A typical 10-acre patch of cemetery ground contains enough furniture-grade lumber to construct 40 houses, nearly 1,000 tons of steel, 20,000 tons of concrete, and enough embalming fluid to fill a small backyard swimming pool.
You might take solace in the fact that when you die, your days of polluting the planet are over. But the truth is that the method you choose to dispose of your mortal remains has more of a deleterious impact on the environment than you might think.
In some cultures, wearing local dress and participating in local ceremonies is not appreciated. And even in Bali, there are some ceremonies that are off-limits to outsiders. But in many Balinese communities, as in many communities elsewhere, the opposite is true.
While we can only read between the lines of the sad news when Joan was rushed to the hospital after an outpatient procedure and then was in and out of intensive care, it appears she and her daughter at some earlier time had "that conversation."
Angel Belle was alive during the entire delivery process. My wife felt her kicking throughout. Her heartbeat was strong. And then it was not. After being delivered, Angel Belle took a single breath while her heartbeat slowly faded.
Though many people are familiar with Day of the Dead as celebrated in Mexico every November, the truth is that most cultures and religions -- from the Amish to Vietnamese -- use food in their funeral rituals in some way.
We all live with the knowledge of an inevitable death -- those of us who near middle age have likely witnessed and experienced that knowledge. And yet, when it comes, it still greets most of us with surprise.
In American society today, it is difficult to offer any simply answer to the question. In the past, most Americans would likely talk about dignity and respect, and look to the church and the funeral home to help them do the right things at the time of death.
Have we done what we need to do to protect the people closest to us who will be left behind? Are our spouses, our children, or are partners prepared to make important decisions on our behalf, and have we given them clear instructions for doing so? I
While cremation possessed ancient roots, it was little known among Victorian-age Americans. Indeed, to most late nineteenth-century Westerners, the concept of cremation seemed otherworldly and even un-Christian.
You can't visit Bali's cultural center of Ubud and not see any art. Creativity is everywhere here, from pura (temples) to palaces, galleries to gardens, with shops and handicrafts and lovingly decorated shrines.
Over the last decade, amid China's growing hegemony in Asia, Nepal has turned from a sanctuary to a nightmare for Tibetan refugees. This tragedy is embodied in the way the Nepalese government has so far responded to Drupchen Tsering's self-immolation.
A recent ad in the local newspaper by a Denver mortuary and cemetery called Olinger Highland together with another company's offer of a freebie that arrived in the mail, makes the whole post mortem thing enticing.