Burial Practices

I remember in high school, probably during a lecture that had something to do with decomposition and the organisms that take care of it, my Biology teacher explained that “traditional” burial practices are completely against the natural order and that when he died his preference would basically be for his body to be mulched and spread through a field somewhere with a little lime to keep the smell under control. He lamented the fact that this was probably completely illegal and would never, ever happen. I never was particularly interested in being mulched myself, but the idea of staying part of the natural cycle after my death did resonate with me. So I filed that thought away as something to start looking into when my death seemed a little more imminent.

Well, I don’t feel as though my death is all that much more imminent now than it was when I was in that high school Biology class, but I did come upon an article yesterday that made me think about it all again. Apparently it is becoming more and more common for people to choose “natural”, “green” burials. The idea here is that when someone dies they are encased in something biodegradable, such as plain wooden casket, a shroud or just some blankets the person loved while alive. Then their body is placed into the ground and covered over. No concrete vaults, no huge, elaborate, plush casket, and no chemicals. Just a body being allowed to decompose naturally and return its nutrients to the earth.

It’s not quite mulching, but I think it’ll do.

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