When one of their relatives dies, why do people send the corpse to a mortician to have the body drained of its fluids, filled with toxic chemicals, get its mouth sewn shut, have the eyelids glued closed, and get plastered with heavy makeup? What is the point of all this?? Are they in denial???
And why do you need such fancy coffins after you’re dead? What difference does it make to you?? Why do people spend so much on such useless things???
If they weren’t embalmed, they’d really smell during open-casket ceremonies.
Unfortunately, you can’t avoid embalming even if (like me) you’re going to insist that the casket be closed. (I have several friends who have promised to close the damned box if it’s open at my funeral…) If I can recall correctly, I think you even have to embalm a corpse before cremation. It makes no sense.
Not true. Embalming is not required (at least not in New York). Embalming is against Jewish law and, as such, Orthodox Jews do not embalm their dead. As a matter of practice, we also generally hold the funerals shortly (within a day) after death.
Usually the funeral home will keep the person in a freezer until the service. All Orthodox Jewish services are closed-casket. Then the body is taken for burial.
IMHO the funeral service industry harbours some of the biggest scams going.
They’ve got the greiving family by the short and curlies.
They know they’re not going to shop around (or almost certainly won’t).
They prey on guilt by trying to get a person to buy their loved one a multi-thousand dollar chariot thats just going to be stuffed in the ground and never seen again. Even if you get cremated, many will push for a fancy-pine casket as opposed to a box. I especially find grusome the pushing of super-sealed caskets. Nothing better than being a bunch of goo in your casket that has no hope in hell of leeching out. At least you’ll be assured of gagging anyone opening your sealed container 50 after you’ve been planted.
Many want you to believe (as mentioned in this thread) that Embalming is the law (Of course, it may be in some places but isn’t in most). They do whatever they can to suck what they can out of you.
[sub]Please note this is a generalization of the Funeral Home industry. It may be possible that one or two may be legit and not pushy but I wouldn’t hold my breath[/sub]
My mom donated her body to the Anatomical Gift Society. They can’t use enbalmed bodies. Then when they finished with her, they cremated her and sent us the ashes. No burial for me! Cremation all the way.
Wow. I was having this exact conversation with my coworkers after work today. I think all of us preferred to be returned to the environment as quickly as possible. There was also talk about laws prohibiting the spreading of ashes in various places, but no one knew for certain. Anyone here?
I do agree with you, Surreal. Embalming seems like a useless activity. I think the Jews have the right idea with the quicky funerals. I personally am thinking of donating my entire body to science. Maybe I’ll end up being a cadaver in some medical school. The idea of med students dissecting my body is more appealing to me than embalming. or cremation.
Embalming is not required if you’re being buried right away or being cremated, but if you want a viewing or the body is being shipped anywhere it is required. If the funeral isn’t taking place till several days after death, and the family wants several viewings, the deceased does need to be embalmed.
You also do not have to have an expensive casket for cremation. You can buy a $70 cardboard box that serves the same purpose. The body does need to be in something, however.
Laws vary by state and country, of course.
I really like the idea of the Parsi Towers of Silence–although from other google hits, it seems that there’s a serious vulture shortage in modern times, which is screwing up the process. It’s edged out the appeal of a sky burial for me.
Hard to do such things in this corner of the globe, though, so I’ll likely have to settle for cremation. Embalming’s certainly a useless step there, and it’d be nice to avoid it if possible.