• Marianne Diaz

I'm Dead Set Serious

Once upon a time, 13 years ago, Mum and I were running a Florist shop. One of the perks was that we’d get to go to gift trade shows which we loved to do. It meant a day of browsing through, really, hundreds of gift stalls and seeing the different items and services out there supplying gift shops and florists.

Today it was raining (read: pouring) outside and I was a little bored. So it was in this frame of mind that I came across an ad for another type of trade show. For funerals.

‘Holy crap, what??’ I thought, with pun absolutely intended (they’ll be more). ‘They have trade shows for funerals????’

So of course I started delving a bit deeper. It never occurred to me there’d be trade shows for this kind of thing. I always imagined that if I worked in the industry I’d be keeping a low profile. And certainly not mixing with more of ‘the same type’.

On OUR trips to the trade show we’d meet lots of bright, funny, larger than life characters who were a bit artsy and maybe snobbish in some cases, but I tried imagining the mood at one of these shows.

Not seeing a party atmosphere at all.

So I found some little gems of info you probably never knew and may entertain you for a few minutes.


They DO party at these things. Apparently Mr Hepplewhite won the major expo prize, a $5000 Flight Centre voucher, but unfortunately he didn’t hang around for the festivities and missed out on a $500 VISA gift card. I bet he was kicking himself seeing as the cost of living is so high (told you).

Lismore Coffins is definately the way to go for a stylish and modern take on an old ritual. I’m loving the use of recycled materials. Even better, those who are seriously environmentally conscious can opt to be dug up 10 years later and recycle the materials again!

What? Only 1 Retweet?? Are people blind?

Not sure about everyone else, but the organiser of the Australian Funeral Expo is pretty excited. Poor thing couldn’t sleep the night before, such was the excitement – no need to lift HIS spirits (oh geez they just get worse right?).

For those of you who take offence and would actually like to be in the industry, there is a clear career path progression you can undertake (whoa ok, I didn’t even mean to do that one! Sometimes I even surprise myself).

So you want to be an embalmer?


Ok. So, just out of nowhere, you decide this is what you want to do? Unless you’re born into a funeral directing family, I’d find this VERY strange, but anyway…

According to the Australian Funeral Directors Association (see pamplett here ) you will need (the blue statements are written in their brochure):

1. Absolute dedication (I could have said dead-ication, see? But I let that one go)

‘This is a profession that must be available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year. We do not control when someone dies.’

2. KPIs

‘The highest compliment you can be paid is when a family that had initially decided to leave the casket closed now chooses to leave it open.’

I’d be definitely updating my Facebook status with that achievement.

3. To be prepared

‘Embalmers come into direct contact with the body. They are exposed to blood and body fluids and infectious diseases such as AIDS, Hepatitis B and C, and Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease.'

Um, ok very common diseases you may possibly encounter but Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease? A rare disease that affects only one in every million people a year? A bit random….

4. Irregular hours

You need to be a mourning person.

(Yeah, you got me, that’s not in the brochure but I had to fit that one in).

Anyway I’ll let you get on with your day, but just a little joke before you go…

A man was found dead in a vat of falafel condiment. Police are treating it as a hummuscide.

Marianne Diaz

Enough With the Lemons

#Funerals #FamilyLifeBlog