You’ve done all the planning. You know who will officiate at the funeral service for your loved one and who will give the eulogy. You’ve chosen the flowers, selected the music and bought a new dress or suit. You’ve also decided to explore livestreaming the service, so friends and family who can’t be there in person can watch. Now you may be asking yourself: What next? How do we make this livestream or webcast decision and if we decide to do it, how do we make it private so it isn’t broadcast beyond family and friends if we don’t want it to be and as meaningful as possible without making it intrusive, uncomfortable or creepy for those who can’t be at the service in person? Below are five questions you need to ask before webcasting a loved one’s funeral or memorial.
Who are the people who may want to attend the funeral or memorial but probably won’t be able to, due to distance, illness, work or family circumstances?
It’s important to ask this question – and then start making a list. Chances are high (90 percent of the time we have found) that your loved one had friends and family members who will want to attend but can’t. According to the US Census Bureau and US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Americans move and change jobs more than 11 times across the life span. In any given year, almost 10% of the American population is on the move, including 2% that move as far away as different state (or farther). Many of these people form deep connections across multiple communities. Think about all the people whose lives your loved one has touched, including relatives and friends they may have lost touch with. Use their address book or holiday card list or ask other friends and loved ones to make sure you don’t leave people out who cared about your loved one.
You may be surprised to learn that many people are very interested in a funeral livestream. TribuCast™ has found that its service often doubles or even more than doubles attendance at funerals and memorials. The National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) reports that the average funeral or memorial has 60 to 90 in-person attendees. Using the TribuCast™ Remote Attendance System™ has shown to add between 60 and 90 more attendees per service, on average.
What kind of streaming service does the funeral home use and how does it work?
This is a very important question. Some funeral homes and churches can livestream services already. But can they guarantee the funeral webcast will be private and will it be personalized? How do they monitor their memorial livestream to help ensure video and audio quality issues are addressed quickly? Who do remote attendees call if they have an issue accessing a funeral webcast or livestream? Do they only offer funeral livestreaming or does their service allow families to provide context about the deceased’s actual life? What if the service is in a funeral home or church that doesn’t have livestreaming or webcasting capabilities or what if the service is grave-side or at some other location?
Advantages of TribuCast™ include that it offers a private, secure and dignified way to attend a funeral or memorial service remotely and each TribuCast™ is monitored by TribuCast personnel for video and audio quality (so they can help remote attendees if needed). Each TribuCast has a unique distribution link (private web address) that is provided by the funeral home to family and friends and acts like a key for access. All a remote attendee needs to do is click on the link which opens a web browser and takes them directly to the service they wish to attend remotely. Mourners don’t have to join a third-party platform, download a new app, or remember a new user id and password they may only use once – something particularly important for the older generation. In addition, TribuCast™ is totally portable and mobile making it possible to livestream or webcast from just about anywhere there is cellular or wifi access AND TribuCast™ offers the opportunity to add content and context about the deceased (more on this later).
So, ask your funeral home director what livestreaming service he or she uses – and more importantly, ask them about TribuCast™.
Should I reach out to the Director of my loved one’s senior living facility?
If your loved one was elderly and lived in a senior living community, you have yet another important group of people who probably want to pay their respects but can’t, due to issues with mobility, transportation, or illness. Reach out to the Director of the facility and see if there might be a way to share the funeral livestream or webcast with their community.
Nursing and assisted living facility directors have told us that having access to a TribuCast™ is profoundly important for residents when a member of their community dies. These Directors see TribuCast™ as a critical tool for helping residents to cope with a loss. Participating in a TribuCast™ in a common area allows nursing home and assisted living residents to feel like they are really at the funeral or memorial. TribuCast™ provides them with an autonomous, independent and dignified way to honor a friend that has passed away. In the words of one director, “I can honestly say that once we experienced a TribuCast, and really understood how it worked and its impact, we never want our community to do without it again. It has been that important.”
At one assisted living facility that recently used TribuCast™, 100 percent of residents and staff attended the funeral service of a fellow resident remotely. And, the outpouring of appreciation shared with the family is often profoundly heartwarming.
Which portions of the funeral or memorial service do family and loved ones want to make available via livestream?
The answer to this question varies quite a bit and depends a great deal on how the service itself is organized. Some families and loved ones only want to film the church or temple portion of the service. Others want to be able to livestream the rosary at the wake or the last prayers and farewells at the grave site. Those who opt for a Celebration of Life service may have completely different requirements (one family did a scattering of cremains ceremony from a boat). The person or persons planning the funeral need to be clear and precise about their wishes and expectations – and funeral directors need to be clear as well about whether they can meet those expectations.
Some funeral webcasting systems use fixed camera solutions, meaning the camera will only be operable from one location – usually the ceiling of the funeral home. The TribuCast™ Remote Attendance System™ utilizes smartphone or iPad/android tablet technology making it completely portable and much more flexible than fixed camera systems that can only provide one point of view.
What kind of context (or content) do you want to share with those wishing to participate via a remote attendance system? What will in-person attendees have access to that remote attendees might appreciate having as well?
We have a saying here at TribuCast™: Cameras on caskets without context is creepy. Unfortunately, too many funeral and memorial live streaming services do just that – point a camera at a casket, hit the go live button and let it do its thing. We have learned through research and experience that it is far more meaningful to remote attendees to share additional content with them that they can engage and interact with that was close to the deceased’s heart – the same sort of content that makes attending a highly personalized service in-person heartwarming and transformational.
If you choose to use TribuCast™, take some time to think about what kind of content you would like to use to frame the service for remote attendees. A picture of dad hiking the Appalachian trail? The lyrics of mom’s favorite song or scripture verse? Information about an award that meant the world to your sister? A basketball trophy? A family tree? A wedding photo? A vacation home photo or video? A link to a beloved charity in lieu of flowers? A fun-loving childhood video or maybe a tribute video?
The possibilities for providing context are endless with TribuCast™ and, like the eulogy, this content provides a series of windows into the life that was lived. You can learn more on using context portals HERE.
Does your funeral home offer TribuCast™?
As you can probably tell from the above questions, we think TribuCast™ is uniquely equipped to manage the nuances and sensitivities involved in livestreaming a funeral or memorial service in a superior way to traditional webcasting or livestreaming. TribuCast™ offers privacy, flexibility, dignity and context. It was designed with the needs of remote attendees in mind and enables loved ones to take part in a service remotely without having to use a highly impersonal social media platform or download an app. It has unique context portals to enrich the experience of the service and reflect on the life that has passed. It can be infinitely personalized and is easy to use.
In short, tribucasting can play an important role in helping all the people whose lives a loved one has touched to cope, grieve, honor and heal at a time of significant and life-changing loss. Don’t settle for less than what the TribuCast™ Remote Attendance System™ has to offer. Learn more about TribuCast™ at www.TribuCast.com.