Saturday, August 28, 2010

Home Funerals: An Introduction (Video 4:17)

Many years ago, death rituals in America were a continuation of the family’s natural involvement with the deceased at home. Even today, some people view them as extensions of the hospice philosophy. After a death took place, the body of the deceased was prepared at home for viewing. Mourners came to pay their respects, console the family, and offer other forms of assistance. The family appreciated this outpouring of support from the community. After the funeral, the body was buried.

Involvement with death-ritual arrangements was and still is therapeutic. In addition to saving thousands of dollars, some families want to have more control over how the deceased loved one’s life is celebrated and cared for after death. Having a personalized home funeral is an option they embrace. Most states allow home funerals as long as legal documentation related to claiming the body and arrangements for burial or cremation are handled appropriately. Some families work with funeral homes on these matters.

This video titled “Home Funerals” is an introduction to this dignified death ritual, another alternative for family and friends to unfasten their earthly connections with loved ones who die. Comments are especially welcome from those who have participated in home funerals.

Frances Shani Parker, Author

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