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December 5, 2022
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The Lonely Funeral
Produced by: Michele Ernsting
Every year up to twenty people die completely alone in Amsterdam. There are no friends or family to prepare their funeral or mourn over the body. Sometimes these people are illegal migrants, drug mules, or simply people who for one reason or another, cut-off all social contacts. Poet Frank Starik decided that these people also deserved to be eulogized. He contacted the Amsterdam city services and asked if he could take part in these forgotten funerals. Producer Michele Ernsting of Radio Netherlands Worldwide brings us the story of the Lonely Funeral. It airs as part of the international collaboration, Global Perspectives: At The Edge.

Program Credits

The Lonely Funeral was produced by Michele Ernsting of Radio Netherlands Worldwide. It airs as part of the international collaboration, Global Perspectives: At The Edge.


The funerals without any mourners
Lonely funerals are not only becoming a common occurance in the Netherlands. The United Kingdom has also noticed a steady rise in old people dying in their apartments with no next of kin to bury them.

Where Bodies Go After Natural Disasters
Burying an unidentified individual is promblematic enough. But what happens when there are thousands of unknown individuals to bury? Madison Park of CNN finds out.

Being Dead Is No Excuse : The Official Southern Ladies Guide to Hosting the Perfect Funeral
by: Gayden Metcalfe, Charlotte Hays 2005
For most funerals, there is a reception. And no one does funeral receptions better than the Southerners.

by: Mandy Ross 2003
This book takes a look at the different funeral rituals from around the world.

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Programs by Michele Ernsting

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