What remains.

What remains? The remains of my body after I die.

This weekend I told my mother that I would like to be cremated when I die, and if I go before she, then I would like her to see it through. She didn't seem so pleased...

She asked one critical question. "Why?"

Traditional burials are a bit foolish; Not only are they expensive and (in my opinion) a waste of space-- a field is set aside for the purpose of storing dead bodies in heavy metal and wooden boxes-- but so much of the purpose behind the practice is religiously based, and thus in my mind, rather superstitious.

"In many cemeteries, the vast majority of graves are oriented in such a manner that the bodies lie with their heads to the West and their feet to the East. This very old custom appears to originate with the Pagan sun worshipers, but is primarily attributed to Christians who believe that the final summons to Judgment will come from the East."

I love the sun, and if I wanted my body to be stored in a manner that it receives and welcomes the sun, I would ask to be left out and sun-dried. And if some god were to deny me access to an after-life simply because my burial was not in accordance with his/her preference, well, good riddance to them and me I suppose. Life is about so much more than death. If my prodigy want some way to remember me they might read my detailed journals, or review my photo albums. It makes much more sense to preserve and celebrate my life in this manner rather than a solid piece of a stone engraved with the dates of my death and birth.

Mom, if you read this, I don't want songs of sorrow sang at my funeral. I don't want a traditional funeral at all; gather together my closest friends and family members, eat good food (shepherd's pie and hot rolls perhaps?), and talk. If you cry, fine. I would too. If you laugh, even better, for laughter and happiness are the purpose of my life. Throw my ashes wherever seems appropriate... maybe some in the garden, some off a high mountain top, some into an open body of water. But, don't keep them in a jar or box for too long; I like my freedom. :)

This blog was inspired by a news article I read today, detailing a more ecological approach to death. Doesn't it sound wonderful to become an Oregon cherry tree?

Here's my one concession: If you can find a way to put me in an eco-box and bury me in the corner of a field somewhere in Plymouth (not the cemetery), with a tree over my dead body, fine. It's an acceptable alternative.


  1. Yes, I have seen the fountain. Thank you for reminding me of the beautiful ending scenes.


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