‘DIY’ Funerals Gain Media Attention - safnow.org
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‘DIY’ Funerals Gain Media Attention

by | Feb 10, 2016 | Floral Industry News, Sympathy | 0 comments

The New Yorke Caitlin Doughty, who gained national attention for her YouTube series

The New Yorker has termed Caitlin Doughty, who gained national attention for her YouTube series “Ask a Mortician” an “artisanal undertaker.”

DIY weddings? You know them well. But DIY funerals? For a certain, hip set in Los Angeles — and some high-profile publications — those are becoming a trend worth talking about, too.

Both The New York Times and The New Yorker have recently profiled Undertaking LA, a business founded last summer by Amber Carvaly and Caitlin Doughty that caters to people who want to become more involved in “end-of-life rituals, including home funerals and cremations that loved ones can watch, called witness cremations.”

Doughty, who for about two years at Pacific Interment, a mortuary and crematory after graduating from the University of Chicago, considers “her business an ‘alternative funeral service’ that would bring mourners into closer contact with the dead by helping people to tend to corpses at home.” (Doughty first rose to national attention thanks to her popular “Ask a Mortician” video series on YouTube.)

Both stories pin the success so far of Undertaking LA to the high cost of funeral services. The National Funeral Directors Association reports that that national median cost of a funeral and burial arranged through a funeral home for an adult in 2014 was $8,508.

Also motivating some of Undertaking LA’s fans? The desire to be more environmentally friendly. “It goes right along with the whole green movement,” Kateyanne Unullisi, a board member of the National Funeral Home Alliance, a nonprofit educational group, told the Times. “It’s also about reducing cost, but more than anything, it’s the need to be more hands-on.”

Neither story explicitly mentioned floral tributes and memorials. Read more about florists who have partnered successfully with local funeral home directors.

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