Burial Alternatives?

Before I met the future Mrs. Sidekick, I was seeing someone who was working on a joint MD and PhD in genetics at Emory.

One of our more memorable dates was on Halloween. I needed to study for an actuarial exam, and he also had some work to do. That night he was also supervising the anatomy lab, and I was asked “are you bothered by dead bodies?”

I ended up being tasked with helping bringing out a cadaver from storage at the start of the evening, and putting it back at the end of the evening.

I get that cadavers are useful for anatomical study by future doctors, but, considering the condition of the cadaver and the various cadaver parts sitting around in jars in the storage room…that’s not what I want done with my corpse.

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There are real issues with organ farmers not treating bodies with respect, and I’d love to see that tightened up. That’s a little different than your case but similar.

John Oliver did a Last Week Tonight on the topic, was pretty good.

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This. Funerals and burials are for the survivors, not the deceased.

But, I’ve been involved in planning a number of funerals. I know it’s a lot easier on the survivors if they don’t have to make all the decisions.


For sure, and that’s a good point. I’ve let everyone in my family know that a simple cremation with no ceremony is fine with me, but if they want to do more, it won’t be a violation of my wishes. But I hope my sons aren’t at the funeral home fighting over what “mom would have wanted,” because I don’t want anything.

But, I probably should put something simple in writing just to make the decision easier for all of them when the time comes.


My wife and I are getting our wills rewritten next week and this is one of many things we may include. My mother had all of this set out in writing including the entire program for her funeral.

soyleche green is people


Good point NA. I should probably put in my will, “Here’s what I want, however, I am dead and gone, so I don’t care if you want…”

But I don’t want to be pumped with chemicals or my corpse displayed. Incinerated, composted, turned into a diamond, green burial, sky burial, rot in a swamp, all are fine with me.

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Oh, I want something alright, and there should be fighting if it doesn’t happen. “Dad would have wanted the cheapest option available - cardboard!”


that will be what centers my future yellers. also, what dad would have wanted will be that no one gets upset and yells - do whatever you want and sweat any of it

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Actually, my honest preference would be to have my body compressed into two gemstones that would be placed into the eye sockets of my skull so that I can forever preside over my kid’s D&D tables as a demilich.

Since that’s legally impractical at this time, I’ll go for being more or less rolled into a ditch.

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I have a good friend who is a mortician. He has some expensive caskets for sale, but he doesn’t push them. He says he feels a little guilty when somebody wants the luxury hermetically sealed wonderful, because all it does is confine the ultimate liquefied remains inside the box (with extra pillows).
People mistakenly think it keeps the body looking like it did at burial.

I have an aversion to being cremated. Id prefer to be buried and a tree planted right on top of me. Failing that, buried with a headstone. I’m also ok with a pine box and no preservatives. But I definitely want to be buried.

I feel like that’s irrational, that cremation is the sane choice but my preferences are pretty deeply ingrained.

My spouse wants to be cremated, so I guess we can fit in one plot.

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Somewhat joking on prior response, but the actual cheapest option for cremation (at the local funeral home) is a cardboard box. Supposedly they have to use a container to go in the crematorium (state law ? Haven’t checked) We tell our kids what MrsG’s mom said : If you fight over anything in my estate i will haunt you. That stuff isn’t important (especially considering the highest value our junk has is sentimental).

I have no strong feelings about my burial - but to me a funeral is not about what I want.

Do whatever gives my loved ones the best closure to move on


Really? I want a party. Family and friends, a quick service then a big meal with alcohol where everyone visits and spends time together.

Dying is stupid. Too many strong feelings about stuff that doesn’t matter, and I’m as guilty as anyone.

Cremation is fine with me. No urn please

Scatter the ashes or use it as kitty litter

I wonder if any of my physical molecules were once in some past person’s body. Cremation and tree-planting would increase the probability. Maybe part of me was once in a golden retriever. :slight_smile:

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We’re all part former supernova, by virtue of being made partly of elements heavier than iron. But between the two I’d prefer being part golden retriever haha

Isn’t that almost certain?