As we’re moving away from an agrarian culture, parents and children alike are becoming more and more unfamiliar with death. We no longer live with our grandparents and watch as they go through the last phases of life. We no longer have numerous animals that can provide that vital teaching moment for children about the circle of life.
And — alas — despite the internet rumblings, there is no such thing as a “Funeral Director LEGO play set.”
Since few of us live on farms and few of us live in the company of multiple generations, we need new teaching moments where we can teach our children about the circle of life.
Here’s some possible (humorous) teaching moments and some appropriate teaching moment explanations from our modern day experiences:
1.) The death of VHS for DVD, or DVD for Blue-Ray: “Son, it’s time to recycle the VCR. The plastic and metal will go back to their makers and will be formed into something new and better.”
2.) The death of an old computer: “It was struggling … it was just for the best. It could barely even process a word document. It was time for it to go to a better place, where it will find rest from it’s struggles.
3.) If You Use the Old Parts from the Dead Computer: “Now sometimes when people die, they decide to give their good parts to people who can uses them. Just like this Dead Computer donated it’s DVD drive to our new computer, so some people like to donate their organs — like their eyes, heart, kidney and skin — to other people who can uses them.”
4.) Upgrading a TV: “Do you see how the old TV is replaced by the new TV? When we die we’ll turn in our old rabbit ears body and we’ll get a clearer view and more channels because we’re be plugged into a better network!”
5.) Changing Gaming Systems: “Son, remember how hard it was to get rid of the PS2? And how difficult it was to accept the NEW games of the PS3 … how unfamiliar it was? But now, what do you like better: the PS2 or the PS3? See how that works. We get used to this world and we might be scared of the next world, but once we get to the new world we’ll never want to go back!”
6.) Cell phones trade-ins: “Can you see ‘the network’? No, but you know it’s there! Do you understand ‘the network?’ No, but you believe it exists. You’re like a cell phone that’s connected. You might not know how, but someday your outer shell will die, but your soul … just like your SIM card … is still living and connected and will get a new better body!”
7.) Upgrading to a new Windows Platform: “Son, God is not like Microsoft. Microsoft tried to tell us that the new ‘Vista’ was the best yet, but it sucked. When God gives us a new body, it will actually work better than the one we have now. And, when God says, ‘To the Cloud’ it too will have a whole different meaning.” Which causes me to think, “Maybe I should switch to Mac so that I have better tech analogies for my children … hmmm”
There are some of my “teaching movements” through dead tech examples … you have any?
The funeral business is usually about 50 or so years behind the times … mostly because our clientele are … well … our clientele are old.
The funeral industry discovered the internet like a year ago and we’re still struggling to find innovative ways to apply it to our customer base.
While embroidery has been around for like ever, we just started embroidering caskets about five years. So, we are now pleased to offer caskets such as this:
In case you couldn’t tell, those beautifully designed flowers are in fact roses. We’re still working on a better depiction of the rose, but you get the idea ….
Over the past week, nothing has divided America like this soundbite from Chick-Fil-A President Dan Cathy:
“We are very much supportive of the family—the biblical definition of the family unit,” Cathy told the Baptist Press. “We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.”
It seems everybody has weighed in on Cathy’s words. Mike Huckabee and Billy Graham organized a Chick-Fil-A “Appreciation Day” where numerous conservatives rallied in support of the chicken sandwich by purchasing Chick-Fil-A fast food. While the LGBTQ community counterprotested with a “Kiss In”.
Twitter, Facebook has been abuzz with people taking sides. Everybody has had something to say … everybody except the funeral industry.
Times are changing. Instead of us being 50 years behind, today, I’m proud to say that we’re only about a week behind with the release of the “Cathy Casket”. Pick your position in support of the traditional family by purchasing a beautiful metal casket embroidered with the emblem of your conservative values. Who says you can’t take your favorite family values, fast food restaurant logo with you?
This casket comes in sizes “Medium”, “Large” and — for those who support conservative values on a daily basis — “Super Size”.
If you are member of the LGBTQ community, the funeral industry is proud to introduce to you the “NOH8 Casket”. While the beautiful metal casket below is displayed in white, you can rest in peace knowing that this lovely piece of artwork comes in every color of the rainbow. You’ve fought hard for your identity, so why shouldn’t you bring that identity to your grave in the “NOH8″? The funeral industry is here to serve everyone, so stand against the bullies like Dan Cathy and vote with your casket. Remember: A traditional funeral doesn’t equal traditional values.
And in other news, we landed on Mars this morning. Wait with bated breath as the funeral industry develops a response to that epic accomplishment through a wonderful new Mars themed urn. Coming to a local funeral home near you.
Apparently, this past Saturday was National Funeral Director Appreciation Day.
I didn’t know the day existed. And apparently — judging by my lack of appreciation cards, loving facebook messages and twitter shout-outs — nobody else realized that they were to take time out for their day to recognize their local funeral service person.
It’s okay, though. I’m not hurt. Really. I don’t have feelings. (Wipes tears from eyes)
While no “civilians” remembered how awesome we f.d.s are, one of my fellow funeral associates from New Jersey DID send me some love. I met Angelia Ryan on a trip to the Mecca of the Funeral Industry: Batesville, Indiana. She tagged me in the lovely diagram below, which shows the “Id” of the funeral directors mind.
Yes, we appear professional by repressing said “Id”. And most of us use great professionalism to repress said “id”. But when the ego is pulled away, this pretty accurately represents what’s going on inside our brains. I’m not trying to be mean … but, yeah, this is some of the stuff we think.
Even the great Sigmund Freud couldn’t have drawn this analysis up any better: