Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Where Do You Want to Spend Eternity?

It's always been my dream to work at a crematorium. Since I'm not likely to get my wish (due to a misunderstanding in Grand Forks), this post is probably the closest I'll get until I pass on. Yes, I plan to be cremated once all the life in this body is gone. Cremation rates have steadily gone up over the past couple decades. Since it's your body, it up to you to decide if you'd prefer it to be burned to a crisp or slowly decompose over many decades. I prefer cremation since I'm a cut-to-the-chase kinda guy and think the whole casket and burial thing is too much too macabre and Edgar Allen Poe-ish.



I would prefer that my ashes be disposed of, not kept in a urn or some crap like that. I've often kidded that I wouldn't mind if they were thrown into the cat's litter box.

I've been to a number of cemeteries over the years and one thing I've noticed is the silence. One, in particular, had tons of trees, but I was unable to hear a single bird. Wonder if they know enough to stay away. Burial might be fine for some people, but I can't say I like the way it's presently done. I think caskets should be made in such a way that over time they decompose (just like the body inside). In that way, the remains are actually incorporated back into the earth as opposed to being encumbered by a box needlessly protecting it from the elements.

Many prefer to be buried for religious reasons. Quite a number of faiths teach that since the body will one day be resurrected, you should keep it in as good a condition as possible, especially after death. Problem is, if you look at a body just a few months postmortem, you'll see there's not much left to resurrect.

This Halloween, as you dance and drink at your favorite cemetery (I'll be roasting marshmallows at Fawcett's Crematorium), ponder for a moment if that is where you truly wish to spend your un-bodied days.

14 comments:

Stephanie said...

"It's always been my dream to work at a crematorium."
Okay, I must admit, this fascinates me about you in some weird way!

"Since I'm not likely to get my wish (due to a misunderstanding in Grand Forks)"
THIS, I want to hear more about!

"Yes, I plan to be cremated once all the life in this body is gone."
I too share this feeling. I would like to donate what organs are of use and burn the rest. We spread my dad's ashes in St. John, exactly where he picked.

" ... but I was unable to hear a single bird. Wonder if they know enough to stay away."
Look at what happens before a storm. The birds are GONE! If we merely start paying attention to the signs around us, we would be better off. Heh ... my skewed view, at least.

"This Halloween, as you dance and drink at your favorite cemetery (I'll be roasting marshmallows at Fawcett's Crematorium), ponder for a moment if that is where you truly wish to spend your un-bodied days."
You aren't 'planning' a near departure, are you? Don't make me catch a flight up there to save your a$$! ;)

xo.s

Thomas said...

Alright, let me address your concerns one by one:

Why would I like working in a crematorium? Well, I like to work independently and feel it would give me a chance to work with the kind of cool people that populated HBO's series "Six Feet Under".

The Grand Forks thing was a joke (don't take anything I put in parenthesis seriously).

I forgot about organ donation. Thanks for the reminder.

No, I'm not planning to leave this mortal coil anytime soon (especially with W. almost outta here). I was just thinking about these things as I lay in bed last night.

Stephanie said...

Thomas!!! :) Why are you up right now? I'm glad but isn't it a school night?

(Don't take anything I say outside of parenthesis seriously!) lol

I work my best independently, so I can definitely relate! I LOVED Six Feet Under! Not as much as Oz (did you watch that) but still.

No prob bob, that's what I'm here for. I don't know what the laws are but don't forget to tell the ones you love, who will be taking care of your final wishes, that you indeed want to donate your organs. Here in Texas, it's not good enough to just put it on the back of your driver's license.

Thank God, because I was going to have to kick your a$$ BEFORE saving you! Or, save you then kick your a$$, then save you again. ;)

Rocketstar said...

Cremation is the way to go for sure.

Coconut said...

What if you have a bizarre death and years later they need to exhume your body to find out how you died?

disestablishingpuritanism said...

Yeah, I'd prefer the same treatment or donate my body to science, so I can come back like Sylvester Stallone in "Demolition Man" or "Austin Powers" either one. I had to write a 15-20 page paper when I was an English major before I switched again on Edgar. It was based on his poem "Alone." When you delve into his life and read up on periodicals, yes, he was terrified of death but also had a romanticized vision of it. He had an ambiguity to him particularly over the female corpse. Yes, he was frightened to see himself in that role, but he also saw the beauty of the peacefulness and serenity of the female corpse at rest among all the unrest around him.

Thomas said...

Stephanie, I love staying up late (it gives me the opportunity to refresh fivethirtyeight.com every 90 seconds).

I've watched some "Oz" here and there, but it's a tad brutal for me (not to mention claustrophobic). Does "Prison Break" count?

Thanks for the tip on donating. I wonder if it's possible to somehow donate my organs to the Obama campaign (or perhaps Ron Paul).

Rocket, I love it when people agree with me.

Coconut, good question. If there's some funny business involved with my demise, I plan to visit a Ghost Whisperer and give her (well, hopefully her) the 411.

PJ, interesting info on Poe. When I go to the crematorium on Friday night, I'm gonna bring a book of his works with me.

Timothy Smith said...

I told my family I want to have my organs donated and my body cremated. I am amazed how much this costs as I paid to have my great aunt cremated (after she died of course). All together it was 2,000. We buried her ashes in an urn at her mothers grave as she requested.

I want my ashes scattered in the mighty Columbia River (I could care less if its illegal, I am not that toxic!)Yes Tom, that's in Oregon of course!

Ok, here is where it gets a little weird. I collect my past pets! Yep, each one has been cremated and I still have them! I want them to be scatter along with my ashes when I pass on.

Everyone in our family was forced to think about such things as over half of our family has died off in recent years.

Great post for Halloween.

Brian said...

Very unique dream. :)

I want to be cremated as well. I know it's cheaper and really just want a short and quick ceremony.

Here's how it should go.....His life was good and now it's over. This is how he wanted to do it. Then Will Ferell will sing Dust in the Wind and have a nice dinner. :)

poordori said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Thomas said...

Tim, $2,000 is nothin' to sneeze at, but a full burial would've cost much more.

The mighty Columbia, huh? Sounds like a plan to me.

Both of my prior pets were also cremated, but I didn't want to keep what was left (I do have some hair left over from both dogs, however).

Brian, love the Will Ferrell reference. He was great as Dubya on last Thursday's "SNL" (one of my favorite performances by him was in 2005's "Wedding Crashers").

poordori said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Melvin Udall said...

Imagine if they found a cure for death... only you choose cremation??

Thomas said...

Melvin, good question. I actually believe in the hereafter, so won't be concerned about my body once I'm gone.