New Article about US in The Fine Print Magazine written by Brandon Corder click on the link below

simply – science – ashes – to – aspen


Autumn 2015 Newsletter click on the link.
Autumn 2015

For a very comprehensive  article about Prairie Creek read this Blog post in Finishing Touches by Mary Ellen Markant


The Final Journey New article from the Sarasota Herald Tribune – check out the links and comments.

Gainesville Sun: Americans shouldn’t fear death, says YouTube mortician
By Erin Jester, Staff writer
November 20, 2014

Caitlin Doughty wants you to lose your fear of death by getting involved with it.

“At the end of the day, I think the greatest control we have is giving up control,” she said during a speaking engagement in Gainesville on Thursday.

Doughty spoke to a crowd of about 100 people at Prairie Creek Lodge, a stop on her book tour for her recently released memoir of her first several years in the funeral industry, “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes: And Other Lessons From the Crematory.”

Doughty, 30, is a licensed mortician whose life’s work is bringing death awareness back into Western society.

To that end, she founded The Order of the Good Death in 2011 ( and started a popular YouTube series called Ask A Mortician, in which, as its name suggests, Doughty, in her humorous and relatable manner, answers questions about the dying process, traditional and alternative burial practices and other issues related to the death industry.

With her business partner, she’ll soon open a funeral home in Los Angeles, where she lives, which she said will empower families to be as involved in the burial process as they want to be — from caring for the body after death to being able to bury loved ones without traditional embalming or even a casket.

Natural burial and decomposition of the human body — which is what happens in a natural burial — was the topic of Doughty’s talk on Thursday, since she was invited to Gainesville by the directors of Prairie Creek Conservation Cemetery, which uses biodegradable burial containers and avoids embalming fluids and sealed caskets and metal and concrete vaults.

Director Freddie Johnson said the cemetery works with a local citizen organization called Final Friends to help families orchestrate the burials.

“It’s hard to make a case against natural burial,” Doughty said, because there’s no environmental impact and it can help families have a more meaningful experience with the death of a loved one.

Cremation, while chosen for nearly half of all people who die in the United States, still carries an environmental impact equivalent to a 3,500-mile car trip, in terms of natural gas needed to cremate one person, she said.

Traditional embalming and burial in a vault is not only needless, she said, but it distorts our understanding of death.

“My contention is that we have a fear of decomposition and decay in this culture,” Doughty told the crowd, before describing death rituals of other cultures.

Until the 1960s, for example, the Wari’ people of Brazil practiced mortuary cannibalism, meaning they ate the bodies of their loved ones who had died in order to make their community whole again.

While that may sound barbaric to Westerners, consider traditional embalming, in which a person’s internal organs are sucked out through a slender vacuum pipe, their blood and bodily fluids replaced with chemicals known to cause cancer, their eyelids and mouths glued or wired shut, and their faces painted to resemble a more lifelike complexion.

Pushing death to the margins of society in this way breeds fear of death because we don’t ever have to see or understand it, Doughty contends.

“I think it would be a different kind of culture if we just embraced decomposition … what the body is supposed to do,” she said.

Moss Architecture ran an interesting and insightful view of cemeteries and in Part 2 of Emily Torem’s article she interviews or own Freddie Johnson.

Part 1 is titled Cities of the Dead here is the link

Part 2 is titled Cemeteries that Welcome the Living

Sending loved ones back to the land — and preserving it.
Herald Tribune, September 6, 2014 (also appeared in the Gainesville Sun 9/7/2014)

Photo provided by Wiegand Brothers Funeral HomeWiegand Estelle Kohn is surrounded by friends and family at the burial of her husband Stewart Kohn at Prairie Creek Conservation Cemetery near Micanopy in November 2013.

MICANOPY – A feathery afternoon rain sweeps across the tall grass and clusters of oak forest here, adding an extra layer of hush to this wilderness preserve that’s also a resting place for the dead.

The 75 or so individuals buried at Prairie Creek Conservation Cemetery have one distinction in common: They or their families cared enough about Florida’s environment to consecrate their bodies to a natural cycle that will keep these 78 acres and their surroundings free of development and manufactured chemicals for as long as human law can protect them…read more

More articles

2012 Gainesville Today  – 7 Wonders
2012 One Foot in the Grave
2012 Kiplinger Retirement – Go Green When It Is Your Time To Go
2011 Gainesville Sun – Jewish Natural Cemetery
2010 Gainesville Sun – Green burials offer natural end-of-life option

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