The opposite of death isn’t life; the opposite of death is birth

Charles Cowling

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We’ve written about Chuck Lakin here before. He’s a retired librarian and active woodworker with a line in plain pine coffins. Above all, he’s a lovely guy. 

He recently held a make-your-own-coffin workshop in his home town of Waterville, Maine. 

No one came. 

Lakin, 67, said he had planned to walk people through the process of building a coffin Saturday morning. He was going to hold the workshop with fellow natural-burial enthusiast Cam Weaver, of Mount Vernon.

Lakin said Barrels owner David Gulak told him there had been a lot of interest in the workshop. A lot of people had mentioned it over the past week or so.

Nobody signed up, however, and the event was canceled.

“They’re afraid of it. People will laugh about it nervously, but the people weren’t willing to recognize that it’s going to happen and say this is a natural part of life,” he said. “I see this all the time.”

More here

3 thoughts on “The opposite of death isn’t life; the opposite of death is birth

  1. Charles Cowling
    Poppy Mardall

    Keep going Chuck! These coffins are so beautiful and people are getting better at thinking and talking about it. It can’t be long until hospices are running ‘build your own coffin’ workshops and celebrants are coming in to help people plan ceremonies.


    Charles Cowling
  2. Charles Cowling
    gloria mundi

    Ah, what a shame. Wish Chuck lived round ‘ere – how useful, to learn how to make, a simple good-value* coffin, not to set up in business, just to help out – friends, others, me…

    * if something is good value, it isn’t “cheap,” it’s just right, whatever the price. A plain pine coffin, no gilded plastic handles, no wasted oak etc, sounds like good value to me.


    Charles Cowling
    1. Charles Cowling
      Jonathan

      Well, GM, I have only very basic carpentry skills but I’ve made two pine tables that have lasted a decade and still going strong. I’ve been vaguely wondering recenty, how hard can it be? Something cremable but original could be made in your garage and sold for a quarter of the usual cost from a coffin retailer…


      Charles Cowling

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