Preserved, put in air/water tight box . . . .

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Michael W. Smith, Jul 20, 2004.

  1. Michael W. Smith

    Michael W. Smith Well-Known Member

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    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).
     
  2. John_in_Houston

    John_in_Houston Well-Known Member

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    Interesting you should mention that - just went to my grandmother's funereal this weekend, and afterwards we were talking about the crazy expense and frills that go into a typical funereal.

    There is a 'Green Cemetary' in Texas that encourages simple ceremonies and wooden caskets, or even burial with the corpse simply wrapped in a sheet. Here's their web site:

    http://www.ethicianfamilycemetery.org/
     

  3. Meg Z

    Meg Z winding down

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    I prefer cremation, myself. The waste that goes into the 'formal funeral' I find appalling. It wastes the money that many people can't afford to lose, and it wastes the land. It also wastes the nutrients that should be given back to the earth.

    When I die, my family will burn my body, bury the ashes and plant a tree over them. The tree will be a far better memorial than an expensive block of rock with words carved in it.

    Meg :)
     
  4. chickflick

    chickflick Well-Known Member

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    HEY.... now your talkin'! Funerals are one of the most ridiculous wastes of money and materials known to man. IMHO.

    When my husband died five years ago.. I had him cremated. End of story. Only problem was.. it took me til last winter to decide WHAT to do with that box of ashes!

    I found out that he sexually molested my daughter (his step daughter) and promptly took box, ashes and all to the nearest lake and tossed them over the side of the road from my truck!!!!!!!!!

    At least that answers the question: "How do you kill a dead man?" :yeeha:
     
  5. chickflick

    chickflick Well-Known Member

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    ON THE OTHER HAND.. funerals ARE for the bereaved and NOT the dead. I also found it VERY pleasing, somehow to visit the graves of my (hertofore unknown) ancestors recently. Those headstones were a very important part of who I am/was and where I came from. For the sake of history, I suppose it matters. Just like photographs, etc. Just my .02. (So, I say cremate, bury, mark the grave. Keep It Simple)


     
  6. Buckrun

    Buckrun Well-Known Member

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    I have a very evil stepmother. She treated my brother an I very bad as kids. She made my dad miserable for the last 20 years of his life. I told him I would love to get control of her funeral. Have her cremated take the ashes to the dirtiest biker bar I could find and sprinkle them around the bathroom floor and in the urinal. Then leave! Unfortunately dad died 2 years ago and she is still alive. The good die young and the evil live on! :(
    Steve
     
  7. fin29

    fin29 Well-Known Member

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    :haha: We were just talking about this yesterday. I told Dh I wanted to be packed into a 18 bushel compost tumbler with some brooder bedding and garden waste (need that carbonaceous material...). Bury the tumbler on its side with the crank sticking out of the ground so that everyone that visits the grave can give it a crank. Once I'm done cooking, dig up the tumbler, dump the compost to fill up the hole, plant a tree and bring the tumbler home.
     
  8. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    I've talked about this with my Dh. We think maybe it would be great to spend the money and have him mummified. The sarcophagus can stand in my livingroom and I can shrug off quesitons of "what's that?" with things like, "Oh, that's just my husband," and then watch their faces as they realize I'm not kidding!

    We thought about a pyramid, but decided that since we didn't have the slaves to build it right we should probably not go there...besides, we'd have to have started 50+ years ago, right? :D

    Sarah
     
  9. seraphima

    seraphima Active Member

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    Around here we use watertight coffins so that if the coffin falls out of the skiff (boat) when being transported to another island for burial, it will float and we can fish it out again.

    Alaska is different.
     
  10. BrushBuster

    BrushBuster Well-Known Member

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    take the money and spend it on a nice visit and maybe a dinner or whatever.
    then take me and hang over a barbwire fence unless you can think of something easier
     
  11. coalroadcabin

    coalroadcabin Well-Known Member

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    My family has always believed in cremation. When my father, then mother, then brother passed away they were cremated, we had a memorial service for friends and family and that helped with closure (saying goodbye) and the urns are in a niche in the cemetary where we can go to leave flowers etc. When my grandfather, grandmother and uncle died and were cremated, there was no memorial service - so it made saying goodbye harder. And the ashes were sprinkled on the ground so there is no marker or gravesite.

    Even cremation is expensive though, my brother passed away 18 months ago and his cremation, burial niche and memorial service ended up costing over 2K. I would hate to think what it would have cost for a traditional burial.
     
  12. soulsurvivor

    soulsurvivor Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Hub and I have it in writing. Cremation, small service, sprinkle ashes in a field. We decided we wanted to get the heat over with here before moving on.
     
  13. Grandmotherbear

    Grandmotherbear Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Even my fellow hospice nurses have a hard time dealing with my wanting my body to return to the earth- some would just shudder and say "Eew! to be eaten by worms". There's a place in Florida trying to get approval from the State Legislature to set up a no vault no coffin needed burial place. That's where I'de loke to be put. Barring that, I'de love a nice cheap cremation.

    DH has asked that I have him bronzed and set up in a city park... :haha:
     
  14. Jan in CO

    Jan in CO Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I, too think it's terrible how far people go with some of the funeral expenses. If my husband ever did that, I'd really be ticked off! I've told him I'm going to have him coated with clear epoxy and stand him up in the bedroom corner so I can talk to him forever! Brings to mind a story I read years and years ago, I think in Reader's Digest--a woman left instructions in her will that she be cremated and her ashes mixed into paint, then the ceiling in the bedroom she shared with a philandering husband be painted with that paint! Personally, I don't want to be put on display after I pass on for everyone to look at. I'd much rather remember others as they were when alive, too. Just my 2Cents worth, too. Jan in Co
     
  15. nostalgia

    nostalgia Well-Known Member

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    It really doesn't matter to me what they do with my body once I am gone. Whatever my family wants is ok with me. Afterall, it is really for them isn't it?

    I visited several cemetaries this past week end and it was comforting to me to be able to see the places where my ancestors bodies were actually laid to rest. I have been researching my family tree and the tombstones were a big help in finding out more information about my ancestors. In some ways it helped me to feel like I knew them even though we had never met.

    It is easy to say we don't really care what they do with our own bodies but, when it comes to someone you love, would it be as easy to cremate their body? The truth is I hope my husband never asks me to cremate him. If he does, I will respect his wishes but I think I would prefer not to have him cremated. We have already purchased our grave sites so hopefully he intends to have his body placed there.
     
  16. Gina

    Gina Active Member

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    My step mother's father was cremated and they spread his ashes on their country property and now they are losing the property and hence, his burial site.

    On the other hand, I read of people being cremated, their ashes mixed into cement along with the ashes of numerous other people. This ash/cement mix is then formed into structures that are sunk in the ocean to help create artificial reefs.

    As for myself, the biggest request I have is that I not be embalmed. In life I HATE chemicals. They killed my uncle. They are in the process of killing my father and I'm personally very chemically sensitive so why would I want my body filled with them after I'm dead? Besides that, they pollute the ground. Either cremate me and sprinkle my ashes in the water which I've always loved or bury me simply on the homestead and plant a tree over me. Maybe a simple little plaque or something. My family can have a simple memorial service if they wish but I don't want them to go to any huge expense.
     
  17. chickflick

    chickflick Well-Known Member

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    NO.. they DON"T... read my post above!!!!!!!!!
     
  18. pinemead

    pinemead Well-Known Member

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    No one in my family has ever been cremated. They didn't believe in it. My arrangements have already been made - they'll lay me on a piece of cardboard and stick me in the furnace. I've left it up to my son to decide what to do with my ashes and have let him know that it doesn't really matter. I can stay in a box in the closet if he wants. I will have a small memorial service for his sake. I hate funerals and memorial services, but believe they're necessary for those left behind.
     
  19. Buckrun

    Buckrun Well-Known Member

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    Chickflick you should have dropped it in your secptic tank and put a little plack on the lid. "here lies whatever his name was" :mad:

    Steve
     
  20. peanutgreen

    peanutgreen Well-Known Member

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    Instead of a traditional memorial service, I'd much rather my friends and family have a party when I go. I think it would be a lot more fun for them to have a pot-luck dinner and a few drinks and laugh over the good times that we had together :haha: than to have to sit through a normal service. None of that boo-hoo stuff either :waa: ; I'm not a boo-hoo kind of person.