Do you know the funeral industry lies? Death is something ultimately brushed under the rug, especially the care we take to remove it from our daily lives. We rarely see bodies in any public place, unless terrible accidents occur, so it is easy to practice “out of sight, out of mind.” It feels more comfortable that way, but should we be comfortable with this current relationship with death? What happened to ancient and intimate death rituals that helped us cope? What happened to processing our biggest mystery in healthy, collective ways?
While most Americans wish to die in the comfort of their home, we see over half of people perishing in hospitals. Another quarter waits for their demise in rest homes. So why do we allow this to happen if want the opposite? Why is our relationship with death so skewed? It starts with the only industry where we get our answers from–the funeral home.
Death is a Business
If the biggest face of death for us is a business, then that is what we expect. Death is about paying for funeral packages, expensive embalming, and services rendered. Death equals a huge money dump. And who profits from this image? Funeral homes. Note: this is not to vilify the people who work there, just to unmask our preconceived notions.
The business utilizes this time of grief and confusion to prey upon wallets. Ever step into a home and talk with an advisor? Most likely, they will try to upsell you. Get the bigger casket. Get more flowers. Isn’t that something your mother would have wanted? To be fair, it probably isn’t the person talking to you. Like any corporate industry, the higher-ups push for more selling of the finished product.
The truth is, you don’t need to buy a casket from them. You can purchase or even make them yourself. You also don’t need embalming. That is to preserve some facsimile of life, but you’re ultimately choosing a cover-up. Death and rot happen, and no amount of chemicals and make-up will fix that. Skip the embalming and save yourself upwards of $700.
There are also other options that skip a funeral home altogether
Dead Bodies are Dangerous
After someone passes, the industry quickly scoops up the body for transport and refrigeration. Officials will most likely tell you it’s for your own safety.
It’s not. This is just another way the funeral industry lies to us.
If your loved one perished from old age, there is little to no danger. Of course, the decomposition can be traumatic, but you should be safe to grieve for even a few hours before they come to collect. Unless disease was the cause, you should feel secure telling whoever comes to pick up the body that you’d like more time to mourn, and that no, grandma’s corpse is not going to make anyone sick.
The truth is, cadavers in great quantities can be a danger to people because they can poison a water supply. This is most likely what contributed to the notion that the dead will make us sick. However, it would take a large amount of decay to affect any amount of people. So, as long as you don’t drink water after hundreds of people have died in it over a week or so, you should be fine.
What Can We Do?
Besides extending our life with diets and exercise plans, we are all eventually going to die. It is not exciting, glamorous, or even comfortable to talk about, but to get through the smoke and mirrors the funeral industry has placed, we must.
They have power because we don’t know what to expect or do. It’s safer to let someone else shoulder the burden, but through that, they gain financial power and can charge people the price of a mid-size car for all manners of unnecessary things. The worst part is, we’re turning away from something that should bring us closer together.
Death is scary, but we can be scared together. Instead of pushing away our elderly and dying, to nursing homes and hospitals, we should be caring for them at home, eating together. Of course, if an infectious disease is the cause of death, take precautions, but if it’s just for our own discomfort, then take a deep breath and push through. Death causes enough rifts and broken hearts by itself.
We don’t have to change any laws or boycott anything when it comes to funeral industry lies. We just have to talk about our deaths and make plans. The clearer our heads the better, and that will come from practice. No one is born with ease around death. This starts with realizing that it’s not a business but a process. So, ask for a price list, check local laws, and realize that the funeral homes are there to profit like any business. Your loved ones dying is a part of your story, not the home’s. Educate yourself and take back your power.