Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Empty Vessel

It's always funny to me when my mom comes back from visiting her parents.

First, we talk about how much we like Grandpa. How funny he is. How tough he is. Next, we talk about how inappropriate Grandma is, her quirks, and that as sick as she is, as sick as she keeps getting, she will never die. She is too tough to die. She just isn't ready to die yet. She's not going anywhere. Finally, we end up discussing what we want to have happen to us when we die.

I guess it's pretty important to voice your opinions on what you want to have happen to the empty vessel you leave behind. I know it's pretty standard to be embalmed and put in a coffin, sometimes having a viewing, and then buried.

That's a lot of space that is being taken up.

I know that my mom and dad both want to be donated to science. My dad contracted Polio when he was a baby while living in Nigeria, Africa. He knows that there is not much of an opportunity for doctors to study what happens to the body from Polio, so he wants to be donated for study.

My mom also wants to be donated. She feels that she'd rather have doctors practice on her dead, than on someone alive. Makes sense.

I do know that after someone is donated, they are cremated and sent back. We already know what we are doing with my dad (although he doesn't know, hasn't talked about it as far as I know, nor has he discussed his desires). I just found out what we are doing with my mom, so that's good to know for 30 years in the future when she does die. :)

Me? I've been tainted by the book Stiff by Mary Roach. She discusses different things that can be done with a body from donating it to burying it to cremation and then there is even more!

I want to be frozen in liquid nitrogen, shattered, and then used as mulch for a memorial tree.

Gross right? I think it's awesome. But I am worried that I won't be able to find anyone who does that. And I don't think I can get someone to just bury me in the back yard or a park because then it is breaking some law I think. My mom suggested we feed my body to pigs and then use the poop to fertilize trees. But that's cause my mom is funny like that. :D

So, what I wonder is, can I write it in my will and then it has to be carried out? Or is it considered desecration of a dead body or some other weird law? And then, why not just be cremated? Well, the ashes do nothing for the earth. Everything that is beneficial is ruined. I want to be of some use to the planet that I have taken from.

(I am hearing Matt rolling his eyes right now at his hippie wife...sorry babe!)

There is also the option of putting the body into a lye solution and flushing it down the drain, but that isn't anything but gross slime and isn't helpful either.

Ideally though, and this is going to just kill some of you reading this... I want to die, have all of my hair shaved off and used to make a diamond or two from places like this or this. Depending on when I die, why, etc. Maybe just one diamond for each of my kids, or one for the hubs, or whatever. That is their decision. I am going to do that to Pali when she dies. I love her.

And THEN have my body frozen with liquid nitrogen and shattered and used as mulch. I would like it to be in a nice memorial park used to feed an Oak, Elm, or Willow tree.

I'm sorry, is this just too much? It's just been on my mind as of late for reasons I'll post later this week. I guess this is as close to having a "last will and testament" that I've got. :D

Yes, I am actively dying right now as we all are, but nothing is in my foreseeable future, so no one panic. OK?


kelly said...

I plan to be frozen so that in the future I can be cloned and live forever! ;)

I don't think you're weird at all, but coming from me I don't know how soothing that is.

Jinksfam said...

ashes to diamonds.....wow, never heard of it. I had no idea. What a nifty idea.

Shannon said...

I love that book! I'm reading her Packing for Mars book right now. It's fascinating stuff. It made me really think about what I might want when I'm gone too.