A Cleaner Alternative: Have You Heard of the Infinity Burial Suit?

Infinity Burial Suits made from mushrooms

Have you ever considered how your death affects the environment? In recent years the concern for a green burial has become ever-more present and ever-more possible for those interested. While several options already exist, Jae Rhim Lee has come up with perhaps the most intriguing alternative to a traditional burial: the infinity mushroom.

Over the past few years, Lee and her organization, Coeio, (which means “come together”) have been testing several strains of mushrooms in order to find spores that best aid in decomposition and the dissolution of human toxins. She has finally completed her work and the Infinity Burial Suit is ready to hit the market, with its very first adopter ready to try it out. Dennis White, a terminally ill man, has decided to try out this fascinating option and has reserved his own suit.

So how does it work? Well, it’s simple. You can purchase an Infinity Suit in the latter part of 2016, when it becomes available to the public. Even if you have no need for the Suit right away, you can purchase and store it for an unlimited amount of time. The mushrooms and microbes present on the suit work quickly and efficiently to get rid of the 219 toxins present in the human body and decompose—the result is a clean reintegration back into the Earth and another step into a more sustainable future. If necessary, Infinity Suits can be used in conjunction with biodegradable caskets or as a sole container. Pricing in at $999, this is one of the most affordable options currently available.

No need to worry about invasive species either, the mushrooms used in the suit are commonly found all over the world. When faced with dead organic material, they simply go to work doing what they do best. Even more than providing a more environmentally friendly burial option, these multi-tasking mushrooms also create a catalyst for new plant growth and soil enrichment.

At a time when environmental concerns are reaching a fever pitch, it is comforting to know that there are things we can all do, even in death, to contribute to a better Earth. When we take away the emotional response that we all inevitably have to death, we can see that death is just a part of an ongoing cycle. This cycle, also known as life, must be protected for future generations.

The More You Know: PFH and VNA to Host Free Hospice and Palliative Care Info Session on April 21

Comforting during hospice

Having a plan is the first step to making a stressful situation a little easier. On Thursday, April 21 from 2 to 3:30 p.m., Phaneuf Funeral Homes and the Visiting Nurse Association of Manchester and Southern New Hampshire will jointly host a Hospice and Palliative Care Info Session. The event is free, and includes light refreshments and valuable information.

When faced with the prospect of prolonged illness or imminent death, most people are understandably full of worry and fear. It’s not just the idea of being sick that makes them uneasy; it’s the thought of spending weeks or even months in and out of the hospital, surrounded by doctors and strangers, away from the comfort of their own homes. That’s the reason so many turn to hospice or palliative care.

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A Doggy Funeral to Remember

A sad or depressed teenage girl hugging a small dog

It was only a matter of time before someone thought to include a dog in a funeral. Dogs show us the best in ourselves: They are unpretentious, unaffected, and full of vivaciousness and joy. Adding a touch of happiness to an otherwise somber affair is proving to make a difference for grieving families.

Funeral homes using dogs in their services have gotten a great deal of attention lately; in fact, the media has created a new compassionate hero in Lulu, a golden-doodle who is a resident of Ballard Durand Funeral Home in White Plains, NY. And Lulu’s not alone, at least five other funeral homes have tried this unique therapy technique.  Continue reading

10 Signs That You May Need Grief Counseling

Signs you may need grief counseling

Everyone deals with grief in different ways. For some people that might be away from others, for others it may be among the comfort of friends and family. For some it may take weeks, for others it may be months before they can achieve closure. But how do you know when you need help? How do you decide that your grief has reached beyond its boundaries and crossed over into affecting your life, long-term? Consider these ten signs that might indicate that you may need to seek help.
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A Dignified Goodbye: Phaneuf Lays Unclaimed Cremains to Rest

shelf-people-1How do you want to be memorialized after you die? Would you prefer a big ceremony or a quiet wake reserved only for close family and friends? Whether or not we adhere to a religious belief, we all hope to be remembered by our loved ones after we pass; we hope to be celebrated even if we live a simple life. Unfortunately not everyone gets that privilege. And no one knows this sad truth better than those who work in funeral homes.

Here at Phaneuf, cremated remains are sometimes left behind, in some cases for several decades. Every effort is made to connect with the families of the deceased, but for various reasons, this is not always conclusive. While the law states that remains must be held for 30 days and then can be discarded as the funeral home sees fit, there is something undeniably tragic to unceremoniously disposing of someone who was once a vibrant being. Continue reading

Gamifying the End-of-Life Planning Process: Exploring “My Gift of Grace”

Seniors planning via game

We live in a time where innovation abounds. It is not uncommon to find that what you once considered a chore has now been reinvented as a fun game or competition. We have fitness trackers that make exercising exciting, recipe builders that make cooking a breeze, and now we have a game that addresses end-of-life planning in a thoughtful, meaningful, and ultimately very fun way.

If you have not yet heard of My Gift of Grace, take a minute to look into it and you will be intrigued. On the surface, the game is extremely simple—a group of people works through a stack of cards, which stimulate fascinating discussions on end-of-life care as well as values, opinions and priorities. Continue reading

How to Be Pro-Active in Preparing for Your End of Life

Write down your end of life plan

Regardless of your age and health, knowing and sharing your end-of-life wishes is essential for just about everyone. None of us have the power to know when we will reach our end, so the best way to ensure that your needs are met in critical situations is to be proactive. Here are three simple ways to make sure that you prepare properly.  Continue reading

The Grace of Planning a Funeral

Mortician advising clientsIn today’s entrepreneurial world, it was only a matter of time before funeral planning became a source of business. Numerous high-profile organizations offering a one-stop shop for funerals have cropped up in recent years, but is there something to be said for doing it the old-fashioned way?

Planning a funeral is undoubtedly a challenging, even daunting task. After losing a loved one, and on top of dealing with the grief of your loss, you also have to plan an elaborate, costly event for your family and friends. It may seem like too much, and perhaps having someone take the burden off your shoulders is just what you are looking for. But consider this: a funeral can also be a way of saying goodbye to your loved one.

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Perspectives on Afterlife: What We Can Learn from Buddhism

seeking-nirvana

While Buddhist ideology has become a familiar trope in entertainment and popular culture, the idea of reincarnation is anything but a current trend. The Buddhist belief in an afterlife guided by the deeds of mortal existence is both intriguing and enticing as food for thought. Whatever your personal beliefs, there are many common threads that bind the varied interpretations of life beyond death, many of them offering valuable lessons. So what can we learn from Buddhist ideas on reincarnation? Continue reading

The Past Unveiled: A Brief History of Cremation

Viking cremationAlthough cremation has gained popularity in recent years, it is hardly a new practice. In fact, historians date the earliest cremation ceremonies all the way back to the 8000 B.C. in China. The Chinese were not the only ones employing the method; cremation was widespread among the Vikings in Scandinavia, the Greeks in the Hellenic heyday, and among the Romans during the height of the Roman Empire. Continue reading