I booked my trip to Seattle in the fall to attend Death Salon. It will be the first time I’ve attend this event where I am not presenting. I am really looking forward to taking in the panels and activities strictly as an attendee this time. I am supposed to renew my funeral director license around the same time and I am hoping the information I learn at this event will re-engage me with the industry. Despite being an outsider-y event, I could really use some help feeling interested in the funeral world as a whole. Lately, I’ve felt exhausted by it.
It’s helpful to admit that I don’t know much about certain things, like pet death care and death with dignity laws so that I can be open to hearing from experts who do. Much of my own exhaustion, truth be told, comes from rejecting guidance from others. It’s a problem I want to be relieved of.
Events like Death Salon are helpful and approachable for industry workers and laypeople alike, as it puts me, a funeral director, in touch immediately with a public response to a perhaps crazy idea, like Katrina Spades post-mortem composting. Other funeral industry events, like the Texas Funeral Director Convention I spoke at in June, are so focused on themselves it is hard to get a sense of how the community will benefit at all from the discussion.
Here are a few events I am looking forward to:
Brian Flowers – Green Burial: The Intersection of Ecology & Ritual
I have been deep in thought around creating a meaningful after death ritual that is specific to green burial. I am curious to see how others are approaching this same idea.
Tanya Marsh – Regulated to Death: Re-Imagining the Funeral Services Market
Tanya has been helpful in answering many of my legal questions over the past year. As we move into a new market with the rise of alternative funeral options and different needs, I am really grateful to be able to hear her talk at length about what this means for the industry and how we can change the laws for the better.
Alternative Deathcare – Jeff Jorgenson in conversation with Nora Menkin
Jeff is an old friend who runs the excellent Elemental Burial and Cremation in Seattle. Nora Menkin runs People’s Mortuary, a non-profit burial service in Seattle. Essentially, my two dream places to work. I am really looking forward to hearing more about the realities of running these business.
Also, I am going to go to a baseball game, which is not a planned activity but I have always wanted to visit SafeCo field and take in a game by the water. Sounds pretty chill as I write this from Texas in July.