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Transforming the American End-of-Life Experience

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OK to Die Blog
Friday, 24 August 2012

My Baby Boomer Predictions

The Baby Boomers, the largest generation in American history, are now almost all in the last 1/3 of their lives (if average life expectancy is 78). They have spent the previous, early and middle thirds of their lives transforming cultural ideas, expectations and practices (e.g  with the Civil Rights movement, Environmental movement and Women’s movement, etc).

The question now is: “Will the Baby Boomers also transform our cultural ideas, expectations, and practices regarding the End-of-Life?”

I, for one, say “YES!” Here are my predictions and recommendations for this generation of “revolutionaries.”

Read the full article at OK to Die Blog

Last Updated ( Sunday, 28 October 2012 12:24 )

Grieving daughter critical of funeral costs

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The Chronicle Herald
Halifax, Nova Scotia
October 19, 2012

Thousands of dollars worth of unwanted, unnecessary 'services' hidden within home’s package deal.

 TRAGEDY STRUCK JENNIE MORROW’s family twice this year. After her sister died of lung cancer in the spring, her mother succumbed to a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease in the summer.

But the two funerals couldn’t have been more different.

While she says her sister’s funeral was fairly priced, she says her mother’s funeral was a costly affair punctuated by forced package deals, misleading funeral directors and disingenuous contracts.

Read the full article at The Chronicle Herald

Thanks to the HVCC Mortuary Science Alumni & Student Assoc for alerting us to this article.


"You are a new man now, Daddy"

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OK to Die Blog
Friday, 27 July 2012

One family's remarkable peace with choosing a natural death over surgery for a debilitated loved one.

Mr. Omer had once held a position of social prominence, a moral influence on the lives of individuals and communities; until one year ago. A construction accident changed everything. He suffered injuries that left him in control of only one side of his body and his mind functioning as a 5 year old child.

Most recently, he had resided in an extended rehabilitation nursing facility, until yesterday.

When the nurse tried to arouse him from an unusually long nap, she could not. Upon orders from the facility’s doctor, he was sent for a Cat Scan of his head and then rushed to my care in the Emergency Department.

Mr. Omer arrived to bed 25 and his Cat Scan report was placed in my hand, "Large acute subdural hematoma with midline shift and… herniation.

Read the full article at OK to Die Blog


Even for the Dead, a Struggle to Find Space in Hong Kong

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The New York Times
Published: October 25, 2012

HONG KONG — A small architecture firm in Hong Kong has come up with an unusual proposal for what to do about the worsening shortage of cemetery space in a crowded and expensive city: Build one that can float.

The structure conceived by the company, Bread Studio, could hold hundreds of thousands of the boxlike niches that are the final resting places for most people in Hong Kong nowadays.

Read the full article in The New York Times

Thanks to the DeathCare Discussion List for alerting us to this article.


Friday Funeral Film: Places in the Heart

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The Family Plot Blog
October 26, 2012

I’m starting a series looking at funeral films every Friday! Get the low down on movies that have lessons on life, death and funeral planning. You’ll also be able to see these articles in the Funeral Films section at

Places in the Heart (1984-PG) stars Sally Field in her Oscar Award-winning performance as a widow in a Depression-era small town who has to learn how to make a living after her husband, the local sheriff, is shot dead. As a funeral film, it illustrates how families used to wash and dress the bodies of their dead at home. It also vividly shows why life insurance exists to help families after the breadwinner dies.

Read the full article and see video at The Family Plot Blog


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