Monday, March 30, 2015

Sky Burials

High in the mountains of Tibet, where no trees grow and my beautiful dog's ancestors come from, there is a ritual unlike anything we have in the United States.
Take a look at this video and see what you think about this unique way of moving on from this earth.
I would love to read your thoughts.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A Desert Retreat

I stumbled across this a while ago and absolutely love it.
As a designer myself, I feel that a building should reflect the area around it and those that  occupy it. This project by Phillip K Smith in Joshua Tree California truly reflects it's surroundings and encompasses his artistry. Enjoy....

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Can I make my own Casket?

Of course you can.

I can't say that we see a lot of this sort of thing. I know that I've seen several people that buy a casket on line or through a discount store like Walmart or Costco. All I can say about those is that you get what you pay for and don't hold it against the funeral director if things are not up to standards set by yourself. Also sometimes delivery of those caskets can take longer than through our sources, so plan your funeral accordingly and leave plenty of time. Death is never convenient.

Do-it-yourself Caskets and Coffins

There is a growing trend in people wanting to be more hands-on when it comes to their loved ones funerals. Just know that there is more to it than most people know. Funeral homes do a lot of work that no one ever sees and in some states, such as Michigan, a funeral director is required by law. You can't just bury grandpa in the field out behind the house anymore. But any director worth dealing with will be happy to customize your funeral as much as you'd like, and not everything comes with a hefty price tag. So go ahead, make your own casket, if you'd like. Or customize one of ours. We don't mind at all. Just keep in mind if you make yours, you'll be looking at it until the day you die.

Monday, March 9, 2015

A New Normal

On every death certificate that we file, it is required that we list a cause of death. If there are multiple reasons that added up to the impending doom, they must be listed in order of how they came to affect the outcome and how long the person had suffered from each ailment. I know that society thinks that these things are important. There are a constant stream of lawyers on daytime television that encourage us to lay blame on someone else and collect money for their negligence. Now, sometimes a bread-winner for the family is taken and the family is left struggling to supply minimum daily requirements. So I can see where such things are necessary. The loss of a loved one can be tragic, I know. It changes your whole life. Everything that you know has a new normal. Nothing will ever be the same.

Recently a friend telephoned me to inform me that his father had died. Devastating news, no doubt. My heart poured out to my friend and his family. It hasn't been that long since my own mother and father passed away and my friend was there for me and my family in our time of change. There is nothing that can prepare you for the loss of a parent. In fact, my first response after hanging up, was to call my mother who was friends with my friend's father. You never really get used to them not being there.

My friend is a doctor and had told me that his father had called to say that he was coming in because he wasn't feeling well. Then on the way to the office, was in a car accident and died just a few hours later. While visiting with my friend's mother, she emphatically insisted that he died in a car accident. Let me state that I have not seen the death certificate. But regardless of what it says, I wonder if it matters.

I'm not just talking about this one case either. My friends father was 84 years old. He had lived a great life, giving life to seven wonderful children of his own and many grandchildren. He lived his whole life for those children. He was a kind, loving man that all the neighborhood kids loved. He lived the life that he wanted to live and taught those around him to enjoy their own lives. Why must we place blame on how he died, instead of celebrating that he lived.

We are each given a life to live. We are distributed our challenges to cope with. It is our decisions along the way that build our tomorrows and shape the lives of those that depend upon us. Why isn't it enough that we have lived. My own parents were met with many challenges over their time on earth. It was their choices that got them to where they were. It was their choices that helped to shape me and my brothers and sisters into what we have become. Could they have made different decisions that would have worked out better in one way or another? Of course! But it was their lives to live and I am glad that they made those choices along the way.

Life is going to be different for my friend's mother. Daily life has changed immensely. All I'm saying is to be grateful for all the years that they had. Celebrate what they made together. Know that each moment in the future has been shaped by those moments of the past. Believe whatever you want about the afterlife, just don't forget to enjoy the present life while we have it.