If I Die - Facebook

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Imagine scrolling through Facebook one morning and spotting a status update from an old friend stating she had passed away the night before.

Then imagine clicking through and getting a message from beyond the grave: famous last words about their regrets, victories and defeats. Or maybe a final paean to an old flame?
Though it sounds morbid, experts say a growing number of Internet users are confronting their own mortality, both online and off.
"I've heard it's becoming more and more common to leave social media account passwords in wills," says Samantha Collier, who operates a social media consultancy business.
"Some people want to make sure their accounts don't get hacked or have personal information stolen, and others want to leave pictures and/or music to their family."
Collier, who specializes in legal matters, was recently asked to "immortalize" a Facebook account for a client whose family member suddenly passed away -- which freezes the profile but allows friends to leave messages and comments in memorium.
"When someone's profile is immortalized, it can't be logged into and many personal details are kept private," says Collier. "They no longer show up in your 'suggested friends' for obvious reasons. Their profiles are only viewable to their current friends, too."
But users can go a step further, too, with Facebook applications like If I Die.
In basic terms, the app allows Facebook users to record or write a final message -- via webcam or through text -- and assign three administrators.
Once the person dies, those three administrators can then publicly post the pre-recorded death message to the profile.
"I personally think it is a good idea, since only those who truly see value in the service, will choose to use it. The more options and flexibility for individuals, the better," says Jeff Quipp, who runs an Internet marketing business.
According to some estimates, there are as many as 1.78 million dead users on Facebook. Other estimates say that up to three Facebook users die each minute.
"When a family is grieving, shutting down a loved one's social networks is probably the last thing they'd want to do," Quipp said in an email to CTVNews.ca.

Choosing a Funeral Home

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Choosing a Funeral Home

Funeral homes came through an interesting evolution from their humble beginnings in the mid-19th Century. Originally responsible for the preservation and shipment of Civil War dead, they grew along with the westward expansion of our nation. The 'undertaker' later became a fulltime job, rather than just something else a barber or merchant did in the community, and once this name became the butt of jokes, they started calling themselves 'morticians'. Half-way through the 20th Century this again changed to 'funeral director', which is where you find the profession today.

A parallel line of ownership has evolved as well. As little as a quarter century ago, when a full funeral with burial could still be had for a few hundred dollars, virtually all funeral homes were owned by individuals and families. Today, over fifteen percent of all funeral homes, and an even greater percentage of 'for profit' cemeteries and crematories, are owned by large corporations, but this percentage is deceiving. Fully one-in-four funerals is conducted by a corporate-owned funeral home, because most of the 'high-traffic' homes have been bought out. This bodes poorly for the consumer because corporations ... ALL corporations ... tend to be more concerned with stockholders and earnings than they are with the families they serve.

The first step in funeral planning, particularly if you find yourself at-need, is to get a friend by your side. This should be someone who is somewhat removed from the deceased, so the friend's emotions will not be a factor. It should also be someone whose judgement you trust and, preferably, someone who has been through the arrangement process in the recent past.
This friend should be someone who has the strength of character to say 'NO' or at least 'Not YET', to keep you from being pressured into hasty decisions. We would have little respect for anyone who walked onto a used car lot and said to the salesman, "Just give me what you think I need, and make it nice.", and yet this is precisely what many families do at the funeral home. One of our researchers, working undercover so to speak, hired into a funeral home and underwent training as a Grief Counselor, which is a death care industry euphemism for SALESMAN. This training consisted of one day, with heavy emphasis on getting the family to say those magic words YOU do it. The grief portion of the training consisted of learning how to speak in hushed tones, when to push a box of tissues across the desk and little else. At Tough Times we work hard to NOT join the list of Salesman out there. We ensure that your family needs are taken care of and have a genuine concern for ALL our clients. Contact us today for ALL your funeral needs by
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