Skip to content

    Health & Balance

    Font Size

    Designer Funerals: The Final Getaway

    Baby boomers face the inevitable -- with posh caskets and funky funeral services.
    WebMD Feature

    It's grisly, it's ghoulish, this thought of impending death. The coffin, the cemetery, the very word putrification -- a perfectly natural process -- makes us shudder.

    And funerals. Must they be somber notes at the end of a life well lived?

    Heavens no, say baby boomers.

    Today, people are adopting the spirit long-held by New Orleans jazz musicians and by the Irish: They celebrate death. They party. They go out in style.

    They're putting the "fun" back into funeral services.

    Check out the Internet -- infinite ideas for funky funeral service alternatives are out there. You can get mummified or freeze-dried (called cryonics). There are online pet funeral parlors, online memorials, do-it-yourself funerals, even funeral service caterers.

    You can arrange a fireworks ceremony for your cremated remains. Even shoot your ashes into space.

    Your favorite sports arenas -- where you rested your butt for endless games -- can even be your final resting place. Imagine it: your ashes scattered over that pricey Super Bowl seat.

    And best of all, you can plan it all ahead of time. Make sure it's done your way. It's that final mail-order splurge, the best deal you can find on an Internet search. A final chance to max out that credit card -- for your final getaway package.

    Caskets With Flair

    Your love of art, football, even the hours spent perfecting that golf swing -- they can all be part of your good-bye.

    Pat Fant runs a company that creates "art caskets."

    "I was planning a service for an aunt, and it occurred to me that it was all very ordinary, what we were doing for her," he tells WebMD. "It seemed so inappropriate, because she was such a unique, special individual, yet the whole service looked so plain and ordinary. It got us on the subject of talking about ... what if the casket itself had personality?"

    Art caskets are "not flashy," he tells WebMD. "They're different, and that's what they're meant to be." It's a photo-laminate process covering an 18-gauge steel casket, "priced right, very reasonably," and delivered overnight to the funeral home of your choice, when it's time for the funeral service.

    1 | 2 | 3 | 4

    Today on WebMD

    woman in yoga class
    6 health benefits of yoga.
    beautiful girl lying down of grass
    10 relaxation techniques to try.
    mature woman with glass of water
    Do you really need to drink 8 glasses of water a day?
    coffee beans in shape of mug
    Get the facts.
    Take your medication
    Hand appearing to hold the sun
    Hungover man
    Welcome mat and wellington boots
    Woman worn out on couch
    Happy and sad faces
    Fingertip with string tied in a bow
    laughing family