Other Funeral Related Resources
Heart2Soul – Lots of good info on funeral planning including traditions, etiquette, and practical ways to be kind and supportive to the bereaved
The Order of the Good Death – So much fun! And, educational.
Before I Go You, Should Know The Funeral Consumers Alliance’s comprehensive end-of-life planner
Final Rights: Reclaiming the American Way of Death by Josh Slocum and Lisa Carlson.
Decades after Jessica Mitford stunned America with vivid accounts of corruption and abuse in the death industry, not much has improved. Families are manipulated into buying expensive goods and services they don’t need or want. Prepaid funeral money vanishes into thin air. Body parts are sold on the black market. Eight states force families to pay a funeral director even if they conduct a home funeral with no need for help. But a consumer movement is now awakening, and Americans are asserting their rights over a key part of life, just as they did in the past with the natural childbirth and the hospice movement. The two most prominent leaders of that movement are the authors of this book: Joshua Slocum, executive director of Funeral Consumers Alliance, and Lisa Carlson, executive director of Funeral Ethics Organization. Here they join forces to expose wrongdoing, inform consumers of their rights, and propose legal reforms. The book includes state-by-state summaries of laws, regulations, services, and consumer concerns.
Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach
This book provides an informative and entertaining history of the use of cadavers in research, including a chapter on Mary’s visit to the Tennessee Body Farm. Stiff is an oddly compelling, often hilarious exploration of the strange lives of our bodies postmortem.
Grave Matters: A Journey Through the Modern Funeral Industry to a Natural Way of Burial by Mark Harris
Grave Matters follows families who found in “green” burial a more natural, more economic, and ultimately more meaningful alternative to the tired and toxic send-off on offer at the local funeral parlor. Eschewing chemical embalming and fancy caskets, elaborate and costly funerals, they have embraced a range of natural options, new and old, that are redefining a better American way of death. Grave Matters details the embalming process and the environmental aftermath of the standard funeral. Harris also traces the history of burial in America, from frontier cemeteries to the billion-dollar business it is today, reporting on real families who opted for more simple, natural returns. For readers who want to follow the examples of these families, appendices detail everything you need to know, from exact costs and laws to natural burial providers and their contact information.
Dying Wish is a documentary directed by Karen Van Vuren, founder of Natural Transitions about hospice patient, Dr. Michael Miller, an eighty-year old, retired surgeon with end-stage cancer who chooses to stop eating and drinking in order not to prolong his dying process, to ease his suffering and to die with grace.
Dealing Creatively with Death: A Manual of Death Education and Simple Burial by Ernest Morgan
More than 310,000 copies of this book (in its 14 editions) have sold so far. It is a small encyclopedia of death-related problems: social, emotional, philosophical, and practical. It is written simply and sensitively, drawing substantially on direct experience. The earliest editions were typeset by Ernest’s printing students as a fundraising project for their school. Sales exceeded expectations, and Ernest expanded and improved it through 14 editions, culminating in the current book, one of the best-sellers from Upper Access.
I Died Laughing: Funeral Education with a Light Touch by Lisa Carlson
This is a very funny book, even though it also includes some serious consumer information. Lisa Carlson has collected cartoons, jokes, funny quotations, humorous last words, and a wide range of other old and new material. As the advice columnist Dear Abby remarked, this book proves that dying can be a laughing matter. At the end of each section, Carlson has a page or two of information and advice for those who may someday have the job of arranging a funeral for a friend or relative, or who may be contemplating the arrangements they prefer when they die. Several well-known cartoonists and illustrators made their work available in support of this cause: these include P.S. Mueller, Rina Picccolo, and the estate of Edward Gorey.
Cover price: $8.75. Our sale price: $5.00 (plus $2.00 shipping)