Christians should consider training and serving as death doulas.
“Death” is probably the last word you would expect to find paired with “doula.” And no, this isn’t some sort of spiritual metaphor; it’s an actual job in a young but rapidly growing field. Let me explain.
Inurnment is simply the placing of cremated remains into a container to store or bury them. Cremated remains or “ashes” are typically inurned in a plastic or cardboard container and given to the family. The family can then purchase a permanent cremation urn and transfer the remains into the new urn.
In this fairly typical scenario, inurnment happened twice. Both times the ashes were put into a container (first into the temporary urn, then into the permanent urn), the ashes were inurned.
That’s the simple, easy answer. But if you are like most people, this is the first time you’ve dealt with body disposition and you probably have many more questions about the process.
Quick take: The Death Positive movement encourages people to think and talk freely about death. Distinctives include a focus on family-centered funerals, hands-on participation in the body preparation and burial/cremation, “green” and natural burial options, more affordable burial and cremation choices, meaningful rituals and ceremony, and an acceptance of death and decay as part of the natural world
When you hear the word “funeral,” you probably get some sort of image of suits and ties, black dresses and veils, a stately church or chapel, a heavy casket. Words like grief, dreary, formal, morose, sad, depressing, cemetery, expensive.
Christianity gets death backwards. You see, our advanced civilization tells us constantly to look forward to a long life, healthy and sexy bodies, a bright future in a steadily advancing career followed by an early retirement filled with travel and leisure.
Yet at the same time, we have more depression, anxiety, and chemical dependence than ever before. We have wealth but not fulfillment, leisure but not contentment, Instagram-worthy lives but not peace.
In all this, no topic is taboo except, perhaps, one: Death.
Have you heard of “Death Doulas”? They, of course, prefer the term end-of-life doula, but the catchier term is the one that sticks in the mind and is what most people search for when first diving into this broad topic of death, dying well, and end-of-life care.
How do you ensure that your funeral plans are followed? This can include big decisions like whether to be buried or cremated, which funeral home to use, an eco-friendly natural burial or a big bold marble sarcophagus, services led by a pastor or a close family member.
Your wishes for your funeral can include smaller touches as well. Perhaps it is important to you that those who attend the service receive a “funeral favor” such as an engraved coin, a packet of forget-me-not seeds, or a bag of your favorite tea. Maybe you have a favorite hymn you would like sung, or a favorite poem you would like read.
These choices are important to you, and you can rest easier knowing that they are going to be respected. Here are five ways to make sure that your funeral arrangements are honored and carried out.
Funeral planning is a smart idea. Often, people are completely overwhelmed when faced with the death of a loved one. What ends up happening is that they simply take the advice of the funeral home. Sometimes, that works perfectly fine for everyone.
But what if there were ways to make the service more meaningful and personal? What if there were options that could save the estate thousands of dollars? It pays – both financially and emotionally – to educate yourself and to come prepared.
If you’re anything like me and most other humanoids living in this digital age, you probably have just under a billion website login username and password combinations. Somehow you keep it all together (thank the Lord for password recovery emails). But what happens to all those passwords when you die? Continue reading What Happens to Your Passwords When You Die?
If you are the spouse or executor of the estate of a person who has passed away, there are many documents you will need to work through. What papers do you actually need?
Most will be financial statements, insurance and membership papers, and legal papers that already exist. These ones you will need to find. Others you will need to create.
Note that in the digital age, some of these affairs can be arranged completely online using digital documents and accounts. Even so, there will still be many copies and forms you will physically need to handle. Here is the list of papers you need when someone dies. Continue reading What papers do you need when someone dies?