Dealing Creatively with Death: A Manual of Death Education and Simple Burial by Ernest Morgan (2010 – 14th ed.) Straightforward and specific advice on topics from funeral planning to the right to die and even “how the dead can help the living.” The author had a long association with FCA beginning in Ohio and ending in North Carolina.
*** Final Rights: Reclaiming the American Way of Death by Joshua Slocum and Lisa Carlson (2011) Written by the leaders of the funeral consumer movement, this work includes an extensive look at the history and current issues consumers need to know about as well as individual chapters on the laws affecting funerals of each state in the US.
Funeral Planning Basics (2014) This work will introduce you to issues such as organ donations, purchasing caskets, cremation, burial, purchasing grave plots, organization of funeral services and much more.
The Good Funeral Guide: Everything You Need to Know, Everything You Need to Do by Charles Cowling (2010) By a “trained funeral celebrant,” this book is for those who don’t want a conventional religious ceremony and for those who do. An excellent “independent” viewpoint.
*** A Good, Goodbye by Gail Rubin (2010) “Funeral Planning for Those Who Don’t Plan to Die,” this work covers EVERYTHING you’ll need to know from event planning tools to working with funeral homes and death certificates to obituaries, eulogies, and meaningful memorial ceremonies.
*** Grave Matters: A Journey through the Modern Funeral Industry to a Natural Way of Burial by Mark Harris (2007) The author, an environmental journalist, examines the modern “green burial” movement from cremation to home funerals and natural burial to ashes incorporated in “reef balls” providing habitat for ocean creatures. [NHCPL]
*** How to Plan a Beautiful and Joyous Funeral for Less Than $750.00 by Barbara Reid (2014) When Reid’s husband died after a short illness, she simply didn’t have the money for a traditional funeral. Here, she explains how she created a loving, joyful service and shows how you can do it, too. E-Book only.
How to Plan a Celebration of Life Memorial Instead of a Funeral by Norma Smith Davis (2011) A practical step-by-step guide to planning a respectful and loving memorial service.
I Died Laughing: Funeral Education with a Light Touch by Lisa Carlson (2001) Cartoons, jokes, and stories help lighten the tone as Carlson (former Executive Director of the Funeral Consumers Alliance) presents the basics of funeral planning.
Party of Your Life: Get the Funeral You Want by planning it Yourself by Erika Dillman (2011) With humor and common sense, the author says, “Death is a bummer, but it’s the one sure thing in life. The way I see it, you’re better off accepting it and going out in style.” She points out ways to save money, too.
Planning the Catholic Funeral by Terence P. Curley (2005) Father Curley has written a detailed and sensitive guide for implementing the Order of Christian Funerals both for those who are planning a funeral following the death of a loved one and for those who wish to plan far in advance of death.
Remembering Well: Rituals for Celebrating Life and Mourning Death by Sarah York (2000) An exceptional resource for family members, clergy, funeral professionals and hospice workers for planning services and rituals that honor the spirit of the deceased and are faithful to that person’s values and beliefs. [NHCPL]
Step by Step: Your Guide to Making Practical Decisions When a Loved One Dies by Ellen Shaw (2001) Arranged in chronological order, this work takes the reader through the necessary steps from the moment their loved one dies through the weeks and months that follow.
What about the Kids? Understanding Their Needs in Funeral Planning and Services Dougy Center (1999) Learn how to include children in these rituals and creative ways to involve them in the process. You will find suggestions from children and teens about what was helpful and unhelpful about the funeral or memorial service they attended.
What to Do When Someone Dies: A Simple Step-by-Step Guide for Family Members, Personal Representatives and Executors by Scott Richter (2011) Includes day-to-day timelines and checklists. Tax, legal, probate and financial topics are covered.
This bibliography was prepared by Rebecca Taylor, Funeral Consumers Alliance – Coastal Carolina. Notation of “NHCPL” means the New Hanover County Public Library.
Please check your local public library, or request titles by Inter library Loan. Virtually all titles are also available from online bookstores, like amazon.com, often in “used” and other inexpensive editions.,
Questions or for more copies contact:
Rebecca Taylor, President
Funeral Consumers Alliance Coastal Carolina
P.O. Box 4262
Wilmington, NC 28406