There are a number of considerations regarding choosing between Natural and Standard Funeral options. This page is dedicated to sharing these considerations (Ecology, Economy, Spiritual/Religious/Secular) and a few resources to help you look further, and make informed choices. There is no one size fits all.
Considering our ecology of death is a deeply-felt passion. I am so grateful to live in a time where our earlier fringe ecological consciousness continues to evolve and thrive everyday into a mainstream consciousness. In any number of ways we are each activists for clean water, clean air, clean & green spaces, harmless consumerism, clean technology and energy, and the list goes on. We're concerned about the types of products we buy, the plastic water bottles that end up in our landfills and on our roadsides. We reduce and reuse, and of course, we recycle our containers. Well, speaking of recycling our containers, have you considered how you will recycle the container that you live in, when its life-cycle is complete?
In the past decade, there has been a resurgence of interest and concern for how we die, how we plan for our death, and what happens afterward. Home illness, deaths and funerals have had a strong revival, but there is much more work to do, much more education needed. We are becoming more conscious of ways in which standard funeral practices are poisoning the earth, and I'd like to take that consciousness several steps further.
While it is shockingly true that tremendous resources are used, that land that is being devoured for the sole purpose of after-death preservation, and that we're harming our environment and ourselves with these practices, we might deeply consider further. Not only about what toxins we're putting into the ground, but what nourishing nutrients we're withholding from our ecosystem by not returning naturally to the elemental system which has given us life and served us throughout our precious time here.
For the most part, it seems true that our obsession with preserving ourselves even after death comes from our inherent fear of annihilation and extinction. All other animals live and die, and return naturally to re-nourish the system that supported their living and can now be supported in return. Why do we feel that we are above this wise and sustainable law of nature? We are not. We are stewards of our ecosystem while we live, and that stewardship continues, but in a different way after we die, if we honor our innate wisdom. In my counseling work, we visit these questions as a way of transcendence and deep understanding, regarding our confusion of who and what we really are. I am grateful for every opportunity to work with clients as a doula for both living and dying, and welcome all inquiries with tender compassion and appreciation for your concerns, your fears, and your desire for wisdom.
I chose this great Infographic because it tells the story in a powerful and easy to absorb way. New and improving technology, imagination, and innovation offer many more options. Below the Infographic is a list of great links to follow to be better informed.
Resomation is a cremation alternative which offers a significantly lower ecological footprint. It reduces greenhouse gases by 35%. Energy consumption of electric and gas is 1/7 of cremation. There are no airborne mercury emissions, as there are with cremation. Using a process of alkaline hydrolysis, a sterile liquid is safely returned to a body of water, trace free of any pollutants, toxins, and DNA, and the bone ash (as in cremation) is returned to the deceased's family members for disposition.
This is the most comprehensive website on funeral consumerism. This link takes you directly to the State-by-State laws, regarding burial on your own land, which is a very good option for some. There are considerations to keep in mind, and I'll be happy to assist you.
An average standard funeral costs around $6500, which does not include the funeral plot and various charges related to that - the actual interment, grave closing, flowers. etc. The majority of middle to upper class burials are in the $10,00-$20,000 range. For most it is a huge economic strain to support the unsustainable environmental calamity that it causes. What sense does this make? A home funeral and natural burial may cost on the average $1000 or much less, depending on your particular choices. With no intention or need to vilify the funeral industry, it has too long been de rigueur to encourage over-spending with some quite effective tools-of-the-trade language, hard to bear by the grieving family survivors. Suffice to say that our system has long been in need of an overhaul, and it's happening by people taking matters into their own hands, in the case of home funerals and burials, and for those for whom that is not a good fit, by advocating wisely for themselves and hiring funeral directors with compassion and integrity. Rather than duplicate a lot of information that is already nicely organized and thorough, please follow the link below to the Funeral Consumer Alliance website. Being informed will serve you well, while making your choices. If I can help in any way, throughout this process, please feel free to contact me.
It feels important to me to educate people about their choices, regarding how, where, when, and with whom they choose to die, be attended, be memorialized (or not), and regarding their body disposition. Whether you consider your choices to be religious, spiritual, or secular, they are your choices alone. There is so much misinformation, based on a 150 year old social meme, which does not support personal advocacy, that the majority of people have no idea what their rights are regarding their final choices. Please visit my home death and funerals page for additional information regarding some of these unknown or misunderstood rights. If I can help, please contact me, here. http://www.analisadomenica.com/home-death-and-funerals.html
Analisa Domenica 200 Kelsey Lane Mill Spring, NC 28756 828.429.0096