NW News Network Tells Mikaela's Story
"As people gather for the holidays, some use the opportunity to discuss difficult but important family topics. That includes what folks want to happen when they die and how they want to be remembered. Often when a death occurs, the next of kin hands the arrangements over to a funeral director in the moment of grief and stress. But some families are choosing to stay with the body and handle as much as they can themselves.
"Zaakera Stratman's daughter Mikaela, a University of Washington student, died unexpectedly at age 22 from a rare type of acute brain inflammation in 2018. Mikaela's death left the family in shock. But despite her grief, Zaakera resisted simply turning over the funeral arrangements to a professional."
So began the feature story distributed by the NW News Network, which serves 11 public radio stations in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.
Reporter Tom Banse shared some of Mikaela and Zaakera's story, detailed in three parts on our website: Hospital Vigil, Green Burial, and Transit Permit. The story is the first to introduce Washington Funeral Resources & Education to listeners around the state. We're getting great feedback on what's being called "such a helpful, informative piece."
Read the USA Today coverage of what inspired our non-commercial public information site in Oregon, and a Register Guard editorial on "Not Taking No for an Answer" when it comes to family- or community-directed care for the dead.
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