With ever-changing times comes ever-evolving choices concerning the disposition of human remains.
Since nothing's sure but death and taxes, unless you opt for cremation after death, you’re eventually going to need a coffin.
And oh the coffins from which to choose! Overstock dot com carries in its massive inventory everything from a high-dollar solid copper casket (regular retail $4,590 but on sale today for $2,614.19, save 43%) to a more conventional 18-gauge steel model for around $1,000.
They even come with the words "Father" or "Mother" stitched into the satin lining of the coffin cap.
If you’re interested in going all-out, you may choose Star Legacy’s Mahogany Deluxe Wood Casket for a wallet-jarring $2,897.65, which is 47% off its normal price tag of $5,490.
Overstock still charges only $2.95 to ship your entire order (even the big stuff) anywhere in the lower 48.
Now that’s a deal on top of a deal.
If you have even more expensive tastes -- or just want to spend more -- and are a loyal Walmart shopper, you may want to pick out your box at Walmart dot com where a Sienna Bronze model will run you $3,199 and the Copper Deluxe is $2,699.
Lower-priced -- but just as nice -- models are offered as well.
But those are all your standard caskets, the kind the funeral homes sell, the kind everyone tends to think of when they picture the modern-day run-of-the-mill coffin.
They’re what most of us are likely to end up getting planted in.
If you’re willing to think ahead of time and outside the burial box however, there are some interesting concepts lying around out there for you to investigate.
Consider the unique and completely personalized coffins being designed and produced at Colourful Coffins, a “personal picture coffin” dealer in the United Kingdom.
Utilizing CC's comprehensive design gallery, one may purchase a ready-made coffin painted in a motif that reflects the deceased occupant’s interests in life.
If “Taking the open road was his perfect day out,” for example, his coffin may feature a realistic painting of his motorcycle.
If “Live music was her passion,” she may be laid to rest in a casket bearing the likeness of an expensive guitar.
The sky is the limit.
At Colourful Coffins, every design from Artistic and Bespoke (including motifs such as Fish and Chips and Street Art) to Ashes Caskets (Quilt Jigsaw and Winter Night are only a few of the selections) to coffins for Children (Never Grow Up, Teddy Bears Picnic) and Animals and Pets (Swan Love, Frog Song) is available.
If what you need isn’t in stock, a cadre of artists and design professionals stand by to assist you in creating a “unique one-off” design.
Still not seeing the casket that resonates with your personal vibe? Maybe an ecopod from Natural Burial Company or an Acorn Urn from ecopod "respecting the earth shaping the future" in the UK is the route to take.
The environmentally-friendly ecopod is a “handmade sculpture” made from recycled paper and weighing on average only 40 pounds (for a 200-pound inhabitant).
Pods are lowered into the grave via a set of straps, where they decompose along with the body. They cost about the same as a standard-issue funeral home coffin.
The fully biodegradable acorn urn -- for cremains -- looks just like a big acorn and comes in vibrant gold, russet, or moss green.
All this not enough? You may be a candidate for Vic Fearn's Crazy Coffins, where, seriously? If you can conceive it, they can achieve it.
Looks like we're good to go.
Jennifer Weber is the owner of Angel Funeral Photography. When she's not preoccupied with taking pictures in cemeteries, she blogs relentlessly at I'm Having A Thought Here and A Route of Evanescence. She is a frequent contributor to Find A Grave, where she is known as AngelSeeker.