Chuck Lakin is a woodworker and home funeral educator. In Death: The Reckoning, he talks about how his inability to care for his father’s body in the days following his death made him curious about home funerals and burial practices. As a woodworker, he started making simple coffins, including some that can be used as furniture until they’re needed.
Chuck is part of a group in Maine that offers small group workshops and individual consultations for people who are considering home funerals and alternative burial practices. Here are some of his favorite resources on the topic.
On Death and Dying
There are two works that Chuck especially recommends to many of the people he talks with. The first is Monica Williams Murphy’s book “It’s Okay to Die”, as well as the author’s blog. The second is a lecture series called “Conscious Aging” by Ram Dass. Chuck says, “the second lecture taught me more about death in less time than any other source.”
“A Will for the Woods” is a documentary film that follows a musician and psychiatrist as he prepares for his own green burial, and in the process provides an overview of the larger green burial movement. The filmmakers also put together an extensive Q&A about green burial practices.
Home Funeral Resources
The organizations Crossings and Undertaken with Love are both advocates and information sources for home funerals. Both of the organizations also have downloadable instructions for how to take care of the dead. You can find the Crossings file here, and the Undertaken with Love file here.
The National Home Funeral Alliance has well-organized, very complete information on home funerals, and the Funeral Consumers Alliance has very helpful information and advice about all aspects of funerals.
The Canadian Integrative Network for Death Educators offers a five-part video series that shows you the various steps in moving, washing, dressing and shrouding a body. We’ve embedded one of the videos below, but should warn you that it shows people working with a dead body.
Return to Resources Pages | Return to Death Series Page