Final DIY Project: Build Your Own Coffin

By James R. Hagerty, July 18, 2022 in The Wall Street Journal

Joan Pillsbury climbed inside her coffin to get a better angle for her drill. PHOTO: DONALD JORALEMON

For people who want to make their own final resting place, merchants offer ready-to-assemble kits; ‘We just had so much fun’

Visitors to Leona Oceania’s home near Portland, Maine, might notice the pine bookshelves perched in one corner of her living room.

Garlanded by white lights, the shelves hold neat rows of books by her favorite authors, including Mark Twain and Edward Gorey, along with knickknacks, such as a snow globe with a skull inside.

Guests “tend to check it out,” says Ms. Oceania, 52 years old, an administrator at a municipal public works department.

Visitors might not immediately grasp the versatility of the bookcase: It might look like it came from IKEA, but it will eventually be a coffin.

The shelves are designed to be removed easily, and one day the two sections of this bookcase are to be joined with hinges to serve as Ms. Oceania’s final resting place.

To prepare for the inevitable, some people lay out instructions for their funerals or write their own obituaries. Then there are the other souls, including Ms. Oceania, who build their own coffins—and use them as part of their household décor until needed.

If you are a Wall Street Journal subscriber, you can read more here. Otherwise, check your local library.

Posted: to Green Burial in the News on Tue, Jul 19, 2022
Updated: Tue, Jul 19, 2022