The Spirit Vessel Professionals Perspectives in Deathcare series aims to help bring awareness, acceptance, and normalization to death and the grieving process. Throughout this series, we interview professionals of all types in the deathcare and emotional wellness space including hospice nurses, grief counselors and coaches, death doulas, funeral directors, life insurance agents, celebrants, alternative disposition advocates, and social workers just to name a few.
In this interview we speak with Melissa Meadow, also known as, The Modern Mortician, who is a licensed funeral director, and advocate for eco friendly forms of disposition.
Along with being a licensed funeral director and (non practicing) embalmer in Texas and Washington, Melissa and her sidekick Kermit the Certified Therapy Dog have served over 500 families.
Melissa has worked in death care since 1996, and attended Mortuary School in 2002. In 2016 she began to question the status quo vocally online and became known as The Modern Mortician. She has worked closely beside the founders of multiple green burial spaces, and was the first funeral director in Texas to facilitate Alkaline Hydrolysis for a client in a state that still hasn’t made it a legal option. She has also participated in the process of Natural Organic Reduction and has an intimate knowledge of all eco friendly forms of disposition.
Melissa considers herself to be a professional and public resource, an eco educator, an advocate, and an industry disruptor.
In this conversation we discuss:
- How Melissa found her way to deathcare, and ultimately became a supporter of eco-friendly body disposition options.
- The ways in which her sidekick service dog Kermit shares his gifts with their clients.
- Some of her favorite eco-friendly burial products.
- The process of embalming, what physically happens to the body, the products that are used, and other details you may have never known.
- How the process of alkaline hydrolysis, or water cremation works, and its impact on the environmental.
- Ways to have access to alkaline hydrolysis for yourself or your loved ones even if it’s not legal in your state.
- The process of the states legalizing human composting and alkaline hydrolysis one by one.
- The challenges involved in bringing new products to the funeral/deathcare industry.
- Creative ways to approach the topic of death and your end of life wishes with family and friends.
- An exciting project that she’s looking forward to as well as new and upcoming influencers and educators in the deathcare space that she admires.
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