Friday, November 19, 2010

Urns & Outs - November, 2010

Early this summer, I was asked by the Landmarks Association of St. Louis to come to their city to give a lecture about the Missouri Crematory for members and friends of the Association. Over the next few months, I spent many hours compiling a lecture about not only the Missouri Crematory, but about the other Crematories in St. Louis, along with a brief history of the Cremation movement in America.

The lecture took place this past October, and went very well. I spoke for about 40 minutes on the topic of Cremation’s history; but I was very surprised at the end of the lecture when the time came for questions from those in attendance. The question time ran well over a half hour, and even more time was spent after we adjourned in discussing with attendees. The surprise: only ONE question was asked about the history of the Cremation. The rest of the questions were about modern Cremation practices and what “one does” when Cremation is their preference. There was also quite a lot of talk and commendation about a well-known St. Louis Cremation provider, and the number of commercials and amount of information they’ve provided.

Here was an event that was meant to be about the history of the rite of Cremation and how it relates to St. Louis, but GENERAL questions about today’s Cremation practices came flooding in! That makes a statement: ALL of us, as Cremation providers need to step up to the plate and have open forums about a rite that is obviously under-discussed. Where is the Cremation information that is received by the families that your firm serves coming from? If it isn’t YOUR FIRM, you are not doing everything you can to serve the needs of your community. I encourage you to reach out and make yourself the reference, not just the referenced!

Much of the information shared in the lecture was related only to the history of Cremation. I will know for the future that when a similar opportunity arises, the focus shouldn’t only be on where we’ve been, but where we are headed.

At least, that’s my perspective…
~ Jason