Reimagining Death: Stories and Practical Wisdom for Home Funerals and Green Burials

Lucinda Herring. North Atlantic, $21.95 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-62317-292-3
Funeral consultant Herring urges readers to shun the impersonal, environmentally taxing approach of modern death in her stimulating debut. She draws from a highly syncretic new age approach to highlight the positive impact of vigils, caring for one’s own dead, and green burial practices. Opening the book with the death of her own mother, Herring writes of having to coax her resistant father and siblings to have a funeral service in their home. She shares stories of clients and friends who have buried loved ones without using traditional funeral arrangements, including a Tibetan Buddhist with exacting preparation requirements. Herring also includes an affecting story of a home vigil for a young woman who died in a car crash. The range of traditions, approaches, and styles Herring describes attests to the versatility of home funerals, and the practical information at the end of each chapter guides readers through, for instance, the legalities of transporting bodies, the least environmentally harmful body disposal methods, and how one can prepare for the end of life. With clear advice and reasoning, Herring helpfully nudges readers toward less clinical, more personal, and more active planning for the deaths of their loved ones and themselves. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/26/2018
Release date: 01/08/2019
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 978-1-62317-293-0
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