News and Blogs

Greening the Afterlife

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10/20/2010— Radio journalist Angela Evancie has put together a fantastic series profiling people in Vermont and New York who are returning to simple, private funerals and burials; folks opting out of the commercial funeral industry for personal, financial, and environmental reasons. Her series profiles families who've  carried out in-home funerals without the undertaker (a practice our great-grandparents would find familiar),  local woodworkers who make simple coffins, and people returning to the tradition of burying their dead quietly at home on the family farm. Her website,, introduces the series:
There was a time in this country when natural home births were standard practice. Then came the rise of institutional medicine, and even though being pregnant is not always the same as being sick, hospitals became the site for all things reproductive. Today, less than 1% of all births in the U.S. take place in the home.Interestingly, the same fate that befell those entering this life also affected those leaving it. Death care has been equally institutionalized, with strange interlocutors bowing in and out at every step. It’s also been commodified. The average funeral costs about $6,000, according to the Funeral Consumers Alliance, and often takes place at that other home - the funeral home.

Check-out the multi-part series of audio slideshows, some of which have aired on North Country Public Radio.

Last Updated ( Friday, 26 November 2010 17:58 )

Father Sues Funeral Home For Dropping Son's Body

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October 19, 2010
7 News (ABC)
Denver CO

BOULDER, Colo. -- The father of a Boulder man has filed suit against the funeral home that handled the service, claiming funeral employees dropped the casket and his son's body rolled out onto the ground.
Read the full article on 7 News (ABC).
Last Updated ( Thursday, 28 October 2010 07:37 )

Former Funeral Director Pleads Not Guilty

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WSIL TV Channel 3 (ABC)
Carterville IL
October 19, 2010

HARRISBURG IL -- A former funeral director says he is not guilty of stealing money from clients. John B. Jones, of Equality, is accused of selling pre-paid funeral plans, but failing to deposit those funds into a trust account instead spending the money on his business.
Read full article and watch video on WSIL TV Channel 3.
Last Updated ( Thursday, 28 October 2010 07:38 )

What to Expect from the Cremation Process

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Cremation arrangements are an increasingly viable and popular choice in the United States for families wishing to step outside the traditional burial scenario. An ancient practice that actually dates back thousands of years, cremation provides you with more choices in the final resting place of your loved one, since you aren’t tied to a cemetery plot unless you choose it...... The steps involved are universal, and [this article] can give you a good idea of what to expect from the cremation process.
Read the full article at iMortuary.
Last Updated ( Monday, 18 October 2010 19:03 )

CNN: Beating the high cost of funerals (VIDEO)

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It's a topic that intrigues us: how are people coping with funeral costs in a tough economy?

CNN's Kyra Phillips interviews Josh Slocum of the Funeral Consumers Alliance about the big mark up on casket costs and why embalming is actually optional.

Joshua Slocum, the Executive Director of the Funeral Consumers Alliance, recommend AGAINST prepaying for a funeral for the following reasons:

1. Only a few states have adequate legal protections for prepaid funeral customers.

2. In many states, you can lose a significant portion of what you prepaid if you cancel or transfer your account to another funeral home or cemetery. This means the original funeral home or cemetery gets paid for having provided you with nothing......

Watch the full CNN interview (6:14} on YouTube.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 06 March 2012 17:23 )

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