Cash-Squeezed Bereaved Hold Funerals at Home

Home funerals can save thousands in tough times
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Dec 26, 2008 10:14 AM CST
The economic climate is driving some to save money on funerals.   (Shutterstock)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – Amid the recession, many who’ve lost loved ones are turning to less expensive in-home funerals, the Los Angeles Times reports, and it's creating a booming business for “death midwives,” consultants versed in preparing bodies and completing paperwork for such services. Once, such midwives were in demand for their alternative care; now their low cost—often hundreds, not thousands, of dollars—is a major draw.

“We thought, 'Why should we put all that money into the ground, when we could leave it to our children and grandchildren?” said one woman who worked with a midwife to bury her husband on their property; final price: less than $1,000, compared to the $10,000 price tag of many traditional funerals and burials. Green burials, which can save upwards of $1,000 by skipping embalming and grave liners, are also on the rise.