Owner, Fitting Tribute Funeral Services
Jul 13, 2021
In the 1980s and ’90s, Amy Cunningham was a magazine journalist, writing for the likes of Glamour, Mademoiselle, McCall’s and Lear’s. She was inspired to change careers at the age of 54, though, after attending a powerful memorial service for her father, who passed away at 94. She got her New York State funeral director license in 2012 and would go on to found Fitting Tribute Funeral Services, which specializes in green burials, home funerals and witness cremation services at Green-Wood Cemetery.
During the past year of social distancing, every aspect of our lives was disrupted by the pandemic. One thing that not a lot of people like to talk about—but everyone must go through at some point—is how we die … and mourn for our loved ones. As the funeral industry struggled to keep up with the surge in deaths from Covid-19, funeral directors were also forced to update their practices. Memorials went virtual—to Zoom and on Facebook Live—and funerals were often held without a body present.
Cunningham has been at the forefront of helping cultivate a new understanding of what a modern funeral can look like—especially as younger generations want more authentic and involved experiences in planning their funerals—and how families can better wrap their heads around grief. For Green-Wood Cemetery, Cunningham has also been running a dynamic curriculum around dying and grieving.
“The conversation surrounding death is now unavoidable,” Cunningham told Brooklyn Magazine in March. “The novel coronavirus crisis shocked every American into seeing that—in truth and for real—death could occur for anyone, at any time. Now, people in good health are phoning funeral directors and seeking good consumer advice and advanced arrangements.”