nakedness.  That we do not simply 'see' a naked dead body before us but bring that body into our body, into ourselves and our being.

    While the essay is not about anything sexual or anything to do with necrophilia for obvious reasons this idea has sparked a couple of questions about necrophilia and misconduct in the funeral industry.  This is a touchy topic, very taboo and very personal.  So it is something I want to talk about in depth or detail in the future.  But until I have time a short post on how much it occurs will have to do.


Acceptance of Funeral Advertisements

    Advertising is something every company or organisation needs to actively do to survive.  To promote itself, to be known and to grow.  This is no different for the funeral industry, funeral homes must advertise themselves to grow their business.  Funeral homes who do not promote are destined to fade away.

    While this is usually rather easy it becomes tricky for the funeral industry.  The funeral home has to find the thin balance between appropriate promotion and inappropriate promotion.  A funeral home has to think long and hard about how, where, why and what it is promotion.


Short Video - The Embalming Room

    This is an interesting video showing and explaining the inside of a mortuary.  She goes through most of the tools and various techniques of the trade.  There's no actual procedures or bodies shown, just the tools and some parts of the room.  It's an interesting little video which should help educate those who have never been into a mortuary.

The Embalming Room - Women in the Funeral Industry (Funeral Divas)




The Naked Dead: How we engage with the dead through their nakedness

    I have written a short essay on how we engage and entangle with the world around us.  Specifically I look at nakedness and the dead body.  Through this I explore the idea that we connect with the dead body before us and bring it into our being.  We feel its nakedness and exposure, so we cover it up.

    This is the first 'formal' essay I have written on the funeral industry and for this blog.  It was rather interesting and fun to write, so I hope it's fun to read.  The essay itself is not too long but I have provided a short summary anyway.  


Slow Rise of Obesity - Part two: the preparation

  It is no debate, we are getting larger and fatter.  Yet what does this actually mean?  As in how are our attitudes and views changing and how is it affecting our lives?  To answer this I look to funeral and the funeral industry.  The funeral industry is a wonderful way to look at society.  To look at us, our attitudes, beliefs, how we go about our daily lives and so on.  This is because quite simply the way we live is the way we die, the two are directly connected.

This is why I decided to do a few detailed posts on obesity in the funeral industry as I experienced it and understand it.  Through looking at how obesity affects the funeral industry we can understand how it affects our lives.  My first post was on the transfer of obese bodies.  This post is on how we deal with and process the obese body.  What happens in the mortuary to the body and the coffin of obese bodies.