Weekly News: Green burials, mushroom suits, and special people in the industry.

By: Funeralwise | Date: Wed, February 3rd, 2016

Green Burials
At Ramsey Creek Preserve in South Carolina, the deceased are buried in simple coffins or even in shrouds, like this one. Kimberley Campbell, who helps manage the preserve, says that “We’re just going back to the way death used to be.” (Courtesy Kimberley Campbell) via smithsonianmagazine.com

Green burials and the environment dominated this week’s news–from overall considerations in how in ground burial impacts the environment to a burial suit that sprouts fungi to help along the decomposition process. We also learned about an 8-year old who works in the family business and met the Dear Abby of Death.


New on the blog:

Bacteria and Death-Using the Necrobiome To Help Solve Crime


Weekly News: Green burials, mushroom suits, and special people in the industry.

Green Burials

At Ramsey Creek Preserve in South Carolina, the deceased are buried in simple coffins or even in shrouds, like this one. Kimberley Campbell, who helps manage the preserve, says that “We’re just going back to the way death used to be.” (Courtesy Kimberley Campbell) via smithsonianmagazine.com

Could the Funeral of the Future Help Heal the Environment?

2/1/2016–smithsonianmag.com: The lives of humans leave indelible marks on the environments they choose to call home. But you might be surprised at how much environmental damage a person can do after they’re dead.  For 48.7 percent of the about 2.6 million who died in the U.S. in 2013 alone, here’s how the average death went down: The person who passed away passed into the hands of a mortician at one of about 19,000 funeral homes… Read the full story


She’s ‘The Green Reaper’ Changing The Expensive Funeral Game

2/1/2016–goodnewsnetwork.org: Death is a natural part of life that everyone must deal with, but when the financial burdens of funeral costs and burial services mount, families are often heaped with an unnatural amount of stress after losing a loved one. That’s why one mortician in Boring, Oregon decided to make a difference—bringing her big heart and lower-cost biodegradable options to the funeral business in her small town… Read the full story


Is ‘the corpsie’ here to stay or a gross breach of funeral decorum?

2/1/2016–timesfreepress.com:  There’s a new trend that’s drawing the ire of families blindsided by photos of their deceased loved ones popping up on Facebook, Instagram and other social media sites. It’s been dubbed “the corpsie” — a cellphone selfie made with the deceased in the casket…. Read the full story


Whitney Davis helping at her grandmother's funeral home.

8-year old Whitney Davis helps out her grandmother, Diana Goad, owns Goad Funeral Home, Photo by Austin Anthony/Daily News via bgdailynews.com

8-year-old provides help at the family funeral home business

1/31/2016–bgdailynews.com: At the ripe old age of 8, Whitney Davis says she aspires to be retired. Then she flashes a grin, pushes her long brown hair behind her shoulders, laughs out loud and says she may become a teacher like the rest of her friends plan to so that she can continue to be around them when she grows up… Read the full story


Start-Ups Take Rites From the Funeral Home to the Family Home

1/30/2016–nytimes.com: When people call Undertaking LA, they might ask a question like: “My mom just died of cancer in our home. We want to keep her until noon tomorrow. Is that legal? Is that O.K.?” The answer to both questions is yes, says Amber Carvaly, who founded Undertaking LA along with Caitlin Doughty last summer. They are part of a group that is encouraging more family involvement in end-of-life rituals, including home funerals and cremations that loved ones can watch, called witness cremations… Read the full story


Ultimate gift to family: End-of-life planning

1/29/2016–chicagotribune.com: David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Otis Clay, Glenn Frey, Paul Kantner, Natalie Cole. If you think January 2016 was a rough one in the death department, you’re right. But if you think that to be unusual, you’re wrong. According to statistics compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, January tends to be the deadliest month of the year in the United States. That is a trend that has held at least since 2010… Read the full story


The Dear Abby of Death

1/29/2016–nytimes.com: “I guess you could say I’m the Dear Abby of Death,” Florence Isaacs, 78, said as she scanned her email queue for new questions about the subject, one recent morning in her West Village apartment. As a paid blogger for Legacy.com, Ms. Isaacs writes Sincere Condolences, an advice column on death-related issues, and Widow in the World, which also offers advice… Read the full story


Ryan Reynolds talks about his father's death

Ryan Reynolds and his father. (BE Images via mirror.co.uk)

Hollywood star Ryan Reynolds has opened up about the death of his father.

1/27/2106–mirror.co.uk: The 39-year-old actor’s dad, 74-year-old James C. Reynolds, passed away in October after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease but Ryan revealed that even in his final moments, the family made him laugh. He told Men’s Health magazine: “In my dad’s dying moments, we were making him laugh. We were all in there together, me and my brothers, just joking with him… Read the full story


The Mushroom Death Suit is the Latest in Post-Mortem, Eco-Friendly Fashion

1/27/2016–atlasobscura.com: Just when you thought you had a handle on all the intricacies of modern, eco-friendly burials, a new post-mortem option has emerged. After creating a stir when it was announced five years ago, the Infinity Burial Suit, also known as the Mushroom Death Suit, is almost ready for real-world use… Read the full story


What the Dead Can Teach Us About Aging and Beauty

1/26/2016–racked.com: It is 834, and 21-year-old lawyer Edward Hussey III has just begun to oversee construction of a brand new home on the grounds of his estate in Kent, England. The existing home on the property is 500 years old, and conventional wisdom says it’s time to tear it down and begin anew. But Hussey doesn’t tear the old home down… Read the full story

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