News and Blogs

Go out with a bang!

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One of the latest of seemingly endless options to emerge in creative ways to honor the dead is having one's cremains mixed with fireworks for an explosive salute. While not everyone desires such a showy send-off, it's a great reminder to think outside of the box if you're interested in planning a unique memorial. 

KY3 News reports. 


The conversation, as well as the coffee, is heating up at death cafes around the country

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With Halloween approaching, we are daily reminded of death through spooky yard decorations, store displays and on television. Why not take this opportunity to have a frank discussion about death with your community?
Death cafes offer a comfortable setting to talk about death, your hopes, your fears, your questions, all while noshing on a scone and sipping coffee! 

Check out VAO News for an introduction to this growing movement.

Wanna know more? makes it easier than ever to find an upcoming death cafe near you.



An exhibit at the Met showcases the "mourning attire" of an era

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Veronique Hyland quotes Harold Koda in an article from The Cut:

"It was really unseemly for a woman not to go through full mourning." (Which, if you're keeping track, involved a year and a day of "full mourning," an additional year of so-called "half-mourning," and another six months of "ordinary mourning.")

Read about the latest costume exhibit, Death Becomes Her, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art via The Cut, on .



Last Updated ( Tuesday, 21 October 2014 10:25 )

Court leaves Pennsylvania in 1952

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The US Supreme Court declined to take an appeal from funeral director Ernie Heffner, who sued the state of Pennsylvania for enforcing outdated laws that limit competition. (Funeral Consumers Alliance contributed a friend of the court brief for the plaintiffs.) This means there are no more legal options in the court system. Pennsylvania's blatantly ridiculous bans on serving food at funeral homes and its convoluted licensing scheme that keeps rich, legacy funeral homes in business without facing competition will have to be changed by legislation. 

For earlier detailed coverage see here.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 08 October 2014 14:38 )

What's a Shameful Burial?

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Caroline Vuyadinov writes:

"I think a shameful burial is one where the system fails, when laws do not allow families to fill out forms for burial because they do not have an education to embalm, or when there are not affordable options open to them."

Read the whole thing for some truth-telling about the real meaning of funerals (spoiler: it has nothing to do with money or the particular rituals) and how our culture burdens grieving people with guilt they don't deserve.

Last Updated ( Friday, 03 October 2014 12:39 )

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