We see them on TV and in emails from Trip Advisor-The Best Haunted Houses in the Country. Houses all dolled up to be toured for Halloween; guaranteed to scare and terrify. Well, this is NOT one of them. This is my funeral home captured on camera early this Halloween morning with the candles in the windows giving it that ghostly glow.
If it looks like a movie set from outside, you should see what is inside today, October 31, 2013.
When Sarah-Jane Boyd made her funeral arrangements back in 2008, she requested a plain pine coffin. My husband had built such coffins that were used at New Skete Monastery, but we rarely use one at the funeral home. Most people choose a casket, defined by Webster as a coffin, especially a costly one. They choose a casket because that is what they have come to expect and because that is mainly what we, funeral homes, offer.
For our death denying society, there seems to be comfort in placing the body of a loved one in a more elaborate vessel; one with an adjustable bed; even one that seals so that the body is protected from the earth and the elements in which it has been placed. For the funeral industry, quite frankly, there is more profit in such vessels. The casket industry is Big Business.
In the past few years there has been a movement towards -or actually back to-a more natural form of burial. Some funeral homes actually offer plain wooden coffins, natural wicker baskets, even burial shrouds. People are given the choice of a Green Burial or at least, a Natural Burial. We offer it all.
I think that most people are not aware of all the choices that they have. They think that they either have to have the fancy casket or “just be cremated”.
Sarah-Jane had traveled the world. She had seen the death customs in countries other than the United States. She never told her family why she wanted a plain wooden coffin but that is what she wanted and that is what she has.
Kudos to you Sarah-Jane.
And kudos to funeral homes that give people choices!