Amsterdam (AFP) – Coffins decked out with board games, gravesites doubling as vegetable patches or children’s toy “funeral building bricks” complete with a hearse and crematorium — just some of the latest trends for dealing with death.
More than 3,500 visitors flocked to a recent one-day expo at Amsterdam’s historic central Westerkerk church for a peek at new gadgets to help give a loved one a grand, final farewell.
From those wanting a unique burial for a relative or friend, to others with an appreciation for the morbid, there was plenty on offer, such as 3D-printed urns in the shape of a deceased person’s head.
A hollow walking stick, which can be filled with ashes that are then scattered at the touch of a button and registers the person’s final resting place via GPS coordinates, was another innovative exhibit.
Pulling in the crowds were the “funeral” small plastic building blocks for children to create their own hearse that comes with a coffin and a crematorium with imitation flames at the back or a graveyard.
Far from just being macabre playthings, the toys have a very practical application.
“Often you find that children don’t understand the funeral process and what happens at a funeral,” said Richard Hattink, a children’s counsellor, who specialises in dealing with grief.