High Fives & Valentine Vibes | 4M #75
Welcome to the seventy-fifth edition of Morticians’ Monday Morning Mashup, 4M #75, 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!
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Little pyres everywhere
A nonprofit group in Minnesota hopes their state will become only the second to offer open-air cremations, allowing families to witness the cremation of their loved ones outside the confines of a crematory retort. The four women who formed Northern Pyre in 2022 are working through the legalities to bring their plan to fruition; although Minnesota doesn’t explicitly forbid the practice, it also doesn’t have a law that legalizes it. Currently, the Crestone End of Life Project in Colorado, which performs about 12 open cremations a year, is the only operation of its kind in the United States.
They’re dying to drink here, LOL
Folks in Adelaide, a city in South Australia, are now able to enjoy a drink or dessert in a death-themed setting — because doesn’t everyone want to sip wine from a toe-tagged bottle under a light fixture crafted from a coffin lid? A Social Undertaking, which is owned by two practicing morticians, actually isn’t as goth as it sounds. Aside from a few “quirky” nods to their profession — like the Undertaker dessert that’s served with a tiny black shovel — the owners decorated with the “aim to shine gentle and refreshing light upon an industry so greatly shielded from the public view.”
Covering them with dignity
In 2017, Elaine Niewind, a retired Minnesota nursing home worker, designed and sewed a quilt for funeral directors to use when removing deceased patients from the facility. The quilt proved so helpful in providing “comfort and peace” that the nursing home recently asked Niewind to create a new quilt, which she designed to complement the facility’s color scheme.
A LOVE-ly gesture
Kudos to Mountain View Funeral Home and Cemetery in Phoenix for recognizing and working to alleviate the special kind of grief those who have lost a spouse often experience on Valentine’s Day. This February 14 marked the sixth year Mountain View has hosted its Luncheon for Widows and Widowers, an event attendees said “helps to fill their broken hearts.”
Not the time to slap hands
A pair of British undertakers are coming under fire for allegedly high-fiving each other for successfully transferring a body. According to shocked onlookers, two employees of Dignity Funeral Home in Chippenham “engaged in the jolly hand gesture” after a blocked parking spot resulted in them “having to transfer a fully and respectfully covered client a very short distance across the pavement to a private ambulance.” An internal investigation is pending according to Dignity.
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