Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Building your own coffin and putting other remains in with you

There are rules governing both

One local man was refused the right to be buried with his Harley-Davidson. - Image by Rick Geary
One local man was refused the right to be buried with his Harley-Davidson.

Dear Matthew Alice: Due to recent painful and expensive losses of family members. I'm wondering if it would be legal to construct my own coffin in anticipation of my passing. Also, may I place the bones of dearly departed pets in the box with me? Finally, can more than one person (dead) occupy the same coffin so that my loved one (human) and I may share our eternal rest? — Thanata, San Diego

Your eternal rest will be preceded by endless cajoling, negotiation, and paperwork, I’m afraid. But if you’re determined enough, perhaps you can realize your dream. The law won’t stop you, as long as your coffin meets certain construction standards. At one time there were companies that sold kits for home handypersons to build their own. But none of those enterprises seems to be in business anymore. So much for the popularity of plan-ahead interment, at least at the home hobby level.

If you have the proper permits, theoretically you and your pals could cozy up in your handmade casket when the time comes. There are instances in the county of more than one person buried in a single coffin. For example, a mother and child were buried together in one local cemetery. There’s also a woman buried with her pet dog that had died years before and been stuffed and kept around the house for sentimental reasons and, perhaps, as a sure-fire conversation starter. Cremated remains of the previously departed are also sometimes buried in a loved one’s casket.

Environmental laws restrict what can be placed in a gravesite outside the coffin. One local man was refused the right to be buried with his Harley-Davidson, though that was a decision made by the cemetery management. State law would not have prohibited it as long as environmental hazards were avoided.

All such requests are very rare, according to most of the mortuary and cemetery managers I talked to. Each tactfully said they try to accommodate a family’s wishes. But one can safely assume they’ll just as tactfully try to talk you out of anything that pares their profit margin to the bone, as it were. Aside from being a bummer, of course, death is also a business.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Ellen Sturgis Hooper: cited as the most gifted of the Transcendentalist Movement

Ralph Waldo Emerson often commissioned her to write verse for The Dial
Next Article

Antebellum: Janelle Monáe’s Moment

If one must remake a movie, make sure it’s a bad one.
One local man was refused the right to be buried with his Harley-Davidson. - Image by Rick Geary
One local man was refused the right to be buried with his Harley-Davidson.

Dear Matthew Alice: Due to recent painful and expensive losses of family members. I'm wondering if it would be legal to construct my own coffin in anticipation of my passing. Also, may I place the bones of dearly departed pets in the box with me? Finally, can more than one person (dead) occupy the same coffin so that my loved one (human) and I may share our eternal rest? — Thanata, San Diego

Your eternal rest will be preceded by endless cajoling, negotiation, and paperwork, I’m afraid. But if you’re determined enough, perhaps you can realize your dream. The law won’t stop you, as long as your coffin meets certain construction standards. At one time there were companies that sold kits for home handypersons to build their own. But none of those enterprises seems to be in business anymore. So much for the popularity of plan-ahead interment, at least at the home hobby level.

If you have the proper permits, theoretically you and your pals could cozy up in your handmade casket when the time comes. There are instances in the county of more than one person buried in a single coffin. For example, a mother and child were buried together in one local cemetery. There’s also a woman buried with her pet dog that had died years before and been stuffed and kept around the house for sentimental reasons and, perhaps, as a sure-fire conversation starter. Cremated remains of the previously departed are also sometimes buried in a loved one’s casket.

Environmental laws restrict what can be placed in a gravesite outside the coffin. One local man was refused the right to be buried with his Harley-Davidson, though that was a decision made by the cemetery management. State law would not have prohibited it as long as environmental hazards were avoided.

All such requests are very rare, according to most of the mortuary and cemetery managers I talked to. Each tactfully said they try to accommodate a family’s wishes. But one can safely assume they’ll just as tactfully try to talk you out of anything that pares their profit margin to the bone, as it were. Aside from being a bummer, of course, death is also a business.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

San Diego watersheds trashed by street sweeping negligence

"Many routes with high debris are designated as low priority," audit finds
Next Article

What Beethoven's Fifth is not

An answer to vox.com
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close