Tales from 21st Century Deathcare™

August 28, 2015

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The Denial of Death/Death of Denial article

The here's the latest article by Esmerelda Kent,founder of KINKARACO® Green Funeral Products

written for Funeral Business Advisor magazine AUG. 2015

"20th Century  Denial of Death gives way in 21st Century  Death of Denial. " Check it out.....

http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/c97cfa39#/c97cfa39/52

August 20, 2015

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What I did on my Summer Vacation

What I did on my Summer Vacation......

Although for our modern degenerate times in complete ecological collapse ,sustainable GREEN FUNERALS with rapid decomposition is 

what  makes good sense - but  oh how we ADORE the grounds, crypts and statuary of ancient cemeteries.....!"

Continue Reading >

July 02, 2015

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A Cautionary Tale for Celebrants and Home Funeral Guides

A woman called the other day and purchased a shroud for a family where there had been a sudden unexpected death .On the phone she acted as a member or friend of the family and had the shroud shipped overnight at considerable expense to the families home. She paid for the shroud herself with her personal credit card. When the shroud arrived the family was not at all comfortable with seeing the outline of the persons body and went and bought a casket instead. The woman then called two days later saying she was actually a celebrant and wanted to return the shroud and get a full refund. This was her first funeral. With a very positive  motivation she had actually gotten caught up in her own enthusiasm for the shrouds and had underestimated this particular  family dynamic. (This is in the same vein as hiring a harpist for a home funeral when the family could care less and then charging the family for it. )

It states very clearly on the KINKARACO  website, invoices, etc. :

NO RETURNS - NO EXCHANGES - ALL SALES FINAL . 

The reason for this  is because this is not a pair of shoes. These are decisions which possess gravity and need to made with care . 

It is  important when embarking upon funeral work with the public to set a humble compassionate intention of service. This aids in better results and even in connecting with  a state of  Grace....

Try and understand the nature of the  family you are working with , know their true wishes without imposing one's own preferences or  manipulating what funeral services you believe they should choose or products they should order. This is not beneficial to anyone.  We at KINKARACO have learned  never to try to sell a shroud to a family who would prefer a casket or promote a green burial to a family who really want cremation. We have found in most cases attraction works alot better rather than promotion. 

Shrouds are devoid of the denial of Death. For example: In green burial one  sees the body, sees it  get covered with dirt and knows it will decompose rapidly. In the ocean, you see the body go to the bottom of the sea. The families that choose shrouds need to be out of denial and attachment to the body  and understand the beneficial environmental impact of these choices and feel really clear & really good about them. 

Some simple suggestions & rules of thumb:

1. If you are a celebrant , home funeral guide or any other type of free lance funeral worker - it is  important to always disclose your actual position to everyone involved in the creation of any funeral  service.

2. Refrain from  purchasing  a funeral product for a family yourself on your own credit card. Have the family make the purchase themselves after having arrived at an unanimous informed decision or email that you have their consent to act in their behalf but make the purchase for them using their payment method instead of your own.

3. Detach from your own story, desires, preferences  and serve only the story of the family you are serving unless asked for your suggestions.

4. Always try and be humble and devoid of any arrogance. Try and  operate from a selfless state of compassion and  kindness for others. 

5. Care for  everyone as those whom we love most dearly. 

 "We can see that in even the most mundane situations we cannot be successful if we do not cherish others." Shantideva 635 AD

June 27, 2015

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The GREEN PANEL American Funeral Director Magazine June 2015

I was invited to be interviewed about Green funerals last month in American Funeral Dirtector magazine who has placed KINKARACO on the cover in 2008 and on the cover of American Cemetery  in 2010 :

 

In the beginning we wanted to sell directly to the people but its taken over 10 years for the public to even begin to get interested or educated about Green Burial and alternative funeral choices like home funeral. For that reason and because I already worked in cemeteries,  we worked from within the indutry as well as outside. We have a great relationship with our well vetted honest and reliable funeral homes and green cemeteries  (click here) as well as with the editors of these magazines who have loved our work from the beginning! 

Here is the Green Rountable discussion with Darren Crouch is a pioneer and leader in the funeral industry , an early  importer of "basket caskets" from China since the 90's as well as some very beautiful and innovative urns, water urns, etc. We sound like Tweedle Dumb abd Twiddle Dee!I hope you enjoy this insider industry conversation :

 

 

February 06, 2015

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Tales from 21st Century Deathcare™

KINKARACO ® is celebrating !

10 years - FEB. 2005-2015                

  

  

Its hard to believe but KINKARACO ® Green Burial Products has now been in business for 10 years!

"In 2004 I took a leap of Faith and went to work at FERNWOOD - California's 1st green cemetery. There I  developed a vision for  a new funeral aesthetic that was more culturally diverse, more feminine, while being 100% GREEN & biodegradable ....
At the time we were  inventing "green burial" as we went along and everyone wanted a shroud burial so they brought in their quilts & shawls  which were very difficult to wrap, carry and lower (and weren't even green!) So I designed a 100% biodegradable constructed shroud "product" that addressed all the issues we were having in shroud burial - making it a quick, easy and functional process to wrap, carry, lift and lower -  in a single  "all -in-one" unit. 
I made shrouds by night  while arranging funerals, doing intake ,conducting green burials and observed cremations at Fernwood (& later  Skylawn Cemetery) during the day .

"Then one day in 2005 , the Art Director from HBO's SIX FEET UNDER called me and bought my prototype shroud for their green burial episode! (AND I got to go and be on the set as the "shroud wrangler/green burial expert! Amazing!)


"At the time , you could count the people who even knew what "Green shroud burial"
was on one hand (besides  religious Jews and Muslims) so  it was pretty difficult offering a green burial  product to a funeral  industry that didn't want it and online on a website to the public who thought it was illegal! I believed in Green Burial as a standard funeral option so much I just  KNEW this would be needed in the future  so I never quit- (even through the great Recession of 2008 when no one in the funeral industry wanted to buy anything Green ! )
Slowly we built a trusted network of funeral home resellers and green cemeteries that ordered from us the beginning, who also believed in this option as I did. Family owned funeral homes who contacted KINKARACO from the beginning had proved themselves great to work with, sincere and well intentioned. (All KINKARACO ® resellers sign an agreement to help families with anything they want that's legal in their state - including home vigils.) When a customer contacts us we first find the closest reseller near them to purchase products - saving them shipping costs and enhancing their local economies. Our intention is Being of reliable SERVICE to others . Our motivation is COMPASSION. 

10 years later KINKARACO ® has been  helping families find  ecological, economical GREEN funeral products & services, green cemeteries and ethical funeral professionals who are willing to go the exta mile to responsibly fulfill families wishes for natural funerals!

"IN 2004 when I started working at FERNWOOD  cemetery we were one of only 3 cemeteries in the US that allowed shroud burial and did not require vaults for environmental GREEN burial !  Now in  2015 there are over 100!" 

TODAY we have changed the look of burial  from this to this:

TODAY the public are more educated than ever about their sustainable options and asking are for sustainable  funerals.

TODAY consumers can have a green burial in a shroud for environmental reasons without being  a member of a particular religion!                           

    

TODAY for strong women can wrap, carry and lower their friend in a KINKARACO ® shroud found all over the US, in Canada and Australia . Or they can place a loved one in a gorgeous MORT COUTURE ™ shoud for cremation  or inside a biodegradable casket!

TODAY there are modernVARANASI ™ shrouds for cremation sold in regular funeral homes for the cultural needs of Asian immigrants of the Sikh, Hindu, Jain and Buddhist observed  cremations as well as for home funerals !                    

TODAY there are brand new hand drawn KINKARA-KART ™  Processionals

hand drawn ,hand American made caissons for  cemeteries! 

   

*2005 -Designed the 1st secular shroud for GREEN BURIAL,prototype debuts on Six Feet Under ,launched  KINKARACO ® Green Burial Products website online
*2008-Named an "Entrepreneur Changing the Funeral Industry in BusinessWeek magazine and Picture of a KINKARACO ® shroud is put on the cover of American Funeral  Director Magazine

 

*2009 -Introduced KINKARACO ® at the 2009 ICCFA Convention (where we introduced the PURELIGHT ™ Green Burial Shroud with lowering attached) & the VARANASI™ silk cremation shroud  (first shroud made for cremation)
*2010- Awarded the Eileen Fisher Grant for Women with  Sustainable Businesses and picture of the VARANASI™ shroud is put on the cover of American Cemetery magazine
*2012 Spoke on the Green Burial Council panel at ICCFA 2012 Convention
*2013- Gave "A HISTORY of SHROUDS"  presentation at the ICCFA 2013 Convention
*2014 Introduced the KINKARA-KART ™ Processional (reproduction of the 19th Century funeral caissonsold to cemeteries. )
*2015 -Launched new KINKARACO ® E-Commerce website to the public as a "ONE STOP DEATH SHOP "connecting the public to our network and our world.

During this past 10 years our  great group of forward thinking ethical funeral homes, green cemeteries and home funeral guides have helped hundreds of families and individuals get the natural funerals they wanted at half the cost.  BEING of SERVICE  to families in times of loss  is our driving motivation and COMPASSION has always been our main intention  so with Divine guidance of the Holy Beings and our like minded colleagues this has turned out to be a such a very meaningful path for everyone! 

Thank you so much for allowing KINKARACO ®  to continue  with your amazing support and for helping us do this work we love . We are dedicated to continue our work developing  new GREEN products and systems to help the funeral professionals and the public .

Please let us know your own experiences . Show us your pictures so that others can better understand what alternative funerals look like!
Visit  the  NEW WEBSITE !

January 02, 2015

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Shroudwoman Reflects - Happy New Year 2015!

Happy New Year 2015 from Paradise ! San Francisco USA -Tech Central of the Universe - where it's currently a Sunny 50º degrees here where the Crabfest never ends and the start-ups and Creme Brulee' carts litter the streets! ( Being Buddhist,every year we make offerings and chant to Mother Tara for her swift protection for All Living Beings around the clock every new Years from 4:00pm New Years Eve to Noon New Years Day at the Buddhist Temple. Heres a picture of this years altar.) Whats your tradition? What do you do on New Years ? We'd love to hear..

                           

Well ,we're 15 years into the 21st Century and this year KINKARACO ® celebrates our 10th Anniversary ! 2005-2015! (You'll be hearing ALOT more about this and receive alot of specials throughout  the coming year !

INDUSTRY UPDATE:Although new Green Cemeteries and shroud burial is growing continually,the American Funeral Industry for the most part (with the exception of our precious forward thinking KINKARACO ®Resellers , the Green Cemeteries, Green Burial Council members, National Home Funeral Alliance members, FCA and innovative others ) seems to be pretty much operating like its 1979. Many old and respected funeral homes are still scratching their heads about social media, digitizing files and the tsunami of  cremation cases growing in every state.There are even some forward thinking funeral homes who DO offer GREEN services who are neglecting to inform the  public about this on their websites.This really makes no sense does it? .

Since 2005 we at  KINKARACO ® haved continued  to create and introduce our "ancient yet modern"  American made - high quality green funeral products that people love and women in particular wish to buy ! We offer these to funeral homes, cemeteries , home funeral guides and now directly to the public. Since many funeral homes still have the ol' "WAIT & SEE" attitude before offering green funerals ,we could no longer wait . (10 years is a long time ! ) 

Remember:THE PUBLIC DRIVES THE MARKET- so please ask your local funeral home  for what you want.Thats how things will change .You want a good skilled local funeral director or local certified experienced home funeral professional who understands what you want and can deliver . 

"What day is it again? " The  post Holiday Twilight Zone before the world returns to a proper work schedule, gives one a pleasant space to reflect on the previous  years events -

Reflections on 2014 -

1. KINKARACO® launches the KINKARA-KART! A 19th Century reproduction funeral caisson handmade specifically for green cemeteries and made by my new friend , another maker who lives in another world, who speaks the same language of color, design  and detail:

                                            

{This very first KINKARA-KART ™ was shipped from a rural midwestern farm to the loading dock of the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas ,where it was met by my assistant James in the parking lot, taken through the back doors (past the Shark Reef) up a freight elevator, through the  kitchen and out the doors right into our booth at the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association's 2014 Convention where yours truly  was one of the two Green Funeral  speakers. Here I am in our Booth ! }  The first KINKARA-KART'S  now live at : Ramsey Creek, SC, Paxtang Cemetery,PA , Calvary Cemetery Dayton,OH and Bellfontaine Cemetery, MO. 

2. KINKARACO ® lauches our first E-Commerce website for the public so they can purchase online or buy from our reseller s in 3 countries:USA,CANADA & AUSTRALIA. { We slowly built our relationships with our great resellers and so the public (YOU!) can buy from us or get it save money through  a reseller in your area .(click here KINKARACO® RESELLERS 

 3. EILEEN FISHER is a fashion designer in New York City who makes gorgeous clothing with eco-freindly fabrics. She also supports WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS with Sustainable Businesses! In 2010 she gave KINKARACO ™ a grant and this year she honored 30 Women with a campaign called IN HER COMPANY including (yours truly! )Thank You Eileen for all you do for women! You can see the TAKEPART /EILEEN FISHER collaboration click here:  IN HER COMPANY 

We are looking forward to 2015 - our 10th ANNIVERSARY YEAR! This year promisses FLASH SALES and lots of NEW PRODUCTS just for you so STAY TUNED! We're so happy to get a chance to hear from you so  please say hello! 

Wishing you excellent mental & physical Health for you and your families, Happiness & laughter daily and may ALL your Wishes coming true! Why not?

Your Friend in the Green Funeral Business

Shroudwoman

 

December 16, 2014

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Shroudwoman Speaks - Fernwood

 

                                                                   

                                     

December 16th, 2014

Hello friends and welcome to the blog -

In 2004 my life took a sharp left turn and I entered into the world of the Dead . My new job was in California's first green cemetery where we invented green funerals as we went along and lwhere I learned  how to NOT to cry at the funerals. In other words where I began to develop professional compassionate restraint. 

My guides in this new world were  the fabulous Fisher family on my favorite show SIX FEET UNDER , and my boss , a young visionary named Tyler who owned this cemetery (and another one near  my old hometown Hollywood,CA. )All  the 100's of deaths  i'd lived through during the AIDS plague (that took out some of the most amazing creative talent in this  country and this world-alot of whom I was fortunate to call my friends. )Although I knew the weekly adventures of the Fisher family had to be the product of brilliant screen writing and great imagination i was still looking forward to the mystery of funeral service to families at this particualr time in their lives. After all i had been conducting  funerals since childhood.  ( see About Us

Little could I imagine then that the clever opening scene of every SIX FEET UNDER episode depicting a different set of circumstances surrounding a Deathwas EXACTLY what working in this cemetery/ funeral home was like ! Each funeral was an different episode! Not all my friends were as fascinated by the stories as I was - especially NOT at the dinner table. Some situations were tragic yes , but many are bizarrely humourous and extremely peaceful poignant and gorgeous. Some were just bizarre.I found the Karma of each individual is completely unique and as we live is often how we die. I learned  two things in my dealings with the funeral industry before actually working in it :

1. The aesthetic  and the vibe sucked.

2. Someone needed to do something  about it.  (Why not me?)

I had a loving heart of compassion, good taste for the most part and  knew good design. I had the unbelievable good fortune to be given 100% creative license at my new job at FERNWOOD CEMETERY in Mill Valley , CA. If I found a beautiful garden tool from another country I could use it. If I had an idea of a ceremony or service I could use it. When I started in 2004 the mid-century funeral home hadn't been touched for 40 years .My first  work schedule  was on the weekends - alone.

The mid century architecture included a huge perfectly round window with a heavy rollup door inside that had to be opened every morning.The first time i rolled it up I had to stand on top of the desk I came face to face with  a spider the size of my head in a web that spanned the entire circle!It was perfect! The Bay Laurel tree outside the window on the hill leading up to the cemetery filled with squawking ravens and I thought i was in heaven!

I was constantly spooked and elated with my new job ! The place was beyond creepy and very haunted . I  would lock doors that would become unlocked andhear the sound on running down the hallways with doors slamming when I was there alone. The crematory was on the other side of the wall of the office next tothe prep room. It had an ancient refrigeration unit and was painted a stomach churning pastel green. The embalming table was in the middle of the room 1950'sembalming equiptment with very old yellowed tubes. I did whatever needed to be done. Talk to families, do intake of the deliveries from the transport guys and put people into the refrigeration. 

The cemetery was actually over 100 years old with wonderful statuary overgrown in the redwoods and hidden in the woods, headstones fallen over or popping uplike bones. It is magnificent. Towering Eucalyptus trees stood like Sentinals  at the opening of the 33 acres. The road went around in a circle around and aroundthe old cemetery with a trail leading  out through the green section of the cemetery cemetery to the Marin Headland National Park and the Pacific Ocean. Up a winding hill there are  breathtaking vistas overlooking the most expensive suburb in America , home to its own Holy Mountain, Mount Tamalpais majesticallyin the background .There were wild turkeys, geese, a bobcat, voles, coyotes, and mountain lions.

One gorgeous clear and sunny Sunday morning I was showing a family a plot in the old section when a large female cougar (id say at least 160 lbs.) lazily slunk over a 3' tall  pink  marble tombstone and sunned herself in front of it. We were about 9 yards away from  her below on the road and awestruck at her beauty .She was not interested in us at all and we slowly got in the car and drove down the hill..................speechless.

 

 

I hope you enjoy the new website!

Thank you for visiting .Keep coming back!

Esmerelda