Posted: November 30, 2012
PBS television stations throughout the country will be rebroadcasting FRONTLINE's Emmy Award-winning documentary The Undertaking on December 11*. The documentary offers viewers an intimate, in-depth look at funeral service and, though it made its debut five years ago, it is still relevant today. The rebroadcast offers you an opportunity to reach out to local media, clergy, hospice workers, and others in your community to help them understand what it is that you do to serve the bereaved.
As you may recall, The Undertaking took television audiences behind the scenes of the Lynch & Sons Funeral Homes, in Clawson and Milford, Michigan, painting a powerful portrayal of the deep and profound commitment funeral service has for the families it serves. What made The Undertaking particularly poignant was seeing the funeral planning process through the eyes of grieving families. Through the experiences of the families featured in the documentary, viewers learn about the value of funerals and the tender ways that funeral directors care for the dying, the dead and the bereaved. You can watch The Undertaking at any time on the FRONTLINE website.
NFDA has several suggestions for how you use this rebroadcast of The Undertaking to educate your community about the value of funeral service and the work that you do:
To help you write a letter or email to these individuals and groups in your community, here is sample text that you can use and adapt for each audience:
[Insert recipient's address]
Dear [Insert recipient's name]:
I know that for many people, thinking about funerals and the work that I do to care for grieving families isn't easy. But I am very proud of the work that we do here at [Insert funeral home name], which is why I'd like to invite you to tune in to our local PBS station the evening of December 11, 2012, (check local listings for specific times) to view The Undertaking, a moving, hour-long documentary about funeral service produced by the award-winning PBS series, FRONTLINE.
In a unique and poignant way, The Undertaking offers you a glimpse into my world and depicts the care and compassion funeral directors everywhere provide every day. After watching this program, which is filled with intimate, personal stories of families dealing with grief, mortality and the rituals of a funeral, you may want to know more about the value of a funeral, the work I do, and the importance of honoring a loved one. If so, please call me or one of my colleagues at [Insert funeral home name]. We're here to help and we're available to answer any questions you have at any time.
[Insert additional information to customize letter for each recipient]
If you are unable to tune in on December 11, you can also watch The Undertaking on the FRONLINE website at no cost: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/undertaking
[Insert your name]
*Please check local listings for the dates and times that The Undertaking will be broadcast in your community.
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