Ep. 291 The Right Way of Death: Restoring the American Funeral Business with Eric Layer

Learn how the funeral business needs to evolve to meet the needs of our changing society.

My guest Eric Layer grew up around funeral homes and cemeteries where both of his parents worked. Now as a partner in a marketing advisory firm he has taken a critical look at the funeral business and analyzed what has gone wrong and what is still right within this necessary service industry. He is the author of the book The Right Way of Death: Restoring the American Funeral Business to Its True Calling and shares his insights with us. Learn more at his website:


Get the book here.

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • How the funeral industry has failed to evolve with the rest of society
  • Research on ceremonies and rituals for death around the world
  • Why death rituals are important
  • Dr. J. William Worden’s 4 “tasks” of grief and how funeral homes should help with those tasks
  • Direct cremation and why is it a concerning practice (in light of the tasks of grief)
  • The challenge for funeral directors (and other end-of-life care providers) in dealing with people who are facing the worst crisis of their lives
  • How to legitimately build a business out of work that is also a service to others
  • What is “the right way of death”

Links mentioned in this episode:

  • Get Eric Layer’s book here
  • Book: Grief Counseling and Grief Therapy by J. William Worden
  • Sign up for the 2021 online reading group A Year of Reading Dangerously at this link
  • Support your local bookstore by buying my books on Bookshop and Indiebound: 7 Lessons for Living from the Dying and The Journey from Ego to Soul
  • Subscribe to this podcast on AppleGoogleSpotifyiHeart RadioStitcher Radio
  • Check out the Series I’ve recorded in the past here
  • Join the team at Patreon.com/eolu and get access to the EOLU mug“Mind if we talk about death?” (only Patrons can purchase it). PLUS get our new bonuses: the monthly EOL News Update, movie reviews from 2 Doctors and a Movie, and automatic access to A Year of Reading Dangerously!

If you enjoy this content please share it with others and consider leaving a review on iTunes! Thanks again to all supporters on my page at Patreon.com/eolu, especially my newest supporter Toni Marie Van Aernum! Your contributions make all the difference!

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