Funerals are now livestreamed — and families are grateful

❝ …There were friends who couldn’t travel and family members who lived too far away to make it in time for the service, which, by Jewish tradition, had to happen as soon as possible. But their chapel had a solution: It livestreamed the funeral, and uploaded a recording of the service to its website shortly after, with a hyperlink prominently displayed in the obituary…

❝ In a culture obsessed with tweeting and Instagramming every moment of life, it’s little surprise that streaming extends to death. Funeral livestreaming services have been around for more than a decade, but the practice has recently exploded in popularity, says Bryant Hightower, president-elect of the National Funeral Directors Association. He estimates that nearly 20 percent of US funeral homes now offer the service — a big number in an industry resistant to change — in response to demand from clients…

Close-felt examples, thoughtful reflection. I’ve always been useless at funerals. I don’t know that I feel emotions any more deeply than anyone else; but, I fail at containing them to the boundaries of what passes for American culture. The last time I flew instantly cross-country for a family funeral I ended up sitting alone in my sister’s home while the rest of my kin attended a wake, then the funeral the next day. My family has learned to accept how I am affected by grief and loss.

That I appear to be outliving most of my peers, close family, doesn’t help. So, they understand. Tell me to stay here in my own home – with my wife to console me directly. I guess I’ll start asking if ceremonies are streamed and/or available after the fact. I’d like to try that.

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