Skip to main content

tv   Death In The Family  Al Jazeera  October 15, 2017 9:00am-10:01am AST

9:00 am
as democracy experiment at this time on how does iraq and this is different whether someone is telling some of his favorite. tree i think it's how you proceed and i think it is a certain way of doing it you can't just. go in fly out. the cambodian circus is on a mission to help local children break the poverty cycle one of the nice fellows their journey of sacrifice become top class performers. one is that this time one of his era. and i'm down in jordan in doha with a quick reminder the top stories here on al-jazeera i still is on the verge of being pushed out of rocca the group self declared capital in syria officials say
9:01 am
the remaining fighters are leaving the city as part of a deal brokered by tribal leaders and members of the group attacking civilians with them as human shields. as more from one talk unit took his border with syria. negotiations are still underway in iraq to convince. to live the city i mean tribes and fighters from the pub been have been trying to. convince foreign fighters affiliated with to leave in exchange for free passage now we're getting some conflicting reports about what is happening now some say that it's just a matter of time before everyone leaves that are others suggest that some of the battle hardened. i see the fighters say that they are committed to fighting to the death now the u.s. led coalition has been distancing itself from this deal saying that it won't tolerate to see those foreign fighters leave and then resurface in different parts
9:02 am
of the country but this remains a very crucial moment the as the though remains confident that it's just a matter of a few hours before they can officially declare that iraq and that control if that happens is going to be a major setback for ice which in two thousand and fourteen declared iraq that stronghold now as the fighting intensifies and the push continues to evict. from dealers or thousands of civilians remain still trapped in those areas of thousands more are fleeing to safety abandon they feel betrayed with nowhere to go there live and a very tough camp conditions are serious demanding turkish troops withdraw immediately from its northwest province more than one hundred soldiers and twenty armored vehicles crossed the border two days ago they're there to enforce a so-called deescalation zone which was brokered with russia and iran to reduce fighting austrians are voting in an election that could see the far right freedom
9:03 am
party enter a coalition government election is a year early after the government fell apart in may with a conservative people's party leading the polls austria could elect the world's youngest leader that would change or has more from vienna. you can characterize this election as mainly a fight between the center right and the far right that looks like the two parties that might enter a coalition government on monday after we get the results and as for the issues involved really very few have come on the on the debate apart from immigration immigration immigration. venezuela's opposition parties are projected to win a majority of seats in sunday's election the votes being viewed as a test of president nicolas maduro support as he battles months of political and economic crises to bomb attacks in the somali capital mogadishu have killed at least twenty people the first explosion was so powerful it brought down buildings
9:04 am
in an area full of government offices hotels and restaurants and he said people are still trapped under the rubble four people have died after a plane crashed into the sea in the international airport in ivory coast's largest city of the six others on board a cargo plane chartered by the french military were injured a civil aviation authority says it crashed during a heavy thunderstorm the plane was flying from the capital ouagadougou. man was marking two years since the signing of a cease fire with several armed groups eight of me and mas twenty one ethnic groups signed up to a peace accord in twenty fifteen but many did not participate including range of fighters the in-laws army has been accused of ethnic cleansing in rakhine state the oscars academy has expelled a film producer harvey weinstein he's accused of raping and sexually harassing more than two dozen women including the actresses angelina jolie and gwyneth paltrow and winds of up to seventy kilometers an hour fanning the fast spreading wildfires
9:05 am
further in the u.s. state of california thousands of extra firefighters are now battling the blazes across northern california forty people have died and more than ninety thousand have been evacuated it's the worst outbreak of wildfires in the state's history. well those are the headlines the news continues here on al-jazeera to al-jazeera correspondent such an absolute i thought. wow. 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
9:06 am
motivations in getting into the business i would like to know the conversations he had with my grandpa how he felt when he realized this trend in our family i want to know what it was like fred first began working earnestly in the business if it was hard for him to get over these more difficult parts of it that i feared growing up if there was times where he doubted what he was doing if you could do it all over again and again said thank god it's possible so yes it is a real question for him of course because i had the same experience i had he grew up in the same dynamics that i grew up in. who else would be able to relate more to our feeling than him. i was so surprised the stooge you're seeing parents going through the series.
9:07 am
he really probably would have wanted to be a hockey player. if i think of that's what dad said 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
9:08 am
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 for the race and know you go and you 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 blake and so next generation going in the same to know he's a producer with your so that's why it was hard for time yeah so different business yes yes he's mr smart fresher than me. my grandfather was brother paul he was ok oh ok sure yeah we had to register but just on the right to mention it was the walls farm yeah that was one of the it was sentenced to life serve their time we have also we don't know. why and asked if anyone could sing and no one was able to know someone's going to and why not someone in the family. surely meant to mean the end of the
9:09 am
children loving. them to sing sung to grandma. great grandma as the artist found her hurt you. or your hair to bring their. own. every. day you. may lose to the. oh. nice. highly we got lucky because like i did maybe i have. already heard that that you know that you know i mean if you really want
9:10 am
soup. i'll let you know. that it was very nice you know it was very nice and they're doing really well all right i'm going to change ok because it's ludicrous that i'm in the soup. 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 serving in the funeral it was kind of maybe a little glimpse of what it might have been like if i had if if i had done that job i wouldn't say i'd five years old and look at the businesses that are doing that so it was that i felt rather different things i was always very interested in history it was the idea of the power of witnessing moments of well history is made of. this was my childhood bedroom this is where i would be asleep in the middle of the night when my dad would get a phone call from you 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
9:11 am
get dressed and 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 pick up a dead body i have very striking memories of our funeral of my aunt jennifer grew up around the funeral and also moved away from st thomas we called it the bassem one of the battling it was gallant we called it the funeral home but i think that you're right that it was it was hacked and it had all these like intercom buttons and we call them the bow and you had to and and whatever called whatever hour the day whatever you're doing it we're after and that's perfect actually we were maybe we were back to. that phone ringing it still sparks a little moment of things i wish everybody stopped everybody be quiet when i'm home briefly however briefly the phone rings i shut up as vacillated it's a strange thing. i'd be interested to know how he prepared himself to do this work
9:12 am
because i don't think he was actually built for it just like i don't feel like i was actually built for. i'm going to talk to call and haskett a young funeral director in a neighboring community he's around my age and in 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 is when 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 was going to be
9:13 am
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 a cool thing to be able to drive two different lawn mowers 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 the 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 do i have 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 and white shirt and you know maybe not very. personable and certainly not very comforting and you know just sort of this
9:14 am
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 with the living than i am the dead and it's 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 that would be great and if there's anything that comes down i will let you know and 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 better this is where i grew up really yeah we were very much have a direct life 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 remain
9:15 am
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 now you can get rings you can get type pins you can get coffee links this is actually d.n.a. keepsake so lots of different options. i have done some neat things with the 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 for certain. we decided is if we could do
9:16 am
it collectively then we can all do a good job and that's exactly what we've done with. cremation is becoming 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 could remember in the setting up in the in
9:17 am
the main room of the funeral home with made up of suits with with flowers and framed photographs but maybe it's the volume maybe it's being here and within the 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 is that.
9:18 am
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 i can't believe there's not a few more director out there that it has and 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 him 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. we knew we were not the. source of his anger and anger that 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
9:19 am
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 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 you're way there and. you won't be released tonight i don't think
9:20 am
from the hospital so all the phone can ring anytime you can ring at nine fifteen i can with three o'clock in morning 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. and you know if you do it are above the. law you walk
9:21 am
in the house all right replace hockey ok otoh when. i've been playing hockey sense i was traveling with a seven eight year 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
9:22 am
we're going to go in the funeral right. and who goes in 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 matter. good job. i was all here you're like kasey here. you. know life here you know and there's to understand when i quit and there's no ghosts here no ghosts here there's no ghosts here i remembered as
9:23 am
a kid just being so so afraid by that idea like are you fraid of the being around the deputy forgive the bodies i guess i'd seen like you know zombie movies or monster movies or something and remember him just being again it was just like a lightbulb was just like well no because they're dead like to be more free of the mailman for example then you should be of the dead body in the in another room because the living people going to are you dead people cannot hear you this is not a monster movie this is real life. oh. oh oh your own phone oh 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. i did. my dad since i was you know it's eleven or 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 and i see this was there that was
9:24 am
a doctor's office at one time there were. doctors and corners there i think companies came through here. stars came through here when they were on the trains and there's a platform as side. there's another film director this is mr this is this is mr brown is it. alan's dad actually the prince or my grandmother yes there's ago your father was best man at my father's wedding i think i did know that yes i read yeah i don't winter. 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 yeah 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 sifton to confute a home you know took care of my grandmother's funeral and that's a bond to people for the for life kind of thing i was proud to be
9:25 am
a sifton i know grandpa 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 this was something i was meant to do i mean i can't say right now for you died and 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 forget he felt 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 doctors. they could see your dad and grandpa walk in and my dad that sense of humor joke or that he was said well yes here comes the two undertakers to take me home he 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
9:26 am
we were founded my great grandfather founded our funeral home after serving in the first world war he server this cousin who was killed in action and awarded the victoria cross for valor my family believes that my great grandfather's experience of witnessing mass death and seeing his cousin buried in mass graves still did him a desire to provide dignity for others when the time comes i definitely want this funeral home to be. family and i want to continue with the same values. my father carried on and i carried on how important is the new idea that that's have to remain the name in this community is well. it's very. i also care about what our name stands for and that's one of the reasons i still struggle with my decision. yeah i thought you
9:27 am
know. i'm ready for a real fortune that's your favorite. thanks for having. your. record heard. you're. knocking. my therefore i was wrong there is no reason. do you know what grampa thought about. becoming a film director deciding to be you know nothing about who i think you realize that . everybody should make their own decisions and i think that i don't think it bothered lola never heard him say he was always so well he's got two books on you is very proud of you of all his grandchildren basically followed 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
9:28 am
family responsibility that maybe i'm a grandfather an in your dad would say no you must you must do the what you'd like to do yourself and that your be happy and i come from a farm background i think those farms are all begun in i'd say they won't be long i don't feel badly i think that that's progress in other words we all we all make our own decisions i love you. you shouldn't feel guilty and that makes me feel sad to think that you 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 you know the future will be very different.
9:29 am
i was pretty good as. we are witnessing around the word this 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 privatizing of nature should our environment be for sale what we're trying to do this destroyed people to stabilize the country by giving them a financial incentive to do that pricing the planet at this time on al jazeera.
9:30 am
al jazeera where every year. as we embrace new technologies rarely do we stop to ask what is the price of this progress what happened was he was started getting sick but there was a small group of people that began to think that maybe this was really an aspersion on the job an investigation reveals how even the smallest devices deadly environmental and health we think ok we'll send our you waste to china but we have to remember that air pollution travel around the globe death by design at this time on al-jazeera. hello i'm down in jordan doha with a quick reminder of the top stories here on al-jazeera is on the verge of being
9:31 am
pushed out of rocket the group self declared capital in syria officials say the remaining fighters are leaving the city as part of a deal brokered by tribal leaders members of the armed group are taking civilians with them as human shields syria is demanding turkish troops withdraw immediately from its northwest it lived province more than one hundred soldiers and twenty armored vehicles crossed the border two days ago they are there to enforce a so-called deescalation zone which was brokered with russia and iran to reduce the fighting. austrians are voting in an election that could see the far right freedom party enter a coalition government elections a year early after the government fell apart in may with the conservative people's party leading the polls austria could elect the world's youngest leader david chaytor has more from vienna. you can characterize this election as mainly a fight between the center right and the far right that looks like the two parties that might enter a coalition government on monday after we get the results and as for the issues
9:32 am
involved really very few have come on the on the debate apart from immigration immigration immigration to bomb attacks in the somali capital mogadishu have killed at least twenty people the first explosion was so powerful that brought down buildings in an area full of government offices hotels and restaurants. police say people are still trapped under the rubble meanwhile is marking two years since the signing of a cease fire with several armed groups eight of me and miles twenty one ethnic groups signed up to a peace accord in twenty fifteen but many did not participate including revenge of fighters men miles army has been accused of ethnic cleansing in northern rakhine state the oscars academy has expelled the film producer harvey weinstein is accused of raping and sexually harassing more than two dozen women including the actresses angelina jolie and great portraits. winds of up to seventy kilometers an hour are fanning the fast spreading wildfires further in the u.s.
9:33 am
state of california thousands of extra firefighters are now battling the blaze across northern california forty people have died and more than ninety thousand people have been moved to shelters is the worst outbreak of wildfires in the state's history well those are the headlines the news continues here on al jazeera after al-jazeera correspondent that's watching. the smallest sprout shows there is really no death all goes outward nothing collapses we're committing poetry it's a reading of walt whitman's 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
9:34 am
the grass i love if you want me again look for me under your boot soles oh. 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 a good thing here. right now feel all be well yeah yeah. but he brought me a bill i felt really good right below his grave has been dug sort of slowly you're going over he just refuses to go into it i declared hospice care for the last couple 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 your attempted coup
9:35 am
will work yeah. but it's graves out there filled with snow right now and someday i hope yacub eyes bill this later it will be ok funeral service has nothing except internet access to a lot of stories. so i've always been interested in characters and the stories that surround them the narratives being a funeral director in a small town gives you access that is not often shared by other people there are divisions as they 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 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
9:36 am
to get a shovel or build a fire or drag the corpse up where the birds will come and get pick the bones 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. 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. 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
9:37 am
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 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 tend to the course 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.
9:38 am
thank you so i thank you very much we haven't had a sunday like this bill in the longest time. 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's jones he has been our day person multiple times including for our youtube videos one of those videos 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 scary. ok everyone at least three people on each side of my name especially mary one i'm
9:39 am
a death major are. executive director scindia which is an acronym for the canadian integrative network for death education alternatives which strongly supports families having meaningful choices whether those are around i'm also a wiccan priestess and and actually are dangerous one close 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 and 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
9:40 am
a memorial or something like that but it's also easier to process through to this 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 like 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
9:41 am
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 doing the body care was allowing her to step one step over the threshold with her son and that was a. i mean yes she would mourn him not being there but that actual process of caring for him was one that was. i did isn't just an hour ceremony it's. in the middle of the night. that we. are all the things that never got resolved to now. all of those moments become incredibly sacred.
9:42 am
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 our dad and to confront our own mortality is positive and helping. this is stunning it's. it's completely quiet it's still. burstein 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 carols and of cemeteries 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 friend it's just. just beautiful and
9:43 am
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 to be honest. my name server meg 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 like the core organs are just like a painting with so many beautiful colors and everything versus just your regular funeral is like dead body general home service ground.
9:44 am
we had so much fun and play with it. and we carried her out the door and we carried her like this and as we were carrying her the ladies are singing in the kitchen. and we just carried her down the stairs and around the corner and then there's a driveway underneath and that's her and i o's four flex was waiting for her and it was raining and i said she's having her p.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 write and then her spirit was around with us.
9:45 am
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 . deals 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 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 photocopier just whatever their background was if we were in the selection room
9:46 am
looking at ernst and caskets. i felt that their their suggestions were biased you know based on what kind of commission they would get 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 and into 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
9:47 am
nine real funeral homes left and the largest chain owns eight of them do you think there's an awareness in the public that really the good old days are corporate oh you know what the difference is between no we've 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 when in 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 that environment is
9:48 am
a caring and supportive environment. a funeral homes a scary place that's were i was gone but dad said son you. know 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 sister's of 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 mother's 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
9:49 am
industry in north america we had planned to have an intimate family service we had planned to do a 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 taking 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
9:50 am
a cia or any other of their of their brands we thought it was pleasant valley 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 dedicated 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
9:51 am
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 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 mum. or you really really yeah 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
9:52 am
be concerned about how they were providing that service they would be more tuned to the needs of of the community. 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 got out and they fell through the ice and drowned one of the six one of the 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
9:53 am
remember looking out the window at my garage across the street i wish them well 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.
9:54 am
your i suffered a very bad mental breakdown and tie was hospitalized for a couple days and of course as most people doctors a couple days later i'm back at the 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
9:55 am
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 recent one was the lady that stopped her son son to 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 you'd be withdrawn and just withdraw oh yeah like i would just come home and just sort of just quiet not saying really the little boy at the memorial gardens at the tree fell on i thought it 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 level. for us we're lucky because we're both funeral
9:56 am
directors so we get it. people to 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 want to 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. says pretty good. member.
9:57 am
i said you know i'm just going to stay. down. there was just something i want to do. i need to come. you know you never get over it it's but you were to cope and you know. i don't know what will eventually happen with my family's funeral 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.
9:58 am
hello the showers is proper rain dragging through turkey again and that will prompt something of the caucasus and probably of the caspian coast of iran once again so in the forecast in the immediate future on sunday it's turkey and maybe a little bit beyond but really we're still talking about dry whether we're still hovering in the middle twenty's for tehran middle thirty's down in iraq with the wind not particularly strong and then come monday that rain spreads across the wind follows it it's cold enough behind a little bit more snow up in the caucuses once again so george armenia maybe and also as a by john we haven't seen the showers come down to iran that's probably a day later not much in the way of sherry stuff further south in fact sunday doesn't show particularly strong but the breeze is still blowing down the gulf by this time the cloud around the amman ecosystem isn't quite enough to be in the back
9:59 am
but it is interesting to see cloud there this time of the year temperature wise western side is saudi we just dropped down below the forty mark about thirty eight or thirty nine mostly this is cloud free out i'm pleased to say that our violent weather on the eastern side of south africa just two or three days ago it's all gone quiet and temporarily sunny. we understand the differences and the similarities of cultures across the wound. so no matter where you call home al-jazeera will bring in the news and current of families that matter to you. al jazeera. 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 do use it as
10:00 am
a deterrent south africa's former president declared talks to al-jazeera at this time. it's impossible to underestimate the size and scale of the economic crisis it's not just about the billion trillion dollars of debt it's not just about the banks it's not just about the government to buy real people. can 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. when used at this time on al-jazeera. sun i saw fighters leave rocca as part of a deal but others vow to fight on.


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on