An email lobbed into our mailbox today. From Elizabeth Knox at the Crossings Network it pointed her readers to a story by Libby Copeland, writing in The New Republic. Who Owns Death? talks about the grip that the funeral industry has on the hearts and minds of Americans and how a small but growing band of people are challenging its domination. “The modern American funeral industry, with its rituals and its almost complete capture of the death process … would have appeared extraordinary to a woman in 1875,” said Josh Slocum, the executive director of the Funeral Consumers Alliance. The current economic model for funeral undertakers is: “we take the body, we do things do it, and we sell it back to you,” as mortician-memoirist Caitlin Doughty, the author of Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, told Copeland.
It sounds very much like what is happening in Australia, except that our response is less well organised. Asking the question: Who Owns Death? seems like a fitting way to end the financial year at Die-alogue Cafe. Read the full story here: http://www.newrepublic.com/article/122130/who-owns-dead