Sunday, November 27, 2011


Please enjoy this while you read, it makes me sit and think.
 “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, ‘Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.’ ”

(Luke 2:8-14)

Christmas is coming!
I wish no ill will on anyone or their desire to help others, lets just be honest about why we do it and the drive behind our efforts.
This is one of the busiest times of the year for businesses, corporate and independent, large and small. This also includes the funeral industry. Now granted, no one can predict death to make it possible for the funeral industry to market its services at Christmas more reasonable over any other time of year. There is really nothing joyful or festive surrounding the death of a family member or friend. Quite the contrary, it is difficult.
So those in the industry sat down and put their heads together and tried to create a plan that could best market and serve the funeral industry. This through the loss of a family member or friend, focusing the families tragic loss around Christmas time. This is what they came up with.
I will break this plan down for you, and how this best serves the owner of a funeral home or corporate interests:
Pre-Need Funeral Insurance
Christmas is the best marketing opportunistic time of the year for a funeral homes pre-need program, especially if you experienced a death over the last year.  YOU are vulnerable, emotional, lonely and a target, be guarded.
Pre-need, what is that? What good could it possibly be other than to provide payment for services when the insured individual dies. Pre-need funeral insurance are NUMBERS! In the funeral industry, those numbers are guaranteed business, AND also increase the value of the funeral home should the owners decide to sell or should a buyer be looking at the funeral home, they would ask to look at the pre-need files that are on hand to see if those numbers would make it worth the $850,000 that the seller was asking for, if that.
A local funeral home the next town over sold to a corporation for a great deal of money, why? The location was not very nice, it was never open BUT! The pre-need files were of great value due to how many there were and the cost of each service. Remember, pre-need funeral insurance, this is the great “Black Friday” of the funeral industry.
Now lets talk about the memorial services that each funeral home will put on and why exactly they will do this and spend so much to impress you.
The Christmas Remembrance Ceremony
A vast majority of those that have Memorial Services in their facilities do not do this with a desire to assist you in the grieving process. You will be asked to bring a picture of your loved one if invited, there will be candles, lots and lots of candles, pictures of services gone by, the candle lighting ceremony, or something that will bring very, very strong emotions to you at a pinnacle moment, at this time you will be in the depth of the ceremony, and you will be approached to commit to something, even if its just a phone number, it is referred to  as a lead. These are of great value, read on and you will understand.
A funeral home or pre-need insurance sales person will pay up to $75 for a single lead from their corporate office. These leads are of great value to an agent and a funeral home. For them to be able to canvas the floor with prospective clients such as yourself for free is a godsend and will appear as if intoxicating.
There will be people there that you do not remember being there when you used the services of this facility. You may ask yourself, "Who are these people that are treating me as if they know me?" These people are the pre-need insurance sales representatives that you have NEVER met. All they care about is obtaining a contact, a "LEAD".  These are very carefully orchestrated and organized events, the only memory that the funeral home wants you to have when you leave is the memory of......... the funeral home and the pre-need agent. REMEMBER! these representatives were hand picked by the funeral home to help sell their facility to you, through pre-need insurance contract sales, to help replenish the mortuary files, that is all. Oh! and also get a fat commission check.

Thus, the Christmas Remembrance Ceremony! Oh there will be many! You can rest assured that EVERY corporate funeral home here in the valley if not all over this country will be conducting a remembrance ceremony. The staff is dressed all festive and there are decorations, lights, food, prayers, maybe a tree, free personalized  ornaments (nice ornaments), free pens and pads and candy and junk with the funeral homes name on it and on and on and on…………. (I pass out junk with our name on it all the time, the hand sanitizers are nice) Oh, those staff members with a conscience? They don’t want to be there. Now the independent locations go a bit further, they may have the event catered.

The List
Now lets ensure we take notice of the list with your families name on it and the carefully blank lines underneath the deceased name, this list will be on a hand carried clip board and each employee will be designated to acquire so many names with phone numbers or better yet, addresses for future contact or to “send an invitation for next years memorial service”.
Now, I’m not telling you to stay away from the “list” people, but you don’t have to share anything with them. The point being here is that the one and ONLY reason you have been invited to this event was to help start re-stuffing the corporate pre-need coffers with all those pre-needs that have been used over the year for that specific funeral home.  Also, if this facility is on cemetery grounds, perhaps they can get you to purchase a piece of property as well on the extended payment service plan making payments over time. You may even be asked to provide names of family or associates you may know along with phone numbers, the insurance sales representatives get quite bold, almost as if in a frenzy, it can almost be identified as "disgusting" if you knew what you were watching unfold before your very eyes.

You will hear all the lines like:
      ~Surly if you can afford to buy little Jimmy a bike you can give him “peace of mind” by ensuring he does not have to go through what you went through with your Dad………

      ~Perhaps you can speak to your Mom and encourage her to do the right thing………

      ~We have such affordable plans and in the end the only positive thing that will come out of this is your family will not suffer when you are gone……….

      ~Christmas is such a giving time of year, such a small little monthly payment is such a huge gift to your family…….

~How about if I call you and we can talk a bit about your Dad over a coffee, you look like you need to talk.........

The list goes on and on. Then the phone calls start, and they do start. And the junk mail, tons of it, all about pre-need.  The counselor can make between $200 -$600 on a pre-need sale if it is a costly service. This is money time for them, this is "their" Black Friday, they have a month to sell as many policies from the amount of leads they get to you, the general public. If the funeral home owner is a pre-need insurance salesman, (I am not) and is writing his or hers own policies, that stacks their own private coffers/income. You know, the next new car or next trip to Europe. That's ok, we all are allowed to make a living however we see fit. But I know if I was dealing in pre-need policies, I would try to back of in December.
 What can you do?
Nothing! Go to the service, eat their food, take the gifts and drink the wine! In the end, don't give them anything at all, your not even obligated to tell them who you are. Oh, remember, if you share that you have no interest in anything they are offering, just the service and you are told there is a fee for so much as a bottle of water, report them to the local city food and beverage department. It is illegal to charge for water or food in a facility, even $1.00 a bottle, or to advertise it unless you have a food vendors permit/licence.
If you enjoy the camaraderie of these types of services, collecting free stuff and eating lots of free good food (and it is probably VERY good food), I encourage you to go. Best way to find out is to call your local funeral home or better yet read your local newspaper to find out when and where, then show up and enjoy!


If asked to RSVP, remember, with that comes names and phone numbers and addresses and names of individuals that will come with you and their phone numbers and on and on and on.  RSVP is also another way of saying "your uninvited unless you give us this information". Think about this, Do Churches make you RSVP prior to a services? So whats the difference?

What if I really want to purchase a pre-need?
Call the funeral home, find something affordable and dignified and make a simple appointment to speak to a counselor (never alone). You don’t need to do it in all the palatial settings, one does to dress up their facility with $3 - $5,000 worth of decorations and food. You see all this fancy and think, “This is the place I want to be taken too”. Remember, if every day was Christmas, we would never go back to work.                                                                  
For the record, independent funeral homes try to do this as well, to boost their numbers, line their coffers and TRY to establish themselves as upstanding citizens and members of the community.  I have learned over my many years of simple Military Service (USMC) that those values are earned over much time and seasoned with ones humble, gracious behavior, not insisted upon or expected over a glass of expensive wine, a cheese tray while trying to sell something to you that you did not want nor did you come for.
Never mind the opulent decorated settings that have nothing to do with memorialization of your loved one. This is the stage laid out to target a grieving family during the holiday season who has lost a loved one in the previous year. This is a deplorable practice, manipulating and preying on your emotions and tugging on your heartstrings for financial and monetary gain. It is a sham.
This is done because you will be missing your loved one the most at this time.............., they know this. They hope you do!
Feel good in knowing that you chose to honor their memory in your own way.

Oh, I have two little poinsettia plants and some garland in my entrance way at the funeral home. It's very humble, and  nice.
Happy Holidays!

P.S. I miss you!


  1. This is amazing! I cant believe the amount of deciept. or can I?

  2. I think I read somthing about one of those in the west valley view newspaper tonight. I can think of better things to do on a thursday night than give someone my money. Good BLOG, good info, Keep it up!

  3. Interesting article.. getting a funeral insurance at time like this is awesome idea. a gift for our parents perhaps.

    1. If this is the type of gift you prefer to give to you children or mom and dad, then so be it.

  4. I have to say...I work for a funeral home that is corporately owned. There is a lot of emphasis on pre-need sales. However, we have a Holiday Rememberance Ceremony every year...and it has NOTHING to do with getting "leads". We don't even have people in the building who pre-need families. It is strictly an event to help our families during the holidays, which is a difficult time. We don't take anyone's name or number (because we already have it, but we never share that info). We certainly don't ask for your money. We already have pictures of their loved one and ask permission to use the photo in a memorial DVD that we make and present during the service. But that's it. It is a way for us to reconnect with the families and help them if necessary. It is important to point out that, while there are "pre-need" people in the funeral industry, they are almost always a completely different group than the funeral directors or office staff (we call ourselves the "at-need" side of the business). The "at-need" side really has no interest in selling anything to you beyond what you need or want, or pre-needing you. We are here to help you after a loss has occurred. Be careful about making generalizations!

    1. Not all Corporate facilities, not all. But lets also remember the pre-need counselors that come through and work the "files" looking for names of family members and contacts to sell them pre-need, or ask if they want to purchase. I worked for the largest corporation in America and I distinctly remember the pre-need counselors actually getting in verbal altercations over who was going to get the "lead" from the service. OR! working the graveside for names and numbers, It was pretty despicable.

    2. Oh, also, there are many corporations in this industry, my comment is not "generalizing", if you notice the first statement said "I wish no ill will on anyone or their desire to help others...". either this applies, or it does not. Be careful how you assume.

  5. I heard there is a funeral home in Goodyear that does this... I saw their add in the West Valley View newspaper today. That's pretty sad. How low can a business go so as to prey on mourning sad people.

    Merry Christmas!

  6. I think this article (if it can be called that) is appalling. It implies that all funeral homes do this to get more "business". I am an owner of a funeral, not in your country thankfully, that holds these Christmas memorial services and I do it with the intention of helping all the families I have helped throughout the year. This article smells of sour grapes about something and is appalling that you would categorise funeral homes in this way. I would never visit this kind of funeral home with this as an article on their website.

    1. Pretty sad isn't it? Well, it does exist here in America, if it does not in your country, then my hats off to you.

    2. Wow, I'm amazed of how low a person would go to attract sales by degrading the good deeds of other funeral homes a marine? Who fools other true marines into getting semper Fi s but not disclosing the fact that he is in a relation with an ex Navy man. A person who degrates licensed funeral directors because he is not one himself. A man? Who degrates the Catholic Church to get sales a funeral. A funeral home who makes up his own praises and post on Facebook as if a family posted it . A funeral home who deletes all negative posts. Be aware that your day will come. Every VA chapter in Phoenis and Marine detachment in Phoenix and Tucson now know you are a Gay Marine. Call them very funeral home in the state, every Catholic Church in Phoenis now know of your fake marine credentials and your gay lifestyle. Call them MOFO. YOUVE BEEN EXPOSED. now delete this.


  7. First and foremost, Brandon was not in the Navy "EVER". Second, I think you will find this very interesting what the local GOODYEAR or TUCSON competition feels about me and my business. But seeing how there are those more interested in my life than me, I will post their kind e-mails to let you know of the competitions hate for people that don't walk their straight and narrow.

    First, Look, I'm gay, I got a Partner named Brandon and we raise 3 black boys, We have been together going on 12 years. If this is not for you, then please go elsewhere, I cant and wont help you if you hate.

    Second, I' retired from the Marine Corps earned my retirement, nothing fake about me, I am who I am. I still like to help people. I served my combat tours. Weather you like it or not, I served my time in the Marine Corps, was retired and found disabled now I get my benefits from the VA and the Marines. Whether you like it or not, I earned and GET THEM, you don't.

    Third, some people are backwoods people from the sticks that have nothing better to do than get involved in others lies when their business starts to suck. Your failures are not my problem.

    While our at it, why don't you just call me a Faggot, a wetback and a Nigger?

    P.S. Brandon was never in the Navy, but I have dated a few Marines.

    Stilled earned the title of Marine, not that you care.

    Thank you for signing "Anonymous" Shows your balls.

    Miguel A. Legaspi

  8. All I can say to that article is WOW! I've been a licensed FD/Emb for thirty-one years on the gulf coast and yes, we have the full array of funeral home establishments from corporate to small family owned facilities and truthfully, I personally know most of the directors and many pre-need agents along the coast. Almost all of our local funeral homes hold some type of Christmas memorial services, each one a little different than the other and because of the friendships made over the years, I've been to many of my "competitors" Christmas services. Starting with our own and as far as I know, the other funeral homes across the gulf coast, I can't say that I know of any that take names to use as leads. Maybe it's because we're in the deep south and family and friendships still come first, but each of my friends who work at other funeral homes use this service as a way of saying thank you to the families that we serve throughout the year and to let them know that we actually care about them. I do know that at some, a guest book is available for family members to sign when they arrive but I've never seen any of the homes ask for telephone numbers or home addresses. This is not the time nor the place for business as usual, just something we do to let families know that we care enough to place an ornament on a tree with their loved one's name engraved and that we too remember a special life lived. I'm certainly not saying that we're any different than your area I'm just letting you know how we choose to remember our friends at Christmas. I'm sure that somewhere, someone is chasing a lead at Christmas services in our area but if they are, I can't say I've personally been a witness to it. I hate to hear that's the case where you guys are. I hate to think of any funeral home "chasing calls" but if they are, and can't take a night or two off from business to remember and celebrate the lives of the people they've served throughout the year, they certainly shouldn't be in business to begin with. Best of luck to you guys in the future! JMG