Dying is big business. For a long time, however, it was a family business, and no more so than for Blake Sifton. He was born into a family that cares for the dead, and for almost 90 years his family has overseen most of the funerals in a small town in Canada.
Blake wanted a different future and decided to leave the family business. As his father is set to retire, the future of the family business is uncertain and Blake feels a strong guilt for not carrying on the family tradition.
In this film, we explore Blake’s personal journey of making the decision to leave the family funeral business and what that means for his family. We also look at major issues in the funeral industry, such as PTSD, which until now has been hidden away and the rise of home funerals. We also explore changes in death and dying traditions, which pit the move towards big business against a return to connecting to the dead body, and to death.
View the film on Al Jazeera English.
Published: October 2017, Al Jazeera English