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Guidance on Nontraditional Funerals

There is a cultural shift in America from death denying to death positivity. More people seek information about end-of-life options beyond traditional casket burial. A nontraditional funeral discussion will present the many end-of-life options for New Hampshire residents.

The free event is set for 10-11:30 a.m., Wednesday, October 23, at Phaneuf Funeral Homes and Crematorium, 243 Hanover St., Manchester, NH 03104. RSVP here as seating is limited.

Buddy Phaneuf, President of Phaneuf Funeral Homes and Chairman of the Phaneuf Family Foundation, and Lee Webster, Director of New Hampshire Funeral Resources, Education and Advocacy and President Emeritus National Home Funeral Alliance will co-present the discussion.

Topics of discussion include:

  • Home Funerals
  • Do It Yourself Memorial Services
  • Body Donation
  • Green Burials
  • Life Celebrations
  • Virtual Funerals
  • Living Funerals

“In end-of-life work, our whole purpose is to bring light to the topic so people can explore it on their own terms and that includes inside the funeral industry,” Webster said. “There’s a new wave of funeral directors and Buddy is at the cutting edge.”

“We’re in a more enlightened age.”

Home funerals grow as more people embrace death as a natural element of one’s life – and not something to fear or avoid discussing. Home funeral services often involve expanded family participation, which usually includes a home vigil, where the family will bring or keep the body at home for a period of time, cleanse the body and prepare it for final disposition. Part of the Oct. 23 discussion will cover steps to take when considering a home funeral and how a funeral director can help with logistics, concerns, and legal requirements.

“Many people know about traditional funerals and even cremation, but there are many more end-of-life options. We’ll cover options such as green burial and ‘body farms’ as well as the different aspects of body donation. It’s quite different than organ donation,” Phaneuf said.

As more people realize their end-of-life options, the funeral industry must expand beyond the traditional to remain relevant and viable. Phaneuf mentioned the growth of destination funerals, such as at the beach or inside Disney theme parks. Blended funerals, where a service or vigil happens outside of the funeral parlor or place of worship, often utilize guidance and assistance from a funeral director.

Webster said the takeaway of the discussion is that it’s OK to choose your end-of-life wishes. She and Phaneuf will present the options and how people can get the assistance and services they need to accommodate those choices.

RSVP here for the free nontraditional funeral event or call (603) 625-5779 to reserve your seat.

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