Funerals Adapt to Cyber Communication

by M-Gillies

Next, webcasting with two-way communication will be made available so someone who is unable to be there will still have the ability to speak at the funeral.

Not since cremation entered the scene as an alternative source for funerary options, there’s been a noticeable shift in how the funeral industry is offering its services, one that is threatening how the funeral service providers will conduct business for future generations.

With baby boomers heading into their mid 60s, the views of death and the celebratory memorial service that follows are becoming less conventional than the traditional services held by past generations. With this juggernaut of change, funeral service providers are preparing themselves to meet the increasing demands of the public at large – the customization and personalization of funerals.

These days, it isn’t enough for a funeral service provider to organize a family’s funeral the traditional way, which included a regiment of wake, service, burial and family gathering – instead, more and more people are opting to have a little life put into their service – with this kind of demand, funeral service providers are facilitating these requests with green burial products and cremation urns, personalized caskets emblazoned with engravings and images, and even modifications and customizations.

And while these are only a small number of recent changes occurring in the funeral industry, there has been enormous consideration toward the impact of the technologically driven lifestyles of the newest generation. With the evolution of technology becoming more ubiquitous, from social media’s easing the comfort levels and encouraging the publication of daily activities online, today’s market place is being forced to adapt or die. So, what if the two components were combined? How could death possibly be integrated into the cyber-software of the internet?

Funeral webcasting is how.

In the last decade, funeral webcasting has become an optional service offered by funeral homes as a simple and practical solution for the needs of a grieving family. With funeral webcasting being used in Hong Kong, India and the Philippines, it shouldn’t be a wonder that the trend isn’t starting to catch on.

While the idea may seem rather inappropriate, perhaps even morbid, the benefits of funeral webcasting have proven advantageous for those family members who are scattered across the globe and others who, due to financial restraints are unable to travel a great distance to show their support to their loved ones in mourning.

So what exactly is funeral webcasting and how does it truly benefit the bereaved?

Simply put, funeral webcasting is similar to a practice some funeral directors provide where copies of the funeral service on DVD are sent to friends and family who could not attend the service. These tribute DVDs also serve as a remembrance for immediate family who were in attendance. However, to further personalize the experience, funeral webcasting allows a live feed to be sent via internet to people who cannot attend in person. With the viewer linked to a private website, they are able to participate virtually in the final celebration of life of a friend or relative.

While funeral webcasting allows those who are great distances away an opportunity to view the funeral other benefits include:

  • Anyone who cannot attend in person can still participate in the celebration of the life of a loved one;
  • Funeral webcasting allows families to come together at a time of mourning, even when someone cannot be there in person.
  • The fact that people are watching and listening could even be included in the service as in thanking so-and-so for being able to join them through the web.
  • This opportunity also allows for members not in attendance to share their personal memories in their own words.

While not everyone in the family is going to be comfortable with the funeral being webcasted, family members should be aware that unlike wedding photographers, the camera is unobtrusive, their participation in real time will be a solace for those who cannot attend the service and the resulting DVD will remain a tribute for the immediate family.

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