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tv   Death In The Family  Al Jazeera  October 12, 2017 11:00pm-12:01am AST

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join me mandy our son for a new season of the show the frank. and up front. about this time well just iraq. the man who negotiated the dismantling of apartheid and scrapped south africa's nuclear program i don't think we needed the bomb but some of my prediction is just that they want to use it as a deterrent south africa's former president declaring talks to al-jazeera at this time. how about i'm going to stick with the top stories on al-jazeera palestinians in gaza and the occupied west bank i've been out on the street celebrating a reconciliation deal between fatah and hamas brokered by egypt the agreement between the rival political movements will end
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a decade long. that is in ramallah in the occupied west bank and has. in the grand hall of the egyptian intelligence headquarters fatah and hamas officially signed on to egypt's grand plan for palestinian reconciliation after a decade of division both sides expressed hope that this time it was for good. and again mean there has been full agreement on the concept of empowering the government and the legitimate palestinian government will return to working normally in accordance with his prerogative and the law. despite the fact that we have some different views different political points we have different disputes but this will never change the fact that we are brothers we are brothers in religion we are brothers in nationality we are brothers in the national interest we suffer the same we have the same future we need to find a way for a unity of our people to secure the ambitions of our people. this isn't the first
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time they've been here repeated attempts to reconcile have failed a main stumbling block the future of hamas military wing appears for now to have been set aside palestinian authority security services are to resume running gaza's border crossings including the vital one with egypt and other issues how to run internal security and merge two separate groups of government workers are being addressed step by step along the lines of a twenty eleven agreement also signed with great fanfare in cairo. here in ramallah the palestinian president mahmoud abbas welcomed the deal saying it accelerated palestinian reconciliation is fatah delegation head indicated its timelines and targets would ensure that it stayed on track and of course it has egypt breathing hard down the necks of both parties in gaza so damaged by the split the economic blockade and three israeli wars people are talking cautiously in terms of hope.
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when we used to hear about any reconciliation efforts we would think immediately of the failure of it but we hope this time is different but unity could at least solve the power crisis and bring happiness to the gazan people. we've had enough eleven years of suffering without electricity no medicine for old people no travelling we want to live like other nations. so far the israeli reaction has been muted saying hamas would need to recognize israel and give up its arms but without the full bore opposition of previous reconciliation attempts an international push for palestinian reconciliation led by the us who is much more interested in the so-called big deal between the palestinians and israelis and without palestinian reconciliation this deal might not go forward in gaza celebrations were underway not least of the prospect of an end to restrictions on salaries and electricity imposed by the palestinian authority earlier this year to put pressure on hamas but it's clear that this is the start of the process the coming weeks will feature
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plenty of opportunities to build mutual trust or we can it very force it in the occupied west bank the united states and israel say they're withdrawing from unesco united nations cultural agency the decision by the u.s. state department comes into effect at the end of december washington says the organization is in need of fundamental reform and has continued until israel fire. the pakistani army has rescued a family held captive by the head canny network and organization aligned to the afghan taliban the army says they were saved in a tribal district along the pakistan afghanistan border after a tip off by u.s. intelligence agency president donald trump says the rescue shows pakistan is beginning to quote respect america again. kenya's government is banning opposition protests in three cities two weeks before the presidential election runoff is due to be held demonstrations have been banned in nairobi. the government says
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protesters have lit it and attacked police stations and those are the latest headlines i'm back with another update for you in about twenty five minutes time so with us though al-jazeera correspondent is next but by. once you've taken over these businesses in these small towns you are locked in for your career however many decades i last. i want to know his motivations in getting into the business i would like to know the conversations he had with my grandpa how he felt he realized this trend in our family i want to know what it was like for
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him when he first began working earnestly in the business if it was hard for him to get over these more difficult parts of it that i fear growing up if there was times where he doubted what he was doing if you could do it all over again would you said thank god it's possible say yes but these are real questions i have for him of course because he had the same experience i had he grew up in the same dynamics like. who else would be able to relate more to our feeling than him. i was so surprised he's teachers see parents going through the series.
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he really probably would have wanted to be a hockey player. that's funny because that's what dad says he would have wanted to do if he wasn't back here but lack of skills. my family's own a funeral home in our small canadian town of st thomas for over ninety years it may seem strange to grow up around death but for us it was a part of everyday life. i'm the first son in four generations not to become a funeral director my decision has weighed heavily on i worry about what it means for the future of my family's funeral. do you think for the service today i don't know if we had to register but just down to the right to say that no you go and you
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know you get here is this if you like to sign the register book and i'm like to going to visit with the family this is our son this is blood and so next generation going in the same no he's a producer with your so that's why the oh yes it's whatever kind of yeah so they're different business yes but if he's just for russia let me here. my grandfather with brother paul petersen oh ok oh ok sure yeah we had to register but just on the right she mentioned it was the walls farm yeah that was one of the walls the sentence to life serve your family have also made you all go. by and asked if anyone could sing and then no one was able to know someone's got to you and why not someone in the family and. she really meant to me the window that she was loving.
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caring to sing sung to grandma. great grandma as the artist down her heard you. know your hair to bring their. own. every. day you. are a wound to the. oh. oh nice. highly we got lucky because like i did maybe have. already heard that that you know that you know i mean if you're really going to see . that you know. that it was very nice you know it was very nice and they're really
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really well all right i'm going to change ok because it's going to be the president of the city. and i was in high school i would help with visitation so holding the door helping to show people where to go and then other than that around the business like helping with the lawns and washing the cars and putting on the suit being in the funeral it was kind of maybe a little glimpse of what it might have been like avoided if if i had done that job i wouldn't say i'd five years old and looked at the businesses that are doing that service i felt rather different things i was always very interested in history it was the idea of the power of witnessing moments well history is made of. this was my childhood bedroom and this is where i would be asleep in the middle of the night when my dad would get a phone call could hear footsteps and see the light underneath the door he would walk. from his bedroom over here through this hallway to the bathroom to get ready to get dressed we were very aware that he was going to put a suit on that he was going to go outside in the cold and that he was going to go
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pick up a dead body i have very striking memories of our future of my aunt jennifer grew up around the funeral and also moved away from st thomas and we called it the bat phone but a lot of the bad yeah was you know what we called at the funeral but i think that but you're right that it was it lacked and it had all these like intercom buttons and we call about and you have i do and and whatever called whatever hour the day whatever you're doing it with you i answered the phone that's perfect actually we were maybe we were that creative. that phone ringing it still sparks a little moment of the things i would everybody stop everybody be quiet when i'm home briefly however briefly the phone rings i shut up as fast as leverage it it's a strange thing. i'd be interested to know how he prepared himself to do this work because i don't think he was actually built for it just like i don't feel like i was actually built for it. i'm going to talk to call and haskett a young funeral director in a neighboring community he's around my age and in
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a way i feel like he provides a glimpse of what my life might have been like if i decided to become a funeral director this is my great great grandfather charles haskett and then his son which is william haskett and then well you had two boys clarence and then my father bill so there are six funeral directors in five generations thankfully we're all passionate about it and i think that's for family businesses get into trouble some people feel obligated if you love what you do and it's easy to keep a clear direction and we're all on the same path so this is my very grandfather's our family used to transport the deceased by horse and buggy i'm kind of allowed to say that i don't wear hats like that and i don't transport people by horse and buggy anymore when i was four years old i made the decision that i. i was going to be a funeral director and at that time it was because my dad had two separate riding lawn mowers that he used to cut the cut the grass of the funeral home and i thought what
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a cool thing to be able to drive two different lawn moore's it was for as well when i kind of realized for the first time there was this trend in our future home it was my great grandfather started a funeral home in one hundred twenty six and then my grandfather and my father and every generation there was one boy born in every generation they did it and i was four years old when i'm like wait a second great grandpa grampa dad drive to do this and from the moment i first asked that question my dad always said you don't have to do this you can whatever makes you happy you can do if you want to be if you're a director that's fantastic but if you want to take a different path that's that's fine too so i don't know maybe if you had riding lawn mowers i would have i would have been i would have been a better selling point what do you think the stereotype of a funeral director is black suit dark tie white shirt and you know maybe not very personable and certainly not very comforting you know just sort of this this creepy this creepy image of someone that deals with the dead every day and that's certainly not how i would describe myself at all i'm far more suited to dealing
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with the living than i am the dead and just the ability to do both which makes me go to a job i'm just the guy that lives down the street that doesn't know how to build decks but i do know what to do when your mom dies ok great and if there's anything that comes down i will let you know myself thank you very much but did you have a direct line from the funeral home to your home growing up you are standing in my bedroom this is where i grew up really yeah we were very much a direct line. i believe very strongly that my number one goal and my number one job is to stay in business we're increasing our reception facilities and we're having different types of receptions and we're selling alcohol and that's not necessarily because that's exactly what i want to do i just want to make sure that we were mean profitable so that we can continue to do what it is that we love to see if i can pull something out here we've got all kinds of different options and
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now you can get rings you can get five pens you can cough links this is actually d.n.a. keepsake so lots of different options. i have done some neat things with cremated remains we have put people in their taco boxes in their recipe boxes actually we have someone here that was just placed in their cowboy boot as an urn i had a gentleman the strangest one yet every night before you went to bed he had a bowl of ice cream with his granddaughter so he is in a nice cream tub people are tired of what we would refer to a cookie cutter funeral a lot of us in southwestern ontario are smaller operations family businesses we have some larger corporations coming after the independent funeral homes on our own none of us would survive in this business or certainly aeration we decided is if we could do it collectively then we can all do a good job and that's exactly what we've done with. cremation is becoming
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increasingly popular but loved ones are rarely present i have never witnessed a commission myself. i grew up around the funeral home i've been to the funeral home. constantly my whole life i've seen more bodies than i can remember in the setting up in the in the main room of the funeral home with made up in suits with with flowers and framed photographs but maybe it's the volume maybe it's being here and within the
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last few minutes just seeing so many bodies coming in from from from the region. i think that i could have done it. the men who tend to this long process tell me the last muscle to burn is the human heart. occasionally i would bring stress home from work. it didn't happen very often did it but it did happen and i'm the first to admit that it did happen and
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i can't believe there's not a few a director out there that it hasn't they haven't brought it home and so but there was a quote in and and blake said in the article my sister used to yell back at you know if he would explode because maybe we were too loud when he just got off the phone or and and i would just take it and but his quote was. when we knew we were not the. source of his anger and anger take much and it didn't take much to know what was he knew i had brought home from the funeral home right growing up i saw firsthand the toll funeral service took on my father many of his days were spent helping other people through the worst days of their lives we saw the side of it that
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wasn't always great and he dealt with it very well but there were times that it was stressful and if you asked me at those moments you know you want to be found out i'd say hell no there are circumstances that happened here that i feel like walking out the back door when the family are walking in the front door the thing that's going to make me retire is families not agreeing and i mean absolutely not talking to each other and probably after the service is over i never talking to each other again. so you're on the way to the hospital. oh ok. yeah. we'll do is all. i think since your way there and. you won't be released tonight i don't think from the hospital so all the phone can ring any time you can ring at nine fifteen i can
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with three o'clock one it's a release for your dad his you expressed what he had wanted to so you know well again my condolences to you and all i'll call them in the morning. you know people call because they're ready so. when i think about the connection of brennan the funeral home i think about the fact that he had this cool parking lot where everyone just play i could play hockey and they they stored the nets in the garage. all right. but you can do old wooden sticks they don't make them like this anymore those gloves will big. for you if you do it are two of them. were. you walked in the house all right we pushed hockey ok over it when.
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i've been playing hockey sense i was probably seven eight years old i played travel hockey for many many years my dad missed yours were a few games of mine he taught me how to play goal right between their house and the funeral home. after i wear is a tribute to my dad but i was also born in one nine hundred fifty eight this was my playground this is this was where you know i grew up you know i learned to play tennis i assume that my parents always knew that i want to be a film director but we really never sat down i mean i heard about from my high school counselor that oh i guess parents going off to humber to take funeral service i never i guess assume that they knew but quite frankly i thought i was going to be a professional hockey player or a professional tennis player but i think lack of talent sort of got in the way we're going to go in the funeral right. and who goes in
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there you know and. so here you. you know what my grandfather's name was. leonard. and you know what leo leo was short for leonard. good job. i was all here your life cast you here. you. know life here you know and there's to understand when and there's no ghosts here no ghosts here there's no ghosts here. i remembered as a kid just being so so afraid by that idea of like are you afraid of being around the dead people are afraid of the bodies i guess i'd seen like you know zombie movies or monster movies or something and
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a member and just being again it was just like a lightbulb was just like well no because they're dead but i like to be more free of the mailman for example that you should be of the dead body in the in another room because they're living people going are you dead people cannot hear you this is not a monster movie this is real life. oh you're on phone or that i can't help but wonder if perhaps one day when will develop a passion for this profession where i didn't. do you. my dad since i was you know i still live and twelve years old he would send me on errands that would include sometimes going to doctors' offices to sit and wait in their office until a. certificate was signed actually this was they were that was a doctor's office at one time there were. doctors in corners there and companies came through here movie stars came through here when they were on the trains and
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there's a platform is side. there is another film director this is mr this is this is mr brown is it. this is for my grandmother yes there's a go your father was best man at my father's wedding i think i did know that yes. yeah. i mean it's funny you say but i think there was more of an expectation that the son would take it over i never felt pressured but did i feel a sense of obligation i would i would see having the family business and this is a provide such an impactful service to the community was kind of a badge of honor that people knew our business really you could own a printing shop people might not know your business but sift and can find a home you know took care of my grandmother's funeral that's the people for the for life kind of thing i was proud to be a sifton i know he really felt that it was a calling and that's that's the way i've always liked upon it with me i i know
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this was something i was meant to do i mean i can't say right now for you how much it just was a relief to come in and know that we were amassed and he was so gentle and it was just like talking to a friend don't worry about that i got that look dr don't. like dr i don't know how many times i had people say to me your dad helped me through a really tough time behind the dr spock they couldn't see your dad and grandpa walked in and my dad the sense of humor joke or that he was said well yes here comes the two undertakers to take me home it was really my first hero and i guess i wanted to be like him and i tried that. here we are nineteen twenty six the year we were founded my great grandfather founded our funeral home after serving in the first world war he served with his cousin who was killed in action and awarded
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the victoria cross. my family believes that my great grandfather's experience of witnessing and seeing his cousin. grave still to him a desire to provide dignity for others down when the time comes i definitely want this funeral home to be. family and i want to continue with the same values that. my father carried on and i've carried on how important is the name of the idea that that's after her maiden name in this community is well. it's very. also care about what her name stands for and that's one of the reasons i still struggle with my decision. yeah i thought it was ok. i mean for real for him that's your favorite time.
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to have. your. record heard. you're. knocking. my therefore i was wrong there is no reason. do you know what grampa thought about me not becoming a funeral director not deciding to be a hero they don't think about who i think he realized that everybody should make their own decisions and i think that i don't think it bothered lol i never heard him say he was always so well he's got two books on you is very proud of his grandchildren basically if all of my burgeoning dream with career you enjoy being a journalist i don't doubt my decisions i still felt like there was some kind of family responsibility that maybe i'm a glam funny when your dad would say no you must you must do the what you'd like to
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do yourself and then you'll be happy and i come from a farm background i think those farms are. i see you want i don't feel badly i think that that's progress in other words we all we all make their own decisions i love. you shouldn't feel guilty and that makes me feel sad to think that there's even an ounce of guilt what do you do when you're at a funeral you tell stories that's the thing you're continuing i don't know if you can think about it that way and frankly i think who knows what's going to happen right i mean everything's changed so fast maybe it'll be one of those industries that stays very much the same because we all want that close emotional connection or maybe if you know the future will be very different.
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i was a pretty good list. the sky what they should be no borders up here one only horizons. as an airline we don't believe in boundaries we believe in bringing people together the world's better that way. it is a right for all of us to go where we need to go to feel the things we want to fail . to see the people we want to see. that's why we'll continue to fly the skies providing you with everything we can and treating everyone how they deserve to be treated we do this because we know the trouble goes beyond borders and prejudice. the travel teaches compassion the travel is a necessity. the travel is
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a right for all remember that this world is all of ours to explore. and it's a strange thing for us to be a part. cats are always going places together news has never been more i think global but the message is a simplistic and misinformation is rife listening post provides a critical counterpoint challenging mainstream media narrative at this time on al-jazeera. however i'm in london with the top stories on al-jazeera about palestinians have been celebrating a reconciliation deal between rival movements from us and fatah the agreement could signal an end to a decade long divide between the two groups massing fatah met in the egyptian
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capital cairo to go into formation of a national unity government are a force that has been. there are some key targets that have been put in place for instance november the first to having full control over the borders under the palestinian authority presidential security guards even though there is some potential for problems the rafa crossing is currently undergoing some redevelopment on the egyptian side will be ready for the palestinian authority security services to fully take over remember the first will it really happen on the ground it's a real prize for hamas the control of that crossing the united states and israel say they're withdrawing from unesco the united nations cultural agency the decision by the u.s. state department comes into effect in december of next year washington says the organization is need of fundamental reform and has continued anti israel bias.
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the pakistani army has rescued a family held captive by the her conny network that's an armed organization alliance to the afghan taliban the army says they were saved in a tribal district along the pakistan afghanistan border after a tip off by u.s. intelligence agencies. kenya's government is banning opposition protests in three cities two weeks before the presidential election and we run is due to be held demonstrations have been banned in nairobi because soon the mombasa. my dad has denied accusations that it's planning an imminent imminent attack on the autonomous kurdish region of iraq cocksure authorities say they received a warning from the iraqi military of a planned attack on kurdish controlled areas follows iraqi kurds overwhelmingly voting in favor of independence t.v. show. spain has celebrated its national day with a massive military show of unity as pressure builds on the catalan leader carlos push tomorrow to clarify whether he has declared independence military parades
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flyovers and marches took place in madrid with smaller scale demonstrations in boston area. and those are the latest headlines coming up next it's al jazeera correspondent i'm back in twenty five minutes. the smallest sprout shows there is really no dare. all goes outward nothing collapses we're committing poetry it's a reading of walt whitman song of myself thomas lynch is both a writer and a funeral director he is considered the poet laureate of the funeral business i say read write resist and this is what we do i bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass i love if you want me again look for me under your boot soles oh.
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thank you my dad always said thomas lynch's bestselling book about funeral service the undertaking is the book he wished he could write like my father thomas lynch took over his father's funeral home in a small town in michigan he recently passed it on to his son morning how are you oh man how you doing very good thank you. dr coffee i'll be lovely yeah yeah. but he brought me a bill oh i feel very good right below his grave has been dug sort of slow you're going over he just refuses to go into it i declared hospice care for the last couple of years so i feed him till as you know and see cheeses and now i think he thinks i'll go in the grave and he'll state that won't happen you're tempted to well we're yeah. but it's graves out there filled with snow right now and someday i hope yacub eyes laid out
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a bill to sleep it will be ok funeral services nothing except intimate access to a lot of stories so i've always been interested in characters and the stories that surround them the narrative's being a funeral director in a small town gives you access that is not often shared by other people characters and does exist now in north america kind of take for granted that this is the way things are done but. it wasn't going to discuss maybe before the spread of funeral homes how death used to be treated up until that maybe the last fifty years probably even nearer term the only problem created by a death in the family apart from the ones you could catalogue as you know you know grief and mourning in religious fixations the real problem is the corpse on the floor what are we going to do about this you can't live with that guy something has to be done somebody has to get a shovel or build a fire or drag the corpse up to where the birds will come and get pick the bones
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clean and it's around those activities whatever it was became by virtue of our you know curiosities holy it was looking into the open ground or the power of the fire where we would form the essential human questions which are is that all there is can this happen to me why is he cold are we all alone what comes next we process death by processing the dead we move the dead from this station to that station in this. you know this little. community theater that goes on but the movement is important you know you can't stay here because we can't live with a corpse acting as a pall bearer and carrying the body of a loved one in most cases it is the only actor that remains it seems like in north
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america we've become quite a distance from death well even that we are entirely a strange from corpses. which to me has always seemed like the essential brief of a funeral is ten to the corpse. people will say well it's really for the living yes but it's by tending to the dead to the living get better good fields one that by getting the dead where they need to go the living get where they need to be in the way that we sort of replicate the movement of someone from the edge of this front here to the edge of the one we can't know that's what if your home doesn't makes that we go with them as far as we can go and then we say. with the brutality of the living you stay i go thanks be to god or whoever's in charge or thank you so i thank you very much we haven't had a sunday like this bill in the longest time.
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caring for one's own dad is common in much of the world but rare in the west in british columbia there is a small but growing home funeral movement but it's reconnecting people to the process of tending to the dead like yes ok this is robert smith jones he has been our day person multiple times including for our youtube videos one of those videos and i actually now had over seven hundred thousand hits so she knew me before i was famous. ok. so the first thing we're going to be doing is carrie. ok everyone least three people on each side of my name especially mary i'm a death major are. executive director scindia which is an acronym for the canadian integrated network for death education alternatives which strongly
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supports families having meaningful choices whether those are around that i'm also working priestess and and actually are dangerous one clothes off yes and wicca has a much stronger focus on the balance between light and dark at home and there is that respect for the cycle of the year in the death house to happen in order for there to be new growth what we're going to work on right now is washing the top part of him there's something that happens between the mind and the body when you're hands on with the body that is what we used to call it in the seventy's at the stall. it's like a whole bunch of things come together much deeper than just sitting by the body or praying or singing or writing a memorial or something like that but it's also easier to process through to this
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is now a corpse and our beloved is still with us in our hearts and maybe in spirit but this is just carbs now. ok so let's proceed to washing the body itself most people feel that doing this is their last act of love and it allows the person who's been doing the major caretaking to have that one last time but it also allows people who haven't been involved in the caregiving to actually participate in that sort of feel like they gave a little bit if i could have someone's help if you help me if you can lead them down. every time i do it. this is my favorite color and this one is being kept for when it's time for me to you. in the forever. whatever happens to you after death i know one mother eighteen year old son died and accident right in front of our house and
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doing the body care was allowing her to step one step over the threshold with her son and that was a. mean yes she would mourn him not being there any more but that actual process of caring for him was one that was black eyed it isn't just an hour ceremony it's. in the middle of the night. that with. all the things that never got resolved to now. all of those moments become incredibly sacred.
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i think that we've become increasingly detached from death i think people don't grieve properly when they try to avoid seeing death. and so i think anything that brings us closer to are dead and to confront our own mortality is positive and helping. this is stunning it's. it's completely quiet and still. for steen and beautiful. yeah i mean it might not be a traditional cemetery with headstones and. rows and flowers and everything but i don't think anybody would object to spending for the rest of eternity here i think i have a very traditional view of funerals and the cemetery is just because the way things are done where i grew up but yeah i don't understand why this is such a rare phenomenon that is a controversial this is an alternative or french it's just. just beautiful and peaceful and that's what most people want when they're choosing a cemetery. i think my father would be really moved by the scene and most directors
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to be honest. hi my name server make day my family and i did a home funeral for our mother though this was her bedroom the night that she passed we were all around her and this is where she stayed for five days so she has an ice pack on her abdomen and she's an ice pack on her head and ice pack under her like the core organs are just like a painting was so many beautiful colors and everything verses just your regular funeral is like dead body general home service ground. we had so much fun and play with it. and we carried her
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out the door and we carried her like this and as we're carrying her the ladies are singing in the kitchen. and we just carry her down the stairs and around the corner and then there's a driveway underneath and that's her and i o's ford flex was waiting for her and it was raining and i said she's having her b.c. baptism it's beautiful. she put her in and off we went. from what i've read and what i thought for but with people is that your body sister vehicle right is just what you're here with it was her show that we were disposing of which we had to right and then her spirit was around with us.
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davis is a funeral director who helped deborah with her mother's home funeral her experience working out a corporate on the funeral home led her to embrace alternative practices alongside traditional ones when you first get into funeral service you come in with all these . ideals and thoughts about what you're going to do and how it's going to go and the more experience i had within that corporate environment it just seemed like those ideals weren't able to be realized we were told that we needed to have unlicensed sales people with us when we were meeting with people who were just telling us that you know someone close to them has just died what was their background would come from sales of other. industries there were people who came from car sales for sure photocopiers just whatever their background was if we were in the selection room looking at ernst and caskets. i felt that their their suggestions were biased you know based on what kind of commission they would get
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out of that once people have suffered a loss how fair is it to put an employee in a situation where if they don't they can't eat there should be no commission sales at end of life welcome to our snow capital today tom crean is a funeral director and a leading opponent of corporate ownership of funeral homes when you serve people who are bereaved you're serving people who are to me uniquely vulnerable so when a organization the size of wall street comes into that very delicate situation there is an opportunity for people who are more ethically. challenged. to make enormous amounts of money in the city of vancouver and burnaby there are nine real funeral homes left and the largest chain owns eight of them you think
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there's an awareness in the public that it's not really the good old our corporate oh you know what the difference is between know we had a law passed where it was required for all with a publicly own funeral companies to put their real name in all their contracts all their signage and all their advertise. the two thousand and nine yellow paint just had their name in about a font of i think point five. the next year but it was there so this is a process called stealth ownership right where you are that's where the corporations wealth ownership where a corporation will buy a family funeral home and then keep that family name so the public thinks that they're still working with an independent family if you know what a reality it's just a part of a of a much larger corporation exactly right yeah the mass takeover of independent funeral homes by corporations is what worries me the most when i think about the future of my family's business you know it's such a critical time it's so important that environment is a caring and supportive environment.
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a funeral homes a scary place that's were. dad said. i got the. funeral service you have a choice you can develop a keen sense of humor or become an alcoholic it can be. so he called back a few minutes later and he says jackie your mother's body is in that the morgue my sisters have what do you mean it's not at the morgue and he says well it's not here it's sounds like possibly sci has the body john dental oh-h. and jim halliburton stories share a common thread they say their mothers bodies were both mishandled by funeral homes owned by service corporation international a funeral conglomerate based in texas that has come to dominate the funeral industry in north america we had planned to have an intimate family service we had
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planned to do celebration of life later but we never had anything we never had anything she said i literally don't know how to tell you this but mom has been cremated. she was on her way to the funeral home. story with her mother's clothing. armament always taken very good care of herself she always wanted to look great she was a little bit of a fashionista and you know even even in a walker she would want to make sure she had high heels on so the fact that our mother was taken and cremated in the pajamas that she died in and without her teeth . is the part that gets me every time we never knew anything about a cia or any other of their of their brands we thought it was pleasant valley
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community local vernon funeral home that's been there for i don't know how many years but i remember seeing it as a kid there's basically three entities in the town and the public doesn't know that they all three of us so so that so families are going from one to another to another getting prices and wondering why the prices are so difficult he started to push an envelope towards towards me on the table and i started to stand up and i said are you offering us money and he said well you know all this and maybe you could pick pick an urn on the wall and blah blah blah and i turned to my sister and i said carrie we're leaving now my sister opened the envelope and it was three hundred dollars. can you imagine how insulted you would feel if a check was pushed across the room for you basically telling you that your mother's death and your mother was worth three hundred dollars i have not after three and a half years been able to grieve over my mother i've been trapped trying to get the
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word out about what is going on here these are not numbers or statistics these are people se i declined to be interviewed and said they don't comment on pending litigation we had found out a song that my mom used to sing to the troops that's called i'll be seeing you. oh do you do you know play with her for your we played your mom. or you really really wow. and you know i think the thing. is that a lot of this gets lost in the narrative of death because the fact is is that it is a sacred right for all of us that if there were more private providers that would be concerned about how they were providing that service they would be more tuned to the needs of of the community.
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you know that boy that william carlos williams wrote about the red wheelbarrow it's only forty words so much depends upon a red wheel barrow plays with rainwater beside the white chickens. what are you talking about says i i mean i really tried to get that one it was a december because we had two kids in our town that they live by the river in the they had ice over they'd gone out and they fell through the ice and drowned one was six one of those four i think we put them both in one casket. and i remember the minute walking those parents in to see these two little boys they were in there we got blue jeans one had his arm on the other one they looked like two boils i remember looking out the window at my garage across the street i wish them well
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they're all there something to take your your gaze away on which you could concentrate all your attention so as to avert your eyes from this horrible notion that this could happen to be a good funeral director you have to notice right away that there are things that won't be fixed but you can be present for them. obviously the tragic situations that you deal with the car accidents the suicides i've had to deal with homicides i've had you know many deaths of children those are probably the hardest like my father doug gilchrist ran his own funeral home for many years he and my father studied together to become funeral directors death is always there it's always in your face it's always part of your every day. or. your i suffered a very bad mental breakdown and tie was hospitalized for
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a couple days and of course as most people doctors a couple days later i'm back to you know over the period of the next four years i had another three nervous breakdowns i one point of which i was told that i had p.t.s.d. we grieve for those not only in our own family. we grieve for those families that we serve every day because we probably knew them we probably buried their answer their own call years before we know that there are funeral director than ontario who have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder directly linked to their work there appears to be a higher than average rate of alcoholism and certainly a higher than average rate of divorce michelle clark works in funeral education she and her husband paul are both former funeral directors we have lived in constant fear that these things were going to happen to our children or to us most funeral directors just suppress everything we've we've we're taught how to do it the most
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recent one was the lady that stopped her son sudden death from postpartum and like ross was the exact same age as her son i just think it was so real. i was so how would that metaphors that self you would you know to be withdrawn and just withdraw it all yeah like i would just come home and just sort of just quiet not saying really the little boy at the memorial gardens that the tree fell on i thought was horrible you don't even remember it oh mike this is the thing there's been so many people stories for him there on a school field trip the wind picked up and blew the tree branch on the kid i mean he was eight you know it all. for us we're lucky because we're both funeral directors so we get it. people to
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say that. you're born to be a film director. and most people in our industry would say the same thing why i went to this profession. and we know film directors that have born into that world and have continued a legacy on and it's not what they wanted to do and in part because of the guilt but you feel you don't want to let the community down and so they've given up their lives to do something they don't do. ok. it's been great for us we would never have met their fallen in love if we weren't both funeral directors but as parents i i wouldn't want to children. that's pretty good a. member. i said you know i'm just going to stay. down.
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there was just something i want to do. and. i did become. you know you never get over it it's but you you are to cope and you know. i don't know what will eventually happen with my family. and i don't think i will ever fully get over the guilt that i feel for not continuing their legacy i understand now that i made the only choice i could it's a sacred and solemn duty but you'll never last in your hearts.
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welcome back as we take a look at the weather across the strait the main features this cold front which is now clearing through it's been giving showers for brisbane still the possibility of shower area but otherwise across much of southeastern parts of a stretch looking fine ostensively that twenty four degrees one or two showers across the northern territory conditions across western australia heading on into a line of showers though beginning to develop here perth for the most part dry and then still the risk of some showers across eastern areas fine in melbourne highs of seventeen degrees so across towards new zealand and that cold front we're talking about is heading across the tasman sea so we're going to see some rather cloudy skies and some patchy rain developing during the course of friday into the weekend
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and jerry dry conditions still have a chance of a few showers but some brightness in between and temperatures that in the high teens let's head up into northeastern parts of asia and here we've got cloudy skies across a good part of japan much of a colorado is looking brighter the chance want to point cool air just twelve degrees as a mix from tokyo maybe the otherwise fine conditions across the korean peninsula heading into south across southern theirs in particular and a cool one in beijing high of just fourteen degrees. again bone and circuses on a mission to help local children break the poverty cycle one on east follows their journey of sacrifice become top class performers. but one is that this time and how does it or. i really felt liberated as
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a journalist was. getting to the truth as an eyewitness that's what this job. we are witnessing around the word this is hungry money which is only looking at how to make the next profit devastating economies devastating ecosystems putting a price on the protection of nature green economy is sound good but it was all about privatized sation of nature should our environment be for sale but we're trying to do this just right people to stabilize the country by giving them a financial incentive to do that pricing the planet at this time on al jazeera. this is al-jazeera. hello everyone i've been to the wall welcome.


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