To prepare to be the closing motivational speaker (before the AGM) for the Alberta Funeral Services Association conference, I interviewed Sue Lasher, Funeral Manager for the Foster Gordon Chapel.
It was an enlightening interview. In an industry where family requests and specific details really matter, funeral services have changed substantially. While the veteran generation used to request somber traditional themes, many baby boomers planning funerals today want to send their parents off in style.
Funeral directors facilitate whatever their customers want and with today's diverse populations, the sky is the limit. Funerals are starting to look more like celebrations rather than sad commemorations.To show respect for a loved one who had passed, the service truly should be unique and customized. Life is a celebration, and that should probably come through in death, too.
With fewer traditional church hymns like Amazing Grace requested, families are opting for musical themes like ZZ Top, or the deceased person's favorite country music star. Really, anything goes.
More people are also opting for cremation. Funerals are also going viral, to cater to family wishes, with funeral directors video taping the ceremony so that family members can post it to Utube for all the world to watch.
I recently lost someone I cared a lot about, (an incredible motivational speaker and mentor, Bill Clennan, the Dean of Canadian Speakers). Sometimes I just need to feel closer to him, so I visit his Facebook page, which is, thankfully, still active, although i don't know for how long. I look at old photos and make updates to Facebook as a way of staying in touch with old friends and his family.
Funeral services is yet another example of an industry that is thinking outside of the box to change with society.
As a motivational speaker for funeral directors' conference I am reminding them of the power of humor to decrease stress....
More humorous motivational speaker resources to lighten up are hereMore Conference meeting planner resources are here