Planning for your own death, and getting acquainted with what is traditional and newly possible in funeral service enables you to face your own mortality with courage and focus on what your life has been all about. Sadly, for people who postpone funeral discussions, their survivors are then confronted with huge decisions involving thousands of dollars as they hold Kleenex in their hands. Join journalist and NY licensed funeral director Amy Cunningham for a riveting (even fun!) presentation on trends within the $16 billion funeral business. Topics covered include how to make a cremation more meaningful, the differences between a green burial and a traditional one, the usefulness of a burial shroud, plus a run-down of service costs and options including a funeral in the home, casket in church, urn in church, committal prayers at gravesite or crematory chapel, witnessed cremation. We'll touch upon digital obituaries, "life letters" to loved ones, eulogies, full body donation to medical science, and organ donation. After all that, we'll have time for questions. In the end, you’ll get a glimmer of what funerals customs and products from the past should be preserved, and what can be jettisoned—and you'll leave with some planning resources for yourself or for someone you love.
Amy Cunningham is a licensed funeral director and owner of the Brooklyn firm Fitting Tribute Funeral Services. She specializes in simple burials within the NYC- Metropolitan area and upstate, home funerals, and cremation services at Green-Wood Cemetery's crematory chapels in Brooklyn. Amy was profiled by the New York Times, and was named one of nine top funeral innovators by FuneralOne, a leading voice for change in the funeral industry. She majored in English at the University of Virginia and holds a mortuary degree from the American Academy McAllister Institute.