Mausoleum Sued for Propping Open Caskets

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Mausoleums are marketed as a "clean and dry" alternative to burial. In reality, gases and fluids can build up (especially in so-called "sealer" caskets), leading sometimes to  leaks or even explosions that breach the crypt. Understandably, mausoleum owners would prefer caskets be vented so the remains dehydrate. Families-whose fears are exploited and stoked by businesses that sell them a bill of goods about "clean and dry" burial products - want their dead "safely" sealed up.
Reality and consumer expectations can't be reconciled, so what's a mausoleum to do? Apparently one Kentucky mausoleum owner decided to prop open the caskets when the families weren't around. And now she's being sued:

Betty Greiman of North College Hill says what she saw in April 2005 still haunts her dreams - her mother's casket was propped open."Some of us are having nightmares thinking there are varmints crawling around in our mom's casket," Greiman said. "My daughter is just hysterical. Mother was loved, and for her final resting place to be disturbed is not right."

Greiman said she became more upset when she filed a lawsuit three years ago in Kenton Circuit Court and the former owners of Forest Lawn Memorial Park claimed the casket was opened to prevent gases from the decomposing body of her mother, Mary Harmon, from being trapped in the mausoleum and blowing up.

It is a macabre phenomenon the funeral industry calls "exploding casket syndrome," said Joshua Slocum, the executive director for the non-profit consumer education and watchdog group The Funeral Consumers Alliance. He said there are cases across the country where decomposing bodies erode caskets and fluids run out of the crypts or gases blow off the front.

 

 
Comments (88)
1 Saturday, 21 November 2009 06:11
Dull T
As a funeral director for many years, I am very familiar with problems that arise in mausoleum crypts. Occasionally there will be an explosive event, but most problems involve leakage of body fluids from caskets. In a properly constructed crypt, which would have an adequate ventilation system and drainage provisions, no problems occur IF the casket itself is not sealed.

Inside a sealed casket, temperature changes draw moisture from the body and as vapor it condenses on the lining of the casket. When the temperature cools, the moisture drops down, usually pooling around the body. That's why most sealed caskets give off the sound of swishing water when removed from a crypt.

However, if the casket is not sealed, and especially if the lid is propped open an inch or two, the moisture escapes into the crypt and is wafted away by the ventilation system (if it is working properly). Over time, the body decomposes naturally.

Few families are told about this. The mausoleum salesmen want to push the "clean and dry" concept many people have about entombment. Greedy (and sometimes just plain ignorant) funeral directors promote socalled "protective" sealed caskets as being the best type of container, when the truth is that these sealed caskets often cause these awful problems.

So, some mausoleum operators secretly prop open the casket lids to head off any problems.
Some funeral directors will just not seal the caskets. In most cases, the families are not told this little secret.

No ethical funeral director is going to tell a family that any casket (or burial vault) is going to preserve the body.
2 Friday, 25 December 2009 13:17
Paul Lyle
Is there a Law aganst a family member requesting the mausoleum operator to open a crypt and the casket?
3 Saturday, 10 July 2010 20:24
joseph bradley
Hi,

If I contact the management about these situations about mausoleums are they obligated to tell me about there entombment procedures, if my grandparents caskets are propped open is the management obligated to tell me
4 Sunday, 11 July 2010 20:04
Josh Slocum, FCA Exec. Director
Joseph - I'd say they are morally obligated to tell you, but I doubt there's any specific law on that.
5 Saturday, 29 January 2011 23:29
milton staley
one way to remedy the problem is to take the rubber gasket from the bottom half of the Casket and leave the top half on and lock the bottom so the family won't notice.
6 Saturday, 25 June 2011 08:54
CA Wright
Why not just install, in each casket, a pop-off valve that slowly releases gases from the casket. It appears that what goes on in the casket is inevitable unless there is a procedures that folks with money can afford; but for the day-to-day folks this might work. It won't activate for maybe months or years down the road but it might prevent casket explosion. Gaskets don't last anyway, if its a grave grass and water will get in anyway and there goes your warranty - which you won't know happened anyway. What do you think?
7 Wednesday, 06 July 2011 11:36
ML Capra
I have been a funeral director and embalmer for many years. Every time we have a mausoleum service I have this warm and comforting feeling. Mausoleums are the best choice and will always be the best chioce of interment. Even with the problems sometimes encountered, they provide a more dignified burial place for family to visit out of the harsh elements of weather. Think about it. Cremation is just not appealing. Ground burials are, however traditional, not in my opinion very appealing either. Lets face it kids, mausoleums are the "Six Flags of Fun" of interment. So what, if you get an occassional smell of rotting flesh, a fly in your eye, or the hint of liquid leaking down the wall. These things are only exciting reminders of the delightful future that awaits us all.
Birmingham, Alabama July 6, 2011
8 Tuesday, 21 February 2012 14:28
Rose

Birmingham, Alabama July 6, 2011 is a riot!!  I personally want to "blow up" topside.  Don't want to be buried or burned...

9 Tuesday, 19 June 2012 10:51
jgood
Really you people would rather rot in your own juices and become a horrible mess. I really cant think of anything more disgusting than imaging myself or a loved one sloshing away inside a metal box while their own waste and gasses turn them into a gelatinous mess. It might look nice on the outside, but knowing what's going on inside kinda ruins it for me. Burn me dump me I don't really care, but don't ever put what was me in one of those things.
10 Sunday, 09 September 2012 12:13
The Crypt Keeper
-- and just like a landfill, a full mausoleum is rendered useless to the cemetery owner. The building can't possibly stand forever ... then what?
I've done contracted work at a new motel in Houston, Texas that was built on top of a civil war era graveyard. There was hardly a tombstone to be found dated anywhere in the 1900s, so they just flattened the monuments and built over the bodies beneath.
Shades of the movie "Poltergeist."
11 Saturday, 15 September 2012 17:46
jb
I'm with jgood. The whole concept of above ground burial is revolting. Corpses decompose, ie rot, and I can only imagine the stench in a confined space. Picture that next time you visiit your loved one in one of these places. They're not lieing in there how you last saw them!
12 Friday, 05 October 2012 11:42
OLLIE
I would never put no one in those vaults i don't want to be either i want in the ground the old fashion way i know these people put their daughter in a vault in their front yard close to their house they say they are having problems that i've been reading about if that is so they are in a real mess i think it ought to be explained to people who get one of those vaults of what happens people well me included dont really understands what happens to us well i didnt until i cost curious after they got one and got on the net searching .
13 Monday, 19 November 2012 21:16
Susan
The whole embalming, air tight casket, vault thing, is all stupid......why would we want our bodies preserved? I would prefer to just be laid in the ground with nothing but my body and let me decompose....but since that is against the law.....I want to be cremated. The whole idea of my loved ones body laying in a casket, inside a vault, looking just the same as the day they were buried, horrifies me! And what's with the vault having a 30 yr guarantee? Are you gonna dig grandma up in 30 yrs, to ck to see if the guarantee held??!!!!!
14 Tuesday, 20 November 2012 08:09
Josh, Ireland.
Why on earth do people want dead bodied preserved? Has anyone done a basic biology course? When a living organism dies it rots-it starts as soon as the organism dies. Embalming I believe is for the living and the duration of the funeral. Once the coffin is closed, nature ought to be allowed to take its course.
As for crypts....whay not just bury in the soil? Eventually that's where any crypt burial will end up-certainly after several generations. Let's stop sanatising death, and celebrate the life that once was.
"Sceptre and crown come tumbling down, and in the earth are equal made with the poor crooked scythe and spade...only the actions of the just smell sweet, and blossom in their dust.
15 Thursday, 29 November 2012 23:25
Kevin Khaos
Wow I have learned something new today, I was at Jackie Willsons crypt today and walked around it and noticed the vents, and it made me curious why they were there, now I know..
16 Friday, 07 December 2012 15:10
Sarah
Susan,
I don't know where you live but in our county cemetery in Iowa you can be placed in the ground with no casket or vault. We have conducted many family burials with no funeral home involvement.
17 Sunday, 06 January 2013 12:51
Randi Sue so blue
My partner and I studied these.

Options and finally decided ve just

Wouldn't die! Six months later he died tragicly !hewas buried in ground burial. such as life goes
18 Wednesday, 06 March 2013 11:58
jesse
Ashes to Ashes...dust to dust....what don't tot, is bound to rust.
19 Wednesday, 06 March 2013 14:36
michele
Well I learned something new today!
20 Saturday, 09 March 2013 01:27
Bryon
I want to be cremated (so the bugs can't eat me) and my ashes shot out of a cannon into the Pend Oreille River in NE Washington State.
21 Friday, 15 March 2013 10:09
melenbrit
This is all very eye opening and the frankness is much appreciated. My siblings and I will likely be faced with making such decisions in the near future as we have parents who are both very ill. I now feel we can make much more informed decisions. For the record...I think being shot out of a cannon seems far more appealing! Live well today, for tomorrow is not guaranteed.
22 Thursday, 21 March 2013 13:35
Fish
Folks,
Once you're dead, you're dead. I dont think anyone would care once they are in the box, what happens to them. THEY'RE DEAD! We bury, cremate, or entomb with love and respect. But the bottom line is, the loved one or respected one is DEAD! Not to sound coldhearted, but its just a reality check we all need from time to time.
23 Wednesday, 27 March 2013 21:25
Ellie
I'm going to be creamated, ashes to ashes, dust to dust! I don't want a parking lot built over me, and I don't want to be floating around somewhere, (example) Katrina! Remember that? And a mausoleum just needs a little earthquake or hurricane sandy. Soooo! Be done with it and get creamated, and your family won't have to worry about where you are!
24 Saturday, 30 March 2013 15:43
jessica
What goes on in the casket.....stays in the casket
25 Wednesday, 10 April 2013 12:44
Fred not dead yet
I opted for the mausoleum because of the practicality. No cost of digging, no weather concerns for the living. Once they close the lid you ain't goin' nowhere anyhoo.
26 Sunday, 05 May 2013 14:18
Marty
How do you add a vent to an existing non-vented mausoleum?
27 Tuesday, 07 May 2013 16:52
Cam
As a funeral professional, the mausoleum is the BEST out of each of these options! It's a beautiful way to visit a loved one...
28 Thursday, 09 May 2013 19:48
Paul
funerals and burials are all just big money making business, the person is dead and doesn't know a thing about how they are disposed of, in time no one will be around to visit their grave so why bother with spending a lot, spend money on the living not the dead!!!
29 Saturday, 11 May 2013 07:46
Michale
I don't want to be embalmed. I want all the people I hate to come to my funeral. Then I want to explode from within the casket and scar those bastards for the rest of their lives!
30 Saturday, 18 May 2013 14:35
Steven
I want to be buried face down..... so everyone can kiss my ass.
31 Sunday, 07 July 2013 22:16
Michele
Well alrighty then.
32 Tuesday, 23 July 2013 16:35
amy
My son just passed away u people r so fucken rude no respect for the dead
33 Saturday, 10 August 2013 01:43
Jodi
Sorry for your enormous loss, Amy.
I've read everyone's thoughts and I just believe we should each do what we find we can be at peace with for after we, ourselves are gone and for our loved ones left behind to mourn our loss.
Personally, although death doesn't appeal to me, I've considered of course, my options for afterward.
I'm still unsure. They all suck really. But that's the 'living' me talking. I thought I might choose a mausoleum but after visiting one several times, lets just say, on those especially warm summer days, both myself and my boyfriend knew we were in the presence of a seriously detectable, unpleasant smell coming from who knows which crypt??
The times I could smell 'it', I was horrified and disgusted. I don't care how natural it is, the still living don't need to be that aware of that process!
34 Sunday, 11 August 2013 20:02
Mia
I have been thinking about the entombment thing lately as the way I would want to be laid to rest....but all this talk abt gasses and fluids is concerning me.
I thought that embalming was required for tomb burial so this doesn't happen...??
35 Wednesday, 14 August 2013 00:33
LES
I don't care what happens to my remains: be it a stinking, jelly-like state or dinner for many insect generations. What matters to me THE MOST is that I won't know anything about it, and that my spirit is reigning in HEAVEN with my savior JESUS CHRIST.
36 Wednesday, 14 August 2013 00:35
LES
I don't care what happens to my remains: be it a stinking, jelly-like state or dinner for many insect generations. What matters to me THE MOST is that I won't know anything about it, and that my spirit is reigning in HEAVEN with my savior JESUS CHRIST.
37 Tuesday, 10 September 2013 00:01
Pooky
Reigning in HEAVEN and not knowing anything. Isn't that interesting?
38 Saturday, 09 November 2013 20:50
davy
Creamation would be great if I could get someone to funnel me into a carton full of salt shakers and have me distributed around some of my favorite eating spots.
39 Saturday, 09 November 2013 20:52
davy
Creamation would be great if I could get someone to funnel me into a carton full of salt shakers and have me distributed around some of my favorite eating spots.
40 Friday, 15 November 2013 17:29
bob
bury me in a large pressure cooker and let me explode!!!!
41 Tuesday, 24 December 2013 19:28
Stan
Mauseleums....cemeteries....embalming...are all a waste of land and material. It seems that in America we have to have these things as an expensive closure. I wonder if those whose caskets floated away or exploded would have wanted some other method.....Cremation is the answer...inexpensive and who needs a grave or tomb for that....scatter the ashes or put them in an urn on your mantle....we all end up as dust anyway.
42 Tuesday, 24 December 2013 19:31
Stan
Mauseleums....cemeteries....embalming...are all a waste of land and material. It seems that in America we have to have these things as an expensive closure. I wonder if those whose caskets floated away or exploded would have wanted some other method.....Cremation is the answer...inexpensive and who needs a grave or tomb for that....scatter the ashes or put them in an urn on your mantle....we all end up as dust anyway.
43 Thursday, 09 January 2014 17:11
Barbara
I think cremation is best. From dust we came to dust we shall return. I saw my Dad in a coffin when I was 8 and I never forgot that image. I am 58 now.
My mom told me to kiss him and I couldn't. When my grandmother died I made myself kiss her. It was awful; like kissing a cold stone. Now my mom will die soon and she thinks cremation is bad so I will honor her wishes. It seems so unnatural to look at a dead body and hear people say don't they look good? Not for me.
44 Saturday, 01 February 2014 01:00
The Dave
When I pass on I want to be cremated - then I want the blonde child to throw my ashes off of the Golden Gate Bridge or the Robeling Bridge in Pa.
I do welcome death - I am bord and tired of life and dealing with the human race. I am tired of all my illnesses and all the meds I have to be on. People rushing and rushing to get nowhere. Look around in the graveyard. Nobody is rushing anymore. In death we are all equal…
45 Monday, 03 February 2014 14:48
thomas burcher
Some people should be freeze dried, ground up, and put in bird feed.
46 Monday, 17 February 2014 14:49
Paul
Everybody raving about cremation. It s not so great either think about the fact it takes 2-4 hours depending on the size of the person. Then it s possible your dust is intermingled with someone else dust because of the high temperature. Can you hear the crackling and cackling sounds as your bones muscles and other body parts are disintergrated. Sorry that s not for me either. I have to decided to go to the traditional cemetery pathway. I agree with the reader it s what s best for you and the family. Yes I too believe in a hereafter and know that there s a better place than this.
47 Friday, 21 February 2014 00:04
Sarah Barlow
Wow! This was all very insightful!
48 Friday, 28 February 2014 14:12
Dan Dashwood
I have a morbid fascination with seeing into disinterred caskets that have been buried for years. Also I am fascinated by crime scene forensics, especially in cases where a victim has lain undiscovered and become mummified. Personally I want to be cremated after death, the idea of lying around in one of those boxes, all dressed up and no place to go, turning into smelly cheesy adipocere, most likely in a suit and tie (YUCK) is horrifying. This all being said, I would appreciate any leads to photos of disinterred remains for forensic study. Thx
49 Friday, 28 February 2014 14:16
Dan Dashwood
I have a morbid fascination with seeing into disinterred caskets that have been buried for years. Also I am fascinated by crime scene forensics, especially in cases where a victim has lain undiscovered and become mummified. Personally I want to be cremated after death, the idea of lying around in one of those boxes, all dressed up and no place to go, turning into smelly cheesy adipocere, most likely in a suit and tie (YUCK) is horrifying. This all being said, I would appreciate any leads to photos of disinterred remains for forensic study. Thx
50 Saturday, 22 March 2014 21:24
Jimmie
All this talk about gasses make me want to fart. Wonder if you "pass gas" in your final resting place or you just smell like it after your gone.
51 Saturday, 22 March 2014 21:27
Jimmie
All this talk about gasses make me want to fart. Wonder if you "pass gas" in your final resting place or you just smell like it after your gone.
52 Sunday, 23 March 2014 08:50
AndroGenius
Donate yourselves to science! Now that's what I call an afterlife! You can help loads of people for several years after your inevitable demise. Probably many more than you ever did any good for in your active life! Everyone dies! I think in the Western world we have made it so alien to us that we feel the need to have such a fanfare for something with the uniqueness of taking a poo. And I think there are even people that don't do that. However, all the poopers and non-poopers (the conventional way at least) will certainly die. Do not fear it. Even now, it pursues you. Approaching with a deliberate stride toward you. One of the few things that life promises and actually follows through on. Everything has an end. At least the small things. We are small. We only think we matter. Look out into space and it puts everything into perspective. If you so choose to rot somewhere, see about being buried in such a fashion that you give back to the earth in the way nature intended. Go with a biodegradable casket.
53 Sunday, 23 March 2014 08:56
AndroGenius
Donate yourselves to science! Now that's what I call an afterlife! You can help loads of people for several years after your inevitable demise. Probably many more than you ever did any good for in your active life! Everyone dies! I think in the Western world we have made it so alien to us that we feel the need to have such a fanfare for something with the uniqueness of taking a poo. And I think there are even people that don't do that. However, all the poopers and non-poopers (the conventional way at least) will certainly die. Do not fear it. Even now, it pursues you. Approaching with a deliberate stride toward you. One of the few things that life promises and actually follows through on. Everything has an end. At least the small things. We are small. We only think we matter. Look out into space and it puts everything into perspective. If you so choose to rot somewhere, see about being buried in such a fashion that you give back to the earth in the way nature intended. Go with a biodegradable casket.
54 Wednesday, 09 April 2014 03:20
Amanda
This is disturbing yet I have an intense fear of death and a morbid fascination at the same time. But I have a lot of respect for the dead and I'm fascinated about how they were in life. What lives did they live? Who were they? Were their dreams and plans fulfilled? Yet I'm terrified of cemeteries. I don't now....
55 Friday, 18 April 2014 23:22
JME
I agree with donating your body to science, then creamating whatever is left. You are dead, you arent going to care. Your soul will live on elsewhere. Ive told my children my wishes many times. They can decide what they want to do with the ashes, I really dont care. Throw me in the ocean, or keep me on the mantel. Either way, my soul will be watching from above :)
56 Tuesday, 22 April 2014 16:06
Rose Young-Stewart
When my husband died in Jan 1998 I reached down to the lower half of his casket to be sure he had his artificial leg along side of him. He did. I touched his stomach it felt like sand or some sort of filling after removal of the intestines. His eyes were sewn shut and his mouth was wired closed; upper gums wired to lower gums. We knew he was about to die. The funeral director told me to get a box with what clothes he will have on in his casket including underpants, t shirt, socks and shoes.His artificial leg was not "redressed. It didn't need to be. He had his eyeglasses on but his eyes were shut, as I said. He and I wrote down everything he wanted; songs to be sung at the funeral, two days of visitation due to many out of staters arriving, Pall bearers he chose, He wore his beautiful Tan western shirt with the Indian feathers and other designs on the shoulder, his daughter gave him a big turquoise Bola tie and he also wore his jeans and belt with his initial on it. It is what he wanted. He wanted 2 different ministers to speak, I told the people they could put something inside of his casket now, if they wanted, maybe a photo or a note or some trinket. They did. I had a special tape played with one particular song by Emmy Lou Harris :I cried A river" ...Very nice. He is buried at the St. Louis Jefferson Barracks Military cemetery.... exactly what he wanted. I took good care of him the last three years of his life, what more could I have done? I had been a hospice nurse for quite a few years and after working with many families all those years, it was finally my own family to plan for but it was all done by the two of us, together. I never regretted a moment.
57 Friday, 09 May 2014 22:45
mjhr
Wow, did not know all of that about the way an embalmed body decays away, and how the process affects the environment. Guess that means only the major bones remain as long as nothing happens to disrupt the remaining bone structure.
58 Sunday, 08 June 2014 18:11
Iwant2Bstuffed
Google aerobic and anaerobic bacteria. The worst thing you want is an oxygen deprived environment. this is what happens with sealer caskets. The good bacteria that use oxygen soon used it all up, the nasty anaerobic bacteria takes over and you get major gases, gooey mess. What you need in a good mausoleum is good air moving ventilation. The casket itself needs to be breathable. This venting should run the length of each floor of a mausoleum and vent up at a high point away from public area. This air drying out is the best you can hope for and will keep you around for years, unless you go for the Egyptian organ removal and get predryed out. With the sealed, zero O2 environment you will within 3-4 weeks start turning into a bloated, gassy, gooey mass.

The problem is the big buck gouging of useless services and products that the funeral industry has morphed ino.. Embalming is totally useless except for viewing based a few days and basically puts a nasty chemistry set in the ground with each body. Unless heavily over done as some heads of states and their wife's, embalming does nothing in the ground.

Gouging? Gee, some states require a fully equipped preparation room just like a funeral home at crematoriums when it is not needed nor even used. You shouldn't need a licensed mortician, but you do. Such is the lobbying power of this industry that is right up there with used car salesmen and dog crap on my sneaker.
59 Sunday, 08 June 2014 18:15
Iwant2Bstuffed
Google aerobic and anaerobic bacteria. The worst thing you want is an oxygen deprived environment. this is what happens with sealer caskets. The good bacteria that use oxygen soon used it all up, the nasty anaerobic bacteria takes over and you get major gases, gooey mess. What you need in a good mausoleum is good air moving ventilation. The casket itself needs to be breathable. This venting should run the length of each floor of a mausoleum and vent up at a high point away from public area. This air drying out is the best you can hope for and will keep you around for years, unless you go for the Egyptian organ removal and get predryed out. With the sealed, zero O2 environment you will within 3-4 weeks start turning into a bloated, gassy, gooey mass.

The problem is the big buck gouging of useless services and products that the funeral industry has morphed ino.. Embalming is totally useless except for viewing based a few days and basically puts a nasty chemistry set in the ground with each body. Unless heavily over done as some heads of states and their wife's, embalming does nothing in the ground.

Gouging? Gee, some states require a fully equipped preparation room just like a funeral home at crematoriums when it is not needed nor even used. You shouldn't need a licensed mortician, but you do. Such is the lobbying power of this industry that is right up there with used car salesmen and dog crap on my sneaker.
60 Sunday, 08 June 2014 20:32
DavidA
I just lost both(mom & Dad) two months apart. We bought for my mom a beautiful casket(not seal) then when my dad pass we were offered a casket that "preserved the body for 20 years" The funeral home told us his crypt can't be open for 20 years because his body going to be intact. Long story short we bought it. We were even feeling bad because we don't buy our mom a similar casket( her was beautiful & expensive). After reading all this that happen to seal casket it make me feel sick, that funeral home not only lie to us but also ripped us.
61 Friday, 13 June 2014 19:27
Erica
My sweet and loving husband passed away 1 year 10 months ago. I couldn't imagine him at the time being buried under ground, I felt like he would be so far away from me and our son. My mind was a complete fog and I couldn't believe any of what was happening. All I though was how much I wanted for him to have a beautiful service and how I would like for him to be at eye level to me when we visited him.

We laid him to rest in an above ground sarcophagi in a beautiful place called The Crucifixion. We were told that he would need a sealed casket, which we did get. About two weeks after his burial, I was really close to his burial tomb and noticed a smell coming from a small opening of the tomb. It was sealed shut with caulk or whatever it is they use, but I did mention this to the lady at the cemetery and she told me there should be no odor because it is sealed shut.

My parents and our son noticed the same smell but never said anything, until I mentioned it to them. I found this site, because for the passed almost two years I have wondered what he looks like, and if he looks okay. It bothers me to have read some of these comments, because I love him so much, and I hope and pray he doesn't look anything like what I've read here. We live in Florida and gets really hot here, and it's really sunny where he is, so I wonder, every time I visit him.

I will also be burried with him, and I purchased another similar property for our son and my parents also the same, so we will all be laid to rest the same way, and now I wonder ...

It's all so confusing.
62 Wednesday, 16 July 2014 08:03
Jess
If I were you I'd look into selling your current burial property because the stuff you read here isn't opinion it's scientific fact sweetie move your husband and your families plot to a normal old grave setting because these crypts are all about taking money from emotionally distraught mourners good luck
63 Monday, 28 July 2014 14:39
Jhoward203
We live in a society that does not value the living, so it is no surprise (as indicated by many of the comments here) we live in a society that does not value the dead. Burial and entombment of the body involve decomposition, and the body will decompose differently below ground than above. Cremation involves burning the body and all the sizzling and crackling that goes along with fire. Donating your body to science involves having your body dissected into segments that go under a microscope. None of the options are pleasant. What the deceased requests should be honored and, if the deceased left no requests, then the family's requests should be honored. It is hubris that leads people to think they know what's best for everyone.
64 Thursday, 04 September 2014 15:57
Marie
I'm leaning towards cremation. Do not want to give my hard earned money to money hungry people who take advantage of emotional distraught individuals. Have o idea if my kids want my ashes. They think its creepy. I would rather my kids have as much money in their pockets instead of some money suckers. Just my thoughts.
65 Thursday, 04 September 2014 16:00
Marie
I'm leaning towards cremation. Do not want to give my hard earned money to money hungry people who take advantage of emotional distraught individuals. Have o idea if my kids want my ashes. They think its creepy. I would rather my kids have as much money in their pockets instead of some money suckers. Just my thoughts.
66 Sunday, 14 September 2014 01:10
Glen
I just purchased a mausoleum crypy here in Houston Texas at Forest Park on Westheimer its a indoor crypt. I purchased it from a couple, they decided they wanted to be buried in another state. Originally they paid $16,000 for the crypt but wanted to sell fast. I bought it for $6,000 with the name plate. I dead Im in a very nice place if I smell up the joint no worries I have friend they smell like there have been dead for years....BO get my point. Stop all this whining where your carcus is laying at........YOUR DEAD
67 Monday, 06 October 2014 15:39
RD
There is another way of disposing of a body. Its done by chemicals and totally dissenigrates everything within hours. I do not know the cost to have it done but I like it better than other choices.
68 Wednesday, 08 October 2014 13:33
Mobi
There is the option of burying the ashes in an Eco Eternity Forest. A plaque is placed on the tree informing the visitors that so-and-so's ashes are feeding this tree.
69 Sunday, 28 December 2014 08:50
Jeff Sanger
Here's a plug for an innovative new product. We have developed the BioShield Entombment Containment System. Our belief is the Death Care Industry, particulary mausoleum entombment, has one big packaging problem. You cannot stop the decomposition process. Mother Nature is at work within the crypts. Sealed caskets and crypts only become a dangerous and odiferous mess attracting Phorrid Flies. Heritage Packaging is an expert in barrier packaging. Take a moment an view our elegant new product @www.bioshieldsystem.com.
70 Friday, 09 January 2015 16:45
joeski
Mr. Funeral Director, are you getting paid for every burial you do in a mausoleum?? How is a mausoleum burial better than me being put in a hole in the ground with no embalming, no wood or steel casket and no concrete vault? Some of you guys take advantage of grieving families, getting them to spend lots of money on products that are simply going to be buried in the ground, never to be seen again. If someone has the money to prearrange their funeral and they choose to spend their money this way, they should be allowed to, although its money being buried that could've been put to much better use. Guilting or persuading someone to spend more money is taking advantage of someone while they're grieving. Once I'm licensed, I plan to offer free assistance to anyone who wants a green burial.
71 Thursday, 15 January 2015 04:49
Skyler Gobel
In my opinion, there should be a " reality check" day or week where all graves and caskets are opened above and below ground level every so often so interested parties can see what the dead actually look like.
72 Saturday, 17 January 2015 13:51
Pamela
Seems that each commentator has a point but ultimately the type/place/method of burial should be up to the person who will occupy the spot. I want a personal mausoleum in which I will reside with an unsealed casket. I just love the art, peace, and history of cemataries and would love to become another page in the book for others to enjoy...
73 Tuesday, 20 January 2015 14:17
Bruce
As a licensed funeral director, cemetery manager, and embalmer for over 50 years, I would like to add my two cents to this site. When a person dies, the remaining family should do what the deceased had wanted, provided the deceased conveyed his/her wishes. If not, do what the family has traditionally done with the deceased persons of their family. If a person is placed in a metal, sealed casket, then the fluids from the body will eventually rust out the bottom, and will drain into the earth--the same result as burial in a non-metal non-sealed casket. So, you are eventually going to return to the earth, either sooner or later.
74 Friday, 13 February 2015 14:28
The Mighty Bug JS
I've been seeing an option for biodegradable remains that can be planted and you can sprout into a tree. It's beautiful and my wife thinks I'm joking but I truly want this. I want to be a peach tree :) Imagine how much better it would be environmentally if you went to a "cemetery" that was actually a large field of trees and flowers instead of a miserable, stone marked field of rotting corpses in manufactured containers.
BE A TREE!
75 Sunday, 15 February 2015 15:30
Joe556
ANYONE buried in above ground "sealed" caskets becomes a rotted brown slurry of putrid chunky liquid and bones. This includes pounds of bacteria filled fecal matter remaining in the body. The gases produced would make almost anyone vomit immediately and the sight is the worst thing imaginable. So for those who were duped or stupid enough to think their loved ones are still looking good after a year in the box--THINK AGAIN! You do not want to do this.
76 Monday, 16 February 2015 01:45
Ashley
I live right next to a giant cementary..due to mosuleums it gets smelly quite often..but mostly at night.
77 Friday, 20 February 2015 21:21
Eugene Smith
Cremation is okay and I dont care what my family does after I am gone but we have always went the sealed casket and vault way ! Yes I do believe there are crooked funeral directors out there but there are honest ones too ! Kind of like a car salesman ! All in all , when I am dead I do not care !
78 Tuesday, 03 March 2015 10:34
Tammy
I do believe for those of us who have peace with death and eternity are ok with our final resting place. However the best decision any of us can make for our family is to get insurance through a funeral home or donate your body which ever decision you decide just make it. This way you are in control NOW before your death. Having had to help make these decisions for parents and a grown child it is tough. My husband did choose a mosuleum for our BABY GIRL we have had no problems, no smells, yes I go regularly.
With my dad many years ago purchased a plan through the funeral home. Purchased vault, casket, spot in cemetery, flowers,etc. planned his own funeral I remember I was a teenager and thought how crazy. As an adult when the time came and the God called him home every thing was done. You see it was done the way he wanted it done. As my dad would say "I did it my Way"
I encourage you all to make your decision and write it down today and get it notorized and legal give it to someone you trust just what your wishes are.
Its not fair to love ones to make these decisions for us.
79 Saturday, 14 March 2015 16:21
Walt
I'm gonna end up in a medical school dissection lab. Let new medical students see what unhealthy lifestyle choices do to a person.
80 Sunday, 15 March 2015 19:38
tnt
FYI...one cannot donate one's body if one dies of an infectious disease. Not everyone dies a "natural death."
FYI...ask to witness a cremation and you will chose otherwise.
FYI...cemeteries were created for a reason...to keep the roadside memorials from appearing everywhere! Why should others be reminded of your personal loss? Go to a cemetery to mourn and stay-off the roadside.
81 Saturday, 25 April 2015 13:45
Mary Kienholz
Your organization does a great service. As one of those who witnessed the National Lawyers Guild attacks on the funeral industry ("The American Way of Death" written by Jessica Mitford and assisted by her husband Robert Treuhaft of the NLG), I assisted in exposing that movement as being, in part, a back door to lawsuits by trial lawyers. The common sense in your article about Betty Greiman's lawsuit is typical of the unreal demands that can be converted into money by radical attorneys.
82 Sunday, 26 April 2015 22:38
Sandy S.
Okay, so even if a body is embalmed, they still decompose into a gaseous mess? I had heard that the embalming process will preserve a body for 50 years...can any funeral directors or embalmers answer this? Thank you.
83 Wednesday, 06 May 2015 13:20
me
Please just take me out to the middle of the ocean and throw me overboard. I would rather feed the sharks & fish.
84 Thursday, 07 May 2015 11:02
Linda P
Preserving the body isn't the same as preserving memories. How people remember you after you are dead is the most important than keeping the body intact. I would like to think that people have memories of who I was and how I lived my life and the people that I loved. I would like them to look at a picture of me or tell a funny story about me. I don't want to be visited in a casket above ground or below the ground. That's why I choose cremation. Cheers!
85 Thursday, 14 May 2015 23:52
Jude
I just don't know what to say...buried my Precious 27 year old Son and I wanted to believe he would be okay...I am having anxiety right now ...I hate death...it is so disturbing....
86 Thursday, 14 May 2015 23:54
Jude
I just don't know what to say...buried my Precious 27 year old Son and I wanted to believe he would be okay...I am having anxiety right now ...I hate death...it is so disturbing....God Bless You My Son...I Love You!!! MOM
87 Monday, 25 May 2015 22:38
Donna Zirk
I'm really SHOCKED by what I'm reading here! Of course death is disturbing. Just preserving a body for a few years with embalming doesn't change anything. PEOPLE DIE! They've been dying since they were first created. Life here is temporary. It is supposed to be feared. So we can look forward to eternal life. Christ died to take away the fear of death.

As for bodily fluids, etc., -- are you people so ignorant you didn't understand that happens? And the funeral industry wants all the money they can get out of it. It is natural to die, and be buried. People have been doing it for thousands of years. And it is NOT required that a body be embalmed. You can be buried without your body being desecrated by embalming.

Read the book, "Final Rights" by Joshua Slocum and Lisa Carlson. All the regulations and details are in this book.

God bless all of you here who struggling so.
88 Friday, 17 July 2015 10:41
Bill Ding
Funeral professionals are such SLIME. They dont tell the truth as they sell a $6000 sealer casket. The body turns into soup and takes years to dry out, if ever, its a disgusting metal box full of vile slime that used to be your Husband, or Grandmother. Ask for a cardboard container, wrap the body in cotton or linen. Put this in the concrete vault in the GROUND and be happy as your loved one goes back to the earth as it was intended. CHEEPER TOO.

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