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Thursday, March 5, 2009

It's your funeral

I was surfing around a while ago when I came across this:

It's an EcoPod - a feather-lined coffin made entirely from recycled paper. I showed it to Phil straight away. He was less than keen to discuss the matter, but I was very taken with the design and wasn't giving up. 

"I want you to promise me you'll buy the cheapest possible coffin for my funeral." 


"I don't want a big coffin. I think they're wasteful. I want you to get me the lowest-priced coffin that's available. I'll tell people about it first, so they won't think you're being cheap on the day."

"Tell you what," he said, "I'll buy the second cheapest coffin."

I was all for getting two EcoPods straight away and keeping them in the attic. Mine would probably fit inside Phil's, so it's not like they would be taking up too much space. But my friend Maggie pointed out that I wouldn't like the idea of my friends nudging each other at the funeral service because my coffin was "so 2009".

It did start me reading about the funeral industry, though. "Death care" has a tradition of pressuring its vulnerable customers into buying expensive and unnecessary services. As this great Wired piece says, "Grieving people don't haggle." 

Here are some alternatives to a casket with a markup of between 400 and 1200 percent:
More resources


Tres said...

I wonder if modern chic vampires use these?

Catbird said...

Ah, morbidity. I want my organs donated and I want to be cremated, my husband wants to be buried. He thinks it might be weird that we don't match. He also thinks it's weird to talk about it. Nothing wrong with being prepared for hopefully the distant future, I say.

JaneyV said...

I don't find this even slightly morbid. I love that casket. You could strap it onto the roof bars and pretend that you're going skiing. I gave all this a lot of consideration when 6' Under was showing. I decided that I want to be buried for two reasons.

1. I like the idea of recycling myself straight back into the earth.
2. I'm very fond of graveyards and I like the thought of someone years from now looking at my stone wondering who I was.
C. I want a bit of land around my stone to encourage weeds - who are needlessly picked on everywhere else.
IV. I want a proper gravestone to encourage stonemasonry.

OK that's more than two - so you can just pick your favourites.
What I don't want is sombre. A bright and colourful one would be good. All that polished wood and brass fittings would give me the heebiddygeebiddies.

This was a great post RĂ­! x

Catbird said...

I didn't mean 'morbid' negatively, more in the sense of thinking about death and decay. I dunno, maybe others don't associate death with decay like I do, recycling back to the earth seems like a bit more lighthearted way of thinking about it.