DETROIT (WWJ) –  There are only a handful of givens in life. We know that paying taxes is one of them, death is another. How we choose to enter that final chapter may reflect how you have lived your life.

With that in mind, home funerals and green burials are becoming more prevalent in Michigan and across the country.

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Merilynne Rush is a home funeral educator and advocate based in Waterford.

She says at home funerals, families care for the body which is not embalmed, and the body is cooled on dry ice.

“It’s a throw back to the way we used to do things and people are recognizing the benefits of being involved in the care, and that it helps the family in their grieving process,” said Rush.

She says some families prefer these types of funerals because of the environmental interests:

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“Concerns about the environment, of filling up our earth with cement and caskets made of precious woods that are imported from around the world and people are really beginning to question why we are doing this,” said Rush.

Russ Burns, Director of All Saints Cemetery and The Preserve, in Waterford is also seeing more interest in “green burials” where there is no embalming or viewing but the body just going back into the ground in a biodegradable container with no cement vault.

“A lot of people who have chosen to live their life in a green manner and reduce their carbon footprint are also taking it to the last stages of their life and planning a green burial,” said Burns.

“We only mow pathways, the pathways we consider viewing areas, so if a person wants to visit the grave site,” he said, “they can visit the grave site along the pathways and the graves are actually marked with stone.”

Find out more about home burials [here].

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More on the preserve [here].