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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).

Dining with Dignity

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Perhaps you've received a mailing, like the one below from Dignity Memorial, inviting you to a friendly meal to chat about planning for the inevitable. I’m not one to turn down a free meal, but beware, an invitation of this sort, while billed as educational, will likely come with a heavy-handed sales pitch. Committing yourself to the familiar, neighborhood funeral home before shopping around could cost you thousands of dollars. Pre-planning is smart, but pre-paying does not always “pay off”.



Follow this link to find out more about the benefits and dangers of pre-paying for a funeral and some safer alternatives.       

It is very thoughtful to want to “take care of your funeral now so your children won’t have to” but we rarely die when, where and as we plan to. Circumstances change such that the funeral you envisioned isn’t always possible. People die while traveling, change their minds about funeral plans, or need emergency access to funds wrapped up in funeral arrangements and find that they cannot get a full refund. Many families are shocked by the outrageously high cost of an "opening and closing of the grave" charge, a cemetery expense that can rarely be paid for ahead of time. Others find that the casket that was purchased in a prepaid arrangement is no longer available and they often end up paying more for something they deem equivalent. The best thing you can do to prepare your family for your death is to talk to them about the options available and empower them to make confident decisions at a time of need.

For more advice on funeral planning visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.


Last Updated ( Monday, 26 January 2015 13:12 )

Alkaline hydrolysis might make its way to Indiana

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An increasing number of people are turning to cremation as an alternative to expensive burials, but concerns about its impact on the environment are becoming more prevalent. Alkaline hydrolysis uses far less fuel to produce a similar result as cremation. It is, at the moment, more expensive due to the cost of the pressurized chamber used for the flameless cremation, but it is predicted that as it becomes more widely accepted and available, the price will go down. Unfortunately, what is preventing alkaline hydrolysis from becoming more widely available is the “yuck factor”. The sterile liquid resulting from the process makes its way to the wastewater treatment facility. 

From the Daily News in Indiana -

Both Thompson and Miller, the Indiana lawmakers, say they've heard from Catholic Church leaders who question whether treating liquid residue of human remains as wastewater respects the dignity of the deceased.

"Nobody likes to say they're flushing away human remains, but in reality that [sic] what's happening," said Curtis Rostad, head of the Indiana Funeral Directors Association.

But hold on, blood removed from dead bodies on embalming tables has been routinely flushed down the drain for over a century. This is nothing new. Liquefying a body might sound yucky, but burning a body is yucky too. So is burying it in the ground to decompose. So is piercing its organs, draining all its blood, and replacing it with embalming fluid. We shouldn’t let our squeamishness about death stand in the way of environmental progress. Thoughtfully choosing a method of body disposal in the interest of sparing the environment an unnecessary burden is perfectly respectful and dignified, as is choosing a disposition that won't financially burden your family.

Two separate bills introduced in Indiana might legalize alkaline hydrolysis in the state. It would be the 12th to do so. Read more here at The Greensburg Daily News.



Last Updated ( Wednesday, 21 January 2015 13:59 )

The Star Online: With terminal disease, family communication is crucial

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"Pain and suffering should not be assumed as the norm. Much can be done to relieve pain and suffering - not just physical, but psychological and emotional pain, which may be worse than physical pain."

Do yourself and your family a favor and talk about death before it's too late. Read more a The Star Online .


Detroit Free Press: Having a funeral at home, not at a funeral home

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"I feel that my mom had a luxurious death"

-Beth Bailey Barbeau, speaking of her mother's death and funeral at home.  


Smell your way through famous deaths in history

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For those with a taste (or smell) for the macabre, a controversial exhibit recreates the last moments of some famous names through sound and odor. 

"Who doesn't want to buy a loaf after catching a whiff of fresh bread?" - Frederik Duerinck of communications and multimedia design faculty at Breda's Avans university of applied sciences.

While this may be a poor analogy to the whiff of death, it is true that smell can evoke very strong emotion, and in this experiment, will be used to help recreate the last moments of John F. Kennedy, Princess Diana, Muammar Gaddafi, and Whitney Houston. The exhibit currently resides in the Museum of the Image, in the Netherlands, and will tour Europe. 

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 21 January 2015 14:09 )

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