4 Reasons People Miss Funerals and How You Can Help
By Tyler Ward, Digital Sales Manager
Funerals are a bit like weddings.
Families plan once-in-a-lifetime events to honor loved ones…
They personalize the smallest details to ensure the event is unique…
People feel a range of emotions when in attendance, from laughter to tears…
And there is always someone who can’t make it to the service.
Luckily, there’s livestreaming technology. With it, those who can’t attend can still show their support for their friends and loved ones by attending virtually. In fact, livestreaming a wedding should be an option for guests who RSVP “no,” according to Brides.com.
This same technology can be used in your funeral home when people can’t attend a funeral, no matter the reason.
I’ll cover 4 common reasons people have and share how livestreaming can help you improve your service to these individuals.
Help those who don’t live in the area
It’s not surprising to hear someone say, “My family and I don’t live in the same town/state.”
In fact, Passare did a study in 2011 that showed families are more dispersed than ever. In an article they wrote in 2020, they said:
“There’s no debate here: more people are moving away from home than ever before. This usually means that when someone dies (parents, grandparents, or family members), friends and extended family are thousands of miles away…”
But just because someone lives far away doesn’t mean they won’t travel to a funeral. Based on a recent consumer study we did, 69% of participants said they’d attend a funeral if it was 100+ miles away.
In short, most would try to make it, especially if they don’t live in the area. But the next reason might be preventing them from doing so.
Help those who don’t have money to cover travel expenses
Have you ever had to plan a trip on short notice?
There’s the cost of travel expenses: plane tickets, train tickets, car rental, Uber costs, gas money, etc.
Then, you have the cost of a motel or hotel for a day or two. Or three.
Lastly, there’s the cost of food for the time you’ll be traveling, including breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner per person.
All of this can amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars the further away you travel and how long you stay. This amount might not be a huge expense for some, but it is for the average American.
Most Americans don’t have disposable income or enough in savings to cover the cost of a last-minute trip. According to the Federal Reserve, the average American savings account balance is $5,300. If someone were to spend even $1,000 dollars on travel to a funeral, that would be 20% of their savings.
But let’s say someone has the money to cover travel expenses. There’s one more reason that might be holding them back from attending a funeral.
Help those with little to no bereavement leave
According to this Business Insider article, the bereavement leave employees receive from any given company is 1-5 days. The average bereavement policy is 3 days.
Not only does that limit their travel time, but they might not even be able to take time off to mourn their loved one. And we both know it takes longer than 1-3 days to grieve a loss. Not to mention, if multiple loved ones die in a year, that person needs another way to attend the funeral.
Why not provide an option that allows people to say goodbye from anywhere?
Help those who didn’t know the deceased very well but want to pay respects
Unlike weddings (which are invite only), many funerals are open to anyone who wants to pay respects to the deceased. That means they’re not limited to friends and families.
Last year, my boss’ mother passed away. I didn’t know her personally, but I wanted to show support for my boss on a difficult day. Luckily, he decided to livestream the event because I was able to attend the service online and be there for him, even though I was hours away.
Maybe you’ve been in a similar situation. Maybe a coworker’s loved one passed away. A distant relative. A friend of a friend. With livestreaming, you open the door for more people to show support and say goodbye (but you can always make the service private if a family chooses).
BONUS: Help those who want to mourn and say goodbye
Earlier, I mentioned a consumer study we did, which you can download here. Based on the results, 42% of people are comfortable attending a funeral online via livestream – that’s a 121% increase in the last decade.
Livestreaming helps people mourn and being the process of grieving the loved one. It’s an incredible option for those who don’t live in the same town where the funeral will be held, those who can’t afford to travel on short notice, those who’s bereavement leave policies aren’t so generous, and those who didn’t know the deceased very well but want to pay respects.
But I’ve also heard people say this about livestreaming and their families:
“If people want to be there, they’ll attend.”
If you’ve ever had this thought, I want you to consider this:
How many families do you think wish they could have attended in person but couldn’t due to an unexpected reason?
How many more families would’ve appreciated the option to attend virtually?
Why wouldn’t you want to give everyone at least the option to attend a service to mourn a loved one?
One of our customers, Bryan, decided to give livestreaming a try with us, and this is what happened after his first service:
“After my very first service with Encore, I got a phone call from a family member who was crying and so happy she was able to attend all the way from Pennsylvania.”
All families should have the option to attend funerals to mourn and honor loved ones. But it’s inevitable that a reason or two can prevent them from being there in person.
You can provide a virtual option for them with livestreaming.
And maybe even get a few happy phone calls like Bryan did.
Request a livestreaming demo today!
Want to learn more about livestreaming for your funeral home?
Learn more benefits of livestreaming here.
Discover how to introduce livestreaming to your families.