Learn the fascinating history of some funeral customs in America and how the profession is changing.
My guest Todd Harra is a 4th generation funeral director, embalmer, post-mortem reconstructionist, and creationist who works for the family funeral business in Wilmington, Delaware. He is also an author of several books including his latest book Last Rites: The Evolution of the American Funeral. He discusses the fascinating history of many funeral customs here in the U.S. and why funerals are important. Learn more at his website:
This episode includes:
- What inspired Todd to work in the family business as a funeral director
- How this career provides lessons in grace and humility
- Common myths and stigmas about the profession of funeral director
- How the funeral industry continues to evolve
- How and why the practice of embalming the dead began in the U.S.
- The history of viewing the body before burial and why it may be helpful for mourners
- The discovery at a Neanderthal burial site of evidence for early funeral practices
- Why funerals are important and a vital step in the grieving process
- When and why to include children in funerals
- How technology will change funerals in the future
- What we need to remember about the history of funerals as we move into the future
Links mentioned in this episode:
- FAC-AZ Annual Meeting in March: Register here (you can attend in person or virtually)
- What Really Matters Podcast
- Previous interviews with funeral directors Caleb Wilde Eric Layer Amy Cunningham and Caitlin Doughty
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