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We found the coolest place in Muskegon when we dropped into Puzzles, Oddities and Ends on Apple Avenue over the last couple of years.  It's a small show run by a really interesting local gal and right next door is where Eric Gemzer runs his Castle Casket Company.  Ambrosia runs the Oddities portion of the place while Eric does the caskets and urn's and since they are both fans of the "different" things they are first of all, a match made in heaven, and after that a perfect couple for things that might make you a little teeny tiny bit uncomfortable.  There's no reason to be however. 

 

From the beginning, Eric bought a Hearse thinking it might be a good way to keep people away from him. Who wants to get near a Hearse anyway, right?  Turns out, they draw more curiosity than they send people running and Michigan actually has one of the biggest Hearse clubs in the USA.  So, instead of finding solitude, Eric found a tribe and began participating in club events and networking with others....who remarkably are in the after life services business and as his circle grew, so did opportunity.  Today, he's probably got one of the largest collection of all natural, hand carved marble urn's anywhere through a manufacturer in the Philippines, he sources caskets locally from artisans that make them by hand and he's also got a "night job" as part of the Clock Family Services Care Team.  Eric gets the call when a friend or relative passes away, and it's his job to come and see to in in a compassionate and professional way that the family's needs are met and that the person who's passed away is transported respectfully to where they need to go.

Is it a scary job?  No, says Eric.  It's not really what he imagined and he says it's certainly not a "thankless" job, but every situation is different.  It takes a great deal of awareness, caring and ability to read the situation when he arrives.  A loss of a friend or family member is devastating, but the circumstances are always different.  It might be the end of a long terminal illness, it could be a surprise,  it may be someone young or old.  Eric is there to help in the time most needed and while it all began with buying a Hearse and worked into a career.  We don't always know our calling, and to be honest....fate tends to steer the right people where they need to be and Eric learned more about himself by wanting to "avoid" people than he ever would have.  A creepy car showed Eric a side he may have never known he had, he's a first step in the path to healing for those he works with.

Eric also mentions, that's he's really gotta move some urns.  I mean like REALLY move some.  So, they are all half off right now.  For about $100 bucks each you can find your home for the ever after.  Solid hand made marble and as a bonus for us, Eric gives some details about the proper use of urns and ashes.  Sprinkling ashes of those who we've lost is a common practice, but...there might be a question or two you have.  Eric makes it easy to learn more.

VISIT CASTLE CASKET COMPANY ONLINE via their Facebook page and see what they have to offer and consider supporting a great local company.  With the cost of a casket being anywhere between $2k and $5k.....it really might be worth the visit. 

 

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