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Gizmodo - Six Feet Over: The Future of Skyscraper Cemeteries

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An architecture student in Norway has proposed skyscraper burial as a possible solution to the problem of the country's shrinking burial space. This is not a totally new idea, as this Gizmodo article illustrates. Other cultures have been practicing vertical burial throughout history. 

Norwegians, along with many other Europeans, have been recycling their graves for some time, to conserve space. But the practice of wrapping bodies in plastic, introduced in the first part of the 20th century, has prevented bodies from completely decomposing in time for the next generation of corpse burial, leading to the current space limitations.

Visit to read the article.


Pacific Standard: The Oddly Reassuring Quality of Surrealistic Art

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Pondering death can help you appreciate strange art, according to the European Journal of Social Psychology. Research led by Verena Graupmann of DePaul University suggests that those reflecting on their own mortality may find increased meaning in the works of surreal artists. Read more at Pacific Standard - PSMAG.COM


Alabama senator to propose bill authorizing state oversight of cemeteries

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Leak at Cullman Memory Gardens mausoleum (Frank Couch/ This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .(Frank Couch | This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )

Recent neglect and vandalism of mausoleum spaces in Alabama left families disturbed and with nowhere to turn. Alabama cemeteries are currently unregulated by the state. State senator Paul Bussman intends to propose a bill that would change that. Read more at - Alabama Local.


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 )

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