The news of the week highlighted the increasing use of therapy dogs in funeral homes to help comfort those grieving over the death of a loved one. We also saw evidence that the ancient Greeks believed in zombies and learned about the latest trends in the funeral industry.
Weekly News 6/19/15: Therapy dogs help ease grief.
Jun 18, 2015–Huffingtonpost.com: Every day we hear sad and often shocking stories of people whose lives were cut short in an instant. For those left behind, the impact is sudden and instantaneous: One moment before, everything was fine, until a sharp knife cut someone out of their lives… in a flash. What we don’t hear as much about is the pain of caregivers who feel helpless when cancer treatments stop working and the issue isn’t whether the patient will die, but when… Read the full story
Ancient Greeks believed in ZOMBIES: Bodies pinned in graves with rocks and jars suggest civilisation feared the walking dead
Jun 18, 2015–dailymail.co.uk: The ancient Greeks are often credited with being the forefathers of logic and rational thought, but it seems they also lived in fear of zombies. Archaeologists claim to have uncovered evidence that suggests the ancient civilisation believed in the undead who would rise from their graves at night. They have found graves where people had been weighed down with rocks and fragments of amphora to pin them into their tombs… Read the full story
Jun 17, 2015–thenewdaily.com.uk: After a Victorian family spent $10,000 in vet bills in an attempt to save their 17-year-old moggy, they weren’t just going to bury it in the backyard once it died. Instead, the mother and daughter chose the full treatment for their fallen feline – giving her an hour-long funeral service at Animalia Pet Cemetery in Bacchus Marsh, complete with celebrant, music, photos, incense, candles and a $300 floral wreath. The precious pet was then buried (fee of $460) in a $1000 white enamel coffin with silver handles and lined with white satin and matching pillow, as well as the cat’s favourite toys… Read the full story
Jun 16, 2015–fool.com: Let’s face it: It’s not a trifling financial matter to be laid to rest. According to data from the National Funeral Directors Association, the median cost of a funeral, not including a vault, was about $7,000 in 2012. A vault, often required by cemeteries, can add more than a thousand dollars to that. Thus, many people opt for funeral insurance. You may not need funeral insurance, though, and you should learn more about it before buying it. For starters, let’s define terms. “Funeral insurance” refers to a policy designed to cover death-related costs for someone… Read the full story
Jun 15, 2015–theverge.com: On the day before her 56th birthday, Grace Seidel talked to me about dying. It probably wasn’t going to happen anytime soon, she said, but when it did, she knew what she wanted her family to do with her body: compost it. Earlier this year, Seidel found out about the Urban Death Project — a proposed system that would turn bodies of the dead into compost — and knew instantly it was how she wanted to go out. “It took a nanosecond for me to make that decision,” Seidel said. “My brain was probably already working in that direction… Read the full story
Jun 15, 2015–arkansasonline.com: Swedish researchers have created a short questionnaire designed to assess a person’s risk of death within the next five years. To understand how this is possible, first consider a few caveats. Correlation and causation are not the same. In this case, the researchers have highlighted correlations between risk of death and factors such as smoking and chronic health conditions. They aren’t foretelling anyone’s death… Read the full story
Jun 14, 2015–csmonitor.com: Sandy Del Duca was mourning the death of her father when Lulu, a curly haired goldendoodle, came bounding down the stairs at the Ballard-Durand funeral home. Del Duca thought Lulu was simply the pet of funeral home owner Matthew Fiorillo, whom she was meeting to make arrangements. But the dog also works there — one of an increasing number of dogs being offered by American funeral homes to comfort mourners… Read the full story
>>Related: Comfort Dogs at Funeral Homes
Jun 14. 2015–bbc.com: It may be the only thing that’s inevitable in life. But death is changing. Now it’s a time to be joyful. Instead of looking ahead to the afterlife, British funerals increasingly rejoice in memories of the deceased’s triumphs, relationships and their favourite songs. There’s a phrase for ceremonies like this – “a celebration of life”. The tone is happy rather than mournful, celebratory instead of sombre. Wearing black is commonly discouraged. You’re more likely to hear Monty Python’s Always Look On The Bright Side of Life – according to a 2014 survey, the most popular song played at UK funerals – than Verdi’s Requiem… Read the full story