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Remember Me: A Lively Tour of the New American Way of Death    by Lisa Takeuchi Cullen order for
Remember Me
by Lisa Takeuchi Cullen
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2006 (2006)

Read an Excerpt

* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

The traditional and ritualistic funeral is going the way of the gooney bird. Not quickly, but heading for extinction. The more personalized funeral is gaining credence. The cover of Remember Me includes the words, 'A Lively Tour of the New American Way of Death'. An excerpt from the book was recently featured in Time magazine, along with photos of unusual caskets that can be made to order.

Care for your ashes or cremains to be turned into manmade diamonds? Can be done. Or maybe you'd like them to be encased in cement and sunk to help create a manmade reef for the edification of marine life. You can be plasticized or mummified. A green funeral is available - you can be simply wrapped in your grandmother's quilt and lowered into the ground in a peaceful park-like setting.

Lisa Cullen has written a 'colorful and irreverent' perspective of the funeral business of today including coffins that are decorated with items from the deceased's life. She pulls no punches but writes with humor and sympathy, and understanding for people who want their loved ones' remains placed in the ground amidst a lively party.

Cullen embarked on a journey - with baby on her back - to crash funerals of persons she did not know and learn of the funeral industry from the inside out. She learned that even casket companies are stretched to the limit (no pun intended) with overly obese bodies. Did you know that you can pre-purchase your very own casket for use at your very own funeral. You needn't necessarily buy that box from the undertaker.

There's much too much information to squeeze into a short review. Pick up a copy of Remember Me and discover the many ways others in this old world of ours dispose of our remains. And plan your own funeral from casket to internment.

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