Across the country families and friends are taking back their dead loved ones; taking them back home to be exact.
Home funerals were the norm in the United States (and still are in most of the world) until the Civil War. Embalming was invented then in order to get soldiers who had died in combat home to their families. It quickly gained popularity in the greater population as a way to prevent decomposition of the body, something it does not do but rather delays. Thus, the funeral industry was born and has, for the most part, tended to the dead and their families since then.
But just as many people are choosing to die at home under the care of hospice and the like, many are opting to stay there in death, or go there after death in a hospital. Home funerals are legal in every state in the US, though in some one needs to work with a funeral director. This link explains home funerals in Vermont.
Home funerals are deeply personal events that tend to be a few days long and allow loved ones to care for the body, and friends and family to be together in familiar surroundings to share memories and take time to say goodbye.
Home funerals are also far less expensive. Author Max Alexander writes in the Smithsonian of 2 funerals, his father’s and his father-in-law’s, which took place within days of each other and which took place at opposite ends of the funeral spectrum. He states that “we pay an average of $6,500 for a funeral, not including cemetery costs, in part so we don’t have to deal with the physical reality of death. That’s 13 percent of the median American family’s annual income.” His father-in-law’s home funeral cost a little more than $400.
Not everyone has the desire to have this kind of intimate experience with death but for those who do the option and the support is there (and here).