King Tutankhamun mummy mask. Learn about embalming at every1dies.org

S2E45: What You Need to Know About Embalming

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The Green Burial Guidebook: Everything You Need to Plan an Affordable, Environmentally Friendly Burial

What Does Embalming Entail?

Ancient Egyptians believed that preserving the dead in a life-like state would allow the soul to exist for eternity. Their use of botanicals including herbs, spices, resins, gums, and oils, was thought to increase the likelihood of resurrection.  Their process of embalming took about 90 days to go through all the steps. While our processes are different today, it is still a custom to preserve a body, especially for viewing at wakes or funerals. Learn all about embalming today, including green options to toxic chemicals!

Elizabeth talks about her experiences

Our guest today is Elizabeth Fournier who is the owner and operator of Cornerstone Funeral Services, outside of Portland, Oregon, in a tiny town called Boring.  When Elizabeth was eight, her mother and grandparents died. As a young girl, Elizabeth found cemeteries a place of peace and tranquility. As a teen, she’d attend funerals of people she didn’t know. Not surprisingly, she eventually headed into the local funeral home and asked for a job, any job. She landed the position of live-in night keeper, where she resided in a trailer in the far reaches of a large, hilly cemetery. She slept with a shotgun near her bed, experiencing the scariest summer of her life.  She has since dedicated her life to taking care of the dead and preparing more meaningful burials.  We hope you enjoy our interview with Elizabeth.

Resources

The Green Reaper: Memoirs of an Eco-Mortician
How Do You Get or Find a Green Embalming Service?

Visit the Green Burial Council website, you’ll see a tab labeled, “Find Providers.” When you hover over it, you’ll find searchable options including:

  • Cemeteries by state and province
  • Product providers for eco-friendly shrouds, caskets, and urns
  • Funeral homes by state and province 

Click on one of the above options to find service providers in your location. The Green Burial Council list includes only funeral service providers in the United States and Canada so far. (Source: https://www.joincake.com/blog/green-embalming/)

Other resources/references

Everyone Dies: And yes, it is normal!

  • Everyone Dies (And Yes, it is Normal) is a story about a young boy named Jax who finds something special on the beach where he and his grandpa Pops are enjoying a wonderful day. Pops helps Jax understand that death is a normal part of life. This book provides an age appropriate, non-scary, comfortable way to introduce the important topic of mortality to a preschool child. Its simple explanation will last a lifetime.
  • Autographed copies for sale at: www.everyonediesthebook.com
  • Also available at Amazon

What’s for Dinner?

Meat Loaf, whose Bat Out of Hell is one of the bestselling albums of all time, died in January 2022 at the age of 74. Reports say the singer and actor had recently fallen sick with COVID-19. We pay ‘homage to the Rock ‘n Roller today with a nod to his role in Rocky Horror Picture Show. We won’t share the grizzly scene mentioned…just his stellar performance! But if you get a hankering for meatloaf that is…um…meat…we’ve got you covered with this recipe from Andrew Zimmern for Grandma’s Meatloaf.

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