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FCA recognizes that the dissemination of individual experiences, the reporting of public information, and linking to other sites can help further our mission of educating the public on their funeral rights and options. However, FCA's limited resources and the nature of the Internet make it impossible to verify the content of personal experiences that are supplied by others or to verify the content of linked sites. FCA accepts no responsibility for these. Comments on the contents of personal reports and linked websites should be directed to the author(s).

Embalming leaves her cold

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Worcester Telegram & Gazette
Worcester, Massachusetts

I see dead people.

But I don’t want to.

After attending my umpteenth wake this summer -- we really are dropping like flies -- I’m once again struck by our bizarre and rather gruesome need to dress and decorate the deceased human body like a child’s doll. Some years ago, I was standing somberly before the casket of a dead relative with my 10-year-old niece when she noted in a horrified but highly amusing stage whisper, "She looks like she’s gonna jump out of her coffin and get me." For that lifelike depiction, I suppose we should credit the embalmer.
Last Updated ( Thursday, 02 December 2010 20:00 ) Read more...

Reflections on the 30 Funerals Challenge || Gail Rubin - Author

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Nov 29, 2010

Reflections on the 30 Funerals Challenge

By Gail Rubin, author of The Family Plot Blog and the forthcoming book
"A Good Goodbye: Funeral Planning for Those Who Don’t Plan to Die."

My 30 Funerals in 30 Days Challenge has come to a close. As the Grateful Dead song goes, what a long strange trip it’s been ..... Some thoughts about what I witnessed:

The funeral really is for the family and friends closest to the person who died, to offer support to those who grieve. Whether it was a gathering of two dozen people or eight hundred, every event was an opportunity for the community to show their care and express condolences.
Last Updated ( Monday, 29 November 2010 21:04 ) Read more...

Five Life and Death Questions Every Family Should Discuss this Thanksgiving (But Probably Won’t)

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The Family Plot Blog
Funeral Planning for Those Who Don't Plan to Die
November 24, 2010

When the family gathers this Thanksgiving, besides giving thanks for the bounty in your life, take advantage of this face time to talk turkey about end-of-life issues.

Sure, it’s easy to keep it superficial and focus on the football game. But with close relatives you don’t often see, grab the opportunity to have a meaningful discussion. Just as talking about sex won’t make you pregnant, talking about funerals and end-of-life treatment won’t make you dead - and your family will benefit from the conversation.
Read the full article at The Family Plot Blog

Judge sanctions Eden Memorial Park owner, Service Corporation International, over evidence tampering

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The Jewish Journal
of Greater Los Angeles
November 24, 2010

A Los Angeles judge has sanctioned Service Corporation International (SCI), owner of Eden Memorial Park in Mission Hills [California], after finding that the cemetery intentionally tampered with and destroyed evidence related to a class action lawsuit alleging that Eden mishandled human remains.

Judge Anthony J. Mohr of the Los Angeles Superior Court ordered that the plaintiff’s attorney will be allowed to present evidence to the jury showing that SCI willfully tampered with evidence, and the judge will inform jurors that they may reasonably conclude that the destroyed evidence could have been damaging.
Read the full story at the
Last Updated ( Friday, 26 November 2010 21:09 )

50-Count Indictment Handed Down Against Controlling Officers at NPS

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Memorial Business Journal
November 23, 2010

50-Count Indictment Handed Down Against Controlling Officers at NPS

St. Louis - The United States Attorney’s Office, Eastern District Court of Missouri, announced a 50-count indictment of six controlling officials of National Prearranged Services, Inc., charging wire, bank, mail and insurance fraud; money laundering and multiple conspiracy charges involving the sale of pre-paid funeral services.

The indictment states that after taking into account insurance and trust assets expected to be available to pay for future funeral services, and merchandise under prearranged funeral contracts sold by National Prearranged Services, Inc. (NPS), the loss to purchasers, funeral homes and state insurance guarantee associations will range from $450,000,000 to $600,000,000.
Read the full story in the Memorial Business Journal

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