New York State Funeral Directors Association


Gravesite visits during holidays offer a sharp contrast to the respect some people get after they die – namely the unlucky ones who apparently didn’t do enough during their lives to merit the respect most who are buried get.

These poor folks have been turned into spectacles, decorations, paperweights, whittling material and an ash tray.

These are my newest examples that depict the plight of the #Unliving.

Perhaps I’m too sensitive believing people deserve a funeral and a final resting place after they die.Image of a human skull atop some books on some blogger's shelf - skeleton's face obscured for the sake of decency

It stems from my penchant to stand up for underdogs, and you can’t be more of an underdog than when you’re dead. From what I’m seeing, you can’t really trust the living once you’re #Unliving.

#UNLIVING ASH TRAY?

Here’s a fine example of what we’ve done to fellow human beings: how about having your remains up for sale and advertised as an “antique fit for royalty!”

Image found online of a human's skull being sold, cigar added for effect because it looks like an ash trayTake a look at the picture. What is that ornately carved, bowl-shaped item studded with jewels you might ask? It’s part of somebody’s cranium that got turned into a decoration.

I don’t know how much it costs – you have to e-mail the guy to learn.

I’ll bet nobody would fill this item with a cupful of Shredded Wheat and some milk.

But I wouldn’t put it past a less-than-sensitive person to flip it over and use it to collect ashes and cigar butts.

Rest in peace, fellow human, sorry about your luck.

LOOK THROUGH EACH OTHER’S EYES

From the looks of this one blog I stumbled onto, it’s not easy for some folks to find decorations. Take this one blogger for example: she posted a helpful article on how to purchase human remains “ethically,” as if it’s ever ethical.

The blogger shares a fine photo of one of her prized possessions – the skull of some human being she’s got sitting on top of a couple of old-looking, beat up books.

One of the texts: “Walden and Other Writings of Henry David Thoreau.”

I guess that makes for an ideal opportunity to post a Thoreau quote that’s inside that very book this poor guy’s head is sitting on top of:

Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other's eyes for an instant?

I’m no literary interpreter, but I think that means it would be nice if other people took time to think about how they’d feel if they were in other people’s situations.

Perhaps this blogger isn’t disrespecting the remains of this human, I can’t tell. I can only derive my own opinion of the situation by looking at the words she put beneath the photo:

“Isn’t Xiang a gorgeous young man? He looks even better with his mandible on.”

I don’t have the courage to send this blogger an e-mail and ask where the jawbone is being stored. My guess is it’s being used to hang keys or something.

RESTING AS A PIECE

Image of an ornately-carved human head found online for sale - image of Ed Munger's face added for the fun of itI realized I may have found this one website a bit late. Apparently, they had a slew of human skulls available for sale at one point and now there’s only one left. Get yours before they’re gone, I suppose they’d say.

This is another example of human beings using parts of other human beings as art projects.

It’s not a piece of driftwood like your grandfather used to carve designs into with his pocket knife. It’s the skull of some human being carved into with a sharp object to fill with designs and quotes in Latin.

If you want to “add this to your cart,” you’ll have to shell out $3,995.00.

As I continue to monitor the plight of the #Unliving, I keep searching for a way to “do something” instead of “say something.”

Eventually, I’ll have to raise money to purchase some remains of fellow human beings so I can give them what I believe all humans deserve – a final resting place with a side order of respect.


EdsPhotoEd Munger
Communications & Social Media Specialist
NYS Funeral Directors Association