Building Your Own Coffin

What is your gut reaction to the title of this post?

What do you think about building your own coffin?

Are you sitting there thinking that’s not only crazy, but a bit morbid? Or are you thinking-hey-that’s not such a bad idea…

My gut reaction is why not? Why not plan for death?

If you are, or live with someone who is,  a “Mr. Fix-It” and  a “Do-it-yourself”  type of person, you may think that there is  some merit in designing and building a coffin.  If you head to Lowe’s for weekly shopping excursions, this project might help you keep occupied during the winter months.  After all, if you can build a storage container for wood or compost, why not create, design and build your very own, state of the art, ever-lasting resting place complete with some simple, yet personal touches?

That is exactly what this man did, albeit his wife’s reaction was not what he expected, or wanted for that matter.

Jeffrey Piehler has incurable Stage 4 prostate cancer.  He was diagnosed 11 years ago.  He is recognizing that the end of his runway is getting closer.  Death, after all, is inevitable.

So Jeffrey is starting to make plans for his end of life.

Jeffrey is starting to think about his own funeral plans, including the process and mechanics of being cremated.  It appears that he is a very practical guy fully accepting that death, indeed, will come to all of us.  He has embarked on this unusual woodworking project with the help of a friend.  Humor and laughter, as well as more serious discussions were woven into the building process as together they built Jeffrey a pine coffin (after gaining permission or just plain defeat from his wife).

The coffin is ready.  It sits waiting for the day it will be used and reminds Jeffrey to live each and every day as if it were his last.  Perhaps that is not such a bad idea after all.

Here’s how you can learn to build a homemade casket.  If you decide to make one, please share with me your journey in the process.