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BS: Burial or Cremation?

bobad 22 Sep 06 - 07:34 PM
Charmain 22 Sep 06 - 07:18 PM
The Villan 22 Sep 06 - 07:17 PM
Charmain 22 Sep 06 - 05:40 PM
Little Hawk 22 Sep 06 - 05:28 PM
Charmain 22 Sep 06 - 05:24 PM
Ebbie 19 Jun 06 - 11:32 PM
Rapparee 19 Jun 06 - 10:08 PM
jeffp 19 Jun 06 - 09:35 PM
Ebbie 19 Jun 06 - 09:00 PM
GUEST, Topsie 19 Jun 06 - 04:40 PM
Ebbie 19 Jun 06 - 02:37 PM
Rapparee 19 Jun 06 - 02:28 PM
GUEST,Mike Salisbury 19 Jun 06 - 09:58 AM
jacqui.c 19 Jun 06 - 07:40 AM
Rapparee 18 Jun 06 - 10:08 PM
frogprince 18 Jun 06 - 04:23 PM
JennyO 18 Jun 06 - 11:44 AM
JennyO 18 Jun 06 - 11:44 AM
JennyO 18 Jun 06 - 11:41 AM
JennyO 18 Jun 06 - 11:38 AM
frogprince 17 Jun 06 - 10:52 PM
Rapparee 17 Jun 06 - 06:48 PM
Bat Goddess 17 Jun 06 - 01:00 PM
kendall 17 Jun 06 - 07:48 AM
Wilfried Schaum 17 Jun 06 - 04:37 AM
number 6 17 Jun 06 - 01:01 AM
Desert Dancer 17 Jun 06 - 12:50 AM
Rapparee 16 Jun 06 - 11:23 PM
bbc 16 Jun 06 - 10:54 PM
jeffp 16 Jun 06 - 10:34 PM
Rapparee 16 Jun 06 - 02:28 PM
JennyO 16 Jun 06 - 01:40 PM
Scoville 16 Jun 06 - 09:49 AM
Rapparee 16 Jun 06 - 09:35 AM
JohnInKansas 16 Jun 06 - 02:16 AM
Little Hawk 15 Jun 06 - 10:57 PM
Rapparee 15 Jun 06 - 10:41 PM
tarheel 15 Jun 06 - 10:05 PM
Scoville 15 Jun 06 - 11:41 AM
Little Hawk 15 Jun 06 - 11:39 AM
Rapparee 15 Jun 06 - 11:17 AM
Mooh 15 Jun 06 - 09:39 AM
Rapparee 15 Jun 06 - 08:54 AM
GUEST,catsPHiddle@work 15 Jun 06 - 07:25 AM
The PA 15 Jun 06 - 05:50 AM
The Villan 15 Jun 06 - 04:06 AM
GUEST, Topsie 15 Jun 06 - 04:02 AM
Paul Burke 15 Jun 06 - 04:00 AM
Mooh 15 Jun 06 - 12:10 AM
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Subject: RE: BS: Burial or Cremation?
From: bobad
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 07:34 PM

I wish you a joyful scattering.


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Subject: RE: BS: Burial or Cremation?
From: Charmain
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 07:18 PM

My thoughts are with you Villan


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Subject: RE: BS: Burial or Cremation?
From: The Villan
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 07:17 PM

Cremation for me dad on Monday. Then the ashes scattered.


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Subject: RE: BS: Burial or Cremation?
From: Charmain
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 05:40 PM

HeeHee - nice one Little Hawk!


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Subject: RE: BS: Burial or Cremation?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 05:28 PM

Is it possible to be preserved inside a large tin sardine can? If so, I should give it serious consideration. This would enable my reincarnated soul to someday have a good laugh at the expense of my discarded, yet well-preserved present bodily housing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Burial or Cremation?
From: Charmain
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 05:24 PM

Claiming my right as promulgator of this thread I am performing something of an exhumation!!!
Its the anniversary of the death of my dear friend who inspired me to ask the question in the first place - funny, I read the comments which in the majority seemed to opt for donation then cremation - I was backing all of them until today, when, feeling very brave, I visited my friend's grave.
I wasn't looking forward to it but felt it was something I had to do and, if I'm honest, found that sitting on the grass by her side was comforting in a way I had not expected.
Running my fingers over the moss and through the grass I disturbed a wee wiggly earth-dwelling creature and thought... Food for worms Lass thats what we are - Food for worms - its into a cotton bag and under a tree for me!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Burial or Cremation?
From: Ebbie
Date: 19 Jun 06 - 11:32 PM

JeffP, this is the quote I was disputing: "these days all bodies were embalmed before burial." That sentence is very far off the mark.


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Subject: RE: BS: Burial or Cremation?
From: Rapparee
Date: 19 Jun 06 - 10:08 PM

More than one or two religious communities such as Islam, orthodox Jews, and the Amish do not embalm. Catholicism doesn't require it, and as far as I know no Protestant church does either. Now, I'm speaking of the US, where widespread embalming has been a CULTURAL phenomena only since the Civil War (and I'm not speaking to epidemics, interstete transportation of bodies, or any of that -- just when you die and are buried in the community where you died).

The husband of a friend died when they were in Switzerland. She had to pay $6,000 (this was twenty years or more ago) to ship him back to the US (Irish-American family, cremation was out of the question); if he'd been cremated he'd have ridden for free.


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Subject: RE: BS: Burial or Cremation?
From: jeffp
Date: 19 Jun 06 - 09:35 PM

In some states, he may be. Maryland used to require embalming, even for people who were to be cremated. That is no longer the case, though it took a few lawsuits to accomplish that, as I remember.

Jeff


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Subject: RE: BS: Burial or Cremation?
From: Ebbie
Date: 19 Jun 06 - 09:00 PM

That undertaker was not correct, as quoted.


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Subject: RE: BS: Burial or Cremation?
From: GUEST, Topsie
Date: 19 Jun 06 - 04:40 PM

I once saw a television programme about people who were afraid of being accidentally buried when they were still alive.
They had an undertaker to reassure viewers - he said that there was no need to worry because these days all bodies were embalmed before burial.

Now to me, the thought of regaining consciousness and finding that you are being embalmed is A LOT MORE SCARY than the thought of waking up and finding that you have been buried.


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Subject: RE: BS: Burial or Cremation?
From: Ebbie
Date: 19 Jun 06 - 02:37 PM

Preserved - But Not What You'd Call Pretty


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Subject: RE: BS: Burial or Cremation?
From: Rapparee
Date: 19 Jun 06 - 02:28 PM

If you can get them to admit it, embalmers will tell you that embalming only lasts a few days -- long enough for the family viewing, etc. When that lid is closed and you're lowered down the decay has alread set in.


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Subject: RE: BS: Burial or Cremation?
From: GUEST,Mike Salisbury
Date: 19 Jun 06 - 09:58 AM

There is a web resource called Forest of Memories that provides information and resources supporting the natural burial movement in North America.

Forest of Memories provides a comprehensive list of existing and proposed natural burial grounds in both Canada and the USA, a natural burial research library and information about caskets, shrouds and biodegradable urns.

In association with the Green Burial Council , Forest of Memories is seeking public consultation to help develop standards and principles to help guide the development of natural burial grounds in North America.

If you are interested in this burial option please visit Natural Burial Standards and Certification Information Page and fill out the consumer questionnaire.


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Subject: RE: BS: Burial or Cremation?
From: jacqui.c
Date: 19 Jun 06 - 07:40 AM

I've already told my family that they should dispose of me in the cheapest way possible. As I have had cancer my parts can't be harvested but I cannot see the point of preserving by embalming what will simply be a carcass that, by the very nature of things, should decay, releasing the energies to be recycled. I would go for cremation, although the comment about the release of mercury does give cause for concern. What the family does with my ashes really doesn't concern me.

I would like my family, on both sides of the Pond, to arrange a celebration of my life rather than a memorial. I reckon that I have had a good life and done a lot of the things that I wanted to (and a few I hadn't even contemplated before they happened). Lots of song and a goodly amount of the falling down water would be the best memrial I could think of.


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Subject: RE: BS: Burial or Cremation?
From: Rapparee
Date: 18 Jun 06 - 10:08 PM

I'd sing "Isn't It Grand, Boys" with you Jenny, but every time I do sing that a relative or someone like that dies. (Not from my singing!)


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Subject: RE: BS: Burial or Cremation?
From: frogprince
Date: 18 Jun 06 - 04:23 PM

Hadn't heard those (at least I hadn't) on this side of the pond, Jenny; Love 'em, thank you!


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Subject: RE: BS: Burial or Cremation?
From: JennyO
Date: 18 Jun 06 - 11:44 AM

It's the coffin they carry you off in.

Oh, by the way - 100!


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Subject: RE: BS: Burial or Cremation?
From: JennyO
Date: 18 Jun 06 - 11:44 AM

..and remember, it's not the cough that carries you off -


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Subject: RE: BS: Burial or Cremation?
From: JennyO
Date: 18 Jun 06 - 11:41 AM

..and this one:

Look at the coffin,
with golden handles
Isn't it grand, boys, to be bloody-well dead?

Let's not have a sniffle,
let's have a bloody-good cry
And always remember: The longer you live
The sooner you'll bloody-well die!

Look at the flowers,
all bloody withered
Isn't it grand, boys, to be bloody-well dead?

Let's not have a sniffle,
let's have a bloody-good cry
And always remember: The longer you live
The sooner you'll bloody-well die!

Look at the mourners,
bloody-great hypocrites
Isn't it grand, boys, to be bloody-well dead?

Let's not have a sniffle,
let's have a bloody-good cry
And always remember: The longer you live
The sooner you'll bloody-well die!

Look at the preacher,
bloody sanctimonious
Isn't it grand, boys, to be bloody-well dead?

Let's not have a sniffle,
let's have a bloody-good cry
And always remember: The longer you live
The sooner you'll bloody-well die!

Look at the widow,
bloody-great female
Isn't it grand, boys, to be bloody-well dead?

Let's not have a sniffle,
let's have a bloody-good cry
And always remember: The longer you live
The sooner you'll bloody-well die!

And always remember: The longer you live...
The sooner you'll bloody-well die!


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Subject: RE: BS: Burial or Cremation?
From: JennyO
Date: 18 Jun 06 - 11:38 AM

And of course there's this one:

Chambers caskets are so fine,
Made of sandal-wood and pine.
When your loved ones pass away,
Have them pass the Chambers way.
If your loved ones have to go,
Just call Columbus-6-5-0h.
Chambers customers all sing,
"Death, oh death, where is thy sting?

(To the tune of "Rock of Ages."


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Subject: RE: BS: Burial or Cremation?
From: frogprince
Date: 17 Jun 06 - 10:52 PM

And Mr. Paxton gave us this:

Forest Lawn


Oh lay me down in Forest Lawn in a silver casket
put golden flowers over my head in a silver basket
While the drum and bugle corps
play taps while cannons roar
while sixteen liveried employees
Sell souvenirs from the funeral store.

I want to go simply when I go
they'll give me a simple funeral there I know
With a casket lined in fleece
And fireworks spelling out "rest in peace"
Oh, take me when I'm gone to Forest Lawn

Oh lay me down in Forest Lawn they understand there
they have a heavenly choir and military band there
Just put me in their care
I'll find my comfort There
with sixteen planes in a last salute
they'll drop a cross in a parachute.

I want to go simply when I go,
they'll give me a simple funeral there I know
With a hundred strolling strings
and topless dancers in golden in golden wings.
Oh, take me when I'm gone to Forest Lawn.

Oh, come, come, come, come.
Come to the church in the wild wood
kindly leave a contribution in the pail.
be as simple and as trusting as a child would
and we'll sell you the church in the dale.

To find a simple resting place is my desire
to lay me down with a smiling face comes a little bit higher.
My likeness cast in brass
will stand in plastic grass
while hidden weights and springs
tips my hat to the mourners filing past

I want to go simply when I go
they'll give me a simple funeral there I know
I'll lie beneath the sand
with piped in tapes of Billy Graham.
Oh, take me when I'm gone to Forest Lawn.

Rock of ages cleft for me, for a slightly higher fee
Oh, take me when I'm gone to Forest Lawn



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Subject: RE: BS: Burial or Cremation?
From: Rapparee
Date: 17 Jun 06 - 06:48 PM

Remember this from the Chad Mitchell Trio?

A Dying Business Lyrics

Spoken:
Funeral Directors of America, I am very deeply honored standing here;
Receiving this token of your esteem, "The Funeral Director of the
Year."
Now I've been asked by all the delegates and members of the board,
To tell you of the funeral that won me this award.
It was handled with taste and dignity, that much I can say for it;
And I'm sure it will take the family twenty years to pay for it!

It was a helluva fun'ral, It was a helluva fun'ral
The finest fun'ral ever booked:
I had some high school juniors who passed around petunial
And lilies everywhere you looked.

It was a helluva fun'ral, I say one helluva fun'ral
Oh, how I wish that you were there;
I had ten drum majorettes doubling on the castanets
It really was a lively affair
It really was a lively affair.

It was a helluva fun'ral, It was a helluva fun'ral
The national guard showed up for me;
And during the oration, they went into formation
And formed the letters R. I. P.

It was a helluva fun'ral, I say one helluva fun'ral
I gave it all my loving care;
The band was on its toes playing "Mexicali Rose",
It really was a lively affair.
It really was a lively affair.

A tisket a tasket, Tell us about the casket

Spoken:
Well, I'll tell you 'bout the casket, my good friends
It would-a made your poor eyes pop
It was sterling silver all around and a real formica top.
(Formica top, it had a formica top).

Well, I'll tell you 'bout the widow, my good friends,
The widow was in navy blue
With a gown designed by Balenciaga, I supplied that too.
(He sold the widow widow's weeds too).

I held the first funereal raffle, though I don't much like to boast
And I gave away a Chevrolet to the person who cried the most.
(He gave away a brand new Chevrolet). I won it myself!

There were eighteen jugglers by the grave to demonstrate their art
And when they were done, I fired a gun to let the hoot-e-nanny start.
(He fired a gun and the hoot-e-nanny begun).

I was serving beer and pretzels, 'til the hot pastrami came;
And I sold some souvenier hankies with the dear departed's name.
(He was sellin' hankies with the dear departed's name).

As a fitting finale we had the Rockettes from New Your's Music Hall;
As you can see, my very good friends
All in all, all in all:

Sung:
It was a helluva fun'ral, I say one helluva fun'ral
No other burial could compare;
It was all done up deluxe 'n' I made forty thousand bucks,
It really was a lively affair. It really was a swingin' affair.


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Subject: RE: BS: Burial or Cremation?
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 17 Jun 06 - 01:00 PM

Scoville, ya beat me to it. I've had enough time the past couple days to check this thread, but not to post to it.

I discovered the lifestyle caskets from www.artcaskets.com (including the "Return to Sender" one -- and "Fairway to Heaven") a few years ago in GraphicDesign:USA magazine. Right up my alley -- I'm a thanatolithologist. I do research on gravestones and gravestone carvers (particularly New England slate markers from about 1630 to 1815 -- most willows and urns make my eyes glaze over -- and ligatures on gravestones, and the carver John Just Geyer) so I spend a LOT of time in cemeteries and graveyards.

I intend to cut my own slate marker, but I don't intend to be beneath it. Since slow oxidation in the treetops (or residing under my compost pile) is frowned upon by the government, after any usable parts are harvested, I'll probably be cremated with at least some of my ashes scattered over the North Atlantic. (And maybe some around someone's roses.)

Gotta cut this short -- there's a sea music singaround I have to get to.

Later!
Linn


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Subject: RE: BS: Burial or Cremation?
From: kendall
Date: 17 Jun 06 - 07:48 AM

In the end, it doesn't matter, and it doesn't matter that it doesn't matter.

The last I knew, embalming was not mandatory unless the body was going to pass over a state line. It's an extra expense which the family of the deceased is talked into paying.


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Subject: RE: BS: Burial or Cremation?
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 17 Jun 06 - 04:37 AM

I prefer cremation.
1. the lot in the cemetery is cheaper
2. you mustn't be interred in 3 days; your ashes can be stowed away until a convenient sunny day for burial.
3. since I do not like my coffin rolled on a small wagon to the grave but my remains carried by hand it is easier for two captains to carry my ashes in a 9 mm ammo box covered with a small flag.

Otherwise, I should heartily assent to Rapaire's viking boat. The good lady mustn't be on top of the load, it was only practized in India.


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Subject: RE: BS: Burial or Cremation?
From: number 6
Date: 17 Jun 06 - 01:01 AM

That post agrees with me ... as I posted previously, put me in a sack and bury me in the ground ... I took from this earth while I was on it ... in my passing I will give back to it.

The process of cremation in the western world is 'industrial' and with a cost ... just a way to get your money in death, much the same as funeral homes, and yes the same as cemetaries.

sIx


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Subject: RE: BS: Burial or Cremation?
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 17 Jun 06 - 12:50 AM

Coincidentally, a friend just forwarded this to me the other day:

The Toronto Star
Saturday, June 10.

From Corpse to Compost
by Stephen Scharper

"Save a Forest. Plant Yourself."

So, you have spent your whole life trying to decrease your ecological footprint, recycling cans and bottles, avoiding pesticides in your garden, biking and using pubic transit as much as possible, and helping others value nature. Now, as you reach the sunset of life, the thought of filling yourself with toxic embalming fluid before going into an expensive, hardwood casket, or contributing to greenhouse gases through cremation, doesn't quite sit right. Is there a "green" burial alternative, you wonder?

If Janet McCausland has her way, the answer here in Canada will soon be "You bet!"

McCausland is the Executive Director of the Toronto-based Natural Burial Association, and her mission is to provide "an environmentally-friendly alternative" to conventional burials in Canada. She espouses "low-impact burials," ones that, according to the association brochure, "reduce energy and resource consumption, are less toxic, conserve water, and included materials which are locally produced in a sustainable manner."

While not yet available in Canada, green burials, according to McCausland, are increasingly popular in the United Kingdom, which has over 200 natural burial grounds, as well as New Zealand and the U.S., which has seen natural burial sites sprout up in California, New York, Florida and South Carolina. She is working to ensure that such burials will be available here in Canada in the near future.

For Mary Woodsen, President of Green Springs Natural Cemetery Association in upstate New York, the ecological cost of contemporary, conventional burials is steep, forming a part of the ecological crisis few ever consider.

"On average," she claims, "a U.S. cemetery buries 1,000 gallons of embalming fluid, 97.5 tons of steel, 2,028 tons of concrete, and 56,250 board feet of high quality tropical hardwood in just one acre of green. And then there's the tons of fertilizers, pesticides, and water ? not to mention emissions like CO2, nitrates, ozone, soot, and more ? that it takes to keep cemeteries looking well-manicured."

And if you think cremation is more environmentally benign, Woodsen says, "Think again."

"Each cremation," Woodsen claims, "releases between .8 and 5.9 grams of mercury as bodies are burned. This amounts to between 1,000 and 7,800 pounds of mercury released each year in the US."

The alternative, "natural burial," Woodsen describes as "letting nature take its course: no embalming fluid, simple biodegradable caskets, environmentally responsible care of the land, low-density burials, a natural return to the earth, natural stone markers, flush with the earth, or commemorative plantings of native trees and shrubs."

According to the Natural Burial Association, which works cooperatively with the Green Burial Council in the U.S. and the Natural Death Centre in the U.K., natural burial grounds are "green spaces of beauty and ecological renewal." They utilize native species to provide refuge to birds and butterflies, "and groves and wild meadows" to provide solace for the bereaved.

For McCausland, natural burial grounds are also an original way of creating and preserving green spaces, often near urban cores. "One of our dreams," she muses, "is to develop brownfields [abandoned industrial and commercial sites] into natural burial grounds."

Natural interment may indeed be an increasingly preferred spiritual alternative as more religious groups engage in ecological reflection and renewal. The Canadian Forum on Religion and Ecology and the Faith and the Common Good Project in Canada are but two examples of hundreds of religious environmental initiatives worldwide, and as their members are involved in the religious rituals surrounding burials, the green alternative may increase along with their ecological awareness.

For McCausland, a Unitarian, the environment has long been a part of her spirituality. A vegetarian, McCausland sees a direct connection between her advocacy for natural burials and the Seventh Principle of the Unitarian Universalists, which posits "respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part."

The natural death movement also invokes the spiritual qualities of humility and charity. Millions of Christians have heard the humbling reminder that they are "dust" and "unto dust" they shall return every Ash Wednesday, and the idea of a simple, non-polluting, non-ostentatious burial invokes the notion that we, as humans, are "just plain citizens" of the land, rather than its reigning lords and masters, as articulated by Also Leopold, a founder of environmental ethics. Such a burial also suggests that in dying we also have a last chance at giving, not only through organ donation, but also through the return to the soil of our very bodies, which in death, through non-toxic decomposition, can help engender new life.

A redemptive thought to carry to the grave.

Stephen Scharper, whose column appears every other Saturday, teaches religion and environmental studies at the University of Toronto. He can be reached at stephen.scharper@utoronto.ca.

----

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: BS: Burial or Cremation?
From: Rapparee
Date: 16 Jun 06 - 11:23 PM

I'm so sorry, jeff. Know that my thoughts and best wishes are with both of you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Burial or Cremation?
From: bbc
Date: 16 Jun 06 - 10:54 PM

Jeff,

I'm so sorry to hear about your wife's condition. I'm glad she can, at least, have some control over how things are done. I can't think of the right thing to say, but I'll be praying for you both. If you like, would you send me a PM with your wife's name?

bbc


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Subject: RE: BS: Burial or Cremation?
From: jeffp
Date: 16 Jun 06 - 10:34 PM

This is a timely concern for us, as we have just learned that my wife's cancer has now become terminal. The doctor has estimated that she has 3 to 6 months left. We have been keeping an eye out and have found a direct cremation service for under $1000. They will pick her up, handle all legal papers and return the ashes with death certificates and all. She has decided she wants at least part of the ashes in a sleeping cat sculpture placed in the sunny part of the back yard. The remainder will go into a box or urn which we are still shopping for. We will hold a small memorial gathering with family and friends to share memories.

Fortunately, we had a family reunion back in March when she was feeling fairly good and still had her hair.

Jeff


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Subject: RE: BS: Burial or Cremation?
From: Rapparee
Date: 16 Jun 06 - 02:28 PM

My great-uncle Hank told me about an incident in the small Missouri town where he grew up.

Seems like one night someone passing the cemetery saw two thin white arms waving in the air from inside a grave. A ghostly voice was saying "Aaaaaaaaah! Aaaaaaaaaah!"

People gathered to watch, but none had the courage to approach the grave, even after day broke.

Finally a brave soul did go to investigate, and found that a goat had fallen on its back in a sunken grave.


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Subject: RE: BS: Burial or Cremation?
From: JennyO
Date: 16 Jun 06 - 01:40 PM

Such graves can also be a safety hazard; it's not unknown for someone to step on a grave and fall into the cavity below

I couldn't let that comment pass without injecting a little humour from "down under" - as it were:

A GRAVE SITUATION

by Claude Morris

When I staggered away from my favourite pub,
The night was dark and still,
And I thought I'd take a shortcut home
That led over Cemetery Hill.
Now I'm not a hero as everyone knows,
And I have no reckless trends,
But ghosts and the like leave me cold, as it were,
And spirits and I are old friends.

I wobbled along through the cemetery gates,
Begging my legs to behave,
And everything went pretty well, so I thought,
Till I fell down a newly-dug grave.
For a moment I thought I had landed in hell,
And ended my earthly career,
I sniffed like a hound for the sulphurous fumes,
Expecting Old Nick to appear.

But reason returned and I staggered erect,
My prison so dark, to survey,
And tested my bones for a fracture or two,
But everything functioned O.K.
I made a feeble attempt to get out,
But it needed no more than a glance
To convince me, in my condition,
I hadn't the ghost of a chance.

I reckoned I'd have a lay-off for a while,
And when I woke sober and fit
I'd surely come up with a good idea
That would get me out of the pit.
Just then I could hear fast oncoming steps
That seemed too good to be true,
But ere I could 'Coo-ee' or offer advice,
In the grave there were suddenly two!

By chance, he fell in the grave's other end,
With no one to cushion his fall;
But he rose with a strangled yelp,
And attempted to scale up the wall.
This chap was at pains to be up and away,
As the capers he cut plainly told.
He jumped and scrambled and jumped again,
But his fingers and toes wouldn't hold.

I hadn't yet spoken -- I'd hardly a chance,
The way he cavorted about,
And I had to admire the way that he fought
To sever all ties and get out.
Of course he believed there was nobody near;
He thought he was there all alone.
And I got the idea it had entered his head
That the grave was becoming his own.

I felt rather sad for the poor little guy
Now acting a little distraught,
And I thought he'd relax if I gave him the drum
That he wasn't alone, as he thought.
So I walked up behind him and tapped on his back
As he poised for another wild bid:
"You can't make it, Mate," I breathed in his ear --
But by the Lord Harry... he DID!


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Subject: RE: BS: Burial or Cremation?
From: Scoville
Date: 16 Jun 06 - 09:49 AM

Just to make sure you don't end up in the wrong place


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Subject: RE: BS: Burial or Cremation?
From: Rapparee
Date: 16 Jun 06 - 09:35 AM

Okay. Truth time. My wife and I have been drawing up a will and assorted related documents. One of them is a "Death Directive" which deals with how we want our corpses disposed of (harvest and cremation). Others include a "no extraordinary measures" directive, the naming of someone to make the tough decisions if the time comes for that, a list of things for the will (done that way because things can change and it's easier to change a list than change the whole will) and so on and so on.

As for scattering ashes, it's done all the time in the US. The question is not one of enforcement but rather "catch me if you can."

Vaults are usually required because coffins disintegrate (yes, even the modern plastic ones) and bodies rot, which causes graves to collapse and sextons more work filling in the sunken graves. Such graves can also be a safety hazard; it's not unknown for someone to step on a grave and fall into the cavity below. Requiring them for an urn burial, and/or a full grave, is simply a case of someone wanting more money. Sneak in at night with a shovel and bury them yourself, or sneak in and scatter the ashes. What are they going to do? They can't even tell who it used to be!


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Subject: RE: BS: Burial or Cremation?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 16 Jun 06 - 02:16 AM

Lots of good ideas here, but at least in the case of many in the US there are some intrusions of reality. Most of the things suggested can probably be done, but in some places it may take some prior planning.

There is much variation from one jurisdiction to another, but I have encountered the requirement, in several places, that any "below ground burial" must be in a standard vault. The "vault" usually is a reinforced concrete box that the casket of your choice sits inside. Some caskets, usually only very expensive ones, are "self-vaulting" with, the seller assures us, sufficient strength and resistance to deterioration to provide the function of the concrete box.

In at least one instance, the bereaved were informed that even burying a can full of decedent's ashes required the standard vault - and of course the full size standard burial plot in a "registered" cemetery.

Legal restrictions on "scattering ashes" exist in some, if not all, Federal Parks, Wildlife Sanctuaries, etc. Of course, if someone objects you might just offer to pick them all up ... (Enforcement is variable.) There are, of course, numerous State and Local ordinances, ad infinitum.

In the US, an apparently widespread and thriving business has been found wherein certain mortuaries have been collecting organs without the consent of deceased and/or family. There have been a few very unfortunate cases in which diseased organs from these sources have been used as transplants. There seem to be few functional1 legal barriers; but in any case where one does not want bits and pieces donated2, perhaps having survivors informed that they should include in the contract for services a clause prohibiting any such harvesting would give some assurance.

1 It's of course illegal; but extremely profitable and apparently quite easy to get away with.(?).

2 A person afflicted with cancer, hepatitis, AIDS or other autoimmune disease, and possibly numerous other peculiarities certainly wouldn't want something passed on(?).

The bottom line is it takes prior planning, documentation (often in legal form), and broadcasting of the plan to sufficient people likely to have a part in your final arrangements - before any plan remotely out of the ordinary is likely to work as you might hope. It may not take a lot of extra effort, but when it's time it's too late.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: Burial or Cremation?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 15 Jun 06 - 10:57 PM

Right with ya there, guys! Ha! I like the idea of the recording.


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Subject: RE: BS: Burial or Cremation?
From: Rapparee
Date: 15 Jun 06 - 10:41 PM

I want, if there is a viewing, a little recorder that's triggered when someone bends over my corpse. The recording will say, "Hi! Don't I look natural? You're looking pretty lousy, yourself."

Actually, I really want to be encased in plastic, like a starfish in biology lab, only standing and inside a cylinder. Then they can just bore a hole and stick me in, corking it with a round tombstone. Then in the future if someone wants to know what I looked like or something they can just drive in a wrecker, hook the hook to the eyebolt in the top of the cylinder, and pull me on up.

And there I'll be, stark nekkid, both hands raised in a one-finger salute....


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Subject: RE: BS: Burial or Cremation?
From: tarheel
Date: 15 Jun 06 - 10:05 PM

i have been to so many funerals of my relatives and my mom and dad and it was aweful...
and you would not believe how many times i've heard these words from the mourners passing by the casket at the funeral home."don't he look good!", or..."don't she look natural!"
omg,i wanna throw up when i hear that...
my sister came up to me as i was looking at one of my uncles in his casket...my sister said,"look charlie,he died with a smile on his face!"....oh geezzzzzzzzzzz, don't they know that the undertaker makes them look anyway he likes!
so...i wanna be cremated too!
no one is gonna stare down at me and say..."don't he look good!:..."don't he look natural!:...well no!!!
i will look, DEAD!!!

"i'm a tarheel born and a tarheel bred,
and wehen i die, i'll be a tarheel dead!"
tar...


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Subject: RE: BS: Burial or Cremation?
From: Scoville
Date: 15 Jun 06 - 11:41 AM

Donation. Give those overworked medical students something to do in Friday nights.


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Subject: RE: BS: Burial or Cremation?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 15 Jun 06 - 11:39 AM

I would just as soon step out so quietly that no one even notices I left the room...

Judge Crater may have had the best idea.


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Subject: RE: BS: Burial or Cremation?
From: Rapparee
Date: 15 Jun 06 - 11:17 AM

Well, after my brother had nine (9) heart bypasses, my siblings and my cousins and I thanked him for having them, since he'd arranged to have the bypasses for all of us. My brother simply said, "You're welcome. I'd rather you didn't do it again, though."

Before my wife and I were married I told her I wanted Handel's "Royal Fireworks Suite" played at my funeral. She said that it might cause undo comment about where I'd ended up, so we used it as the recessional for our wedding instead. Boy, did THAT cause comment amongst those who recognized it!


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Subject: RE: BS: Burial or Cremation?
From: Mooh
Date: 15 Jun 06 - 09:39 AM

Rapaire...sounds like our type of funeral! We don't let the pesky church tell us what is needed as we all pretty much know better anyway, having been raised by a clergyman and his layperson wife. Trouble for most folks though is that they either don't have the skills and resources, or their grief prevents the presence of mind to arrange for themselves. My brother has done 3 family and at least 2 friends eulogies in the last few years. My sister says nobody gets to die for a while!

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: BS: Burial or Cremation?
From: Rapparee
Date: 15 Jun 06 - 08:54 AM

When my mother died she was buried next to my father, only the diocese wouldn't bury her during "Holy Week" -- we had the funeral the Monday after Easter. That was a mistake by the church!

We had a whole week to get to know each other again and to plan.

So, we chose the songs. We chose the readings. We chose to say a few words in church after the Mass.... BWAHAHAHAHAHA!

So, comes the homily -- the eulogy from priest who never knew my mother. Canned eulogy number 763, "Long-time Widow With Surving Adult Children." Only the priest was so surprised by us that he kept interjecting "And her children chose the songs!" and "Her children chose the readings!" Plumb derailed the man's train of thought, we did.

My brother Ted, who has LOTS of acting experience, did the readings. In a large church. Standing in the main aisle. Without a microphone. And he filled the place with his voice. HAPPY readings that he'd committed to memory.

And then I got up afterwards to "say a few words." I did, inviting those attending to think of her because "thoughts are very close to prayers, not that she needs THOSE." Then I invited everyone over to my Uncle's place for a post-planting party (he'd offered to host beforehand).

Poor ol' priest never did figure out where he'd lost control....


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Subject: RE: BS: Burial or Cremation?
From: GUEST,catsPHiddle@work
Date: 15 Jun 06 - 07:25 AM

I want to be cremated then my askes scattered some in the ocean and some in the hills and some in the forest. I don't want any church job. There will be a Pagan ceremony for the passing over of my soul/spirit and a Party! With music and singing and jokes. I don't want a wake for people to mourn. I want life to be celebrated. Death is just part of the cycle.


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Subject: RE: BS: Burial or Cremation?
From: The PA
Date: 15 Jun 06 - 05:50 AM

Sorry late finding this one, I cannot agree more with Villan's remarks at the top. This described my fathers funeral completely, the priest constantly got his name wrong, it made a truely horrendous day even worse. Dad was cremated, when we got to collect the casket for the interment, they misplaced his ashes, the priest forgot to turn up and dad ended up being laid to rest by for foreman of the cemetry staff. At least Dad would have been looking on and having a laugh.


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Subject: RE: BS: Burial or Cremation?
From: The Villan
Date: 15 Jun 06 - 04:06 AM

Thats an interesting one Paul. Thanks

She hasn't mentioned it since.


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Subject: RE: BS: Burial or Cremation?
From: GUEST, Topsie
Date: 15 Jun 06 - 04:02 AM

If it should fall to you to dispose of someone's ashes, don't stand on a hilltop and throw the ashes into the wind . . .


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Subject: RE: BS: Burial or Cremation?
From: Paul Burke
Date: 15 Jun 06 - 04:00 AM

Villan: tell your daughter not to worry about being a black hole. Remind her that there was a time when she didn't feel anything- before she was born, so there will be a time when she doesn't feel anything again. It's no worse a prospect than being deep asleep and not dreaming.

And tell her that a long time before she was born, she was a star. That's true of all of us, since every atom in our bodies, except for hydrogen and any traces of helium and lithium, was created from hydrogen in the fusion furnace of the depths of a star. And her atoms will be in a star again.

And even if the atoms fall finally into a black hole, there is probably another universe on the other side.


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Subject: RE: BS: Burial or Cremation?
From: Mooh
Date: 15 Jun 06 - 12:10 AM

I've never visited the various grave sites of the dear departed of my family because they aren't there. They are somewhere else. Their bodies, or whatever is left of them are under the gravestones, but that is all, their being is elsewhere. I'm not even curious about those "resting places" because in my mind the real resting place is heavenly, not earthly. Money was waisted putting these good folks in expensive boxes and planting them, for all intents and purposes, permanently in the ground.

However, of my family, three were cremated at their request as cheaply as possible (which seemed a minor irritant to the funeral home) and the ashes spread in a favourite family place, as a symbolic act of "dust to dust, ashes to ashes", a short Anglican commital service was read by the family while I "disposed" of the ashes. The family visits this place all the time because it is a place of joy for us all, as it was for those lost to us.

"I don't need no headstone on my grave", nor a grave at all to be remembered. As I remember those near and dear who have died, I likewise hope to be remembered. Pictures, memories, acts of kindness, gifts, family traditions, upbringing, love, is all.

Peace, Mooh.


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