Did you know: The average cost of the standard funeral and burial runs $10,000? And a typical 10-acre swatch of cemetery ground contains enough coffin wood to construct 40 houses, plus 1,000 tons of casket steel, and enough toxic embalming fluid to fill a backyard swimming pool? This month's selection of The Mortality Book Club, Grave Matters: A Journey Through the Modern Funeral Industry to a Natural Way of Burial, by Mark Harris, chronicles the experiences of American families who have found in the "green" burial movement a more natural, more economic, and ultimately more meaningful alternative to the tired and toxic send-off on offer at the local funeral parlor. GroovyGreen.comcalled this "The one book you should truly read before you die."
Our Mortality Book Club reads and discusses books having to do with the important--but frequently avoided---issues we confront at the end of our lives. Regular book club members include hospital and hospice workers, but also the adult children of aging parents, or just anyone who wonders about the many questions--medical, emotional, social, and philosophical--raised by human mortality. The book club facilitator is Jasmin Tomlins, herself in training as a death doula.