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Friday, January 25, 2008

Six Feet Under: Taking Green Burial to the Mainstream

Like many expirations, the end of the HBO series Six Feet Under came all too soon and, to its huge base of mordant fans -- including this one -- with profound sadness.*

But not before taking one big, parting swing at the American Way of Death. In a near-to-last episode of the final season, director Alan Ball and his cast introduced the then-new concept of green burial to the great mainstream and, in the process, showed it to be a more personal, moving and natural alternative to the standard, funeral home affair.

I've long believed that Ball's fetching view of green burial, which aired on August 21, 2005, did more to sell the idea to the greater public than any newspaper story, newscast or magazine piece at the time. In large part, that's because of Ball's compelling script and of the character of Nate Fisher himself, the show's dazed, confused, but ultimately decent free-thinker who's laid to rest six feet under -- in the most natural of ways -- in the clip above, from episode 61.

* Fair warning: If you haven't watched Six Feet Under and plan to (as you should) read no further and skip the clip. Both give away the ending.

Mark Harris
Author, Grave Matters (

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I, too, continue to be a mordant fan! I will post this video on our website. I'm so grateful to Alan Ball for bringing this important issue to the public. As I am to you, Mark, as well.

Sharon Nichols

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Facebook page for the book on green burial, Grave Matters, with updates on the growing movement.