The absolute common denominator of being human is that one day we meet our deaths. It stirs the full spectrum of our emotions, engages our spiritual selves, and can cost a lot economically. The costs of caring for a deceased family member can quickly become inflated because of decisions made in grief. Such decisions add to the post-death stress in many families. Few know that most of what the funeral industry does is not necessary or required by law. Even more important is that no professional mortuary services can help us as much with our range of emotions as a loving family-directed in-home funeral. So what alternative is possible to the current, typical funeral?
This show features Eric Putt and Andrea Deerheart of Thresholds, a mortuary service that provides home- and family-directed funerals that put the human dimension back into taking care of the deceased—a real alternative to the commercial funeral industry, which by intent or accident has usurped the role of loved ones to carefully tend to the body. As Eric says, the goal is to put himself out of a job because he wants to empower families to choose how to take care of their loved ones at the time of death. For those who are not death-averse, it can be a great option to plan for and fulfill the complete picture of life by using traditional means that celebrate rather than mask from sight this part of the fullness of life.
Lee Van Ham, while ostensibly the interviewer and facilitator, tells of his own experience caring for his mother in the fashion that Thresholds supports. Eric and Andrea have their respective stories of how their eyes came to be opened to the need for a more satisfying way to see their loved ones off. Hear about how death can be dignified, honored, and most of all, healing by taking control back from commercial mortuaries. How much does it cost? 20% or so of what conventional funerals cost—a viable, affordable, loving way to proceed when our family experiences a death.
- The HeartWay (Andrea)
- Funeral Consumers Alliance
- Lisa Carlson’s “Caring For The Dead”
- Bios of this show’s panelists (PDF)