As the Doyenne of Death, I’m committed to introducing new developments in the funeral field to the public. Here are a few highlights of interesting new technologies introduced at the 2013 International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association (ICCFA) convention and expo.
A Simple Thank You
The idea of sending thank you notes after a funeral can be overwhelming to grieving families. A Simple Thank You enables the funeral home to help the families they serve while building preneed business.
A Simple Thank You is an iPad app that takes the place of a hand-written registry at visitations, funerals or memorial services. The app makes the guest book readable and creates a database. The software can be used to generate mailing labels, thank you cards and a memory book about the event.
The funeral home uses the software to create thank you cards and envelopes for those who enter their information. The family simply signs the card, stamps the envelope and drops it in the mail.
Attendees can opt-in to be contacted by the funeral home about pre-need planning. Often when people attend the funeral of a friend or family member, that’s when they are most likely to consider pre-planning for themselves.
A Touch From Beyond and Memory Vessels
Toni Noel created A Touch From Beyond greeting cards so those who know they are going to die can send a healing note to those they love after their deaths. “It’s never too late to say how you feel,” she explained.
Noel also created Memory Vessels, heart-shaped pendants that come apart to reveal a storage compartment for tiny mementos and a two-gigabyte USB drive. The drive can store photos, videos, stories, and all manner of digital memories. The information can be accessed on a computer any time someone wants to share and remember.
DNA Preservation Kits
SecuriGene created a groundbreaking DNA preservation kit that allows a family to keep a DNA sample at room temperature indefinitely, without cryogenic storage fees. DNA contains valuable information about a person’s ancestry, health, and other traits.
Since morticians are often the last people in contact with the deceased, it makes sense for SecuriGene to attend a convention for funeral directors. They have the last opportunity to collect and bank DNA before cremation destroys the body. Banking enables families to save genetic information that would otherwise be lost.
DNA is collected from a sample of saliva. SecuriGene processes the sample and returns it extracted, purified, and preserved, triple-sealed inside a stylish stainless-steel tube. It’s a unique added service that funeral homes can offer their families.
Why not go out with a blast from the past? Parting Shots can provide an honorary military salute or shoot cremated remains from a cannon!
Tomm Tomlinson and his partner Lawrence Campbell manufacture their own cannons and provide the personnel, in costume if desired, to do a big send-off salute.
They’ve shot cannons at events up and down the East Coast for years. With the personalization of funerals, they thought, “Why not try this?” The funeral directors at the 2013 ICCFA Expo were very interested.
Gail Rubin, The Doyenne of Death®, is author of the award-winning book, A Good Goodbye: Funeral Planning for Those Who Don’t Plan to Die. She hosts a television/DVD interview series, A Good Goodbye TV and Internet radio program at RockStarRadioNetwork.com. A popular speaker, she uses humorous film and TV clips to help start funeral planning conversations. Her website is www.AGoodGoodbye.com.
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