News and Blogs

Spaniards Scrimp on Funerals Amid Austerity

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The New York Times
Published: November 22, 2012

Europe’s grinding economic crisis has left hard-hit Spaniards scrimping on death. They are defaulting on cemetery plots — and thousands face being evicted from them. They are opting for inexpensive funerals, or financing them in monthly installments. Pricey extras like grief therapy, organists to play “Ave Maria” or elaborate floral arrangements are being pruned.

But while austerity tears at the funeral industry — and some say the social fabric of the country — it has been a boon for science. Donating a body has become such a popular alternative to the cost of a funeral that some medical schools complain they do not have enough refrigerators to store all of them.

Read the full article at The New York Times

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


The Purpose and Value of Home Funerals

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18 October 2012

The difference between home and “traditional” funerals is subtle yet significant. When families choose to stay present to care for their loved ones in death they come to understand in a real and meaningful way that the physical relationship they had with the person who died is ending. While this can be a painful transition, it offers grieving people an opportunity for adaptation which is difficult to grasp when post death care is handled entirely by professionals. Participation is transformative. Those who stay involved seem to have an easier time locating the continuing bond they still share with the one who has died, and utilize those aspects of the relationship which survive death to move forward in their own lives....

Above all, home funerals bring dying and post death care back to the intimate setting of home. Families who choose to care for their own are usually those who accept that death is a normal and natural part of life that does not necessitate professional intervention. The intimacy of providing post death care for loved ones (as has been done throughout history) is a final act of love which can be surprisingly life affirming.

Read the full article at ehospice

Thanks to The Good Funeral Guide Blog for alerting us to this article.

Last Updated ( Friday, 23 November 2012 08:54 )

Burial Practices & Science: What Does The Future Of Death Hold?

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Posted: 11/12/201

Talk Nerdy to Me Blog

You know they say nothing's certain in life, except death and taxes. Well, I have no interest in helping you with your taxes, but have you ever thought about what happens to our bodies when we die? Why do we bury them six feet under, or cremate them and release their ashes? And are these things good for a planet with seven billion living people and an estimated 100 billion that are dead and gone?

While some (okay, most) may seem bizarre, many alternative burial practices on the horizon aim to be safer for our planet. Check out the video above to learn more, and don't forget to leave a comment at the bottom of the page. Come on, talk nerdy to me!

Read the full article and see video (3:51) at

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


Burials at Sea

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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

According to regulations (40CFR 229.1) based on the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuary Act of 1972, human remains transported from U.S. ports or on U.S. vessels or aircraft may be buried at sea under specified conditions.  These include cremated as well as non-cremated remains.  Requirements for burying remains at sea are listed below.  (Burial in inland waters are regulated according to the Clean Water Act. For inland waters burial, a permit is required from the appropriate state agency).   Please note the requirement that the (EPA) be notified within 30 days after burial.

Read the full article at U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Thanks to BEyond Yonder Disposition Alternatives in Canada (Facebook) for alerting us to this article.


Will Supreme Court answer monks’ prayers?

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The Washington Post
Published: November 14, 2012

By George F. Will

Shortly before 123 million voters picked a president, 38 Louisiana monks moved the judiciary toward a decision that could change American governance more than most presidents do. The monks’ cypress caskets could catalyze a rebirth of judicial respect for Americans’ unenumerated rights, a.k.a. privileges or immunities.

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina damaged the trees that the monks of Saint Joseph Abbey near Covington, La., harvested to support their religious life. So they decided to market the sort of simple caskets in which the abbey has long buried its dead. Monasteries in other states sell caskets, but these Louisiana Benedictines were embarking on a career in crime

In 1914, Louisiana created the State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors. Its supposed purpose is to combat “infectious or communicable diseases,” but it has become yet another example of “regulatory capture,” controlled by the funeral industry it ostensibly regulates. Nine of its 10 current members are funeral directors.

Read the full report at The Washington Post

Thanks to Death Midwifery in Canada for alerting us to this article.


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