Bodies in Limbo


On the evening of November 18, 2020, a ZOOM meeting co-hosted by FCAWM and FCAEM focused on the challenges presented by “unclaimed bodies” and by indigent cases in Massachusetts. We titled this virtual event “Raising the Alarm about Bodies in Limbo: Delays in Indigent Disposition in Massachusetts.

We wanted to learn more about the scope of these problems, and ideas for possible solutions. I’m delighted that so many people attended and shared their perspectives and comments. Public health agents, funeral directors, a police chief, and many others contributed to the discussion.

Volunteers from both of our nonprofit organizations had worked for months planning this event. Originally, the idea was for a summer meeting, in person, somewhere in central Massachusetts. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we had to delay and then re-think how to shift to a safer format, online. 

Zoom helped us achieve our goal of bringing many relevant voices together for a thought-provoking meeting focused on issues related to “Bodies in Limbo.”  Meeting notes compiled by the FCAEM Secretary and edited by the FCAEM President now fill 13 pages, and will be sent to all participants. Meanwhile, in December I designed a webpage on the joint FCAEM-FCAWM website ( to share information about this project; that “Bodies in Limbo” page will include an updated statement summarizing the problem, incorporating what was learned November 18 and in subsequent evaluations and communications. 

Disclaimer: The views, opinions and positions expressed here in "Sandy's Blog" are written by one individual (volunteer Sandy Ward) and may or may not reflect the views, opinions or positions of the Funeral Consumers Alliance of Western Massachusetts.