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posted by LaminatorX on Tuesday December 16 2014, @05:24AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the telepresence dept.

Lex Berko writes in The Atlantic that although webcasting has been around since the mid-1990s, livestreamed funerals have only begun to go mainstream in the last few years and the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) has only this year introduced a new funeral webcasting license that permits funeral homes to legally webcast funerals that include copyrighted music. The webcast service’s growing appeal is, by all accounts, a result of the increasing mobility of modern society. Remote participation is often the only option for those who live far away or have other barriers—financial, temporal, health-related—barring them from attending a funeral. “It’s not designed to replace folks attending funerals,” says Walker Posey. “A lot of folks just don’t live where their family grew up and it’s difficult to get back and forth.” But some funeral directors question if online funerals are helpful to the grieving process and eschew streaming funerals live because they do not want to replace a communal human experience with a solitary digital one. What happens if there’s a technical problem with the webcast—will we grieve even more knowing we missed the service in person and online? Does webcasting bode well for the future of death acceptance or does it only promote of our further alienation from that inevitable moment? “The physical dead body is proof of death, tangible evidence that the person we love is gone, and that we will someday be gone as well,” says Caitlin Doughty, a death theorist and mortician. “To have death and mourning transferred online takes away that tangible proof. What is there to show us that death is real?”

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  • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 16 2014, @08:40AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 16 2014, @08:40AM (#126437)

    Do you like money? If you like money like I like money, you don't have any time to watch your family die out! You're too busy chasing that money! You gotta go where the money is, bro, and leave your family to rot. Rot and die and be a cheap funeral. Don't bother starting your own family, either. They'll just spend your money. And you like MONEY. Money is for WINNERS. Winners who aren't reproducing, no, and you know what happens when you don't reproduce, bro? You are EXTINCT. But the MONEY IS THE IMPORTANT THING. It's how you keep SCORE, bro, so EVERYBODY KNOWS you're a WINNER.

  • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 16 2014, @09:01AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 16 2014, @09:01AM (#126441)

    Hey Hugh, pick a news aggregation site and submit to it. We don't need to read the same minor piece here, at /., and at |..

    ktxbye

  • (Score: 1) by lentilla on Tuesday December 16 2014, @10:28AM

    by lentilla (1770) on Tuesday December 16 2014, @10:28AM (#126447)

    It seems saddest to me that the greatest challenge facing bringing a grieving family together utilising the best technology available to humanity today is over licensing of the music played.

  • (Score: 2) by mendax on Tuesday December 16 2014, @11:04AM

    by mendax (2840) on Tuesday December 16 2014, @11:04AM (#126450)

    I thought the point of funerals was to allow those who knew the deceased to gather physically and share one's griefs and memories rather than give the corpse a send off. Somehow a webcast just doesn't cut it. But since this is the 21st century of digital technology is invading everything I can think of some other areas where tech can be used in the death industry:

    • A coffin cam with LCD lighting can be used to monitor the deceased to make sure he remains dead and watch the progression of decomposition. It can also watch the prophesy of Ezekiel come true as the bones comes together and rise up.
    • A crematorium cam can be used to monitor the burning of the corpse.
    • An intelligent Twitter bot that tweets those twits those listening to the deceased's tweets about his passage through Purgatory.

    I'm sure there are many other ideas Soylenters can come up with. However, for myself, I think what I'd like is a webcasted funeral orgy be held in my memory, complete with Roman garb. As for my body, I'd like it to be turned into pate and fed to Congress.

    --
    It's really quite a simple choice: Life, Death, or Los Angeles.
    • (Score: 2) by VLM on Tuesday December 16 2014, @12:51PM

      by VLM (445) on Tuesday December 16 2014, @12:51PM (#126473)

      Somehow a webcast just doesn't cut it.

      Nobody is talking about TV coverage of famous people funerals in the context of this web streaming. Reagan, Princess Diana, that sort of thing.

      I guess I'm seeing this as TV coverage for merely sorta famous people and distant relatives. So I got cousins in the oil biz in Louisiana since the 70s and if one died I'm likely not flying to New Orleans for a funeral for some dude I only met once at a reunion in 1987. But, maybe, if its not too inconvenient, I might spy in on the funeral remotely over the internet. Maybe. The big problem is going to be the implied social snub of prioritization. What if my sister actually flies to N.O. because at this time of year the worst weather there is better than the best weather here. Or everyone who interacts with me online knows I only showed up online because I had nothing better to do at that moment.

      If you really want to see something hilarious online related to funerals, wait till you see a womens hen party flame-fest because someone found out ole uncle so and so died on facebook instead of being personally called or seeing the bat symbol projected onto the clouds or whatever other BS (basically wanna fight and looking for any excuse, women style) Been there, seen that, and its comedy gold.

      However, for myself, I think what I'd like is a webcasted funeral orgy be held in my memory, complete with Roman garb.

      Hmm yes if you ever open a funeral home, check back in.

    • (Score: 1) by Buck Feta on Tuesday December 16 2014, @02:42PM

      by Buck Feta (958) on Tuesday December 16 2014, @02:42PM (#126499) Journal

      Just set Grandpa's Facebook status to Dead and have him cremated.

      --
      - fractious political commentary goes here -
    • (Score: 2) by gidds on Friday December 19 2014, @11:39AM

      by gidds (589) on Friday December 19 2014, @11:39AM (#127444)

      I thought the point of funerals was to allow those who knew the deceased to gather physically and share one's griefs and memories rather than give the corpse a send off.

      Yes, and so physical presence is much better, for all the reasons you and others have said.

      But it's not always possible.

      I speak from experience of a few weeks ago, when a member of my extended family died after a long illness.  One of his children lives in a distant country and was unable to visit, having already having used more than a years' worth of leave from her new job to see him while he was still alive.  She was able to join in the informal memorial gathering via an iPad, and while of course it wasn't as good as being there, she said it was a real comfort to feel part of things nonetheless.

      --
      [sig redacted]
  • (Score: 2) by LoRdTAW on Tuesday December 16 2014, @08:44PM

    by LoRdTAW (3755) on Tuesday December 16 2014, @08:44PM (#126613) Journal

    My grandfather did it best. Strait into the fire and that was that. No wakes, services at churches, rides in limos to cemetery, dinners etc. Just right from the VA hospital to the crematorium. He also made it clear that no service be held for him at a church as he was an atheist.

    I would want the same. I dont want people standing over my corpse in a casket. I did that for my other grandparents, father, uncle and closest friend who died is a car wreck. I dont like it and I would prefer everyone grieve in their own way and move on.