Monday, September 29, 2014

Let's give them something to talk about

This article originally appeared in Cremationist

When it comes to conversation, do most women really talk more than men? A recent study, conducted by the University of Maryland School of Medicine, found that women use an average of 20,000 words per day, compared to men who average only 7,000 words per day.

As women, what are we using all of those words to talk about? There are so many things that we experience in our lives and so many big moments that shape us; from graduation to getting our first job, to falling in love and getting married, to having children and grandchildren. When we reflect on our lives, it’s these memories and milestones that may come to mind first. But everyone’s life story is much more than the landmark events. The small moments and people we meet along the way are a part of us and help shape who we are and what we value.

But regardless of how many words spoken in a day, there is one subject that most people probably haven’t brought up in casual conversation: how they would like to be remembered.

Think about the people who matter to you. You probably know most of the big moments in their lives. You might have even helped celebrate these milestones. What about the other things that really matter to them? Do you know what kind of legacy do they want to leave?

With the fast paced world that we live in, we are not taking the time to listen to each other’s stories. As a result, there is a continuing trend of people wanting everything done quick and easy, including memorialization. Now, more than ever, it is vital to educate the families we serve about the importance of memorialization. We need to get them talking.

As I hope you already know, the Funeral and Management Information Council’s (FAMIC) has launched a powerful consumer campaign. “Have the Talk of a Lifetime” encourages families to have conversations with their loved ones about life, the things that matter most to them and how they would like to be remembered. Our industry is coming together and speaking with one voice, and FAMIC is inspiring the conversation.

These conversations are already happening across the country. An NFDA survey conducted in April 2014 reported that almost 60% of consumers who had heard of the campaign said it encouraged them to talk to their family about memorialization. That’s a lot more conversation about a topic that is usually left off the table.

How do you get people in your community talking? As a member of CANA, you have access to download multi-media materials from You can contact CANA for login information. You can post the video and images to your website, print customized brochures, talk about the campaign during pre-need appointments, speak to groups in your community and share on your social media.

The time is now. Your involvement will be what helps us begin to change consumer opinions and attitudes toward memorialization. Whether you are a woman who uses lots of words during her day, or a man who uses fewer, when you endorse “Have the Talk of a Lifetime,” you can enrich the fabric of our communities and grow your bottom line.

Linda Darby is Chief Executive Officer for Trigard, Trigard Memorials, a memorial park and seven funeral homes across Illinois, Indiana and Arizona. She is the current FAMIC President. Her family has been in the funeral industry for four generations, helping families remember, celebrate and heal. Learn more at



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