By Luke Fitzpatrick
While the world around funerals has developed, the art of farewelling loved ones hasn’t changed much. Be it a cremation or burial, seasoned funeral-goers will know what the day of remembrance will entail. In an attempt to change the face of funerals, more people are looking to incorporate modern means into their send-off.
Technology simultaneously brings funerals into the modern, while also removing the feelings of dread surrounding the ceremony. As more and more seniors declare their wishes for good-humored sendoffs, technology is growing more popular. After all, given how much funeral costs, shouldn’t the day reflect the recently departed’s true wishes?
The sheer amount of technology out there means that there are many ways to modernize funerals in order to truly bring them into the 21st century. While most funerals are already using things like slide shows and tribute videos, there are in fact more ways to introduce technology into funerals. For example, funerals can be live-streamed or even shown on Skype in order to make sure that every person who wants to be a part of the day can. This means that delayed flights or work in another timezone won’t get in the way of people saying their final goodbyes.
A recent news report found that more than half of the surveyed seniors believe that technology should be more commonly used in funerals. Highlighting seniors’ desires to do away with traditional funerals in favor of more modern and good-humored send-offs.
The unavoidable cost of funerals
While technology may be changing the face of funerals, it unfortunately can’t lessen the cost. In fact, funerals are only getting more expensive. Those in regional areas will pay less for funerals than those who live in metro areas. The fact still remains though that cremations cost less than funerals. With some even paying close to $20,000 for a funeral.
A number of factors from the cost of burial plots to the increasing price of press notices is driving up the overall cost of funerals. There was a time when a press notice would cost no more than $70. Today a press notice in a local paper will set individuals back well into the three figures. However, something else that isn’t helping the cost of funerals is the fact that large providers are controlling the funeral market.
Having a tough conversation with family
It’s hard to talk about funerals with family as it inevitably brings up the tough topic of death. However, if funeral wishes aren’t spoken about amongst family members, the recently deceased may not get the send-off they had envisioned. With more options than ever when it comes to planning funerals, it’s important to have this conversation with family members.
People on average organize two funerals in their lifetime, so by having direction it makes everyone’s lives easier. According to zero-waste activist Antonia, whether individuals want an environmentally friendly coffin or urn, a coffin that can be drawn on, or to be water cremated, family members won’t know this unless they are told.
As funerals and the components that go towards holding a funeral begin to get more modern, no two funerals will be exactly the same. That’s why treating a funeral like any other major event and having everything planned out is a great way to make sure that personal wishes are fulfilled.
With technology opening up more options than ever when it comes to how funerals are held, talking about personal funeral plans has become increasingly important. Only the individual being farewelled will truly know how they want their funeral to go. That’s why families need to have the hard conversation before it’s too late.
It may seem that technology has made planning funerals harder, however, it’s made them better. With more options than ever, funerals can now become unique and personalized events that send off the departed in the right way. Making it well worth talking with family about funeral plans.
Luke Fitzpatrick has been published in Forbes, Yahoo News and Influencive. He is also a guest lecturer at the University of Sydney, lecturing in Cross-Cultural Management and the Pre-MBA Program.