The way we take care of our dead is kind of silly isn't it? First we must fill the body with preservatives so it will last "forever". Then we must clothe the body in the best suit & tie/dress that that had (if we don't go out & buy new). Then the body has to be put in a steel casket that has an guaranteed air/water tight seal (who is going to know any different, and even if the body is exhumed, what do you get for a broken guarantee - a new casket?) because of course wood is not good enough. Then all family & friends line up in a row and parade through staring at the corpse. Then of course the casket has to be put in an guaranteed air/water tight vault (again the guarantee?) so the body doesn't get wet or anything because of course we don't want the body to return to the earth. All at a cost of at least $5000.00. Doesn't this all seem so silly? I recently just went through this with my Step-Mother. While in the family line and seeing everybody lined up, I started to wonder why we do this. I can understand having some kind of vault so the cemetary doesn't have to keep filling in collapsing graves and all that. Of course some type of embalming has been done for years (look at the Egyptians). But what happened to burying the body in a wooden coffin and letting it return to the earth the way all of nature does? On the other hand, I've also had to manage to get over the death of a dear teacher/friend of mine who died of cancer. Her wishes were to be creamated with no viewing or funeral. Without being able to see the body, my brain had a hard time "accepting" she had actually died. I sometimes still think I need to give her a call and she passed away over 2 years ago. Would like to hear your comments/views on how we do things (at least in America).