|Did you know…?
It is completely legal in most states to care for our own loved ones at death...that embalming is rarely mandatory nor necessary...and that the actual logistics of doing so are fairly straight forward and manageable, in most circumstances. These little known facts provide us a great opportunity to re-think and re-create how we are cared for at death, so that our passage more closely represents who we are as people and what is important to us.
Little Known Facts...that can open large doors
* It is perfectly legal in 43 states to care for our own dead
* Embalming is neither mandatory nor necessary in most cases
* A deceased loved one can lie in honor in their own home for a few hours or up to several days
*The family member or person with the legal right to the disposition of the body can:
- Legally act as the funeral director
- Transport the deceased in any suitable vehicle
- Fill out and file all the necessary legal documents
The following considerations can give us the courage to consider home wakes and funerals as a viable option for ourselves and our families.
*Home funerals are an extension of the revitalized “home birth” and ‘home hospice” movements and were common up until the turn of the 20th century
*If your loved one is under hospice care, you already have most of the skills involved in caring for the body
*Our extended family and community can help, with each being given a small task. Several people performing small tasks provides a lot of help. Most people will feel grateful for the opportunity to give their love in a concrete way.
*Home Funerals can connect generations to each other in powerful ways, leaving indelible marks of connection while teaching young people the potential of turning sorrow into creative, loving expression.
*Today’s funeral industry has removed the extended family and the community from the death care process. We have become distant viewers attending pre-packaged sterilized rituals.
*Home wakes and funerals reclaim our role as full participates in a final act of love that provides a powerful and healing way to say goodbye.
*By participating in a home funeral we become more attuned to the natural cycles of life and death, as well as the power and gifts of community. Often, hearts grow more compassionate and connected and the fear of death is lessened.