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B.C. man making caskets that double as furniture

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PRINCE GEORGE, B.C.—It’ll last you a lifetime—and then some.

Prince George, B.C. resident Brent Goerz has launched a home business making caskets that double as bookshelves, curios, or storage boxes until the day they’re needed as a final resting place.

Goerz conceded he received some strange looks when he and his caskets recently manned a booth at a local home show, but added a fair number of people were intrigued by the idea.

“Lots of people said, ‘I never thought of this, it’s a great idea,’” he noted.

A hospital social worker whose job includes talking to people about the end of life, Goerz’s venture is as much a quest as a business.

As well as providing good value for money (he charges $500 for a casket made out of blue-stained pine), Goerz said his product is therapeutic in that it prompts conversations about death.

“We live in a death-denying society, where people don’t talk about it, people put it off until the last minute,” he said. “The people who’ve had that conversation with their families, when the time comes, they’re ready for it.”

The business is called Simple Pine Boxes and Goerz primarily suggests a bookshelf or a shoe storage space.

He said at the request of one customer, he’s currently working on a “man-sized tackle box.”

Goerz said he has no desire to create a mass industry—one without a connection to the people who are purchasing the caskets.

“I like the personal connection of somebody coming to me and saying, ‘This is what I’m looking for.’”

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