Monday, 1 July 2013

Decisions, decisions....................

As is quite often the case, one post sparks off thoughts which lead to another. I quite like the concept of a thread of ideas linking disparate topics into a sort of continuum. In keeping with this, my recent post on graveyards got me wondering about what regulations there were governing burials in the UK. A little bit of researching threw up the wonderful website of Funeral Inspirations. I was just looking for burial regulations but this site offers much much more. I did not know that there are so many alternatives to a standard burial: some very practical, some slightly bizarre, some downright weird - but all potentially possible if that's what you want. As I know that many of my regular readers are of a 'certain age', I offer this synopsis as a public service.  Something to bear in mind when you have to grapple with the slightly awkward question of what's to be done with your body when it's no longer needed by you?

Below is a list of the options described on the Funeral Inspirations website, with links which will take you to more details of each one. So, it's choose your partner of choice for the Danse Macabre or should that be the Last Waltz?

Traditional BurialTraditional Burial
Six foot under and still where most of us end up. There's something comfortingly elegiac about the thought of ending up in a country graveyard.
Green / Woodland / Natural BurialGreen/Woodland/Natural Burial
Burial with the environment in mind. You, too, can become part of a Turner landscape. Unless they built a motorway or a Tesco's over your plot - and then you could find yourself under the meat counter. Would you get Clubcard points if this happened?
Going up in smoke is still the most popular way out in the UK - but don't ask about the carbon footprint of the furnace as you are reduced to....carbon.
Home BurialHome Burial
Yes - it is actually possible. It's surprising how few regulations there are if you want to do this. Could put a new meaning to 'pushing up the daisies'?
Organ / Body DonationOrgan/Body Donation
Why take it with you when you can help others after you've gone? There must be some bits that are still serviceable!
Burial at SeaBurial at Sea
Not just for naval personnel, it's an option available to all. Ahoy, HMS Coffin, full steam ahead to Davy Jones' Locker.
Resomation (Bio-Cremation)Resomation (Bio-Cremation)
Innovative new alternative for body disposal which uses a strong alkaline solution to digest the tissues and produce a residue. Sounds like the same process used to strip old doors of paint and varnish.
An award winning solution from the UK which uses a combination of freezing in liquid nitrogen, pulverisation and freeze-drying to produce a fine powder.
A potential solution from Sweden. It is a relatively simple process that, through freezing and vibration, reduces human remains to a fine powder. Rather similar to 'cryomation'.
Cryonic PreservationCryonic Preservation
Deep freeze with future life possibilities. If it's good enough for Walt Disney......
Body preservation the old fashioned but expensive way. If it's good enough for Cleopatra.......
Sky BurialSky Burial
No, not being tossed out of a 'plane at 32000 ft but the Tibetan alternative of being left to the elements and whatever fancies a nibble at your remains.
Why not become a work of art? You could be a conversation piece at your bereaved's next dinner party. Definitely one for the exhibitionists amongst us.

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