Funeral Directors: What Are Your Biggest Changes and Challenges?

Jun 20, 2017 | 0 comments

A Good Goodbye New CoverWhen the award-winning book A Good Goodbye: Funeral Planning for Those Who Don’t Plan to Die was published in 2010, funeral service was quite different. A lot has changed in seven years, and author Gail Rubin, Certified Thanatologist, wants funeral director input for updates to the second edition.

“In November of 2010 when A Good Goodbye first came out, the national cremation rate was still under 50%, death discussion movements like the Death Café and Death Over Dinner had not yet started, and the term ‘celebration of life’ was rarely used. We’ve seen many funeral business changes over the past seven years, and the second edition of the book will reflect those developments,” said Rubin.

“Consider your advice you’d give as a funeral director if you were chatting with a friend over a cup of coffee or a glass of wine,” suggested Rubin. “What would you want that person to know?” Possible topics to weigh in on:

  • The impact of technology developments: mobile phones, online videos, communications apps, webcasting, crowd sourcing, website changes, and online collaboration for distant family members to participate in funeral planning.
  • How you reach out to your community to encourage preneed funeral planning.
  • Your responses to religious and cultural changes: cremation and religious traditions, a rise in multicultural populations and those who identify as “spiritual but not religious.”
  • The growth of pet loss businesses and the use of therapy dogs in funeral homes.
  • Ways your funeral home is addressing the rising cremation rate.

Those who provide quotes and suggestions may be featured in the second edition of A Good Goodbye, slated for release in the fall of 2017. The eBook version will feature links to contributors’ websites.

A Good Goodbye: Funeral Planning for Those Who Don’t Plan to Die provides the information, inspiration and tools to plan and implement creative, meaningful and memorable end-of-life rituals for people and their pets. The book addresses the baby boomer generation with gentle humor on the vital information about funeral arrangements most people don’t learn about until faced with a death in the family. A Good Goodbye was Best of Show winner in the 2011 New Mexico Book Awards, and a finalist in ForeWord Reviews’ 2010 Book of the Year Award.

Gail Rubin speaking, photo by Pete Vidal.

Gail Rubin speaking, photo by Pete Vidal.

Gail Rubin, CT, is a pioneering death educator who works with companies and organizations to connect with baby boomers concerned about end-of-life issues. A featured speaker at TEDxABQ in 2015, she’s the author of three books on end-of-life issues, including her latest title, KICKING THE BUCKET LIST: 100 Downsizing and Organizing Things to Do Before You Die.

She’s a Certified Funeral Celebrant and writes The Family Plot Blog as well as articles for funeral trade publications. Gail Rubin was one of the first people to host a Death Café in the United States, and she is coordinating the inaugural “Before I Die” Albuquerque festival October 20-24, 2017.

To provide your thoughts on changes in funeral service today, contact Gail Rubin by email, or call 505.265.7215 to arrange an interview.

Find more information online at

A Good Goodbye