So, I’ve been thinking about religion – especially since the comment discussion under Call me an animal, which led to some private email discussions, which were quite lovely.  Anyway, I think I’ve figured something out, and I realize this is a complete no-brainer to some, but it seems like the whole religion tension comes down to one thing – life after death.  For the faithful, the questioning, the nonfaithful, the angry, and those of all religions I can think of – this is the crux of the issue.  What will happen to me when I die?  I need to make sure I will be okay.

And this is exactly why I am free.  I’m not concerned about life after my death.  I have no need for salvation.  I’m just doing my best while I’m here.  It’s very important to me to do my best and be as ethical as I can.  However, I feel no need to prove myself to a higher being or be saved by one.  Myself and those who around me are all I expect to prove myself to and actually, I find that to be a pretty awesome responsibility.  All to often, I think religious people put their responsiblity to God before their responsibilities to each other, but that is another subject, which I don’t think I’ll be broaching any further.

I’ve been thinking about when I die, which I do as much as anyone else, I guess.  I was talking about it with Kimberly last night.  At one time, I wanted to be eaten by a tiger – you know, right back into the food chain.  Now, that’s reincarnation!  But, I don’t think it’s legal for someone to dump my body in a jungle.  Burial at sea doesn’t appeal to me, as I’m afraid of deep water and sea monsters (sharks, jellyfish, and the like).  I guess I want to become something that I like.  My current desire for my body is to be composted.  Human composting

consists of taking the corpse’s temperature to minus 321 Fahrenheit in a liquid-nitrogen bath and breaking the brittle body down into a rough powder through mechanical vibration.

The remains are then dehydrated and cleared of any metal, reducing a body weighing 165 pounds in life to 55 pounds of pink-beige powder, plus the remains of the coffin.

Then, my compost can be used to nourish some kind of plant.  I was thinking I’d like to become a white dogwood, but maybe a fruit tree.  Either way, I’d be back in the food chain – plant –> flowers –> bees –> pollen –> honey –> humans.  It wouldn’t be too long until I parts of me would be human again.  There’s something poetic about it.  Fruit tree – even faster, people would eat my apples.  Ooooooh, creepy.  Maybe it’s too quick a process?  I’m thinking the dogwood is the way to go. 

Unfortunately, right now human composting is only happening in Sweden, as far as I can tell.  I’m not sure what the big deal is.  It’s much more ecological than cremation.  I’m told there are some green cemetaries in the U.S., but even then you’re segregated.  I like the idea of cremation where people can make individualized plans for the ashes, but with composting the remains actually have some use.



8 Responses

  1. Hmmm, I like the composting idea too. I have always told Mike that I want to be cremated and have my ashes scattered at the Maroon Bells, a mountain range in Aspen that holds special meaning.

  2. LOVE the new blog look!! Cool!!!


  3. What about a pine box and then planting a tree on top of it? Eventually the roots will do the work of the composting for you…like the end of Wuthering Heights?

  4. Funny…. I just commented in detail on crazylady’s blog how I want to be handled when I die.
    THE man is stressed as he realizes he’ll have to win the lottery to afford it.
    With you on the sea burial… I’ll take a pass on that and cremation I think.

  5. Oh Gee, and I’m part Swedish! I guess that is where I need to be shipped back to…
    I want a burial after all my organs are removed and used for transplants. No open casket, of course, there will be nothing left.

    Someone said a huge woodchipper would be cool too. My peonies might actually bloom after that!

  6. Crazy Lady,
    Me too – I want to give up as many organs as are useful. Plus, I’d like to donate my brain to the Harvard Brain Bank for research (I just want to say I’m going to Harvard!). Then the rest can be composted and turned into a dogwood.

  7. Lookin good.
    Ya well, I mentioned before we are all just recycled into each other anyways,… bugs eat bodies animals eat bugs, we eat animals…. sounds logical to me.

  8. […] to what to do with my body after I die.  As you may know, I’m interested in having my body composted, but at this time it’s only done in Sweden as far as I know.  I’ve also looked into […]

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