The Videotheque

No library is complete without a video check-out, or in today's terms, an instant-streaming check-out. Some of these videos are available online and some are available through HBO NOW or Netflix.

More than 1.5 million children in America are grieving the premature loss of a parent. One Last Hug follows three heartbreaking but ultimately empowering days at Camp Erin, a bereavement camp that offers children who lost loved ones the support they need to deal with their grief. Founded by baseball great Jamie Moyer and his wife, Karen in memory of Erin Metcalf, a fan who died of cancer at 17, the free, weekend-long retreat is staffed by grief-support professionals and volunteers. Through group meetings, walks in the woods, and a scavenger hunt for rocks painted with words like “Anger” and “Confused,” campers are encouraged to come out of their shells and process their emotions, sharing their feelings with other grieving kids. The weekend culminates in a Luminary Ceremony, where children light floating lanterns in honor of their deceased loved ones, and are given the chance to say a final goodbye. Directed by Oscar®-nominated filmmaker Irene Taylor Brodsky, One Last Hug is an inspiring look at the indelible effect that sharing, friendship and emotional support can have on children dealing with extraordinary loss.

For more information on the group Our House, that organizes this project, you can visit our Volunteer page here

One in nine Americans will lose a parent before age 20. Children, particularly daughters, who lose a mother at an early age can be profoundly affected in countless ways. As comedian Rosie O’Donnell, whose mother died of breast cancer when she was a child, puts it, “The dead mother thing…it’s like a club. You’re initiated. You get a tattoo. It is not going away.”

THE (DEAD MOTHERS) CLUB tells the story of three women whose paths never cross, yet are bound by the shared experience of losing their mothers during adolescence, exploring each one’s sometimes-complex relationship with her mother. Directed by first-time filmmakers Carlye Rubin and Katie Green, who are themselves members of “the club,” it also includes insights from O’Donnell (one of the executive producers), Molly Shannon and Jane Fonda, who share their own experiences with losing a mother.

Are Dead Bodies Dangerous? is the first video to pop up on the National Home Funeral Alliance page on Home Funeral Safety, and its from our director Caitlin Doughty's Ask a Mortician series. Except in cases of rare infectious disease, dead bodies are not dangerous to a family. In fact, you are likely safer in a room with a dead body than you are on an airplane.

Unblinking and unsettling, " A Certain Kind of Death" lays bare a mysterious process that goes on all around us: What happens to people who die with no next of kin?

Through this video you witness a variety of public employees handling the bodies, personal property and moeny of those who have died alone, each worker helping nudge the deceased into non-existence.

As each life is revealed to us, each is also drawn inevitable toward the same vanishing point. Crews haul away property, crypt workers prepare bodies for disposal. Appliance, furniture and personal knickknacks of the dead end up in a county warehouse, where auctioneers disperse them to strangers who know nothing of the prior owners.

Unexpected ironies and compelling imagery force us to ponder the question "What is death?" For the unmourned people we have come to know in the film, it is total erasure.

Just where do all our anatomical extras like hip and knee implants go after we are cremated? For a lighter explanation, check-out Caitlin's video from her Ask a Mortician Series.

At Undertaking LA you we give a fair amount of attention to cremation, given its popularity in Los Angeles. Here is  another video from Caitlin's web series Ask a Mortician focusing on an important concern, the ethics of ashes. Caitlin discusses the legal practices a crematory should follow in order to assure you that you are in fact picking up whomever you dropped off.

This Robot Chicken video made the rounds during our Thanatology class in Mortuary School. It's a funny short displaying the five stages of grief, coined by Elizabeth Kübler-Ross.

Warning. It is an Adult Swim cartoon, which if you are not familiar with, contains adult humor. This means this video is at the very least rated PG-13, as there is the implication that the giraffe swears- gasp!

A fun DIY video from may be a nice switch. Many  people love DIY arts and crafts. This video shows you how to make your own personalized Memory Guest Book for a funeral service or memorial.