Saturday, December 12, 2009

Home Funerals Make the CBS News

Home burial. Green burial. Caring for your own dead. It’s no longer the province of cults or hippies, or minority religious groups. It’s an old custom that is regaining popularity.

Funeral Consumer Groups have helped families care for their own dead for years. Http:// The original motive was saving money. The motivation has also been ecological. Green burials are good for the environment. Embalming chemicals are bad for the environment.

Most recently, the motive has been reclaiming the circle of life. Saying good bye to loved ones personally – rather than hiring the job out – like hiring professional mourners.

Suddenly, home burial has made the general news:

Unlike home birth, there are no risks. The dead person is already dead.

(Don’t get me wrong here – I’m all in favor of home birth. I’ve done it myself.)

The point here is that families are making death a part of family experience. The casket doesn’t have to be a fancy work of craftsmanship. The words said don’t have to come from a professional preacher. The family doesn’t have to have a formal setting for their good byes.

There are no laws requiring funerals to be run by funeral directors or held at funeral homes.

As with all other functions, each family must decide what works for them. Home schooling vs. public schooling or private schooling. Home birth vs. hospital birth. Fix your own car or take to the shop. I hope my family will choose a home funeral for me. And a green burial. I know that I’ve told them I want this. But I won’t have any control at the time. Funerals are for the living.

A woman in the video on the CBS station says, “I haven't heard anyone say 'I'm sorry we had a home funeral.’”

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