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A New Approach to Death and Funerals

If you’re likely to die at some point in the next century, I highly recommend this interesting TEDx talk by undertakers Claire and Ru Callender, who are calling out the ‘corporate’ funeral industry and suggesting we reinvent the way we send off our dearly departed (and ourselves when it gets to that point).

Claire and Ru Callender are self taught, award winning ceremonial undertakers and sextons who set up The Green Funeral Company in 2000. Their stripped back, naturalistic approach is informed by their own experiences of bereavement and the unsatisfactory funerals that followed, and their practice has unusual and diverse influences including the natural death movement, rave culture, Quakerism, hospices, punk, and crop circles.

They aim to create rituals that are practical, satisfying and unique but feel profound and genuine, and their intentions can be summed up in three words: Honesty, appropriateness and participation.

They have strong feelings about the funeral industry, particularly embalming, current cremation practice and design, family disempowerment, corporate takeovers, assembly line rituals, faux Victorian aesthetics, inappropriate religious services and exploitative and unnecessary prepayment schemes.

You can read more about Claire and Ru’s thoughts in this Vice magazine interview from last year.

  1. Ru and Claire performed the
    Ru and Claire performed the ritual for the Ancestors at the Cosmic Trigger Find The Others weekend: excellent people, the real deal.

  2. Hospice-douche wants his federal funding
    Speaking of death and hospices, recent news about a Houston, Texas hospice reveals that, at some point, the US Congress legislated a large monetary incentive for hospices to illegally hurry the dying on their way.

    So, if you don’t want to move (eventually) to Washington state for a legal doctor-assisted suicide, no problem! Just find a hospice with owners/managers who have the same psychopathic sensibilities as pharma-douche or the owner/accountant mentioned in this article. With my bold

    FBI: Hospice nurses told to overdose patients to speed death.

    March 31, 2016

    DALLAS (AP) – The owner of a Dallas-area hospice ordered nurses to increase drug dosages for patients to speed their deaths and maximize profits, according to an FBI affidavit.

    A copy of the affidavit for a search warrant obtained by KXAS-TV in Dallas-Fort Worth alleges Brad Harris ordered higher dosages for at least four patients at Novus Health Services in Frisco. It’s unclear whether any deaths resulted from overdoses of drugs like morphine.

    Harris has not been charged. The FBI on Wednesday declined to say whether an investigation is ongoing.

    The warrant refers to an FBI raid on the hospice in September. It alleges Harris sent text messages to workers such as, “You need to make this patient go bye-bye.” On another occasion, Harris told administrators during a lunch meeting that he wanted to “find patients who would die within 24 hours.”

    In at least one instance, an employee refused to follow orders to increase a dosage, the warrant said.

    The document explains that federal reimbursements can diminish the longer a patient receives care. A provider eventually can be forced to return federal payments.

    A woman who answered the phone Wednesday at Novus declined to comment. Attempts to reach Harris for comment on Wednesday were unsuccessful. A working number for him could not be found; listings for a Brad Harris in the Dallas and Houston areas had either been disconnected or turned out not to be his. The Associated Press also sent a request for comment to two email addresses believed to be his.

    Harris, 34, is an accountant who founded Novus in 2012, according to KXAS, citing state records.

    Novus’ website says the company offers hospice and home health care services.

    The FBI investigation of Novus, which included interviewing several employees, began in 2014 and initially focused on allegations that the company sought federal reimbursements for patients recruited by Novus who didn’t qualify for services, according to KXAS.

    1. There would be many fewer
      There would be many fewer marooned “ghost” spirits toodling around if we ended the barbaric practice of embalming and hermetically sealing in coffins. Intact DNA, which is the resonance that keeps some spirits stuck here, was meant to be deliquesced in the soil or in the guts of predators and scavengers.

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