With all due respect to followers of belief systems unfamiliar to me, please don’t convert my remains to compost after I die.
You see, last year the state of Colorado became the second of three states (Washington and Oregon are the others) to legalize the composting of human remains (aka “natural reduction”). Yeah, I know. And today local news dutifully reported the first “laying out ceremony” in Florence, Colorado.
Okay, people. You do you. If you must. But I can’t imagine doing this or asking it be done. In my admittedly small little old-fashioned world, people have spent centuries figuring out ways to thwart decomposition after death. I can’t help cringing at the idea of deliberately encouraging a body to rot, er, decompose.
I’m guessing even the best embalming methods and most expensive caskets cannot stave off the inevitable forever. Maybe that’s why human composting got legalized in the first place. Just cut to the chase. Save a lot of time, money, and real estate.
Thanks, but no thanks. Somebody please “bless the earth” with my ashes, not a cubic yard of naturally sterilized and composted me.
18 thoughts on “Bury me not … not like this”
For some reason it reminds me of soylent green, even though it’s not the same thing. Maybe if I were to live long enough and it became mainstream, I’d cringe less.
Personally, I too prefer cremation even though it’s energy-inefficient. It’s clean and is a product that stores easily as a memorial in a columbarium. Energy-wise, the waste is tiny compared to the biggies, like cars.
I’d prefer my ashes be scattered in some beautiful place. I think. Still undecided about that.
I love the idea of composting! I’d love to become part of the earth under a citrus tree… a little bit of me in every lemon cake, pie and limoncello. But, I agree, it should be up to the body’s owner.
That’s a cheery thought. I should remember that. But the law does specify the compost cannot be used to grow anything for human consumption. I wonder if it requires that the disposition of the compost be tracked and registered or something. Otherwise survivors might take some of it home to enrich their backyard lemon tree.
That’s interesting. I wonder of that stipulation was for health reasons or the creep factor?
Maybe a little of both? The PR says the process naturally sterilizes the remains but by whose standard?
Not to be too flippant on a serious topic, but my joke around our house is, if I go first, Mrs. Jayhawk should toss me on the backyard compost pile, cover me with some leaves, and sell the house quickly. She remains unamused and is more iof the urn-in-a-nook category, so we’ll probably end up doing that.
Flippant works. Hey, legalize it in Kansas and the Mrs. will be off the hook. And she can always put the compost in an urn … 😉
I promise, I won’t do that to you. promise.
Thank you, Andrew. I appreciate that. 🙂
My body is destined for medical studies. Not because it’s in any way unique, but because it’s free. In any event, I’ll be past caring what happens to it.
Free, eh? Maybe I should consider that. I am missing a few parts, but maybe there would be a lesson in that for someone. But you’re right about being past caring. Once I’m dead, my survivors will be free to do whatever makes them happy and I’ll never know. Advance instructions will mean one less decision for them; that’s all.
Yes, there is no cost whatever. They pick up and transfer the body free and then at the option of surviving family, one of them can request return of the cremated ashes… all at no cost. It’s a win, win, win.
Oh, I didn’t know about the survivors being able to get the cremated ashes. I’ll have to look into that. Laws and regs may be different here.
Cremation, no composting for me.
If I were to live long enough, I might eventually come to accept the idea. But for now all I can think of is the stench of rotting/composting lawn clippings.