Recently, National Geographic Explorer was in Austin filming for an episode about death and post-death practices, and the local alternative death scene was featured in amazing detail!
You can find the entire episode here, at the National Geographic website.
(Sorry, you have to have cable access credentials to see it. It’s not on YouTube yet–I checked!)
Photo: National Geographic Channel
Our own Eloise Woods Natural Burial Park was the site of a few different filmings, from a pre-death visit where an entire family came out to dig a grave (including the 93 year old patriarch with advanced Alzheimer’s whose grave was being dug), to a mock natural burial, to an actual burial ceremony that just happened to occur when the National Geographic crew was there.
The story also followed the 93 year old’s family as they deliberated arrangements and options for their Papa, and eventually chose to learn how to do a home funeral for him when the time came. The cameras then swarmed and rolled as our awesome local home funeral guides, Sandy Booth and Donna Belk, led a private workshop and trained the family to care for a volunteer corpse.
(Incidentally, have you read my account of being the corpse at a Donna & Sandy workshop? It was an AMAZING experience, one I would recommend to anyone interested in or even just curious about home funerals!)
The entire special is chock full of interesting learnings about American deathcare, including a fascinating bit on cryopreservation and showing an actual embalming–I highly recommend it!