My Dad Created An ‘Ethical Will.’ Here’s What That Means And Why You May Want One Too
Huff Post | By Carrie Friedman
Published: June 20, 2020
What do you want your legacy to your community and your children to be after you’re gone?
Why Millennials Are the “Death Positive” Generation
Vox Media | By Eleanor Cummins
Published: January 22, 2020
Unlike boomers, young people are embracing planning their own funerals. It’s fueling changes in the death industry.
The Movement to Bring Death Closer
The New York Times | Compiled by Maggie Jones
Published: December 19, 2019
Home-funeral guides believe that families can benefit from tending to — and spending time with — the bodies of their deceased.
Everyone You Know Someday Will Die
The New York Times | Compiled by Kathleen O’Brien
Published: May 4, 2018
The end of life, either your own or a loved one’s, is difficult to fathom. Brilliant writers have confronted the subject with honesty and courage in our section, creating essays that are among our most thought-provoking.
An Alternative to Burial and Cremation Gains Popularity
The New York Times | By Jonah Engel Bromwich
Published: October 17, 2017
For most Americans, there have long been only two obvious choices when you die: burial or cremation. But a third option, a liquefaction process called by a variety of names — flameless cremation, green cremation or the “Fire to Water” method — is starting to gain popularity throughout the United States. California recently became the 15th state to outline commercial regulations for the disposal of human remains through the method, chemically known as alkaline hydrolysis. http://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/19/business/flameless-cremation.html
This Is How I Want to Be Dead
The New York Times | By Richard Conniff
Published: July 7, 2017
“That is, in the woods, with wild things all around. No hurry. Happy to wait at the back of the line. But beyond the familiar “green burial” business of escaping the toxic culture of the conventional death industry, what I particularly like is the idea of using the cost of burials to buy and preserve undeveloped land — a relatively new wrinkle in the world of dead things. It just seems so much more appealing than the alternatives.”
Creating the New American Buddhist Funeral
How the at-home death movement can provide a dignified, personal, and meaningful send-off (whether we’re Buddhists or not).
Trident | By Julia Hirsch
Published: June 30, 2017
“An interview with Amy Cunningham, a New York State-licensed funeral director and death educator trained in overseeing at-home funerals to discuss her latest pioneering endeavor, the New American Buddhist Funeral, and how methods and attitudes toward end-of-life disposal should honor faith-based principles, which will lead to more meaningful send-offs.”
Inside the Machine That Will Turn Your Corpse Into Compost
Wired| By Robyn Ross
Published: October 25, 2016
“When you die, do you want to be buried or cremated? If the architect Katrina Spade gets her Urban Death Project to work, you might have a third option: compost.”
What It Feels Like to Die
The Atlantic | By Jennie Dear
Published: September 9, 2016
“What does dying feel like? Despite a growing body of research about death, the actual, physical experience of dying—the last few days or moments—remains shrouded in mystery. Medicine is just beginning to peek beyond the horizon. Science is just beginning to understand the experience of life’s end.”
A New Vision for Dreams of the Dying
The New York Times | By Jan Hoffman
Published: January 30, 2016
“For thousands of years, the dreams and visions of the dying have captivated cultures, which imbued them with sacred import. Anthropologists, theologians and sociologists have studied these so-called deathbed phenomena.
Now a team of clinicians and researchers led by Dr. Kerr at Hospice Buffalo, an internist who has a doctorate in neurobiology, are seeking to demystify these experiences and understand their role and importance in supporting “a good death” — for the patient and the bereaved.”
Start-Ups Take Rites From the Funeral Home to the Family Home
The New York Times | By Claire Martin
Published: January 30, 2016
“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.”
Funeral Director, Caitlin Doughty, wants to bring death back home. Author of the best-selling memoir, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory, Doughty says “Maybe we need to look and say, Wow, let’s look at this beautiful, natural corpse.
Truthout | Interview by Lorna Garano
Published: Wednesday, August 19, 2015
“Dead bodies endure as objects of cultural fear, especially in US popular culture, where the specter of their attendant decay is on display in everything from crime scene investigations to zombie sagas. But this threat is not only the stuff of fiction. Over the last 150 years, US funerary practices have spun a similar story in which humans, as well as the whole of nature, must do its best to guard against the dangerous wrath of the corpse.”
“Char Barrett walked into a quaint cafe in Seattle with business in mind. Over the smell of coffee and freshly baked tarts, she was going to advise a client on how best to host a special event at her home, helping coordinate everything from the logistics of the ceremony, to how to dress the guest of honor. People might cry, they might laugh, and all attention would be on the person of the hour—only that person would never see, hear, or enjoy the festivities, because they would be dead.”
How human composting will change death in the city
Grist| By Katie Herzog
Published: March 9, 2015
“For most people in this country, there are two options after death: You are buried or you are burned. The costs, both environmental and financial, are significant, but we accept these options because they are all that we know. One Seattle architect wants to change this, to develop a form of body disposal that will both cost little and actually improve the environment.”