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Phil's Rambling Rants
August 28th, 2008
03:22 pm


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Cremation vs. Burial
So ericcoleman asks "Cremation or Burial", and I figure I'll post my reply here as well as just leaving it as a comment.

The only thing really appealing about cremation is the possibility of having bits of my ashes spread in multiple places that matter to me.

There is, however, nothing whatsoever the least bit appealing about being buried in a sealed casket and burial vault. Return me to the world, even if you must reduce me pretty much to atoms first.

Feed me to tigers. Leave my carcass on a mountaintop for the vultures. Make Soylent Green and have a party. Cremate me as a last resort. But don't bury me unless you really need to show how much you hate me -- and if the feeling is mutual I'll come back to haunt you.


(5 comments | Leave a comment)

Date:August 28th, 2008 08:37 pm (UTC)


Are you familiar with a song by John Prine (title quite likely "Don't Bury Me")? I am tempted to quote the chorus, although Prine has not given me permission to do so and I don't want him to google for his own name and find out that I quoted without permission. (Unlikely but not impossible.) I do know that this song is a powerful argument for being an organ donor (I am listed as one -- not sure how badly my diabetes will mess this up even as a possibility) although the song is also screamingly funny. Life is a song cue; songkew very much.

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Date:August 28th, 2008 08:47 pm (UTC)

Re: Burial

I think it's "Please Don't Bury Me", and I am quite familiar with it. Oddly enough, I'd known it for years as just a silly song before it actually penetrated that it's about organ donation.

I can't say I'm a big Prine fan -- I haven't listened to his albums -- but based on a number of songs that I know are his that I've encountered over the years, I know he's a damn fine songwriter.
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Date:August 28th, 2008 09:24 pm (UTC)
I'm flashing back to my ex's grandmother's funeral. They rubberized her with embalming fluid, and sealed her up into this monstrous stainless-steel can with blue anodized trim, and stuck the whole abomination against nature in the ground. Jeeze, I didn't even know they made caskets that weren't biodegradable.

As for me, since there aren't any carnivores I really want to feed, cremate me, and toss the ashes in a dumpster behind Walmart. Let them pay for the disposal.

If anyone wants to something respectful, leave out the rotting meat or the charred bone fragments.
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Date:August 28th, 2008 10:05 pm (UTC)

Re: Cremation vs. Burial

i don't really care, except in a philosophical way. i mean, i'll be dead, and i have no belief in any part of "me" hanging around after death and watching the proceedings.

but in a philosophical sense, i'm with you. feed me to the fishes, or feed my ashes to the plants; i like the idea of returning to the life cycle, and find elbalming gross and counter-life. that shell is just meat, it needn't be venerated and protected.

my dream funeral (*heh*) would be a viking one -- send me out in a boat set on fire.
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Date:August 29th, 2008 02:32 am (UTC)
"Forest Lawn" vs "Send Me to Glory in a Glad Bag".

The Viking Funeral also sounds good: and we've got a good sized pond on the family land in MS. Now all I need is a wooden jonboat...
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