Quite independently, two ebooks on eulogy-writing have crossed my desk.

Now, I should point out that the actual books haven’t been here (I’d have to pay to read whatever simply ideas they’ve put into ebook form) but the notices or press releases for both these books have, in various form, been on my computer screen in just the last week.

Their websites look remarkably similar, with the sales tactics also mirroring one another.

The British version, by Funeral Presider and Public Speaker (his words), Kevin Burch, costs $37.

The American version, by Sheila Martin, is marked at $25.

I wonder how many people, when faced with a death, turn to the Internet to prepare a eulogy, simply because the funeral home handling their loved one’s services didn’t think to offer a eulogy guide for free.

And, even more importantly, how many people would believe that funeral homes are more integral to funeral planning (beyond embalming a body) if the funeral director offered real help with the stuff that is often the hardest?

I think a good funeral home should give a practical guide to every family it services.  A guide that deals with minutiae (how to dry flowers, write a thank you card) and big stuff (writing a eulogy, notifying a loved one’s friends of a death) is a necessary tool for grieving families.

Unfortunately, today’s families don’t always get these tools from their chosen firm.  And when they have to turn to other sources for information and tips, they have to turn their back to you.

In the past, I asked the questions, What will you do when hospitals or labs dispose of bodies and no one needs an embalmer anymore? and Could You Survive Without Disposition?.  I believe that unless we, as an industry, convince our clients that we’re about more than just body preparation, they’ll continue looking elsewhere for the answers and the services.