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Author: GardenStateFool Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 885595  
Subject: Re: Funerals For the Indigent Among Us Date: 2/26/2013 9:56 AM
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I am of two minds on this:

First, the positive. It is absolutely a lesson on the fragility of life and gives the people involved a sense of dignity, of caring, and of community. I think it's a truly lovely idea.

However, here's the other portion of it. These people die without family or friends. From the article, and your quote:

"We don't come into the world alone. We shouldn't leave it alone," Hopkins said.

These people left this world already. They're already dead. And at the time at which they died, who was there to hold their hand? Where is the comfort for the living?

And these facts from the article:

The cost of a regular adult funeral is about $6,500, according to the National Funeral Directors Association. This includes everything but cemetery, monument or marker costs and miscellaneous charges such as flowers or obituaries. Monuments or markers sell for anywhere from $300 for a small marker to several thousand dollars for a larger headstone, while flowers cost anywhere from $50 to $250.

When do we, as a society, rethink death and burial? Cemeteries, etc.?

I'm an atheist, LBYMer, and human being. My wish, when I die, is to have my body donated to science. The whole thing.

Organs, skin, blood, tissue - whatever you can use, use it. What's left - please, use it to let future doctors and current doctors practice on. There are needs for this in medical schools and continuing professional education. Carve me up. Use what you learn to save someone else's life. Please.

I do believe that the living and the dead should be accorded some dignity and respect. I truly admire the generous spirit of the people who are doing this and believe that this brings home a lesson about the fragility of each life in this world.

But the rules and expectations that we have built up around the business of dead - and it is a business! - is becoming a burden that fewer are able to bear. It's not financially or environmentally sustainable.

And it's just me, but I'd also like to see some of these lovely people whose hearts are definitely in the right place, to perhaps transfer some of that energy and wonderful charity to easing the passage between life and death, not death to the grave.

GSF
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