Immortality of A Dubious Nature

The quest for immortality has resulted in the construction of some rather amazing mausoleums and tombs, a few of which are engineering marvels. Others have morphed into major tourist attractions that, ironically, overshadow the legacy of the interred. In the small...

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Royal Funerals, American Style

From the inception of this country, presidential funerals have been lavish affairs. They are akin to royal funerals in countries where monarchies rule. There have been exceptions, such as with the funeral of John Hansen, the United States of America's first president...

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Traditional Funeral or Cremation

Death may be an integral part of life but aside from sex, it may be one of the most difficult subjects to discuss with family. Aside from considerations pertaining to costs, religious restrictions or ceremonies, military or lodge affiliation, and the predetermined...

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Traditional Is Not Always Traditional

Funerals, at least in the United States, in Europe, and in most societies influenced by traditional western philosophies of Christianity or Judaism have a certain commonality. Mourners dress in black and sit through a somber ceremony accented with prayer in a church,...

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Reading The Tea Leaves

Technology has transformed society rather dramatically over the course of the past 120 years, and yet the cemetery has changed little in the last 1,000 years. However, if we look toward the not so distant future it is easy to imagine that technology will render the...

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And Now For Something Very, Very Different

Ancient Egyptians did not invent mummification. Nor were they the only society to practice mummification as a funeral ritual. However, they may have been the only society to make it an art form and they were surely the only people to be so prolific in its use. How...

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From Dust to Dust

The allure of cemeteries as a tangible link to history is international in nature. Countless Hollywood epics such Lara Croft Tomb Raider and Raiders of the Lost Ark have capitalized on that fascination that is often rooted in childhood stories about the discovery of...

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For The Rich & Famous

There is an old adage that the rich and poor put their pants on the same way, one leg at a time. It has also been said that death is the great equalizer. As true as these statements may be, when it comes to funerals the rich and famous often find ways to take their...

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Through The Ages

John Sbarbaro of Sbarbaro & Company Undertakers, now Sbarbaro Funeral Home, in Chicago strongly believed in diversification of his business interests. In addition to his services as funeral director, Sbarbaro also served as the assistant district attorney in Chicago....

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Unpopular But Important

The making of final arrangements including estate planning is an unpopular subject. It is an unpleasant task as it forces us to focus on mortality. According to a recent survey by the National Funeral Director's Association, only 21 percent of Americans have discussed...

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