Keeping the Dead in Their Place

NPR broadcast this short segment on Louisiana’s “runaway coffin” issue on September 23. It does a great job highlighting the very important work of Louisiana’s “casket wrangler,” Arbie Goings. Mr. Goings is responsible for identifying and returning caskets that are washed out of their resting places during floods. While this may seem like a case of “it’s a dirty job, but someone’s got to do it,” it’s actually a fantastic demonstration of our duty to honor the dead and the places where they rest, in addition to providing comfort and solace to the families of the deceased!

The increasing availability and acceptance of cremation sometimes leads families down the path of cremating their loved one as quickly as possible after death has occurred. As our days become busier and our lives become more fast-paced, it’s almost as if we no longer have “time” for death. All too frequently, as a society, we are forgetting that duty we have to honor the dead, regardless of who they are or where they rest. Death should always necessitate a “pause.” Our care of and respect for our deceased loved ones is a clear testament to the value we place on life.

Also, I want to be a “casket wrangler” when I grow up. 🙂