Appy Trails to You

The website for the National Museum of Funeral History offers this encouragement to those considering a visit: “The kids are out of school and it sure is hot in Houston. Don’t sweat it – come visit the museum and stay cool in our air-conditioned facility while enjoying the exhibits!” Should my travels ever take me near Houston, I would love to stop by and see their exhibits on papal funerals and presidential funerals.

In a recent blog post, funeral director Caleb Wilde wrote: “The funeral business is usually about 50 or so years behind the times … mostly because our clientele are … well … our clientele are old. The funeral industry discovered the internet like a year ago and we’re still struggling to find innovative ways to apply it to our customer base.”

Caleb got me thinking. Are there smartphone apps for funerals? Of course there are. One of them is called “Funeral Advice.” It offers answers to frequently asked questions about what to do when faced with the loss of a loved one. It also includes several phrases to use when speaking to those who are mourning the deceased.

A website called My Pocket Funeral provides a template for funeral homes to build their own smartphone apps. Some of the benefits it lists are: “One-touch calling so clients can contact your funeral home directly anytime. Videos of your funeral home can be displayed using a YouTube channel. Family can send photos of grave sites they like, to get a quote.”

An outrageous blog by a mortician named Chrissy mentions the possibility of donating your body to science, including donating it to the Body Farm here in Knoxville. In the post, she describes things that sometimes go missing, such as glass eyes and real toes.

Reading these websites has given me a few ideas for things to mention when I serve as emcee for the next “Dinner with the Bone Doctor” on Monday evening at Echo Bistro & Wine Bar. For $69.95, you get a gourmet meal and a great lecture by renowned forensic anthropologist Dr. Bill Bass. Call (865) 602-2090 or (865) 719-2529 to make reservations.

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