Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I can't wait for the article about doing your own hemorrhoid surgery with toenail clippers and a roll of toilet paper.

Not everybody knows this but Michael Jackson had a home viewing.

Home burial, is it for you?

I see these articles from time to time. Actually, I have no objection to the concept of do-it-yourself funerals at all. (Small "l" libertarian that I am.) I have noticed that most of the datelines of these stories are from rural areas. In most places handling grandpa like the folks in the article is neither legal nor practical. Handling your own loved one will be for the "greenie" crowd only for some time to come no matter how bad the economy gets.

Death, for the most part, is not how it looks on TV. Dead people don't look like they're asleep. They look like they're dead. And they start to smell dead pretty quickly. Unless your loved one is a small to average sized person who died comfortably in bed dealing with them can be problematic. Dressing an unembalmed body isn't easy. Is the word "purge" self explanatory or would you like me to add more detail? And that's not counting the bowel movements a lot of us will leave when we shed the mortal coil. What do you do if Dad was a larger man and fell off the toilet and is wedged between it and the tub? How about if he had Esophageal cancer and in his last agonizing moments spewed a few pints of blood as he reeled around the room? Bedroom on the second floor with a small 90 degree landing in the middle of the stairway? Pretty tricky, I can assure you.

And that's even before you get to the permitting process. I wish anyone without the expertise to maneuver the California death bureaucracy lotsa luck in getting their burial permit before grandma starts to get over ripe.

More power to the hale and hearty folk in our rural areas. Doing this kind of homespun death service for your loved one is commendable and meaningful. But don't kid yourself. As the article makes clear, it's not for everyone.

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