Is Amsterdam a Kind Place?

Many people die alone and unnoticed -- without mourning, without anyone on hand to say a few kind words, with no fancy church service or glowing obituary. But in Amsterdam, thanks to retired civil servant Ger Frits, there is someone who will take the time to arrange for a chapel, some flowers, music, and a personalized poem written and delivered by respected Dutch poet Frank Starik.

As reported by the 2010 BBC radio program “The Lonely Funeral,” these two men teamed up in 2002 to bring a little dignity to the forgotten. Michele Ernsting of Netherlands Radio Worldwide explained that, “The Netherlands is a society that is incredibly classless. The idea that we are all the same in death is at the core of some very Dutch values.”

A few more words about the dearly departed:

  • Poet Frank Starik explained that a funeral is a person's moment of reckoning. “It’s your time at heaven’s gate," he said. “Someone needs to put in a good word for you.”

  • Frits visits the deceased's home, if he or she had a home, and carefully chooses music for the funeral. He puts flowers on the coffin and accompanies each person to his or her final resting place.

  • In the United States, a "typical" funeral can cost $8,000 (USD) or more. Some families spend tens of thousands of dollars.

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More Info: Daily Telegraph

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Post 1

That is a lovely gesture.

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