Bringing Out the Dead, At Home

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Funeral cars lined up on 138th Street in Harlem.
From and

Death is painfully human, strangely ordinary, and universal. It causes us pain, it requires planning, and it requires final decisions. But here in America, in most cases, it doesn't require one thing: personally handling the dead. More often than not, we leave that to professionals.

But more and more often, Americans are deciding to do things differently. After death, but before the final goodbye, they are handling those final moments with their loved ones' bodies by themselves, with love and care in their own homes.

Alice Forrester is one of those people. In 2011, her teenage son died unexpectedly and she chose to bring his body home and prepare it herself, for his final resting.

And Heather Massey works with the National Home Funeral Alliance, helping families prepare their loved ones for the final goodbye.