A small and growing group of Americans are returning to a more hands-on, no-frills experience of death. In the world of "do it yourself" funerals, freezer packs are used in lieu of embalming, unvarnished wooden boxes replace ornate caskets, viewings are in living rooms and, in some cases, burials happen in backyards.
Thursday was the funeral of Greenland Chief of Police, Michael Maloney. Maloney was killed last week by alleged drug-dealer Cullen Mutrie while serving a search warrant.
The story of Michael Maloney’s death has gripped the granite state during the past week: tackling one last job only days from retirement, killed while dragging a fellow officer to safety, amid gunfire that wounded four other officers.
The story of his life that has emerged in the days since the shooting paint a picture of a patrolman’s chief, a cop’s cop and a family man.
With demand for cremation, secular services, and environmentally friendly burials rising, funeral directors are adapting what could be called new end-of-lifestyle choices. Max Rivlin-Nadler is editor of Full Stopmagazine. He discovered an industry scrambling to meet new demands while attending the 130th National Funeral Director's Conference, held this year in Chicago.