abc
QUICK LINKS:

Looking Death In The Eye: Caskets In Your Home

Updated: 03/31/2014 1:15 PM
Created: 11/13/2012 4:21 PM WDIO.com
By: Laurie Stribling

Caskets take on a new function in Duluth and Grand Marais. The Duluth Casket Shop sells eco-friendly caskets made with wood from area sawmills, but owner Jude Collins said a new design is expanding the use of a casket.

Collins was approached by a friend, Father William Graham, about making a casket that can be used as a bookcase until it's put in the ground. Graham works at St. Scholastica and said he wanted the "casket-turned-bookcase" to remind him of death in his daily life.

"Saint Benedict, and his rule for monastery, has 73 instruments of good work," Graham said. "Number 47 is 'keep death daily before your eyes'. So, this is a reminder that we will all die."

Graham said death should not be feared, but at the forefront of your mind. He said this mentality may change how you conduct yourself in daily life.

"It lets us know that we have limited number of days," Graham said. "These days are precious and there are things to do: work to do, prays to say, hymns to sing."

While Graham has come to terms with death, some might think using a casket for a bookshelf is eerie. Graham and Collins disagree.

"It doesn't scare me," Graham said. "You're going to be in one too. It's a good thing for us to consider that because it helps us live better day to day a think."

"I haven't met anybody whose gotten out alive yet," Collins said. "Sometimes, in life, we just have to take the bull by the horns and do it."

Up in Grand Marais, a group takes a more hands-on approach to this idea. The North House Folk School holds a casket-building class.

"It's a course we like to joke about," Director Greg Wright said. "Everybody does. Build your own casket; bury yourself in your work."

During the class, they teach people how to build a basic casket that can be used earlier in life as a coffee table or bookshelf.

"There is a lot of people who are rather inquisitive about it," Instructor Randy Schnobrich said. "(They say) what's it like? Doesn't it sound kind of morbid?"

While Schnobrich knows it may seem odd to many people, he has had wonderful experiences teaching the class. Both Schnobrich and Wright agreed people could learn a lot from death.

"If we all lived that way a little bit more with that clarity, as soon as we can see, you're going to live a lot better life," Schnobrich said. "(Rather) than denying it the whole time, and then get to the end and find out I wish I did a lot of other stuff."

"One could pretty easily argue that the world would be a better place if we all stopped and got to build our own casket," Wright said. "It would challenge us to think a little bit about, what am I here for? How do I want to touch this world?"

The North House Folk School offers many different classes in Nordic craft. For more information, click here.

Front Page

  • The condensed plan includes more play areas with educational value near exhibits. Zoo Future: From Three Plans, to One

    A single, condensed plan for what the Lake Superior Zoo could be was presented at a public hearing Wednesday night. This version removes the indoor play structure, makes the entire zoo handicapped accessible and addresses other issues with ticketing. 

  • Financial Realities Weigh on Twin Ports College Students in Job Hunt

    In just three short months, a flood of college students will be starting summer and full time jobs, and on Wednesday, close to 500 of them were getting a head start at the Head of the Lakes Job and Internship Fair. This year's students who are carrying thousands in loan debt had more in mind than just finding a job they'll love.  

  • Minneapolis Police Shooting Case Goes to Prosecutors

    Minnesota authorities have completed their investigation into the November fatal shooting of a black man by Minneapolis police officers.

  • A wolf attacked and killed this dog near Brighton Beach on Tuesday. Wolf Attacks, Kills Dog near Brighton Beach

    There's concern among Duluth dog owners after a wolf attacked and killed a dog at a popular trail in Brighton Beach Park. Terry Irvin said he was walking his golden retriever, Leo, off the leash when the dog was attacked and killed by a lone timber wolf at around Noon on Tuesday.

  • Woman Accused of Theft from Fund for Missing Lake of the Woods Boaters

    A Baudette woman is accused of stealing from a fund she set up for the families of three fishermen who went missing on Lake of the Woods.

 

Wind Chill Advisory

MN AREAS AFFECTED: Carlton, South St. Louis; Central St. Louis; North St. Louis; Northern Cook, Northern Lake; Southern Cook, North Shore; Southern Lake, North Shore
Expires: 2/11/2016 10:00 AM

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement