The average lifespan in the US is approximately 78 years. As the NFDA convention in Chicago concluded, I thought a lot about a 78-year lifespan.  As I walk around the floor at these conventions, I am always amazed by the innovations, conversations, inventions and intentions.  The winds of change, the warnings and woes are always prevalent.  Our calendar is approaching 2,020 years of existence since the birth of Christ…2,020 years of life, years of families, years of stories.  Using today’s statistics, if you take a 78-year life-span and divide it into 2,020 years of existence you come up with about 26 generations.  I wonder if you took one person from each generation, put them around a dinner table and told them to share the ups and downs of their life, would their stories be so different?  Obviously, the early generations would be in awe of our technological advances and I believe we would be inspired by their struggles for survival.  I believe once everyone looked beyond appearances and culture shock, common bonds would develop.


Clearly, we live in a time of hyper-speed change. We convince ourselves that if we don’t change, almost daily, that we’re stuck in the past…old…stodgy.  When I walk the NFDA convention floor, I see the dilemma, I see the products and concepts to help solve “the problem”.  I’m actually a supplier that believes funeral service professionals “get it”.  It’s a tough fight and I am proud to be a part of the tussle. Pop culture changes constantly, but life does not…we still grieve, gather and celebrate life.

Personally, I would love to be at that table for 26, just to listen because I think the stories would blur generational lines.  I would encourage today's funeral homes to keep up the good fight, continue the conversation and pursue the value of serving families during their time of greatest need.