For most of American history, when a loved one died, family members cared for the body of the deceased at home before burial. It wasn’t until the Civil War that people started embalming soldiers’ bodies for the long train trips home. Soon after, funeral homes started offering embalming services, and an industry was born. Now, there’s a movement to bring after-death care back home.
The motivations driving such interest are varied. Some people find it more personal, more meaningful. Others want to avoid toxic embalming chemicals and reduce the environmental footprint of burial.