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June 07, 2010


Amy Coffin

I have never been to a family funeral because no one in my very small family has ever wanted a burial or service. I try to keep their memory alive through my research, blog and various Internet tributes. It's all I can do.

Thanks for sharing your perspective on the subject. I understand completely.


Sadly, obituaries are becoming a thing of the past also, as the fee newspapers charge to publish one (or even a very basic death notice) increases. Many families therefore consider obits an "unnecessary expense" when a loved one passes.


Obituries aren't a family choise, though, surely? It's up to a newspaper whether it thinks someone newsworth enough to be featured when he dies.

Thomas Friese

Larry, I totally empathize with you. In fact, I have even founded a non-profit initiative to bring back "truly perpetual" cemeteries.

The problem you have recognized with your friend - and this is also true for minimalistic green burials - is that the lack of a personalized and lasting memorial is not recognized until it is too late. This happens on a personal level, by friends and family, but also on a deeper cultural level. Graves are the real soil of humanity - without a tangible link to the past, no culture which merits its name can develop. The humus of human culture is provided by graves. As a historian, you can understand that.

Anyhow, I hope you will visit my site:


I can also recommend an excellent book on this topic, unparalleled really. "Aladdin's Problem", by Ernst Jünger.



Thomas Friese

Paul Hensby

When charting the purposes that My Last Song (www.mylastsong.co) could fulfill, it soon became clear that there was a need to encourage people to write down their personal and family social histories because the ability for intergenerational communication was fast disappearing. Parents/grandparents too busy or too removed to talk to children...children communicating via the computer and no family time.
And if not captured, these valuable and utterly unique pieces of social history will be lost for ever.
It was one of the reasons why we added the Vault to My Last Song.
This is a secure digital storage area, divided into helpful sections, into which people put the information their loved ones and executor will need immediately after death, and also the personal details, images, stories, obituaries, details of friends, achievements, secrets that can be accessed by future generations of the family.


I completely agree. Grieving as as much a part of the public's healing and closure as it is for the deceased.

For this reason, funerals should be planned with care and should be made as accessible to all as is prudent.

Perhaps people don't see the need for others to come and get closure and instead just want to keep their lives personal. Individuals like this need to remember the advice of the philoshoper who said: "no man is an island." They must remember that there is at least one person that would like to see the deceased and come to grips with the final conclusion.

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