Gatekeepers and direct funeral critics.

In spite of all the choices on offer to the modern day citizen, there remain those who feel it is their job to steer customers away from the full range of choices available – placing their own agendas above those of the people who come to them for assistance.

Writing on the editorial page (5) of the 9th edition 2017, of More to death, Rosie Inman-Cook, (Natural Death Centre official magazine – UK) reports on feedback received from readers and callers to the NDC helpline.   We suspect that incidents similar to these are taking place in Australia.  Even if they are not, we offer this post as a cautionary note, so that readers will be aware of what can go on when we are not informed of the facts.  It is for this reason that we reprint the extract below:

‘The ignorance of gatekeepers continues to be a frustration. Recent examples:

  • Hospital bereavement support staff denying a family contact with a mortuary regarding a DIY collection, insisting that by law they had to have an undertaker;
  • The manager of an area’s district nurses believing that the dead had to be embalmed, teaching all the nurses under, for years, that this is fact;
  • A funeral firm in London telling a relative that direct cremation is not available in the UK yet. Even thought the lady knew it was and asked for the service by name.

We still have a lot of educating to do!

Lastly. Will some of you lovely celebrants please stop criticising the rise of direct funerals. It may be the case that a ceremony with the deceased present is psychologically important for some, but for 50% of callers to our helpline, wanting direct funeral information, they couldn’t give a fig about having a ceremony and quite often there is no one to attend anyway.

You can still get the job of putting together and facilitating a memorial service for those with a family so please don’t impose your “we know best” attitude.  That is what the funeral directors have done for years!!’

To read the full editorial and other stories in the magazine, log onto:

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