Frozen Potatoes & Questionable Math | 4M #98
Welcome to the ninety-eighth edition of Morticians’ Monday Morning Mashup, 4M #98, where we’ll serve up bite-sized, easily-digestible nuggets of the deathcare news you need to crush conversations in the week ahead. Bon appetit!
This newsletter is powered by MemoryShare, a funeral livestreaming platform that you can set up in 30 seconds or less.
The only time you’ll see the word “Funeral” in the frozen food section
If you’re lucky (LOL) enough to have a Walmart in your neighborhood, you may now be able to purchase a bag of easy-to-prepare Funeral Potatoes (4 out of 5 stars in 60 reviews)! Yes, this nifty product just appeared on my radar, and I can’t wait to try them. Here’s the product description: “The Augason Farms Funeral Potatoes traditional casserole has become a pleasing favorite at funeral luncheons, church gatherings, family dinners and holiday meals. All the essential ingredients to create a hearty, classic dish are right here in one convenient package. Make it your own by garnishing with corn flakes, breadcrumbs, bacon, jalapenos and more.”
China’s got some ‘splaining to do
The Economist is concerned about China’s cremation numbers. A recent article is questioning data released on July 13 by the Zhejiang province, which showed that cremations were up by 73% year-over-year in the first quarter of 2023. The Economist extrapolates that the increase, which seems to represent about 1.6 million excess deaths, is due to a wave of COVID deaths, as China lifted its COVID protocols in December. However, they report, the government “has acknowledged fewer than 84,000 deaths from COVID on the mainland since early December.” Interestingly, the article says the data from the province has since been removed from the Internet. Hmmm…
That’s 60 REALLY big ones
Two sisters are suing a New York funeral home for $60 million dollars after the company admitted to burying the wrong person in the sisters’ father’s grave, and in their father’s favorite Led Zeppelin shirt, no less. According to one report, the funeral director dismissed the sisters’ concerns when they questioned the body’s autopsy scars (their father didn’t undergo an autopsy) and the lack of facial hair (the director said standard practice was to shave everybody). The director later acknowledged their error, but said the mix-up actually occurred at a funeral home in South Carolina, which arranged the transport of the body to New York. They also said the family confirmed identification of the body at the cemetery.
Anything is art these days
In 2021, an Ontario family of four purchased a four-story, 14,000-square-foot former funeral home to convert into their personal living space. Built in the 1870s, the home boasts 38 rooms, including two libraries, 10 bedrooms, and a cigar lounge. According to a recent piece in Business Insider, the family has tried hard to preserve many of the deathcare-related items they’ve found in the space, including the transport box in the image above, which they framed for all to see.
Say goodbye to Facebook
If you’re using Facebook for live streaming, does this sound familiar?
- Copyrighted music is silenced (even with proper certifications!)
- Advertisements out of your control pop up during the livestream
- It’s difficult for families to access because it requires a Facebook account
This is why Carlton Stevens Jr., Operations Manager and Mortician at Stevens Funeral Home in North Carolina, said goodbye to Facebook and switched to MemoryShare—a live streaming platform built specifically for funeral professionals.
“Now, families don’t have to worry about Facebook accounts. It works, and it’s easy to use,” Carlton said. “It’s the best, I’m telling you. It’s liquid gold.”
After he started offering live streaming during the pandemic, Carlton saw Stevens Funeral Home call volume bump from 20 calls to 41 calls.
Today, Stevens Funeral Home live streams a service every other day.
And with MemoryShare, all they have to do is push a button.
“It’s a no brainer,” Carlton said.
Read how Carlton is using livestreaming to grow his business in our latest case study—click here to read it!