We often say that funerals are a “celebration of life”, but in most cases that phrase is just a way of dealing with our grief. Unfortunately, funerals have always been very generic in their décor and sayings. Happily, though, a trend to make funerals more personal is taking shape…
First off, let’s do a little vocabulary correction. Most people use the terms coffin and casket interchangeably, but they are not the same thing! A coffin has eight sides with the top (near the shoulders) being wider and tapering narrower and narrower toward the feet. A coffin is much simpler than a casket, and almost any box that the deceased is put in could be referred to as a coffin. A casket is not something only for burial. It is actually anything that holds something meaningful or precious. In today’s western world, most people are buried in caskets. According to An Uncommon History of Common Things, “The term [casket] became widely used among 19th-century U.S. funeral homes, in the belief that it had fewer negative connotations.”
Today, we have gone beyond finding a casket “fancy”. Novelty caskets are becoming increasingly popular. People are being buried in cell phones, cars, and fish! With this trend, most people design their coffin before death (some many years before death) in order to make sure that it will suit their personality.
Biodegradable coffins, called ecopods, are also on the rise! These coffins are created for “green” cemeteries where decomposition is natural. They can be customized and look (generally) like a “normal” casket and will withstand all of the proceedings of a funeral.
And don’t forget the “do-it-yourself” coffin! Kits are now being made with pre-cut pieces so that you can turn making your coffin into a weekend craft! Paint it however you like (just make sure that it’s sturdy…otherwise things could end up badly…). These kits will not only save you money, but also make for a pretty interesting experience.
These coffins can be made by the most typical coffin-makers on request. If you don’t know your local coffin-maker (chances are you don’t) then order online! Just make sure that you check out the shipping first…that price might be enough to make you need the coffin sooner than you expected.
(and for everyone who would want to be remembered for their love of Doctor Who…)
Many thanks for these outstanding pics:
var _gaq = _gaq || ;
ga.src = (‘https:’ == document.location.protocol ? ‘https://ssl’ : ‘http://www’) + ‘.google-analytics.com/ga.js’;
var s = document.getElementsByTagName(‘script’); s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s);