Cremation and the Funeral Director

Cremation and the Funeral Director:

Successfully Meeting the Challenge

This book, rich with case examples, details the experience and thinking of one funeral director who met and mastered the challenge of cremation. It recounts the painful realizations, the search for answers, the primitive (yet effective) approach toward market research and the beginning success. This is a “back to basics” book that stresses the fundamental value of funeral service and the necessity for attention to detail. It’s filled with useful insights and information for those who have dealt with cremation oriented families. It’s also of great value for those who will face the challenge in the not too distant future.


  • Binding: Softbound
  • Size: 6″ x 9″
  • Pages: 156
  • Illustrations: Several charts and tables


“Your book is terrific! It should be required reading for every funeral director. It is clear that the author knows his subject and why he has been successful as a funeral director and counselor.”
– Bob Gregorchuk, funeral director, Ventura, California

“You have done an outstanding job; you have hit the target! This book is the how-to book for helping families who desire cremation and non-traditional funeral services. It demonstrates the proper and effective ways of helping all families. It is one you will read and re-read.”
– Ric Newton, practicing funeral director, Chico, California

“This book is both needed and well done. I want all of my people to read it and read it again.”
– Paul Messinger, practicing funeral director, Scottsdale, Arizona

“I reread it… and have made it mandatory reading for our funeral directors. …It is to be read and used continually as you will find excellent advice and counsel to help families who select cremation as a final disposition and not a type of service. If there is one book that has all the answers for serving the cremation family, this is it.”
– John Carmon, CFSP, Past President NFDA

“The best thing about a book like this is that it has positive merchandising tips that can be applied not only in a cremation case, but in any difficult case. …Mr. Kubasak’s tips could easily be modified to fit the style and method of your business, and surely there is something in these pages that could benefit you.”
– From a review in Southern Funeral Director magazine

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: Beginnings
    • Personal Background
    • New Look at Cremation
    • Three Responses to Cremation
    • Elevate Cremation
  • Chapter 2: Some Hard Lessons
    • Cremation: Definition
    • Cremation and the Funeral
    • Direct Cremation
    • Direct Cremation: The Movement
    • Detecting Needs
    • Table I: Cremation Growth: California
    • Funeral Director Response
    • Case History: The Barbecue Lesson
    • Case History: “You’re Never Gonna Get Me”
  • Chapter 3: Prospect Knowledge
    • Prospect Knowledge: Definition
    • General Prospect Knowledge
    • Gathering Prospect Knowledge
    • Cremation Profile Research
    • Cremation: Mistaken Assumptions
    • Cremation: Psychological Factors
    • Case History: Unexpected Outcome
  • Chapter 4: Communication Knowledge
    • Communication: Definition
    • Case History: Disrupted Communication
    • Greeting and Communication
    • A Test for Business
    • Communicating about Cremation
    • The Arrangement Conference
    • Dealing with Feelings
    • Establishing Commonality
    • Dealing with Misunderstandings
    • Why Cremation?
    • Open Ended Questions
    • Active Listening
    • Case History: Professional Care
    • Body Language
    • Using Audio-Visuals
    • Responding to Questions about Cremation
    • Some Typical Questions
  • Chapter 5: Product Knowledge
    • Product: Definition
    • Tangible Goods
    • Intangible Services
    • Product Benefits
    • Product Knowledge Components
    • Professional Responsibilities
    • Specific Knowledge
    • Cremation: Information
    • Case History: The Revelation
    • Public Information
    • Personal Attitudes
    • Table II: Cremation Statistics
    • Impact
    • Table III: Choice of Casket/Container
    • Case History: “Cremation Only”
    • Questions: Product Knowledge
    • Answers to Questions in Chapter Five
  • Chapter 6: A New Lexicon
    • Lexicon: Definition
    • The Meaning of Words
    • Feelings about Burial and Cremation
    • Casket vs. Container
    • Visitation vs. Identifying
    • Embalming vs. Preparation
    • Funeral vs. Ceremony
    • Ashes/Cremains vs. Cremated Remains
  • Chapter 7: Merchandising Cremation Products
    • Keeping Track
    • Needless Confrontation
    • Functions of the Funeral
    • Arrangement Conference: Objectives
    • Survivor Needs, Cremation and the Funeral
    • Arrangement Conference: Cremation
    • Optional Ceremonies
    • Case History: The Flying Club
    • Three Successful Techniques
    • Separate Cremation Room
    • Displaying Urns
    • Case History: South Pacific
    • Types of Urns
    • Cremation Containers
    • Cremation Containers: Pricing Strategy
    • Case History: “Nothing Else”
    • Prices and Values
    • About Your General Price List
    • Rental Caskets
    • Rental Caskets: Possible Pitfalls
    • Example: The Law Office
  • Chapter 8: You Already Have An Attitude
    • Cremation: The Domino Principle
    • Cremation is Not the Problem
    • A Final Unmet Need
  • Appendix
    • I. A Brief Overview of Cremation
      • Introduction
      • Cremation in Ancient Greece
      • The Roman Empire and Christianity
      • Cremation in Scandinavia
      • Table IV: Cremation: Other Countries
      • Cremation in England
      • Cremation in North America
      • The Rise of Cremation Societies
      • Table V: Percent Cremations
      • Table VI: Projected Cremations
      • For the Future
      • II. Chapter References
      • III. Additional References
      • IV. Resources for Further Information
      • V. Cremation Authorization Form
      • VI. Sample Cremation Ads

Price: $25.95