CNBC Shows ‘Death: It’s a Living’ Tonight

Jan 31, 2013 | 0 comments

Tyler Mathisen at NFDA 2012

CNBC’s Tyler Mathisen at NFDA 2012 Convention Expo

The funeral blogs are all a-twitter about tonight’s CNBC documentary “Death: It’s a Living.” It airs at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT, with CNBC’s Tyler Mathisen going inside the $17 billion-a-year “death care” industry.

Here’s the PR info from CNBC:

Death isn’t just a certainty — it’s an industry, where sympathy and profits go hand in hand. In this one-hour documentary, CNBC tells the fascinating story of a business, which everyone confronts yet few understand.

Did you know that casket sales rise during cold and flu season, or that a new breed of entrepreneurs can transport your cremated remains aboard a rocket ship? With a fast-paced and engaging approach, CNBC’s Tyler Mathisen profiles the professionals who earn their living bringing people from here… to the hereafter.

The documentary goes behind the scenes of the increasingly corporate-owned business of funeral homes, explaining a tradition critics say is commercially created and designed to pump up profits. It explores the huge rise in cremation and uncovers some unconventional ways to say goodbye, whether at sea or in space.

CNBC follows a traveling salesman who peddles caskets, with new models that have been widened to keep pace with rising obesity rates. And, it goes inside the strange business of cemeteries: real estate entities where the land, and new income, inevitably run out but the pricey promise to maintain every gravesite remains.

The documentary takes you to Charlotte, NC, where 6,000 funeral professionals have put their consoling on hold for the industry event of the year—the annual gathering of the National Funeral Directors Association.  CNBC takes viewers on a fascinating tour among hundreds of exhibitors showing off the latest and greatest advances in the death care industry, from automated body lifters to biodegradable urns.

But, can this industry, steeped in tradition and facing profound changes, reinvent itself for a generation that’s demanding new ways to deal with the departed and celebrate their lives? Viewers will find out everything they didn’t know about the business of death.

It’s always good to learn more about this fascinating industry! Here are links to video snippets from the program to whet your appetite:

Saying Goodbye with a Splash – Eternal Reefs for cremated remains

Inside the Aurora Casket Company – fancy caskets!

A 21st Century Burial – about alkaline hydrolysis

How Embalming Works – behind-the-scenes info!

A Good Goodbye