The Undertaking

December 10, 2012 Wisconsin Public Television Leave a Comment

Watch Frontline “The Undertaking” at 9 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 11 on Wisconsin Public Television.

The UndertakingI can’t say I ever thought I would be interested in going behind the scenes at a funeral home, but here I am. I suppose I don’t usually spend much time on the topic of death so I managed to overlook the necessary and fascinating world of funeral homes. That being said, I still don’t have the desire to spend a significant amount of time actually in a funeral home, so I’m glad there were other people out there willing to make the sacrifice and go in for me.

It’s actually quite amazing to think of some of the traditions we still follow to this day, despite how much the world has changed. I’ve always wondered how long we can continue moving forward with traditional burials as the population continues to grow. The planet isn’t exactly getting bigger to accommodate the number of people being born every day.

A few years ago I came across a very interesting solution in the form of a shoreline restoration project. I can’t for the life of me remember what it was called, but it was definitely the greenest approach to funerals I have ever heard about. For a small fraction of what a normal burial would cost, you could be cremated and then have your ashes used as the base for a mangrove tree. Then they collect locations for each tree in a database so that family and friends can visit your tree as it helps prevent further shoreline erosion. Sounds like a good way to spend the afterlife to me.

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