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What do you want done with your body when you die?

medussamedussa Posts: 12,993Registered Users
Have you given it any thought?

I remember after my father-in-law's wake, a relative of his said, "I don't want any of that. When I die, throw me in the oven." She was very matter-of-fact about it. I laughed when she said it, as it took me by surprise. I guess I always took it for granted that I'd have the open casket, with my loved ones around me. But I'm starting to think differently these days.

With funeral expenses being what they are these days, I'm wondering if it makes sense to pay upwards of $10K for something that won't matter to me after I'm gone. The funeral would be for my friends and family. Do I really want my family to put so much money into something that will be over in a couple of days?

Maybe my family can bring my ashes home and have everyone come for a gathering, where they can reminisce over some good food and drinks.

What would you want?
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Comments

  • MoppyTMoppyT Posts: 998Registered Users
    Take what can be salvaged for whoever needs it. Light a match to the rest. I'm done with it.

    No special requests for my ashes that I can think of right now.
    The best revenge is living well. The second best revenge is fire ants.
  • EilonwyEilonwy Posts: 12,389Registered Users
    I'd like a Jewish burial (plain shroud, no embalming or anything, closed-casket, simple coffin that's biodegradable if local laws allow it).

    That's what I'd want even if I weren't Jewish.
  • ninja dogninja dog Posts: 23,780Registered Users
    If the composting of humans hasn't become common by the time I die (it's available in Sweden, last I read), just put me in a pine box with the ashes of my dogs.

    (I'd actually prefer birch but I don't know......seems too fussy, you know? Defeats the purpose.)
  • SariaSaria Posts: 15,963Registered Users
    Harvested for any usable organs. Then cremate me. Do whatever you want with the ashes — no need to be all reverent about them. :p

    Actually, what ninja said about composting sounds great. I'd take that over cremation.
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  • MichelleBFTMichelleBFT Posts: 4,812Registered Users
    Organ donation, first and foremost. Anything that's salvageable should be used to help others.

    After that, well, I like the phrasing "light a match."

    I would like some kind of memorial, only because when a friend of mine died in high school, he was buried in his home country. I never had a place to go to grieve, and that was extremely difficult for me in the months after he was gone. I feel like it'd have been easier if there had been somewhere I could go that represented him, but there was no memorial, his parents sold the house, and before long it was as though he'd never been there, save our memories.

    So, I'd like to have some kind of memorial-- a tree with a plaque, a stone, something, somewhere. Just so people would have a place to go that connected them to me, if they wanted.
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  • MysticSpiralMysticSpiral Posts: 1,024Registered Users
    Cull the organs and burn the rest. Toss off a ledge of your choice. I don't see the point of doing anything else.
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  • xcptnlxcptnl Posts: 15,678Registered Users
    The cheapest thing that can be done. My moms cremation and calling hours costs are about $5k. We will be having a memorial in the summer. 1/2 of her ashes.will be spread at her house and the other 1/2 buried next to.her family in a family cemetary.

    So I would say now I want to be cremated and do whatever with my ashes.
    Central Massachusetts

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  • Parissy198907Parissy198907 Posts: 479Registered Users
    ninja dog wrote: »
    If the composting of humans hasn't become common by the time I die (it's available in Sweden, last I read), just put me in a pine box with the ashes of my dogs.

    (I'd actually prefer birch but I don't know......seems too fussy, you know? Defeats the purpose.)

    Mary Roach fan?

    My organs will be harvested; my family can do whatever they wish with my remains.
    14905839.png
  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,258Registered Users
    Dear Family,

    Wrap me in plain cotton or linen (get it from the sale rack at JoAnn fabric) and put me in the ground...no box, no cement tomb. Just dirt. A headstone would be OK. Do not pay a funeral home for embalming or preparation or transportation or visitation. Nuthin! If you feel people must visit, then lay me out in the living room and have a little goodbye-wake in the house. Serve plenty of liquore, please. Drive me to the green cemetary in the back of the family SUV...DO NOT pay for a funeral home limo...permission to transport dead folks is usually required from the local board of health, but you really CAN transport your own dead. If you can possibly swing it with the township, feel free to bury me in the backyard. Way back in the wooded area, if the roots aren't too difficult to get through.

    I don't want to be cremated, because I think the process is too polluting to the environment and uses too many carbon resources. I think the Swedish composting method is a bit resource heavy too. I'll just have to live (haha) with the guilt of possibly polluting ground water with my rotting flesh in the ground. If it was good enough for dinosaurs and early humans, it's good enough for me.

    And, please, for the love of all that is holy, do not waste your time saying prayers or church dogma junk about me. I don't need it, and, if I've raised my children right, they won't need the comfort of an imaginary god-world. Lean on each other and laugh about the good times. I'm happy to take the blame for most things...but please try to be forgiving of my mistakes. I didn't make them on purpose.

    Love,
    Mom
  • nynaeve77nynaeve77 Posts: 7,135Registered Users
    I'm an organ donor. I'd like to be cremated and my ashes sprinkled somewhere pretty after a memorial service with my family and friends. I definitely do NOT want an open casket funeral. Those give me the wiggins.
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  • EilonwyEilonwy Posts: 12,389Registered Users
    put me in the ground...no box, no cement tomb. Just dirt.
    I don't know if you've looked into this, but in a lot of places it's against the law to do this. It raises public health concerns.

    Totally unrelated: Despite being millions and millions of dollars in debt to the federal government, Nicolas Cage recently had a 7ft tall pyramid constructed in a New Orleans cemetery to serve as his tomb. It's incredibly stupid but also pretty bad*ss.
  • PartyHairPartyHair Posts: 7,713Registered Users
    Give my body to science, then cremate or bury the remains - whatever the med school does (at my school, they bury the remains in a special plot set aside for that purpose. They have a service to honor the deceased a couple times a year, inviting the families and friends).


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  • curlyarcacurlyarca Posts: 8,449Registered Users
    My dad wants to be wrapped in linen and put in a tree.

    Everyone's different.

    I would be ok with being dumped in the ocean to decompose. Probably the northern Pacific, that seems relatively quiet. Don't think I'd want to be cremated, though.

    "In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer."

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  • legendslegends Posts: 3,073Registered Users
    Donate my organs and then either cremate me or bury me. But absolutely NO embalming.

    It's really the choice of who I leave behind, I guess, but I wouldn't leave a cent to cover funeral costs. If they want it, they'll have to pay for it.
    Eres o te haces?
  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,258Registered Users
    Eilonwy wrote: »
    put me in the ground...no box, no cement tomb. Just dirt.
    I don't know if you've looked into this, but in a lot of places it's against the law to do this. It raises public health concerns.



    Of course I've looked into it. You are mistaken...most states do NOT have requirements to use boxes or vaults, or embalming either. Those are usually the requirement of the individual cemetaries. Some cemetaries are designating green spaces in recent years though and you can bury with or without a biodegradable box. You can bury in your backyard too, IF you don't have any local ordinances against it. You have to be aware that it may lower your property value though, because once buried, a body cannot be dug up without a court order, and most people don't want to buy a house with bodies in the spot where they might want to put in a pool. Most states only require 4 or 5 feet from the top of the body for burial, some require boxes, some don't. I don't think any require concrete vaults. Don't let the lies of the funeral industry fool you.

    Caring for Your Own Dead by Lisa Carlson is a good book on the topic that lists laws, state by state.

    Amazon.com: Caring for Your Own Dead: Final Act of Love (9780942679199): Lisa Carlson: Books
  • medussamedussa Posts: 12,993Registered Users
    PartyHair wrote: »
    Give my body to science, then cremate or bury the remains - whatever the med school does (at my school, they bury the remains in a special plot set aside for that purpose. They have a service to honor the deceased a couple times a year, inviting the families and friends).


    Sent from my iPhone using CurlTalk.

    I was speaking to someone at the pool the other day and he told me his MIL's body was donated for scientific research (she had MS) and her body was cremated at no cost to the family.
  • irociroc Posts: 7,890Registered Users
    I'd like an open casket funeral, because I think it's important to see the person in death to grieve.

    I'd like after the funeral to be held at my home. I'd much rather friends and family gather there than a restaurant or 'hall' which seems to cold and impersonal.

    Then I'd like to be cremated and half my ashes kept by my family, and half of them spread around a secluded location, on a lake, in New England. I haven't been to said location, but I have it pictured in my mind if I ever see it.

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  • murrrcatmurrrcat Posts: 9,596Registered Users
    I would like to give my organs to science, then stuff my body and use me as a driving buddy...
    tumblr_mji9u1Fwza1rh1wv4o1_500.jpg
  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,258Registered Users
    iroc wrote: »
    I'd like an open casket funeral, because I think it's important to see the person in death to grieve.



    I agree. I think it's very important to look at our loved ones dead. It gives a note of needed reality and really does help in the grieving process.
  • *Marah**Marah* Posts: 8,032Registered Users
    Proper Jewish burial. No more..no less.
    tumblr_m9jonzYZmu1re7hjjo1_250.jpg
  • jeepcurlygurljeepcurlygurl Posts: 19,234Registered Users Curl Dabbler
    My plans are all in writing and my sister and ex have a copy and know exactly what to do. Use any organs or anything else that can be used. Then I'll be cremated and my ashes will be thrown in my favorite lake, which flows into my favorite crick, which makes it's way to the Mississippi and the ocean.
    No religious services, no casket, no embalming, no funeral home services of any kind other than the actual cremation, no funeral, no headstone. If family or friends want to get together for a meal, that would be fine.
    My favorite local cemetery that is known for it's 1000's of rhododendrons and other beautiful trees sells small memorial stones that you can have placed under one of the trees with your name on it. I might get one of those.
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  • midgimidgi Posts: 2,409Registered Users
    I think I would want to be donated to science. If not then, perhaps cremated. I know I don't want to be buried in the ground and left to rot with bugs on me and whatnot. I'd rather be reduced to ashes, and possibly sprinkled over a meadow or dissolved in bubbles or thrown into a breeze.
    I just want to do what I want to do when I want to do it.
  • NetGNetG Posts: 8,116Registered Users
    MoppyT wrote: »
    Take what can be salvaged for whoever needs it. Light a match to the rest. I'm done with it.

    No special requests for my ashes that I can think of right now.

    Pretty much.

    I dislike open casket. When you're gone, you are out of there - and the idea of looking at the dead body you're not part of anymore just icks me out. It could be cultural for me, though, from Jewish funerals, so I certainly wouldn't condemn others for it.

    One thing I love in Jewish tradition is the burying of the body by those who loved the individual. For me that helped in the release and realization that there was no one there. I would like to be able to help health/science/learning as much as possible after I'm gone, but beyond that I hope taking care of my body is a burden to no one, and they do whatever helps them - I'm all for cremation and use the ashes as fertilizer, but if they need an actual burial, just don't spend much.
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  • Jess the MessJess the Mess Posts: 5,844Registered Users
    Cremate me and spread my ashes in the ocean. Have a memorial if you want. Having gone through my late husband's huge military burial at 22 it had a huge impact. Most of the family decided at that point we didn't want to put that on our families emotionally. Since then we have done small memorials after cremation.

    I also encourage people to have at least a small amount of life insurance so other family members don't have to be burdened with those expenses.


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  • NarniaNarnia Posts: 1,770Registered Users
    RCW your matter-of-fact-ness is cracking me up! Love it!


    Sent from my "smart" phone, 'scuse crazy typos.
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  • anonymous_103081anonymous_103081 Posts: 492Registered Users
    murrrcat wrote: »
    I would like to give my organs to science, then stuff my body and use me as a driving buddy...

    ROFL. Driving buddy. Ahahahaha I just burst into laughter.

    I'd want my family to do whatever they felt to do. Harvest my organs and throw me somewhere, or light a match, whatever. I'll leave a nice chunk of change to cover whatever costs my family accrue.
    25", hennahead, CO, goal: hip
  • xcptnlxcptnl Posts: 15,678Registered Users
    I always tell my friend we are going to stuff her and bring her everywhere with us.


    Sent from my iPhone using CurlTalk. Siri may be typing for me.
    Central Massachusetts

    One good reason to only maintain a small circle of friends is that three out of four murders are committed by people who know the victim. ~George Carlin~

    In regards to Vagazzling: They just want to get into the goods without worrying about getting scratched up by fake crystals. ~spring1onu~
  • spiderlashes5000spiderlashes5000 Posts: 17,495Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    I'm more concerned w/ what happens right before I die, i.e., can I receive last rites from a priest or at least, can I confess and atone for any recent sins...and at best, can I try to seek forgiveness from people I've offended?

    Beyond that, it really would be up to my children/family...whatever would ease their grief the most.

    It's only a vessel.

  • LAwomanLAwoman Posts: 2,949Registered Users
    Use my organs if they will benefit somebody else. Then cremation.
  • BekkaPooBekkaPoo Posts: 3,861Registered Users
    Cremation and a non-religious memorial service with close friends and any surviving family..nothing fancy. Oh, and a tree planted over my ashes. I don't think I need any brass plates or stone markers.
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