When it comes to death, either we or our family has to decide what to do with the body. When I look at countries burying people in layers or like this Jewish Church in the Czech Republic, Kutna Hora, I find myself shaking my head. Link http://www.wayfaring.info/2007/06/09/a-unique-work-of-high-and-late... The same stuff happens in cemeteries. They'll double sell plots now. We stockpile people like cord wood in the ground, or in churches, but what's the end game? Just keep stacking? Why?

Religiously speaking a Jew isn't to be cremated. It's against tradition. Christians are waiting for Jesus to return and since it's going to happen any day now, you should be buried so that he can raise you up. But for Atheists, do any of us want to be buried? I have chosen donating my body to science (gotta finish that paperwork) and the remains will be cremated, not that I care what happens. If you have chosen burial, what drives you to that decision? If not, why not?

For me, I just fantasize that I might be able to add to a statistic understanding or scientific experiment and give a few organs to those in need.

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This is something that has been in the back of my mind for awhile. After attending my husband's father's funeral last weekend, I decided that defiantly do not want the type of funeral that he had. (The preacher, instead of speaking of his life, tried to make sure everyone in the room was saved- I saved  the congregation some time and did not speak up unfortunately.) I'd rather everyone just party in my honor!


Any who, a few years back, I visited the Human Body Exhibit while it was in Charlotte, NC. I was amazed at all the different ways they were able to "display" the human body. I would really like to be a part of that when I die. I've not been able to find a way to make this happen. If any one has any info, it would be greatly appreciated.

Sorry for the loss of your father-in-law. When my Dad died I performed the ceremony. I couldn't fathom the idea of someone getting up there and speaking about him in a way that didn't fit him. Religion certainly didn't fit him. So I got some laughs, some tears, and to talk about becoming star stuff again since this is but one stop on our journey, we just don't remember the before and after.

I don't think I would want someone outside of my family (much less a preacher) performing the ceremony when my parents pass. We are the ones that truly know them and are able to speak of them the way they would want to be spoken of.


Thank you very much for your comment. It's greatly appreciated. :)

Controversy about the writer Orson Scott Card aside, I thought his book Speaker for the Dead illustrated this concept brilliantly: the person making the speech before a group of mourners should at least know/research who s/he is referencing and speak to all (good and bad) of that person's life.


I recently read Mkes' Ways of Dying (fiction, South African novelist). The main character is a professional mourner. This goes in the other direction: someone there to wail, moan, and weep to rouse the intensity of the grieving. Strangely enough, I liked this idea too.

It's kind of creepy if you ask me but I would venture to say that most human bodies prior to burial ceremonies were consumed by other animals. It's like going back to our roots.
That is an excellent way to look at it and very well put!

Wikipedia: All the eyewitness accounts remarked on the fact that the rogyapas did not perform their task with gravity or ceremony, but rather talked and laughed as during any other type of physical labor.

While dismembering the body for consumption, people. Awesome.

That reminds me of the old Jewish Cemetery in Prague, where the graves are literally stacked on top of each other.  There's around 12,000 tombstones there.  Crazy people.


Death has never been a big thing for me, In the end I'm not really bothered what happens to my body after I die, as long as it's put to some good use.

I have only one stipulation tho; absolutely no religious involvement.

Ultimately we'll all eventually return to be part of the universe, 'stardust' so to speak.

I've never understood why some feel the drive to be buried with their families like this. If you believe in Heaven, the location here means nothing. If you are a non-believer, you don't picture an afterlife. So who are... these people?
My family members. :-/

I want to be cremated and have my ashes buried in the soil where a tree is planted.  this way I will be "one with the tree" so to speak.  not in a reincarnation way, but in a symbolic way where my descendants/family can come to  visit me, instead of a cement tomb stone.


if not a tree, something of that nature.  know what I mean?

I find it interesting that virtually every person on this thread said they wanted to donate whatever they could. Can you imagine if this was just as common amongst theists? We wouldn't have the horrific organ donor shortages as we do now.


Anyway, at death I would also like to donate whatever organs and body parts are still usable. And while donating the rest to science for med school studies is a good thing, I learned after my mother died that it also means being 'preserved' with all of the chemicals, similar to what is done in preparation for burial.


Likewise, cremation is harder on the environment than one would think.


I am encouraged by the rising popularity of "green" burials, some version of natural decomp, and have expressed a preference for this if available.


More than anything, though, I've told my family I do not want them spending a bunch of money disposing of my remains. Whatever is the least expensive method is fine by me.


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