Backyard Burials Alive and Well

Families see economy, intimacy in caring for dead themselves
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 21, 2009 12:33 PM CDT
Backyard Burials Alive and Well
Home burials are growing in popularity.   (Shutterstock)

A growing number of families are deciding against funeral homes and cemeteries, the New York Times reports. Many have decided to care for their dead at home, which they say gives them more dignity—and saves money in the process. “It’s organic and informal, and it’s on our terms,” said one advocate. “It’s not having strangers intruding into the privacy of the family.”

An average American funeral costs $6,000; a home burial can cost a couple hundred. “I think many people who may not have chosen to do these types of things may be forced to because of the finances,” said one mom who held a home funeral for her son. The number of organizations and “death midwives” who assist home burials has exploded, from two in 2002 to 45 today. (More funeral stories.)

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