Why do we show so much respect to the dead? They’re dead!
Don’t get me wrong. When my step father died, I grieved. But at the same time, I was irritated at the whole funeral process. The body on display in that high priced metal box was not my dad. He didn’t look like my dad, his beard was not trimmed as my dad trimmed his. My dad was gone. My loss was real, and seeing his made up body didn’t alleviate that. I could have just as easily said goodbye to a picture on an easel surrounded by flowers. At least then it would have been a more accurate representation of who my father was.
Now I think it’s more about tradition, than it is about fear. Most religions believe that there is a life after this. But none of them, that I am aware of believe it has anything to do with the now vacated body.
Our grief, and maybe guilt spur on the level of ceremony. That, and an industry that thrives on the inevitable.
“Let’s start a funeral home, people are just dying to get in them.”
I used to want a large monument erected on my grave site when I died. Here lies W. A. McDonald, the greatest Sci Fi writer of all time. A granite structure that towered over everything else in the cemetery. Maybe a likeness of me standing in a super hero pose, cape and all. Maybe an ostentatious steel structure much like the Eifel Tower. A blight on the landscape that everyone who visits the cemetery has to see. That was when I was young and dumb.
I am no longer young.
Now I get funny looks from those who care about me when I say. “Just toss my body in the dumpster, or better yet, on a huge bonfire, and then party like rock stars. All the money you would have spent on a funeral can go towards the party.”
“Celebrate my life, not my death!”
I am serious when I say that. I don’t want to waste resources, or real estate by planting my body in the ground. It’s not like a tree will grow from my rotting carcass. Hell, people get upset if they discovered that somehow the casket leaked and there deceased family member was devoured by worms.
That is what should happen, the cycle of life! The body is no longer being used!
But I digress. I really like the incineration method. If I cannot be pitched onto a large bonfire, or offered a proper funeral pyre, then I guess I want the body cremated. Notice I didn’t say, “I want to be cremated.” I am dead, well the body is anyway. I won’t know until my body fails me, whether I will be dead or not.
With that being said, my final wish, probably after I rolled my power chair in front of a train, I apologize now to the conductor of the train, I want my body incinerated. Cremated, to use the proper term. Then scatter my ashes wherever the hell you feel like. Don’t waste space and time hoping the Urn doesn’t get knocked over by the cat. If you really want my dead body to go out like I wanted to live. Take my ashes to 10,000 feet, and scatter them over the clouds.
Then I can rain on someone’s parade one last time.