The Friendly Funeralista

Archive for the ‘funeral directors’ Category

Want your death to really mean something? 

If you live in Ontario, visit www.beadonor and register to be an organ donor with the Trillium Gift of Life network.  All you need is your health card number,  your date of birth and a few minutes of time.  From a funeral perspective, organ donation will not affect your ability to have an open casket.  Please take a moment to watch this inspiring video and then visit  to register. 

Here’s your chance to leave a lasting legacy … register today.


There’s an old saying in the funeral business that funeral directors never retire from the profession, they die.  The good news for us undertakers is that we are clearly a group of people who will live long lives.  According to a new book, it is the conscientious not the  “happy-go-lucky” types who live the longest.  The book, entitled The Longevity Project, draws its conclusions from a study began in 1921 conducted by Stanford University psychologist Lewis Terman.  His study looked at 1500 boys and girls born around 1910.  The purpose of the study was to discover what social, psychological and physical traits are sources of leadership.  When Terman died in 1956, researchers continued collecting information about the then middle-aged participants.  Fast forward to 1990 when psychologist Howard Friedman, co-author of the Longevity Project, began collecting data on the surviving participants.  One of Friedman’s most consistent findings was that conscientious people lived a long time.  Another key finding: longevity is associated with social connectedness particularly if it involves helping others.  Two traits that are consistent among funeral directors are conscientiousness and the desire to help others.  If Dr. Friedman’s findings prove correct, us funeral folk will be around forever!

For more information on The Longevity Project visit:


Here is an interesting bit of news from blogger Something Blonde. She comments on a news story out of Redditch, England, where it has been proposed to use the radiant heat from the local crematorium to heat the public swimming pool.

I’ve seen a bit of press on Emotional Freedom Techniques or Meridian Tapping lately.  Apparently, this can  help to lessen physical and emotional pain, can bring prosperity into your life, will help to lessen your fears of public speaking, snakes, heights, will help you lose weight, quit smoking, overcome insomnia etc, etc, etc,  I wonder if this might offer some assistance to those who are grieving?  Here is a you tube video describing the technique.  Visit and download their free e-book which talks about the technique in greater detail.  If you give this a try, send me your feedback.

Here is a news report from ABC news regarding funeral webcasting.  This is a new technology that will allow funerals to be broadcast over the internet.  Friends and family unable to attend the funeral are able to watch the ceremony on the computer.  Wonder if this will catch on?

I picked up this article courtesy of the Coach Broker News out of the United Kingdom.  The idea of a funeral bus is not new.  In fact, they have been used in large metropolitan centres, like New York City,  for a number of years.  Unfortunately, they have not really captured the interest of most funeral homes and their client families.  I live not far from a little village that is popular for weddings.  On Saturdays, this hamlet is bursting with wedding buses.   With traffic becoming ever more challenging I think the time might be right to follow the lead of the wedding industry and bring back the funeral bus. 

Here are some advantages: 

  • environmentally friendly, as fewer vehicles travel in procession to the cemetery or crematorium
  • allows a large number of family and friends to travel together (people will not get lost or fall behind)
  • it might present a good opportunity for a tribute video or eulogy to be played/given while on board
  • refreshments could be made available

I’m not sure about a red double-decker … maybe something a little more subtle like a charcoal grey coach bus would be in order? 

Here’s the article:

Nottingham Undertakers offer double-decker bus for funeral hire

25/01/2011 By Tracy Wilcox

A funeral directors company based in Nottingham has launched an alternative mode of transport to the traditional hearse which is proving extremely popular.

The funeral firm have purchased a red double-decker bus which is available to hire for those who would like an alternative vehicle to the usual hearse.

One of the main advantages of the double-decker bus funeral vehicle is that the family can travel onboard the vehicle along with the coffin, which is a great comfort for some people.

Lymn Undertakers in Nottingham say their quirky funeral vehicle is proving extremely popular with clients in the area with the firm providing the double-decker bus for between 2-3 funerals a week.

The undertakers say they like to offer their clients the freedom to choose a funeral that suits their personal wishes, and which at the same time, preserves the memory of their loved one. Mr Lymn Rose from the funeral directors says his company always attempts to deliver a final send off which is tailored to their client’s wishes.

Last year we reported on the story of a 45-year-old woman from Sutton Coldfield who instructed her family to arrange a red London bus to transport her to her funeral before she sadly passed away. One of her main reasons for wanting a bus for her final journey was so she could travel with her loved ones.

If the demand for funeral buses continues, we could see more double-decker funeral vehicles on UK roads in the future.

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The City of Toronto came to a standstill yesterday for the funeral of  Sergeant Ryan Russell, a beloved member of the Toronto Police Service.  Sergeant Russell was killed on January 12, 2010 by a man driving a stolen snowplow.  The driver of the snowplow was apprehended and charged with first degree murder.  Ryan Russell leaves behind his wife, Christine, their 2-year-old son, Nolan, his parents, Glenn and Lynda, and his sister, Tracy.  

The full honours police funeral procession included officers on horseback, The Toronto Police Pipe and Drum Band, a shrouded police cruiser, and 12,000 police personnel from the Toronto Police Service and other police services from all over North America marching on foot.  In the first video you will see that the Toronto Fire Service has provided a canopy for the procession as it makes its way through Toronto’s financial district.  The second video provides footage from the entire procession.  Torontonians, although perceived by much of Canada to be a heartless lot, came out in droves to honour this fallen officer and to bear witness to the human cost of public safety. 

On a personal note, I was pleased to hear that colleagues at the Jerrett Funeral Home were looking after the Russell family.  Funerals for fallen officers involve much pomp and ceremony and high levels of protocol.  Sometimes the family can get lost in all these big plans.  The Jerrett directors clearly remembered that their first responsibility was the grieving family and advocated as necessary to ensure that the wishes of the family were honoured.  Yesterday’s funeral had a good balance of tributes for Ryan the husband, dad, son and friend, and Sergeant Russell, the fallen officer.    It  looked to me like both families, the Russell’s and the Toronto Police Services, were well served.

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