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7 years ago  ::  Mar 24, 2008 - 10:23AM #11
spiritalk
Posts: 1,165
In an age of conservation, creamation is seen as a viable alternative to taking the space for burial.  Some of the cemetaries are talking of recycling the land and using it over for others when the decay is complete. 

My preference is creamation.  I'd like to think I fertilized a garden of flowers somewhere.  Some of the cemetaries are even supplying a garden in which to place the ashes.
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7 years ago  ::  Mar 24, 2008 - 12:34PM #12
boodlebear
Posts: 1,053
Fertalizing a garden of flowers. That's pretty. Maybe Mom would like that.
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7 years ago  ::  Mar 25, 2008 - 3:57PM #13
adamcro-magnon
Posts: 1,146
Oh dear!  Oh, no!  Ashes?

For me a ‘green’, woodland burial – no man-made marker for my mortal remains; no coffin or encasing, simply a shroud and straight into the earth.  I feel this is less selfish than ‘ashes’.  Ashes are a luxury, though they are often mistaken by their devotees as an offering to some glorious exercise in conservation.  What can scattered ashes do, save feed the vicissitudes of some rude wind, some inconsiderate gust, or the overblown ambition of some local zephyr?  And as for a solid, casket of such?  Nay! - better, a shrouded corpse into the earth and I am sure there are there more signs of life that will benefit from that sooner than from ashes and dust.  Rotting and decay (I cannot stress this enough) are decent, healthy and beneficial options (no need to speed them up) and there is plenty of healthy space about, though these spaces are often out in the countryside.   

“No longer mourn for me when I am dead
“Than you shall hear the surly sullen bell
“Give warning to the world that I have fled,
“From this vile world with vilest worms to dwell.


Ashes can’t do that.


Today’s world reflects a diversity of cultures with their varying attitudes towards the disposal of remains. In the UK the disposal of remains – via a shroud straight into the earth – is not allowed in municipal cemeteries; it is absolutely forbidden; there has to be a solid casket; the remains have to be encased.  However, Muslims, at long last, can now have their own cemeteries, though these are few at present, where the shrouded corpse does go into the earth – within twenty-hour hours after death.  The only other places that seem to allow this are the so-called ‘green’ burials, where, if there are coffins, they are made of woven rushes etc.  Such places do not mind the scattering of ashes but forbid caskets.

Recent law has enabled people to be, if they so wish, buried in their own back gardens.

Cremation has always been possible in the municipal cemetery – a garden for the free scattering or a section for small caskets containing such.

Hindus would like their own custom – a funeral pyre and the body thus burned; they do not want the mechanical path to the modern crematorium.  However, the funeral pyre is not allowed in the UK (yet), though some have been permitted to purchase a large plot of land and to ‘practise’ or rehearse their custom (using a dead pig) to see what would be the response from the locality.  The response was not optimistic.  (A town environment was considered ‘too risky’ so a distant rural domain was chosen.)  The smell of burning flesh, in spite of oils, scents, unguents and spices, was found to be offensive.  It has all still to be worked on.

And yet, in Madagascar, the tombs are visited, the remains unwrapped from their mats and danced with, thrown high in the air, given a good old stir and a vigorous shaking.  A joyous time (with feasting) is had by all and at the end of the festivities the remains are wrapped up in their mats and returned to the quiet vaults until next year.

Adam Cro-Magnon
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7 years ago  ::  Mar 25, 2008 - 10:45PM #14
boodlebear
Posts: 1,053
My mother didn't wish to be "buried alive". That's why she chose cremation.
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7 years ago  ::  May 14, 2008 - 3:37PM #15
Bubby
Posts: 1
My dad died just yesterday and he wished to be cremated.  I have no problem with following his wishes. I am the executer of his will and funeral arrangements.  The problems we seem to be encountering are getting the death certificate signed by the doctor and getting the medical examiner to sign off so that he can be cremated.  The manager at the funeral homes says that the process may go quickly or it may take a while.  How long is too long to wait to make the arrangements for the memorial, mass, and burial?  Is it sacreligious or does it go against the Catholic faith to hold the memorial, mass, and burial without the ashes in the urn?  My dad wouldn't want us to drag this out but family members want the ashes to be in the urn.  Rock - me - hardplace. 

Personally, I feel that the ashes are not what the memorial, mass, and burial represent.  I feel that they are for the purpose of remembering the person not their remains.  I feel that my dad's spirit and soul are no longer with his body and will not be with his ashes once he is cremated, they are within each of us.  So, how long is too long?  If it will take another week to a week and half before he is cremated, do we just wait and tell all those calling that everything is pending or do we make the arrangements and hope the ashes will be in the urn but go through with the memorial, mass, and burial if they are not?
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7 years ago  ::  May 14, 2008 - 3:50PM #16
boodlebear
Posts: 1,053
I hate it for you that your dad died. I never knew mine; He died when I was 2 yrs. old.
When mom died her doctor was out sick and nothing could be done until he was well enough to sign.
The Catholic question you probably ought to ask a priest. As a layman, I'd say do what is right for your family. My niece died and her mother had a portrait of the young lady and her ashes were elsewhere. The girl's portrait was her Avatar, if you will.
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7 years ago  ::  May 14, 2008 - 10:26PM #17
comradesoul
Posts: 111
This plan sounds good to me. If not freeze dried then cremate the body and toss on the nearest bush or lawn. It's just a body and so once I am out of it why should i care if the ashes are sprinkled on the Himalayas or sent into space. Really it could be used for dig food for all I care. Anyway here is what is happening in Sweden.

Sweden's new funeral rite - bodies freeze-dried, powdered and made into tree mulch


By Kate Connolly in Berlin
Last Updated: 12:50am BST 29/09/2005


A town in Sweden plans to become the first place in the world where corpses will be disposed of by freeze-drying, as an environmentally friendly alternative to cremation or burial. Jonkoping, in southern Sweden, is to turn its crematorium into a so-called promatorium next year.
Swedes will then have the chance to bury their dead according to the pioneering method, which involves freezing the body, dipping it in liquid nitrogen and gently vibrating it to shatter it into powder. This is put into a small box made of potato or corn starch and placed in a shallow grave, where it will disintegrate within six to 12 months.
People are to be encouraged to plant a tree on the grave. It would feed off the compost formed from the body, to emphasise the organic cycle of life.


The national burial law is currently being updated to accommodate a practice that is expected to spread across the country over the next few years.
The technique was conceived by a Swedish biologist, Susanne Wiigh-Masak, 49, who said: "Mulching was nature's original plan for us, and that's what used to happen to us at the start of humanity - we went back into the soil.
"But we need to tell people in this day and age that this can once again be a dignified and comfortable option." According to Mrs Wiigh-Masak's method, which she has called "promession" - the promise to return to the earth what emerged from the earth - the dead body is frozen and dried, using liquid nitrogen.
A mechanical vibration then causes the body to fall apart within 60 seconds before a vacuum removes the water.
Then a metal separator picks out metals such as artificial hips and dental fillings.
Jonkoping's motivation for converting its crematorium into a promatorium is mainly practical. According to European environmental laws, it faced a multi-million pound bill for the installation at its 50-year-old crematorium of a new gas-cleaning system and furnace.
The alternative was the much cheaper conversion and a more environmentally friendly procedure.
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7 years ago  ::  May 15, 2008 - 6:22AM #18
boodlebear
Posts: 1,053
Fascinating scheme. As far as I know America doesn't have anything so brilliant as that. Still we do the best we can with what we have... We just need doctors to not get sick or drag their feet and sign the death certificates so we can "bury" our dead.
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7 years ago  ::  May 15, 2008 - 10:45AM #19
comradesoul
Posts: 111
[QUOTE=boodlebear;500742]Fascinating scheme. As far as I know America doesn't have anything so brilliant as that. Still we do the best we can with what we have... We just need doctors to not get sick or drag their feet and sign the death certificates so we can "bury" our dead.[/QUOTE]

Yeah I really like what these Swedes have come up with. In todays popular vernacular we could call it a green way to dispose of the corpse.

All these cemetaries should be turned in parks for the living. This whole idea of dressing the corpse up in a fancy suit or dress and performing various cosmetic procedures on it to make it look it's best, laying it in a padded coffin for comfort of all things( IT"S A CORPSE) and pretending the person is just asleep is rather bizarre IMO.

I am of the view that we change bodies just like we change clothes from day to day. I don't ceremoniously bury my old clothes, if there is still some good in them I give them to Goodwill so others can benefit from what's left.
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7 years ago  ::  May 15, 2008 - 7:25PM #20
boodlebear
Posts: 1,053
I know what you are saying.  I can see that. But for many of the living this is what they want to give as the only farewell present they can. Sometimes out of love and sometimes out of guilt. Others feel this is the last public appearance they will ever make and they want to look their best. All these desires are valid. It's their way of saying "good-bye".  Be kind, old bean.
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