MIDLAND, TX -- The year may be 2021, but a funeral home in Midland is going back to simpler times.
As is common in most funerals, family members are presented with two options for ceremonies – cremation or a traditional burial.
In an effort to innovate, the American Heritage Cemetery and Funeral Home will now be offering natural burials.
“You’ll find that funeral homes, by and large, tend to fall into a rut of doing the same things, and that poses a problem, we feel like, for people when it comes to healthily expressing grief," said David Cole, owner, and operator of American Heritage Cemetery and Funeral Home. "What we want to do is open those doors for folks that grieve differently."
During a natural burial, the deceased's body forgoes embalmment and is then wrapped in a shroud or cloth before being placed into the grave.
“Because for so long, we’ve almost had two extremes. We’ve had the cremation clients or those that favor cremation and those that prefer traditional burial," said Cole. "There’s no middle option for folks that don’t want to spend a fortune but don’t like cremation. This hopefully will be a middle option for those folks."
For some families, the idea of their loved one decomposing naturally may not be their first choice, but it would allow for a more private ceremony.
“They can almost have an impression that it’s undignified, and if you ever witness something like this, it’s so much more intimate than people realize. It affords the family a whole lot more hands-on experience."
The funeral home is expected to begin offering natural burials in the coming months.