Coming to Rest: A Guide to Caring for Our Own Dead,
an Alternative to the Commercial Funeral

Julie Wiskind, Richard Spiegel

Synopsis

Many people may not realize that there are alternatives to immediately calling a funeral director when a loved one dies. In fact, if certain legalities are observed, most people can avoid the cost and impersonal involvement of the commercial funeral industry altogether and care for a deceased loved one with the kind of love and private ritual that not only extends and individualizes the care giving before death, but can also honor family history or follow a family's religious tradition. Authors Julie Wiskind and Richard Spiegal have written a moving and useful book for people who want to be involved in caring for their own dead with the kind of personal attention they devoted to their loved ones before they died. Funerals can be completely do-it-yourself events, allowing people to wash and care for the body in the comforting and familiar surroundings of home. Accepting death as a natural part of living and "normalizing" the ritual of caring for the body and arranging privately organized ceremonies is becoming more the norm among aging baby boomers in much the same way that natural birthing swept this generation at an earlier age. Coming to Rest clarifies the necessary legal paperwork, spells out many of the statutory requirements in different locations--only nine states in the U.S. require the involvement of a professional funeral director after a death--and offers a helpful and informative discussion on this sensitive subject. This book will surprise some, but it will also reassure and help guide many more to a comfortable, personalized end to the life of a loved one.
---Mark A. Hetts

 

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