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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).

Raw Story: Don't let the mortician turn you into a biohazard

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"The typical 10-acre swath of cemetery ground, for example, contains enough coffin wood to construct more than 40 homes, nine hundred-plus tons of casket steel, and another twenty thousand tons of vault concrete. To that add a volume of embalming fluid sufficient to fill a small backyard swimming pool and untold gallons of pesticide and weed killer to keep the graveyard preternaturally green. Like the contents of any landfill, the embalmed body’s toxic cache escapes its host and eventually leaches into the environment, tainting surrounding soil and groundwaters. Cemeteries bear the chemical legacy of their embalmed dead, and well after their graves have been closed."

- Mark Harris in his book Grave Matters

Read the full article here at Raw Story.


NPR's Marketplace talks to FCA on Green Burials

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American Public Media's "Marketplace" on natural burials with a cautionary note from FCA: Beware of attempts to get you to pay a premium for a green burial---you shouldn't have to pay a boutique price for a burial that simpler and uses less product.


Art as grief therapy

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Goodbye Michael, Goodbye Old Friend - Antonia Rolls -

Death can be found in the news on any day, but the following links all follow recent news regarding art relating to personal struggles with death and grief. 

At Penn State University, the work of Jennifer Rodgers is on display. Rodgers paintings of abstract shapes and maps detail her father's illness and death in a hospital. Her story is featured on NPR.

In the UK, artist and death doula Antonia Rolls will exhibit a series of paintings titled "A Graceful Death". Originally inspired by her husband's death from cancer, Rolls' paintings depict people living with a life-threatening illness and in the days and moments approaching death. The UK's KentOnline features info about her upcoming exhibit. Learn more about her work on her website.

In Indonesia, paintings by Myuran Sukumaran have caught the eye of human rights activists opposed to the death penalty. Having learned to paint while in prison, his self portraits illustrate grief, anger and protest of his death sentence by firing squad, for a drug smuggling offense. Sukumaran was executed on April 29, 2015. Read more at the Guardian.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 06 May 2015 10:46 )

Funeral home complaints: reasonable or unreasonable?

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Jezebel recently posted some amusing "Grim Yelp Reviews" of funeral homes.

Here at FCA we regularly field complaints about funeral homes from consumers around the country. Most of these complaints are legitimate. A charge for something you did not receive, for example, or a misrepresentation of the law, is good reason to file a complaint. But we do hear from plenty of people who might be unfairly blaming the funeral home for something that is out of their control. 


In defense of liquid cremation

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Sarah Zhang enlightens folks to the mysteries surrounding alkaline hydrolysis aka liquid cremation or green cremation , on Gizmodo.


“The biggest misunderstanding is that they think the whole body goes down the drain,” Regnier says. Even with that misunderstanding out of the way, though, it’s easy to see why people might be squeamish about being “poured down the pipe.” But that might just show our ignorance about how dead bodies are usually treated. Blood and body liquids are poured down the drain when coroners do embalming — and burned particles pouring out through the smokestacks in cremation.


At the Mayo Clinic, which has used alkaline hydrolysis as a method of disposition after body donation for years, 100% of the families who have been offered green cremation as an option of disposition have accepted. It's a pity it continues to be a struggle to make it available to everyone. It is currently legal in only 8 states and a bill that would make it legal in Ohio is under consideration.


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