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Turning Death Into Dollars: Secrets of the Family Funeral Business (Full Documentary) | Real Stories

Mar 17, 2024
foreigner God bless you and keep you in the name of the father and the son and the Holy Spirit morbid curiosity we all have it secretly we will want to see the things that we are not supposed to see for those who work in the The hidden world of the

funeral

industry The Corpses are my favorite people who take care of the dead, it's what they do for a living. Thank you. He bought a coffin 15 years ago. But the

business

of

death

is

full

of shocks. I'm going to leave it. I'll leave it and surprises for one of Australia's oldest

family

funeral

homes.
turning death into dollars secrets of the family funeral business full documentary real stories
The battle is to stay alive. Fondly remembering this place, funerals rewarded. I passed for the first time in 30 years and the stress I get from this is taking its toll. there is no funeral without the body in a cafe for a cancer patient organizing her own funeral is heartbreaking it is a very emotional day considering it is my last birthday there is also life and love it has been a slightly bigger obstacle in my love life than I thought which would be with exclusive access to a world

full

of

secrets

. The lid is about to be lifted on one of the last great taboos.
turning death into dollars secrets of the family funeral business full documentary real stories

More Interesting Facts About,

turning death into dollars secrets of the family funeral business full documentary real stories...

Welcome to the secret life of

death

. Most people when they come to work in the morning go to the office first. I make them tea or whatever, but when I go to the refrigerator in the morning, you know, I check how many bodies are in there and make sure nothing's spoiled and it's not the fruit that's left in the crisper drawer. The funeral home workers are wearing cold suits. morbid, almost robotic male types, but now we're in the 21st century and the face of funerals is changing and I think I could be part of those Carter world funerals.
turning death into dollars secrets of the family funeral business full documentary real stories
Jasmine speaks at only 28 years old. Jasmine is one of the youngest funeral directors in the country. age my gender everything was a rarity there was a time like the Victorian era when they were quite morbidly fascinated with death and I think we've actually gone too far in the opposite direction, we don't talk about it enough there are over 800 funeral homes in Australia are literally a dying breed, one of the oldest being the Walter Carter Funeral Home based in Bondi Junction in Sydney's eastern suburbs since 1887. It has witnessed Australia's evolution over the last century, so that you might be interested in something like this with Jasmine and Amber, her latest recruit, basic nasal packing, while Jasmine Comforts The Living Amber honors the dead.
turning death into dollars secrets of the family funeral business full documentary real stories
Amber is the morgue administrator, kind of a hero to me, she and I hit it off instantly, but we instantly had the same sense of humor and also this kind of thing. of the same madness for us the corpses are my favorite people in the world my office is the morgue I am doing a very muscular jaw because there is not much the hotel I received the bodies I took them out battery-operated devices plug in and clean no I don't care about the families, I care about my bodies, while Jasmine cares more about who the body was and the people they left behind.
Are you the living

real

ity closest to you? Next Kim day, my day consists of preparing for whatever funeral there is. that day any preference burial subgrimation clean the hearses load the hearses we are on the phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. when someone is dead then it's our job to intervene at every funeral Amber and Jasmine's presentation has to be impeccable being late is not an option who Have you killed Tippex? It's my shirt for the sake of anything. That's much better. Look at the Jazz watch. Hey, look, it's better. He is happier. Now I can't press the button.
Can you put the button at the top? So I know otherwise it will happen. hang up Cool tips, here we go, oh, that's actually pretty good, okay, oh shit, get it out. My boss would find the whole situation funny like she was oh god, she loves Adele, she's good, but maybe Richard Timber, the pressure is on us to always get it right. If you do it right on the day, you will not be able to repeat a funeral in its 130-year history. Walter Carter has organized over 60,000 funerals, from prime ministers to politicians, rock stars and those who hit rock bottom, every

family

that goes by that person has a story and they have it all, they are all stars in their own way, even if the family requests a closed casket, Amber carefully prepares everyone for a viewing, you never know when the lid will come off, but she also respects the body and no. to dispel any myths, don't you know, she does men's makeup all the time, today she's putting the finishing touches on an African American musician who performed alongside soul music legends, here we go, the lovely Mr.
Jackson, it was this staple , cover and dress everything. About this guy he looks

real

ly cool, he just seems like a cool guy before working in this industry. I never cared about a suit, a well-cut suit, nothing better than being able to stand seeing a dead body is the least of your worries when you work in funerals. A dead body is nothing compared to people grieving someone they love. My mother taught us how to say it. She gave singing lessons for the nine yards. One of the first opportunities we had was none other than James Brown and there was our a plan to face we opened the show for James Brown, yes, so the more that is our badge of honor, I would like everyone to stand up as one final ovation for a great friend, a great performance.
What I love about Amber is that she just keeps going and at the age of 31 suddenly she has an 11 year old son and her partner passed away and he's in our care and we're doing his funeral and she just keeps going, that's Nick in the middle and me when I was skinny in Nick's senior year. My point of being alive while at work was more of an escape for me. I love what I do, but even someone as resilient as Amber can break. Last week was the first time. It really shocked me, we had a boy who confessed to his parents that they didn't accept him and he committed suicide and he was five years older than my son again, he was heterosexual: you want to be a cat or you're going to vote. liberal, it's okay, I love you, no matter what it takes, God overcome liberal, but luckily, no matter what 2014-18, why, why, why, why, why, There are some days when you go home and cry and cry and cry and cry I was checking in and checking out, is everyone okay?
That I have to do? Do we need to organize some counselling? Do we need to organize a staff event or information session? Our level of advice is Dale making drinks for herself and the staff. I'll buy half of Dan Murphy's and get good food and everyone will just drink and relax and talk, and you know, to make up for the darkness of her day job, Jasmine has had a second job to balance things out with this job. I also run a comedy club on the weekends, all you guys are going to do is have fun, laugh.
The weird part of me likes contrast. I work with corpses and live alone. I'm not going to lie, it's been a bit of a hindrance in my love life. I thought that people always think that working with what I do would be like a turnoff, but you have become the life of the party if you want to make friends or flirt or do whatever, even pretend to be a mortician because seriously they let everything go the world asks on the first date what you do the initial reaction is always you know, that's great, but then if some date progresses they start thinking and say that means I'm going to be with someone who walks around dead bodies all day.
I don't really blame him because it's very strange, isn't it inside Walter Carter's headquarters? The boss is about to drop a bomb. What I want to do is announce something that is really going to impact the future. of Walter Carter Funerals, so after much consideration, I have decided to form a joint venture with Olson Funerals in Sutherland. Look, you're falling. As if Walter Carter Olsen is also a family funeral home, but is based an hour away in the suburban Sutherland Shire, as a small

business

Walter Carter would be struggling to continue surviving in its current structure.
We had to move, we put the facility up for sale, so after 130 years, it's going to be kind of a great era. house in Waverly I feel for her that she had to be Carter's generation that had to move behind the house now change of plans she is in Sutherlands like nowhere else now we have to go to the shower because that in the back of the house Home is where we are. I'll be here I run the morgue when I go there I won't for Dale the joint venture is an economic and strategic necessity brought about by large conglomerates gobbling up smaller funeral homes.
Today there is a challenging world and a small independent family business. In business, it was too challenging to continue as we were, so things had to change with staff still reeling from the news of the joint venture. Richard, another of Dale's funeral directors, received an extremely rare request to meet someone who is terminally ill and is planning their own service and their own wake is a very different arrangement for us hi, tragically, Odette Madden from 46 years old, has terminal breast cancer. I have a whole list of things I've already solved. Odette is among the less than 10 per cent of Australians.
They bravely face her mortality by planning her own funeral. I understand we are looking at Peter's Anglican Church in Watson's Bay. Yes, to fix it. Richard needs answers to 62 questions. My task is to make it bright white please, and the handles to be silver. She had incredibly specific requirements for her service, obviously she spent quite a bit of time thinking about it, writing, you are not to be promoted with the coffin, no, no, I will take you home when everyone arrives. I want a violinist to play until everyone is seated. I have five white doves to be released by my son Brooklyn and daughter April.
I have a lot of gay friends and specifically some gay friends who also push some Drac and I'm asking those people to come forward as they are. I want to ask. What will you wear, please, we will be the only ones in black, from the looks of it, what tie will you wear, this is our company tie, our corporate tie, it's the only one we have, I'm really sorry, that's the ugliest tie that I have seen Ben. I won't be there this time. Sorry, we won't use it then. I'm sorry to ask this, but with everything we're planning, can you give me a rundown of the time period?
As? How soon will we see this happen? A couple of months ago I was told that I won't see Christmas abroad this year. It would be easy to see it as active vanity, but it's not, you can see the party. under her skin and the funeral she's organizing has that glow and you can see in her eyes when she's planning it that she wants to be there in Walter Carter, the joint venture with Olson means Amber will be separated from Jasmine and the rest of the family . Teaming up with your beloved morgue everything has been very frustrating all these boxes are going to Sutherland and I've been trying to get people to help get them across but everyone is busy doing their own thing Amber's is about Morty it's about families and so because you know there's no funeral without a body in a cafe I'm definitely going to miss Jasmine because it's nice to have another young woman here working.
I'm going to miss Jasmine yeah I'll know about this and it's this is my Morty when Nick died we brought him here he was in the middle stand and yeah and it's like this is where he was that's what we're going to try to do is place the memories in one or two of these bigger boxes, right, Dale? It's not just abandoning a piece of geography, it's also a giant chunk of family history. It's going to be very sad to get rid of this. We have to guard this very, very carefully. That's the first record book we have.
No? how worn it is, but these are literally the records of all our original early funerals from the 1886-1887 era and what really surprises me is the price of funerals from those days: two pounds eight pounds, which would have been a really big funeral today. a basic funeral costs around five thousand

dollars

and an extravagant one more than fifty thousand the clock is about to stop for Walter Carter's funeral after 130 years this is the last day we will be in this place okay Mortuary that depressingly there is no chemicals, no surgical tools, no plumbing, but worst of all, there is no Amber, which sucks because Amber and I will hardly be able to see each other, that will be done for the time being.
Long distance has never been very good in long distance relationships, the current service. Inside the Walter Carter Chapel there is a coffin, mourners, eulogies, this is a staff meeting of a different kind, but there is no corpse, it is from tomorrow, things are beginning to be demolished or dismantled of all people on the planet who know about grief, do you think? It will be us, each memory here is what gives life to what is a real event. A place of death that's where I kissed my father goodbye, so I stay there. It's strange that some things have made a garden.
My mother died. She rings our iconic clock. and she marks the last talk of her we are packing ourboxes and looking forward to the excitement of a new location but I always hope to fondly remember this place this place we are all types of funerals passed for the first time in 30 years decisive time looms as tragedy rocks Walter Carter Dale's ancestor Walter Carter, is buried in Waverly Cemetery, opened in the 1870s, one of Sydney's oldest, once Australia's cemeteries were a grave reminder of our colonial past, today the inscriptions echo our joint ventures of cultural diversity signed and stamped by Dale's making the hour-long journey to Olson's funerals serving diverse communities in Sydney's southern suburbs and today an Australian Vietnamese family is mourning the passing of an elderly man, while mourners wear black In Western societies, in Vietnamese culture, immediate family members wear white headbands.
Times are changing with different cultures coming in and influencing us and there are a lot of larger corporate organizations and that's putting pressure on your more traditional funeral homes, like ours, the elves, Dale is here to meet the owner, wow, and to talk to Amber who is now temporarily at Olson's Mortuary, welcome to the family business, it's great doing business with you now, remind me how many generations you have. Can you believe it? I am a fifth generation funeral director. Are you OK? You're hitting me while I'm third generation. I just found this certificate that belonged to my grandfather.
So you will remember that this is the association to which we both belong. You received this in November 1948, how did you start the business just after the war? Both companies have adapted to the changing face of modern Australia. We serve all types of cultures and religions, from African, Vietnamese, Chinese. Let's face it, we are a reflection of Australia's multicultural society. One of my biggest concerns is Amber because we have always been under the same roof before and she is now physically away from that, about an hour away from where all the activity is. I know Emma's here, so she's fine, great, I know and she's there. feeling a little bit of pain right now and I miss her hi hi Amber so how are you adjusting?
I know it's awkward being here and I know you still have logistical issues and you know I can show you real quick just remember how big our morgue was yeah that's the surgical cart there yeah that's working on Bare Bones no It is the same as home where we are all together now it is difficult to move from home to another place, but we know that it is temporary. I am actively looking for a new home bag. It will be much closer. See you later. Bye bye. I don't like traveling, it sucks. I feel like the Russian has been left out in the cold.
Distance is much more than a physical distance. There is no other way to do it. Put it, absolutely, this is where you sound, you sucked balls, you don't focus at all. Obviously I'm talking on the phone a lot. It's nice, but I think I guess three times already today, it's not like we crossed paths and said, oh, by the way. this is what's happening there are flaws in how information is transferred through refugees I want my own morgue in Walter Carter's new office in Waverly Richard is starting to plan Odette Madden's funeral even though she's still alive I think that there will be one or two things that may not be able to match exactly what Odette wants.
He was looking for a violinist. Jasmine reminded me that she is classically trained on the violin, which I completely forgot when she once asked me to play the violin at the funeral. I've been practicing very hard. every day I haven't really I need to practice more I have been practicing I will practice well I need to be well I am doing it I have been looking forward to your requests are very specific. Odette's entire requirement is that she cannot be black. and then she said, look, if you can't find a vehicle, get me a white horse-drawn carriage, so I thought I'd go to someone who knows horses and then you start looking and find a black one, no way.
The black becomes white and I know that he has told you about flowers. He was wondering if you could explain to me what he told you. Thank you when it comes to flowers. I don't know, that's why we have a flower shop. Oh, you know, I know. coffins I know more trees I don't know flowers I'm still excited about the relocation of his family's funeral home Dale just got a startling reminder that not even a funeral director is immortal I'm a very conscientious person about applying breast cream this time, however they do it. I found some pretty nasty cells so I'm dealing with the shock of that right now, the indicators are that if I don't do something about it I'm at a very high risk of developing cancer and having it spread throughout my body. a moment of warning okay, well done, okay, I know you have been interested in what is happening to me and yesterday I had my appointment with the breast surgeon, frankly, there are not many options, either I live on a ticking time bomb or I go.
I went in and had surgery, we talked about mastectomy, the word mastectomy has already spread a bit in the office, the decision is that it is a double. Things were already hard enough because we had moved and then all of a sudden Dale is out of the game and we're all really worried about what's going to happen to her abroad if I hadn't had that breast exam, I'd be having a different conversation and that's a conversation I don't want to have at one of the eight funerals at Olson's today. is for a university professor born in China white flowers symbolize purity, innocence and pain in Chinese culture one-child policy I'm the only one you know there are no siblings to comfort the child of the deceased an unexpected byproduct of politics of a single son of China blue, well an open coffin is common at Chinese funerals.
Mourners approached the coffin and bowed three times to pay tribute to the deceased in China. Loved ones are also paying tribute by watching the live stream on the Internet. Lee Chongshan, this is not goodbye, but thank you. for the memories they will cherish forever. Unfortunately, Odette's health has continued to deteriorate and she has been transferred to a nearby hospital. Time may be passing but not its great sense of occasion oh it's a very emotional day yes hello my friend oh hello Richard, happy birthday my Love, I've got people choking on them after him. Look, you have organized my horses well.
I found you a horse and carriage. I'm not talking about one horse, I'm talking about four. Well, on this site thing, can we add three? whiter are two horses at least and he won't wear a very ugly tie he explained to them that he has to use the tire that you are giving us okay I love you you are a beautiful man thank you despite the shadow of death odette His 46th birthday is a powerful reflection of the brilliant life he has led. I love me too. On average, more than 150,000 Australians die each year. One of us dies every three minutes and 16 seconds.
In Sydney's southwest, the Nigerian Australian community is praying for the soul of a son who lost his battle with cancer at just 37 years old. There comes a moment when the music stops and you will understand that the dance is not over, the DJ has just changed the tune. I mean, Almighty God bless you and keep you in the name of the father and the son and the Holy Spirit Nigerian culture the last right is to celebrate life thank you in Walter Carter Jasmine is meeting Richard Coleman in terms of the date whose partner Gary Crew died of cancer leaving behind his loved ones and his own coffin and I don't think I'll ever have a customer bring their own cotton again.
She bought a coffin 15 years ago. She planned to use it in case he died. The wood is definitely shaped like a coffin. I had worked on televisions and I would use it as a prop, yes, so what we are looking for to start obviously is that it is not a coffin prop, so yes, the background is solid, the note is nice, it is beautiful, now I wanted to use it for her royal funeral, which I thought was brilliant I'm going to leave it I'm going to leave it you're throwing it foreign Jasmine is delivering a coffin to Olson's in Sutherland her colleagues are calling on the healing power of humor on the eve of Dale's double mastectomy it's been a great month and you have been amazing the idea of ​​not being pushed and pushed back so hard you are an inspiration Dale we have your back you take care of your friends thank you so much guys thank you so much so if I do it it's like the surgeon I'm going to do it , yeah, yeah, I think it's okay, here we go, all with Odette fighting the final stages of cancer.
Richard is organizing an audition for one of his many funeral requests. I feel like I already know them. Okay, so I've got Jasmine on the violin, she's one of my colleagues, okay, she's as good as me, but someday she will be, and Terrace builds her own heart, plays her own harp, and blows her own trumpet. Great, you heard what I told him. Sorry, I said sorry, but that's what I've ever seen. I'm so glad girls don't have to wear ties. She laughs. The day will be less. It's lovely. I'm sorry for crying, it's very difficult. Sit down with someone who looks in poor health and tells you that she won't see Christmas, it will be difficult when she dies, it will be a sad business, but all her friends will be in one place while Odette has cancer.
It's terminal for Dale there is still hope children at his side Dell's survival depends on the success of today's tough 12 hour operation Are you allergic to anything? He doesn't have allergies. I went and reviewed my will this week and I went and wrote my own funeral arrangements. this week because I thought I wanted to get it out of my mind and I just want to make sure you know that all my affairs are in order, you'll be fine, it would be a pretty poor show if a funeral director hadn't worked out. what they want for their funerals, I will be cremated, just like my parents were, if praise were kept to a minimum, no one needs to know every chapter and verse, that's what I'm saying, most of us live life thinking that the Cancer diagnosis is a total catastrophe.
I think Dale has the emotional coping skills to understand that this happens, that's life, luckily everything went as planned and I have more surgery on the horizon so it's a process that will probably take about three or four months before that can I'm actually completely over it, even though Dale is out of action. Walter Carter is not here today. Jasmine and Richard are on their way to the team's funeral for Gary, who had the rare distinction of owning his own coffin. Yes, he fulfilled his last wish. Jasmine stopped by Olson's to pick up. on top of her body that Amber has prepared they haven't seen each other in months I can barely see Amber anymore it's just not the same we want to get back together again it's a temporary thing so I'm hopeful that once we get back together more so that interaction can be resumed here for Mr.
Cruz's service there is a card inside he was really a promoter an agitator a reseller buyer the first day after the operation in intensive care the first thing he said to me was someone The phone started ringing while he would settle into an intensive care bed on eBay trying to buy and sell, there are no good times that could have happened, but then very sadly the day came which he referred to as he would need one of those one day and that day is today I hope I have given him the funeral that he wanted and that he imagined because he had time to imagine his own coffin on display so we are waiting for the crematorium staff to open that door and then Gary He will be cremated okay see you , Gary, today we will join our father at Saint Peter's Anglican in Watson's Bay, where his funeral will eventually be held.
Richard has never organized a funeral for someone who is still alive. The stakes are high and his every move is being closely scrutinized. Oda constantly asks me what the practicalities are like, you know, I know where the pigeons are, I know where the horses are today, the plan will be even more challenging, the marquis is around, yes, yes, so it's time to complain, but It's beautiful, oh, it's stunning. It really is a beautiful church, yes, where does the coffin essentially go during the service? only here I just say only here, okay, we'll take you here, they'll put you here, yeah, and then at the end you'll turn around and come back this way. yeah, the foreigner kicks us in the gut every day, so just, uh, weird, it's not weird, it's tragic, man, it's not normal, no, no, it's whatever, but come here, death doesn't discriminate Yes, eBay, you are our angel, black or white, that's what you are. rich or poor traditional or modern 40 years homeless death is the ultimate equalizer tree was one of over one hundred and fifteen thousand Australians who were homeless circumstance many people have mental health problems unfortunately his story is quite common Vincent's coffin It's a fitting tribute to his love of street graffiti, everyone is on the same path and enjoying Richard's moments.
Today's death is deeply personal. Odette died in acrosemba. We have an unusual situation now, so that's withus, but she is no longer with us, but she is a. It's a big thing to understand obviously I don't know it. I remember Rich kept saying how do you know this funeral is going to be huge. My first job is to show the utmost respect to the deceased. They are my bodies. Two weeks away. Christmas and after months of meticulous planning, the pressures on Richard to fulfill all of Odette's wishes, so this is a toilet that Odette bought for us, she bought about seven for the team, but obviously she had to try our ties, so yes, for the first time. time today everyone is going to wear something about the surreal Dale today we're back we've done so many big funerals at Carter's but I've personally never met the person we're going to do the funeral for a lot of gay friends who dress in drag and them I ask those people to come, since my coffin will be bright white and the handles will be silver, everything is incredibly immediate, so basically every emotion I have in a box, I'm on the conveyor belt of doing everything you would ask me to do , you are all welcome to this celebration of life for Odette resting at the end of the coffin.
I want my gold surgery heels from Christian and my daughter April will get them together. to thank God for the life of a precious and special person Odette Dorothea death totally sucks that your hearts are broken, the loss and pain that comes with Odette's death is palpable. Our Debt planned and organized everything here, even down to the ties that the funeral attendees wear and she ordered ties from 50 Shades of Grey. I mean, I did it in 2009 for At her first breast surgery, I had the privilege of holding her hand from the beginning and for that we thank God for life's work and the love of our debt and Dorothea tonight, when I arrive at a pub.
I can't wait to stop and just toast my friend a little like five white doves being released overseas. Dale witnessed the destruction of the building where five generations of his family have comforted the grieving. I'm a local so it's inevitable that I go to Stop by the old location on Oxford Street from time to time it's still an emotional nuisance for me, the focal point of that business has always been the clock. Try to think if there is somewhere you can use it in the new location, unfortunately the mechanisms are very old. designed today it just wasn't worth relocating last year it took its toll on Jasmine Funeral directors are known for burning out it's understandable why you deal with other people's pain and then don't realize you're starting to feel this annoying feeling of hopelessness yourself was too probably my first experience of compassion fatigue I think I'm over the worst of it the fog has lifted and Jasmine's moonlighting has paid off I found a solution to that little problem with being in a The relationship began dating the manager of the comedy club.
The boom problem was solved this time. Being isolated in Sutherland shocked Amber yet she loves to honor her bodies. I don't know how people can work with kids all day. That's crazy. I barely find it difficult to work in the afternoons and mornings. with my son you can ask me about the family in the wonderful Vida Loca that this person led but I don't keep that in my memory I remember Dale's bodies it has been a year of professional and personal survivors in its entirety and one because I underwent an operation in which some of the fat was taken from an area and used for reconstruction in the breast area.
Basically, I have scars all over the front of my chest, so I said it's like a smiley emoji because I have two eyes, I have a nose and a mouth, so not only did I have new breasts that haven't adjusted yet, yeah, But she also had liposuction, so you can see why I don't feel too sorry for myself. I love you Dale, I do, but you know you got the best lining and some really great tits as a new era is coming, there's an amazing and timely store for Dale, the whole team, oh this is really exciting, oh, you made it, yes we.
I'm just going to get you a chain so you can wear it, unfortunately I'm thinking maybe here it would be really good. I definitely love what I do. I do not win. I retire and know that the longevity of all the Carters continues. there excellent look at that

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