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posted by LaminatorX on Tuesday December 16 2014, @05:24AM   Printer-friendly
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: 2) by VLM on Tuesday December 16 2014, @12:51PM

    by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge 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.

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