I know you may be like whoa this is a dark topic but I think it’s important to talk about. I’m not trying to be morbid or anything but I do want to educate you on what you should do to take your death plans into your own hands. When I say death plans, I’m not talking about suicide. On the contrary, just a what would you like to happen should your death occur. Now while the main thing people think about when planning for their care when death occurs is life insurance (which it is important people!), planning for what to do with your body when you’re death occurs is just as important. Sidenote, y’all it makes me sad when I go on Facebook or look at the news and hear of someone tragically passing away and the family have to scramble up some money (hello GoFundMe pages) to bury their loved ones. It is important to have a life insurance policy in place. Gerber Life has a relatively cheap policy you can buy for your kids should something tragically happen to them and they can chose to move it over to their life insurance when they’re adults. Just something to think about.
Anyway, two things happened to me to make me think about my death plan. The first thing that happened was the death of my uncle. I wanted to know what was going to happen to him when I found out that they decided to cremate him. Were they going to bury his ashes? Will they place his ashes in an urn? What happens during a cremation? The second thing that got me thinking as well was my aunt! One of her co-workers died alone at home of natural causes and no one knew and she didn’t have a plan in place for when her death occurred. That worried my aunt and got her thinking of her plans and it got me thinking too.
One thing I did was go to YouTube. I typed in the search button “What happens during a cremation?” and found Caitlin Doughty’s page Ask a Mortician. Y’all that page is awesome. She has all types of informative videos for all of the questions that people are afraid to ask. She really preaches being “death positive” (which basically means taking your plans in your own hands). Do you want a natural burial? Do you want to be embalmed? She talks about everything from caskets to paying for funerals. One of my favorite segments she has is called “Iconic Corpse” which looks at bizarre cases of famous corpses like Eva Peron (aka Evita), Rasputin, and Vladimir Lenin.
When you’re planning for a funeral or memorial, you have to know what you want. How would you want your loved ones to remember you? Do you want a viewing? Do you want a green burial? What’s a green funeral in the first place? If you want something more eco-friendly, you can have a green funeral and burial. You can have a biodegradable coffin or wrapped in a sheet. You can use cardboard (it’ll look good don’t worry). You don’t have to worry about a burial vault or a casket (which can cost thousands of dollars). You can be buried in a forest or out in nature somewhere where the bugs can have at you. Maybe that’s not your thing (personally thats a no for me) but what if someone plans for your body to be buried that way. Or on the flip side, what if you’re against embalming (which btw, you DO NOT have to be embalmed. Don’t let a funeral try to force it on you if you don’t want it) and your family embalmed your body? Again, it’s important to have your death plan in place.
You don’t want to die alone. You don’t want someone to grief you and try to come up with a plan for your funeral or body or service. That’s why it’s important to take your death in your hands. Also, it’s important to read the fine print. As I said, it’s not required that you get embalmed. Your body won’t rot faster if it’s not embalmed. Your body will just be kept cold until your funeral or burial. Also, it’s actually harmful to the environment. You’re basically pumping tones of chemicals into the body that will leak out when buried. I know some funeral homes may preach a totally sealed casket, but it doesn’t actually work that way. Liquid will seep out and in and any casket that is totally sealed will explode because no air is getting in the casket which will help to dry out the body and help the body to break down. Did you know that you can have a funeral at home? Again, not my thing but it’s totally possible to have one (you just can’t have a home burial).
With this whole Covid-19 (Carona virus) thing, it’s scary. A lot of people are dying of it and it’s a scary time right now. That’s why it’s really important to have a plan in place should your sudden demise occur or maybe your loved one’s. Be proactive rather than being reactive. There are funeral homes out there that will try to upset you on services that you may want or may not even want. Know your rights. Be prepared. If you would like a starting point, you can check out the site Order of the Good Death or a site called Cake. Take your death in your own hands.
Below are a few videos on talking about death with your family, saving money on funerals, and how they’re handling death in this time period of the Covid-19 pandemic. I hope you take away some valuable information. Hopefully this gives you something to think about.