Funeral Home License Suspension. On November 15, 2010, in response to complaints about a cremation and burial without the permission of the decedent’s family or the cemetery, the Rhode Island Department of Health suspended indefinitely the Funeral Director and Embalmer’s license of Todd Lauzon and the operating license of the T. Lauzon Funeral Home of Woonsocket, RI.

An Inspiring Story. Can you approach the issues of death, funerals, and burial in a family when such topics have been taboo subjects and when opinions and beliefs vary widely? One of our members tells the inspiring story of how her extended family changed these “demonized” subjects to ones about which they could make specific plans together. Click here for her story, “Death, Burial, and Family Differences.”

Our Newsletter. For a copy of our Spring, 2012 newsletter, click here. This latest newsletter contains a brief book review of Josh Slocum’s book,”Final Rights: Reclaiming the American Way of Death,” questions to ask when evaluating a funeral home, and other informative articles.

From our Archives: Summary of our 2010 annual meeting talk on “The Importance of Remembrance.” Our speaker was Carolyn Hames of the University of Rhode Island. Click here for more on her qualifications and for a summary of her informative talk on the importance of honoring a person’s memory, the various options for doing so, and the process of choosing the best way for each individual situation.

Membership Update. With some new memberships and with the re-defining, in 2008, of all memberships as individual, our membership currently stands at approximately 300. Note that mailings will still be addressed jointly to couples where both are members.

Agent Designation Form. For a form on which you can designate another person to handle your affairs after death, click here. This form is VERY IMPORTANT in Rhode Island if that person is not your blood relative, spouse, or domestic partner. Also, since domestic partnership is not a legally recognized status in Rhode Island, domestic partners should still consider using this form as extra evidence of their intent.

Our Name Change. Remember the Memorial Society of Rhode Island? That was our name until January 1, 2009, when we officially became the Funeral Consumers Alliance of Rhode Island. The name change reflects a trend among local affiliates of the national Funeral Consumers Alliance to adopt that name for their local organizations.