The case for the coffin

The history of the coffin probably goes back to Egyptian times. Now these people took death very seriously, because of the after-life.  Which wasn’t so good if you were a slave of someone who died, because you had to go with them to the other side to continue your service.  So no retirement for you – even after death.

Cultures have different customs dealing with the dead.  Some of these would be a little off-putting – so I won’t go into it just in case it offends.

The coffin can be a very expensive part of a funeral.  There is no limit to how much one can spend.  And to be honest the more expensive the coffin, the more the funeral home makes. So naturally they would like a good sale.

#3 Most Expensive casket in the world - Michael Jackson's casket priced at $25,000
You too can have the Michael Jackson’s casket priced at $25,000

It kind of feels the same as buying a car.  The salesperson tells you the pros and minimises the cons.  And who wouldn’t like getting a slightly better model at a special price?  The United States is a good example of how extravagant coffins can become.  

For some, having a nice coffin is their way of honouring the person. (This is also a common tactic of the sales people to encourage up-grading the coffin – to show you REALLY care).

But why is this?  Has it become more a social expectation than anything else?  As mention, Egypt went to town with their funerals, but not much is really talked about later.  

Two thousand years ago Jesus was out in a tomb wearing only linen.  Not buried, but put in a tomb – which was handy since he wasn’t staying there long term.

Later on many people they were buried in only a shroud.  Later, they may have been taken to the grave in a coffin, but the coffin wasn’t buried with them.  Only if you were very rich would you be buried with a coffin.  

It was probably the American Civil War when coffins were more commonly use.  This was also the time embalming in the West began.  It was purely for practical reasons – to transport back to their families.

And mainly from there, the funeral industry continued to grow offering better and better coffins and promoting embalming. 

But there is now a change in thinking about funerals.  Eco funerals are becoming more common.  Being buried or cremated in a shroud is possible.

Burial Shrouds
Burials Shrouds can still cost between $400 – $1500.

It’s interesting how there seems to be this cycle back to how things were done.  When all the distractions are removed, people begin to realise what is really important.

An important question is how do we honour the person who has died?  Also, how does a family celebrate and mourn the person’s in a healthy positive way?

I think it’s better to look past the type of coffin and focus on the person and the way you want to say goodbye.

Simple Direct Funerals isn’t just about low-cost funerals.  More importantly the focus is providing a professional service that isn’t looking at what we can sell you.  Because when we strip everything away it isn’t the coffin or how flash the service is – it is the relationships, the connection and beginning the painful but necessary process of letting go.

There are so many ways to have a funeral.  No longer limited to churches and funeral homes.  So many options that not only save you money, but often are much more meaningful to families.