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Monday 30 April 2012

The future looks green

Green burials use less energy, consume fewer resources such as water, are less toxic, may use local, sustainable materials and encourage environmental protection or regrowth. 

Bodies are not embalmed because that delays decomposition and without the chemicals to preserve the body, toxic chemicals are avoided, reducing harmful exposure both to nature and the embalmer. Instead, bodies are wrapped in a biodegradable shroud or placed in a biodegradable casket. 

Green funerals are increasing in popularity in Ireland. Ireland's first natural burial site is in Wexford. A single plot costs around 800 euro.

See for more information.

Thursday 26 April 2012


“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” 
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Sunday 15 April 2012

Webcast Funeral

Millions attended Whitney Houston's funeral and listened to "I will always love you" as her body left the local church. After Getty Images photographer Chris Hondros was killed covering a Libyan uprising, thousands attended his memorial service. The majority of the audience at each of these funerals attended them virtually.

While very new to Ireland, streaming funerals live around the globe could become a very important part of our future. Figures show emigration of Irish people is over 40,000 a year and a lot of these people will stay illegally in the countries they migrate to. Australia alone now has 1,075 Irish people living there unlawfully, a 24 percent increase from last year. In doing this, it means they can’t leave to return home for the funeral of a loved one.

Facebook, YouTube and Twitter have also made us much more comfortable with sharing intimate details about ourselves online. Many deaths and funerals are reported, commented on, tweeted, recorded and posted online already.

The advantages of streaming are also a form of family memorial that can be preserved on a DVD as part of a family's oral history. It's an archive for future unborn generations. For sudden deaths, streaming can also foster a communal mourning experience, in digital form.

Monday 2 April 2012

An end of life wish between friends

Nachu Bhatnagar and Colton met at a summer camp in Yale. 

18-year-old high school seniors, Nachu lives in Maryland, and Colton lives in California. 

Nachu was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma - a bone cancer and treatment was unsuccessful.

Instead of talking college applications, these friends were discussing end of life plans.When asked what he wanted for his birthday Nachu told Colton he wanted to read a book, but not just any book. Nachu is a huge fan of author Harry Turtledove, an author who writes historical fiction. He wanted to read series 4 of a 6 book series the author was writing on World War II. Book 4 wasn't due out until July which Nachu was not likely to live to see.

Colton went onto the Internet to see if he could source an advance of the book. He went onto and through a series of conversations with strangers, the book arrived at his house before he was due to fly over to Nachu. Colton surprises Nachu on his birthday in this video......