Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Four Feet Under

Please do not freak out when you see another blog about cemetery. I am not so dark as to spend all my time lurking around these places... but I was doing some research, and the subject was "Six Feet Under." That was a quite popular television show running during the years 2001 - 2005 in the US about, you guessed it, a funeral home serving as the set for a dark comedy to deal with death. In French, it's "Six Pieds Sous Terre." So, why "Six Feet?"

It turns out that, at least in the US, burial laws are very complicated and vary from state to state. The legally required minimum burial depth is not uniform by any means, and it can be quite shallower than 6 feet. That term really is a myth. For instance, in New Orleans, if you dig down 6 feet, you'll be all wet because the swamps and marshlands were drained and turned into habitable land.

Here we are in Miami, and at this Caballero Rivero Woodlawn cemetery at SW 117th Avenue and 116th Street, you can see that it is clearly not 6, but only 4 feet which is the standard depth for a burial site here. The man preparing the site is about 6 feet tall and there is about 2 feet of him towering above ground level. One major concern is that there should not be any contamination to the surrounding areas, thus the strict laws that govern all burials anywhere in the state of Florida.

Did you ever wonder where that term came from? Ask me!
Not Six Feet

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