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Unto Dust Returnest: How You Want Your Body Disposed

I know this is morbid but I’m just curious what others want done with their bodies after they die. Naturally, we don’t have any control on how our body will be disposed by our family or relatives. However, what if you are lucky to have your final wish – a specific instruction on how they will disposed your body without any legal, religious and cultural hindrance.

Let me give you some ideas:

1. Let the Tomb Raiders find you   

Have your remains be entombed or buried. This is very common and traditional – you will have your mausoleum, a cross and an angel and a nice R.I.P. sign with your name on it. If you are rich maybe the tomb raiders will try to desecrate your tomb – so don’t forget those nasty curse.
Useful curses you might consider:
  • A donkey shall violate him, a donkey shall violate his wife -- (Deir el-Bahri Graffito No. 11, Dyn. 20)
  • A child be within you forever unborn!--Irish curse
  • May the fleas of a thousand camels lodge in your armpit.--Arab curse
  • May your life be filled with lawyers!--Mexican curse
  • May every day of it be wet for ye.--Saint Patrick of Oreland
  • He should have a large store, and whatever people ask for he shouldn’t have, and what he does have shouldn’t be requested.--Yiddish curse
Of course you can always make your custom-made and era-appropriate curse like “May all your files be infected by all kinds of viruses and all your social networking sites, blogs and e-mails be deleted -- yodz curse.” 

2. Sail Away! Sail Away!

Burial At Sea. The tradition of burial at sea is an ancient one. As far as anyone knows this has been a practice as long as people have gone to sea. In earlier times, the body was sewn into a weighted shroud, usually sailcloth. The body was then sent over the side, usually with an appropriate religious ceremony. Many burials at sea took place as recently as World War II when naval forces operated at sea for weeks, and months at a time. Since World War II many service members, veterans, and family members have chosen to be buried at sea.

3. Become a Space Dust

Space Burial. A burial procedure in which a small sample of the cremated ashes of the deceased are placed in a capsule the size of a tube of lipstick and are launched into space using a rocket. Or you can have your ashes buried in the moon like Dr. Eugene Merle Shoemaker

4. Farewell by Fire

Cremation. Under the 1917 Code of Canon Law, there were penal provisions for people who asked to have their body cremated, or for anyone who ordered the cremation of a body, including being denied a Christian burial and blessing. But in 1963, shortly after the Vatican II or the period of intense study and renewal of its teachings and practices, the Catholic Church “determined that cremation was no longer absolutely forbidden.” What this meant was that the restrictions and penalties of the 1917 Code would only apply “when it was certain that cremation was chosen because of the denial of Christian dogmas, or because of a sectarian spirit, or through hatred of the Christian religion and the Church.

In the New Code of Canon Law (1983) these prohibitions was lifted, as well as the penalties, as it states “The Church earnestly recommends that the pious custom of burial be retained; but it does not forbid cremation, unless it is chosen for reasons which are contrary to Church teachings.”

So, for the devout Catholics out there, no more guilt if you choose this one.

5. Beetlejuice Beetlejuice be Beetleized

Part of “natural burial” movement or green burial common for ecology-minded scientists. It is a shallow burial in a forest where the body could be recycled by nature’s most commonplace undertakers mainly burial beetles. 

6. Freeze me before going to hell!

Promession is another ecologically-conscious method for disposing of human remains by freeze drying. It was invented and patented in 1999 by the Swedish biologist Susanne Wiigh-Mäsak. It is achieved by submerging the body in liquid nitrogen, making the remains so brittle that they shatter into a powder as the result of slight vibrations.

7. Chop Chop your Body

Organ Donation.  If you want to live in somebody else’s body, or save a life then you might consider organ donation. You will not need your body anyway, not unless if you believe you will not be resurrected if your body parts are scattered.       

8. In the name of Science

Body Donation. Your body can still be useful even after your death. You can donate it to a university and science laboratory for medical research and education. Your body will be useful for understanding the human body and for advancing science.
9. Become a tourist attraction

Preserve your body in a refrigerated crypt for viewing like the dictator Ferdinand Marcos. However, this requires you to be famous or have done something of historical value before you die – it doesn’t matter if it is heroic or evil, as long as it captures world’s attention.

If your name only appears on Facebook then just consider being beetleized.   

10. Your body as a scandalous work of art

Have your body preserve in a process called plastination and be part of the “Anatomical Exhibition of Real Human Bodies.” Plastination is a technique used in anatomy to preserve bodies or body parts invented by Dr. Gunther von Hagens. The water and fat are replaced by certain plastics, yielding specimens that can be touched, do not smell or decay, and even retain most properties of the original sample

I am considering cremation for myself, my ashes to be scattered in the sea during sunset (I personally think that’s poetic.)

Researched & compiled by yodz insigne

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