Otter Cuteness & Prisoners in Peril | 4M #11
Welcome to the eleventh edition of Morticians’ Monday Morning Mashup, where we’ll serve up bite-sized, easily-digestible nuggets of the deathcare news you need to crush conversations in the week ahead. Bon appetit!
What Does Deathcare Have to Do With Abortion? We Wondered That, Too.
You’ve probably heard the statement, “My body, my choice” (or a version of it) a lot lately. It’s usually a mantra proffered up in a variety of sensitive discussions like abortion or, most recently, COVID vaccinations. But until this article from Rewire News Group, we’ve not seen it used in relation to deathcare. There’s more to the story, which encompasses funerals for fetal tissue as well as home funerals, but this quote sums up the argument and deathcare/abortion comparison well: “Much like … the reproductive justice movement, being death positive means that you are empowered to make decisions about what happens to your body.”
New Event Planners Help Folks Throw Better Funerals
A new Toronto business is now providing professional services to plan unforgettable funerals and customized celebrations of life — and it’s the brainchild of an existing funeral home. Jimmy Cardinal, who owns both Cardinal Funeral Homes and Red Bird Events, wants to “provide an alternative” to what many people feel are the only options after a death: either a simple cremation with no service or a traditional funeral with bells and whistles. Red Bird’s “creative memorial planners” work with families to transform the funeral “from a solemn and impersonal to a joyous, even uplifting event.” Great idea, Jimmy, and congrats on the new venture! It would be cool to see this model replicated in the states by other deathcare professionals.
Poignant Plate-Marked Prisoners’ Resting Place in Peril
Red Hill Cemetery in Baldwin County, Georgia is the final resting place for more than 600 men and women who died while incarcerated in Old State Prison Farm in Milledgeville between 1911 and 1936. Partial license plates manufactured by Old State prisoners mark the graves with numbers instead of names. Sadly, the cemetery has been neglected since 1937 when the prison closed its doors. Consequently, Red Hill is now among the Georgia Trust’s Places in Peril, meaning it is at risk of being lost forever. Every cemetery is sacred no matter what sort of lives the folks who lie there led, so we hope the community will come together to save Red Hill.
Worth Reading: One Veteran’s Story of Serving as a Mortician in Vietnam
Serving as a last responder during a pandemic was certainly an unprecedented challenge, but imagine trying to do your job while dodging rocket attacks in the middle of an unpopular war. That was embalmer Anton “Tony” Dostal’s reality. Dostal is recounting his harrowing experiences as a war-time mortician in a series of articles in the Westlake-Bay Village (Ohio) Observer. In the first installment, Tony describes the path that led him to the U.S. Army and the mortuary tent in Da Nong. In the second and most recent article, he begins to describe the difficult job of caring for and identifying the ravaged remains of deceased soldiers. Tony’s story is certainly not unique, as thousands of enlisted men and women surely experienced the same challenges. However, it’s a story that’s worth recounting and a sacrifice that’s worth remembering.
You Otter Visit This Cemetery
We’re seriously thinking about making “Can You Believe This Animal Is Roaming This Cemetery?” a regular column. We’ve talked about coyotes, junkyard dogs, and wild hogs taking up (mostly unwelcomed) residence in cemeteries across the country. This week it’s otters. But unlike the previously-mentioned wildlife, the pair of playful river otters who have recently popped up in the ponds of Evergreen Cemetery in Portland, Maine are actually attracting positive attention from kids, artists, and other spectators. And unless you’re a fish or a frog, they’re virtually harmless.