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BS: A question about death (embalming)

gnu 28 Nov 16 - 10:26 PM
Janie 29 Nov 16 - 12:13 AM
Janie 29 Nov 16 - 12:37 AM
Joe Offer 29 Nov 16 - 01:20 AM
Ebbie 29 Nov 16 - 03:08 AM
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Subject: BS: A question about death (embalming)
From: gnu
Date: 28 Nov 16 - 10:26 PM

Why? Why embalm... cut the femoral artery and pump them full of embalming fluid? Why sew their lips and eyes shut? Why put makeup on them? Why display their corpse for a few days? It seems to me that such is a defilement of the human body. And for what? You live a lifetime and someone makes money off this grotesque ritual?

Oh, they look peaceful. Yeah, right. They had no choice.


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Subject: RE: BS: A question about death (embalming)
From: Janie
Date: 29 Nov 16 - 12:13 AM

I don't judge anyone's choice, be they the choices elected by the individual before death, or the choices of family members as they deal with their bereavement to the best of their internal and external resources.


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Subject: RE: BS: A question about death (embalming)
From: Janie
Date: 29 Nov 16 - 12:37 AM

My older sister, who died at age 42 from breast cancer, with 2 young children, fought the reality of her dying almost until her dying breath. She was adamant that she did not want cremated and also did not want buried below ground. That thought terrified her.

We followed her wishes. She was embalmed and later her body was interred in an above ground vault. Our extended family is emotionally close and geographically widely scattered and it took 3-4 days for all of them to get home. She was embalmed, there was a very well attended, open casket visitation 3 days after she died, and a standing room only funeral on day 4 at the church. It meant a lot to my parents, helped her kids accept she was dead, and also meant much to the over 350 people who attended the visitation and/or her funeral. In the meantime, there was no smell of rotting flesh.

My Dad donated his body to the human gift registry. His body was seriously embalmed to preserve it until medical students at WVU were finished with it several months later. His body was whisked from the house very soon after he died, never to be seen by family members again. Eventually what was left of his remains were cremated and reside, along with the ashes of many others, in a memorial vault on the campus of the medical school at WVU.

My own recommendation to my family is to have me cremated as the least expensive option then do what they want with the ashes. I also have made clear that if my son for any reason isn't comfortable with that, he should follow his own heart and needs that he believes, when the time comes, will help him to best come to terms with the reality of my death.

While I like the idea of either being buried quickly, unembalmed in a pine box somewhere that my body might fertilize the land, or of my ashes being added to a compost pile or spooned into the planting hole of plants that benefit from bone meal, I am much more concerned about what those left behind might prefer, since once I'm dead, I'm dead and not worried about it.


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Subject: RE: BS: A question about death (embalming)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Nov 16 - 01:20 AM

On my circuit of the U.S. the last three months, I spent three days exploring Springfield, Illinois. I learned a lot about Lincoln there. Lincoln was assassinated on Good Friday, April 15, 1865. He was taken by train to his hometown of Springfield, Illinois - with several stops for public viewings along the way. He arrived in Springfield May 3. There were supposed to be three days of viewing in Springfield. By then, Lincoln's body was badly deteriorated, so the burial was moved up to May 4.
One museum exhibit explained that the "science" (?) of embalming was new at the time, and Lincoln's funeral did much to make embalming popular.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: A question about death (embalming)
From: Ebbie
Date: 29 Nov 16 - 03:08 AM

"Embalming was new at the time"- we were just a little behind the times- roughly 3,000 years.


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