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#1 Posted by tutuboy95 (90 posts) -

I'm a Hindu, so when someone dies, it's common for their body to be cremated, with their ashes spread over the Ganges River (back in India, of course - I've never had the misfortune to have a family member here in the States pass away). I never truly thought about it. I've also been to funerals and burials here in the United States, where they are buried 6 feet deep and a tombstone marks their resting place. Cemeteries and graveyards (I've been down to Arlington as well), in my opinion, are sort of sacred places. I'm not a religious person, but I always make it a point to respect the dead. But I never really thought too much about that either.

Of course, I began thinking differently when I saw an episode of Harry's Law, a now-cancelled fantastic NBC law show written by David Kelley that often tackled controversial issues in its cases, this being one of them. There was a lawsuit against the owner of a funeral home, who was reportedly using ashes (from cremations) to spread over fruits and vegetables at his stand (he also owned a fruit stand, and apparently, spreading ashes makes the produce fresher and preserve longer). Admittedly, that itself is disgusting. However, is burying bodies truly any better?

For those not exactly privy to the science behind it, when a body is enbalmed to preserve it, many chemicals, such as formaldehyde, are used to put the body in this sort of pristine state. It's not uncommon for these chemicals to seep into the soil as the body decays over time, and this heavily harms the environment. Hundreds of thousands of gallons of enbalming liquid is buried in the US every year, and enbalmer fluid has been known to cause cancer. Furthermore, the costs of a funeral are pretty high. (I am not trying to make funerals sound like a waster expense).

Cremation isn't 100% safe either. Cremation releases quite a bit of mercury into the environment, as some is needed to burn a body to pure ash. But, my understanding is that cremation is less taxing on the environment and less costly as a whole.

I don't mean to say funerals are terrible. I respect funerals, the dead, and where the dead are buried. But I only wonder, is it really the right thing to do? Even if we have a tombstone to visit, which can be very comforting, should we continue to destroy the environment? What do you guys think?

#2 Posted by NlGHTCRAWLER (1215 posts) -

We can't even die without being accused of hurting the environmental. UGH.

#3 Posted by Zandatsu (6 posts) -

I want to be thrown into the sea and eaten by fish.

#4 Posted by sissylion (679 posts) -

Put me in a hole in the ground with no barrier and let nature go to work. From my rotting body, flowers shall grow and I am in them and that is eternity.

#5 Posted by BombcastGoldthwait (250 posts) -

Viking funeral

#6 Posted by TobbRobb (4663 posts) -

I don't really care! Probably getting cremated because it seems cheaper/easier. But more power to people and their traditions, if it brings someone peace to bury a friend, then why not. I seriously doubt it could stress nature too much.

#7 Posted by BraveToaster (12589 posts) -

I really don't want a funeral when I die, and I plan on requesting cremation. I just see funeral services as a waste of money that could go toward something else.

#8 Posted by falserelic (5444 posts) -

When I die there's no need to spend extra money on me. Just burn me in a fire and throw my ashes in a river. Besides I ain't got much people that actually cares about me. So I wouldn't be remembered at all.

#9 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

If it'd be an option, I'd want my corpse to be lain on a beautiful field, out in the open, and let nature take its course. Be food for the birds, the worms, and whatnot - be carrion for the carrion eaters. May crows partake in my spirit, and wisper Odin of my heroic deeds and bravery (and other videogame related grandstanding).

Kind of a elephant graveyard. A bone garden. Both gruesome, yet life affirming. You grok?

#10 Edited by Tru3_Blu3 (3210 posts) -

Burials and cremations are just cultural things that have nothing to do with nature. When we die, our goal as the dead is to feed bacteria and be apart of the world as we deteriorate. While burials surely concur to that, it's pointlessly expensive and gaudy. Just dig your dead into the dirt, maybe impale a stick in the grave, and let the Earth do the rest. Science, folks.

#11 Posted by MooseyMcMan (11123 posts) -

In the super unlikely chance that zombies are real, I want my body to be buried so my corpse can attack the living.

Moderator
#12 Posted by falserelic (5444 posts) -

@MooseyMcMan said:

In the super unlikely chance that zombies are real, I want my body to be buried so my corpse can attack the living.

Your right being a zombie would be aswome. Then we all should dance together just like in the MJ vid.

#13 Posted by Bobby_The_Great (1005 posts) -

@BombcastGoldthwait said:

Viking funeral

This.

#14 Posted by PenguinDust (12532 posts) -

I want to be turned into Soylent Green...or a hot dog.

#15 Posted by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@falserelic:

Michael Jackson was an Alien. Not a Zombie. Sorry to break it to you. That's been an act man. Have it right out the horse's mouth...

#16 Posted by Szlifier (494 posts) -

I don't think I would care. I will focus on things that happen before my death.

#17 Posted by Jams (2961 posts) -

@Bobby_The_Great said:

@BombcastGoldthwait said:

Viking funeral

This.

Tie me to a boat push the boat off the shore and shoot a flaming arrow at me... IF YOU CAN

#18 Posted by falserelic (5444 posts) -

@Seppli said:

@falserelic:

Michael Jackson was an Alien. Not a Zombie. Sorry to break it to you. That's been an act man. Have it right out the horse's mouth...

LOL! so scary movie was like the aftermath of that vid.

#19 Posted by TooWalrus (13218 posts) -

My father and grandfather are buried next to each other, and I think it would be rad to be buried next to them, just to have one spot for my decedents to visit in respect. In reality though, I don't really care what happens to my body. Burn it up and flush it, I'll be long gone.

#20 Posted by CL60 (16906 posts) -

I really don't care what happens to me when I'm dead. I'll be dead.

#21 Posted by mandude (2669 posts) -

I guess I'm cool with whatever, if mother nature prefers it that way. I don't really see the point in burial ceremonies.

#22 Posted by Godlyawesomeguy (6398 posts) -

I think putting me in the water near a waterall and letting me float down until I fall down the waterfall like a dead bear in Skyrim is the only appropriate way for me to go.

Funerals are a waste of money, and cremation is less interesting and still costs more money than it should.

#23 Posted by Strife777 (1589 posts) -

As others have said, it doesn't really matter once you're dead. But of those two I would prefer cremation, let's not waste space. But is giving your body to science an actual thing you can do, like for medical research or whatever? I guess it would only make sense, because I would probably pick that option.

#24 Posted by tutuboy95 (90 posts) -

@Strife777: I believe so, but I think it's more common for those who die of rare diseases than those who die of natural causes or accidents. I'm not really a huge science guy, so I'm not 100% sure though.

#25 Posted by Chop (1999 posts) -

I'm giving scientists my body to play with when I'm dead. Either that or just getting thrown into a swamp somewhere for some hungry crocs.

However, I'd much rather be cremated than buried if I was forced to choose those two. Fucking caskets are like a billion dollars and I'm a pragmatic dude...even in death.

#26 Posted by ImmortalSaiyan (4683 posts) -

@BraveToaster said:

I really don't want a funeral when I die, and I plan on requesting cremation. I just see funeral services as a waste of money that could go toward something else.

Those mortician's and embalmer's got to get paid.

#27 Posted by buzz_clik (6975 posts) -

I'm getting cremated, having my ashes put into paint, and then a painting of a sunset will be created with me. I will then be hung on the wall.

Moderator
#28 Posted by Canteu (2821 posts) -

I want to be sent up in a hot air balloon, and exploded.

A man can dream.

#29 Posted by Animasta (14697 posts) -

@buzz_clik said:

I'm getting cremated, having my ashes put into paint, and then a painting of a sunset will be created with me. I will then be hung on the wall.

I dunno, a person who would paint with such a thing would probably be pretty morbid!

#30 Posted by SockemJetpack (408 posts) -

Cremated and then mixed into paint. Then the paint will get used in a portrait of something cool. Like Megaman or dogs smoking cigars.

#31 Edited by pyromagnestir (4324 posts) -

Burial at sea or being launched into space are my preferred methods of body disposal. Shoot me into the stars!

Short of either of those I guess I'll take cremation.

#32 Posted by BraveToaster (12589 posts) -

@ImmortalSaiyan said:

@BraveToaster said:

I really don't want a funeral when I die, and I plan on requesting cremation. I just see funeral services as a waste of money that could go toward something else.

Those mortician's and embalmer's got to get paid.

The same could be said about the people who offer cremation services. In my case, the money goes to the crematorium.

#33 Posted by buzz_clik (6975 posts) -

@Animasta said:

@buzz_clik said:

I'm getting cremated, having my ashes put into paint, and then a painting of a sunset will be created with me. I will then be hung on the wall.

I dunno, a person who would paint with such a thing would probably be pretty morbid!

Who's to say they'd know?

Moderator
#34 Posted by sissylion (679 posts) -

@buzz_clik: Ed Headrick had his ashes molded into Frisbees and given to his family members. Your idea is also good.

#35 Posted by buzz_clik (6975 posts) -

@sissylion said:

@buzz_clik: Ed Headrick had his ashes molded into Frisbees and given to his family members. Your idea is also good.

Hey, I like the frisbee angle!

Yeah, I thought of the painting thing when I was a teenager, and I've never been able to shake the idea of it being what I truly want to have happen.

Moderator
#36 Posted by gtg12 (67 posts) -

I would want to be buried when I die.

#37 Posted by ssj4raditz (1125 posts) -

Shoot me into space! That wouldn't hurt the environment at all, right?

#38 Edited by MikkaQ (10294 posts) -

Biodegradable caskets, that's what's next isn't it?

Fuck a casket, fuck formaldehyde, just bury me and let it rot. Definitely want a cool tombstone though.

#39 Posted by mandude (2669 posts) -

@buzz_clik said:

@sissylion said:

@buzz_clik: Ed Headrick had his ashes molded into Frisbees and given to his family members. Your idea is also good.

Hey, I like the frisbee angle!

Yeah, I thought of the painting thing when I was a teenager, and I've never been able to shake the idea of it being what I truly want to have happen.

What if they get it irredeemably wrong and have to throw it in the bin? Otherwise, your legacy will be reduced to being a sub-par piece of art.

How about having someone convert your ashes into a Photoshop brush? Then they could paint endless things with your essence, and you'd never be at risk of being a mistake on some piece of canvas?

#40 Posted by Hyuzen (454 posts) -

Its an interesting issue, I recently heard how much a funeral can cost and its pretty expensive. If I get the kind of job where I can set aside the kind of money necessary for a funeral I would likely go that route, possibly a cremation though. Either option is fairly pricey, which makes me not want to go with either choice, especially in the event that I die before I have a plan/money for that sort of thing. I know family and friends would like a ceremony but honestly i think I would rather go in a fairly inexpensive way, whatever that may be. Just dig a hole in my backyard and put me in there with a simple marker or something.

#41 Posted by ripelivejam (4043 posts) -

if i'm going to be launched into space freeze me before whatever fatal disease/condition takes me so if i'm discovered i can be resuscitated and given immortality by an alien intelligence. #srhadden

#42 Posted by NekuCTR (1663 posts) -

I feel like cremation is the most logical choice for burial at this point. Even non-cascated burials present issues considering how many of us there are. The living take up too much space as it is. Relatives have a right to make their peace, but clinging to a dead body as a symbol of someone is superficial, and perhaps even a little ignorant.

#43 Posted by SmilingPig (1337 posts) -

I would give my body to science but I don’t want my head chopped off and given to dentist so they can refine their cruel arts.

What if a rotting brain has tiny micro-moments of conciseness?

#44 Posted by Pinworm45 (4088 posts) -

Donating to science all the way, if my dead body can save or improve the life of even 1 person, it's selfish not to

#45 Posted by crusader8463 (14422 posts) -

I really don't care what happens to me when I'm dead. I'll be dead.

#46 Posted by Grimhild (723 posts) -

@BombcastGoldthwait said:

Viking funeral

All of this.

Also, we bury our dead above ground where I live, soooooo....

#47 Posted by Slay3r1583 (616 posts) -

Has anybody ever had to pay for a funeral? Screw that, shit is expensive. I plan on making myself useful and donating my body to a medical school.

#48 Posted by LikeaSsur (1537 posts) -

I feel as though people saying they don't want a funeral are missing the point of one. The funeral isn't for you, obviously, it's a way for all of your close friends and family to say goodbye and help each other move on.

Can that happen without an official service? Yeah, but there's a certain solidarity and sense of community that a funeral brings out in people.

Or maybe that's just me and my religion that does that, whatever.

#49 Edited by hawkinson76 (373 posts) -

To all how say you do not care: do none of you have a wife or children? As an atheist I agree that it won't matter to me, but it will mean a lot to my loved ones. It is not a question of how much trouble is your corpse worth, its how much your wife and children's piece of mind is worth.

This is a conversation everyone needs to have, especially because some of us will meet an untimely end.

Neither my wife not I have any kind of family resting place within two thousand miles, so we would be starting from scratch here in southern california. We have three kids, so I really do want a place where survivors can go to grieve/remember/etc. I'm leaning towards cremation and a section of a mausoleum, but we haven't made any arrangements, and we really should have by now.

#50 Posted by Red (5995 posts) -

I think all death traditions are pretty beautiful. I want to be buried, though. I remember hearing Neil Degrasse Tyson talk about how, when he dies, he would like to be buried underground to have his body feed the flora and fauna around him, and have his physical remains become one with the physical world. I think that's pretty poetic.