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Are You Afraid to Plan for Your Own Death?

Exploring our rights to make the death and funerary process more personal and less of a consumer affair.

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A young woman was originally "creeped out" when her mother told her she wanted to have a home funeral for her husband who succumbed after a long battle with cancer. Upon viewing the body of her deceased father peacefully laying on his bed on the day of his passing, she spoke these words to me: "My dad worked so hard, he started out with nothing and he took good care of his family; he bought this house, this is his home; for him to pass here is safe for him, and safe for his spirit to relax for a few days. I wouldn't want to have it any other way."

Since we're all going to die, Jerrigrace Lyons wisely advises that we should have a death plan. Waiting to be grief-stricken or dead to get informed and shop for funerals is a bad idea. But beyond the financial aspect of after-death care, what these guides are asking us to consider is why would we want to miss out on this last chance to care for those we love? Maybe because we're all so busy working full-time jobs and conforming to society's material demands that we hand over one of our most important rites of passage to strangers at a significant cost to our own evolution.

Frankie Colmane lives in Los Angeles where she reports on local independent artists and activists. Links to her stories can be found on " The Smiling Spider " blog.

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