Cemeteries History

The High Cost of Dying – by Lori Knutson

The High Cost of Dying: It costs a lot to die and it costs a lot to lose someone. With death in the hands of funeral homes, we don’t have much choice regarding how human remains are looked after. I’d like to see that change.

It’s something many of us are curious about, but it’s a difficult topic to find information about and a sensitive subject to bring up. That’s why I brought out the funeral invoice I had on hand and shared the costs with you in this post. In the second part of this blog, I wrote about embalming and cremation, and how I feel like I have very limited options when it comes to dying.

Here’s my latest post: This one is all about the tight hold that the funeral industry has on death. I also cover the tradition of embalming here and options for a different kind of burial.

The Kindersley Cemetery on a late December afternoon.

The Tradition of Embalming

“On May 24th, 1861, Colonel Elmer Ephraim Ellsworth, a close friend and colleague of President Lincoln, was killed while removing a Confederate flag from a hotel in Virginia. Dr. Holmes went to Lincoln and offered to embalm Colonel Ellsworth’s body, free of charge. The Colonel then lay in state at New York City Hall so soldiers could pay their respects.”

~ From Fit For a President: The History of Embalming

A surgeon embalms a soldier’s body during the Civil War. Everett Historical/

If you find this information interesting or helpful, please don’t hesitate to share this with others. I think death is something we don’t talk openly enough about and that folks generally lack information about. Being uninformed allows the funeral industry to take advantage of our grief and distress. If you choose to work with a traditional funeral home, that’s just fine, but please be aware of your options.

A willow casket by Passages International.

Take care and thanks for dropping by the Amisk-Hughenden Historical Society’s blog. ~ Lori

By A-H History

Our mission is to create and contribute to projects that preserve the history of the Amisk/Hughenden, Alberta area.

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