We get to carry each other

A recent sale of $5 coffin plans to one Ann-Marie in NC got me going on “get to.” Read on, I’ll ‘splain. For the many of you just joining (thanks!), we are Piedmont Pine Coffins, and we spread the gospel of green burial. Also, we like the kind of thing that Ann-Marie and her family just did. She bought […]

What’s the use of profit?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again here, then maybe pipe down. I want to die (and live?) poor. But Piedmont Pine Coffins is a business, and the purpose of a business is to generate profit. What are the uses? B-corps, donations, foundations, community action, and the rest. I’ll let you read up on […]

Mid life crisis and the skulls of Mt. Athos

Mid life crisis wants metanoia. Metanoia is Greek for a “change of heart” — a transformation and conversion — and it’s a monastic specialty. For those just joining in, we are Piedmont Pine Coffins. We advocate natural burial and make pine boxes for it. We take some of our inspiration from the examples of monks and […]

We are Vergil’s busy bees

We are Vergil’s busy bees. In my county I’m on the grand jury this year. Today I sit in deliberations. We are a group of 18 random citizens fulfilling a function of our society’s compact. We are all doing the best job we can within the allowances of our personal power. Even, I suppose, the alleged criminals for whose adjudication […]

I want to die poor

I want to die poor. Funny thing for an entrepreneur to say, but saying it I am. Here’s why. For those not in the know, we are Piedmont Pine Coffins and we help families with natural burials. We make simple pine box coffins, urns, and pet caskets. Since we opened in August 2013, our revenues […]

Your big day, your birthday

Go big on birthdays, sez Your Coffin. Yes, if your coffin could talk, it’d tell you to do it up right for yourself when your big day comes around this year. Things in this life have an obverse and reverse, a light and a shadow. Mountains have valleys and birdsong, silence. A birthday, your coffin […]

Practice your dying breath

Practice your dying breath every day, is my advice. That way you’ll have one ready — in your back pocket or up your sleeve — in case your actual last breath goes off-script and isn’t the one you always wanted. More on that below. I’m Don with Piedmont Pine Coffins. As part of my work, […]

Ringo’s Kingdom

We lost a good one last Sunday at Melleray Farmstead, the cottage industrial home of Piedmont Pine Coffins. Ringo — our great Great Pyrenees — got a foot caught in the fence as in a trapper’s snare. A crappy way for a noble one to go out, and not the good death I’d always imagined for her. […]

A coffin-joiner’s prayer

A coffin-joiner’s prayer O length of plank, be straight and true And form thyself to something worth An unrepeatable life on this magnificent Earth We have been making a lot of coffins lately here at Piedmont Pine Coffins. It takes about 12 hours to make one, so there be time to think. Though each box will go […]

DIY coffin exemplar

This DIY coffin will open your heart. Here’s the story. Recently a certain Mark in VA wrote me in extremis. A family member was near death, and though they’d already planned for a simple ceremony with unique touches, it was all happening too fast. Could I bring a coffin tomorrow? Shortly thereafter hospice arrived at the home, checked vitals, and […]

What a good death is

A good death, I told a recent client. Your mom died a good death. “Yes, I think so. Thank you,” she said. Death is having a moment in popular culture. (To be clear, death is always having its moment, isn’t it, just not always as a media darling.) So what’s a good death, and is […]

Taking it with you

Now, that thing about taking it with you. You’ve heard the one about the miser who swore he’d take all his silver to the grave? The miser’s young wife promised, and, true to her word, settled accounts upon his timely death. She gathered the sum of his wealth and deposited the total, just before the coffin was sealed, under his folded hands. […]

It’s illegal, plus other green burial myths

Interested in a simple pine box coffin? It’s illegal, goes one of the top green burial myths. Who wants to be a scofflaw for all eternity? We better look into this and find out. For those readers just joining in, we are Piedmont Pine Coffins. At our cottage industrial home, the off-grid Melleray Farmstead in […]