Life, Uncategorized

Post Mortem


After vrek-ification

I hate the idea of using fossil fuel to pollute the air to cremate me. What a waste and how harmful! Our effing grandkids are going to shake their heads in amazement at how dumb-destructive we were.

Don’t want to be buried either – the embalming and other crap is very destructive and then there’s the waste of land.

My best would be for the old carcass to be placed kaalgat and willy-up in a wild, open, unoccupied place where flies, worms, vultures & hyenas could access it. But I guess that ain’t gonna happen easily.

Better-sounding options are Natural Burial where the ground above you is just returned to normal use; or Human Composting. Some good souls are trying to gain acceptance for more sane policies. Hope they can succeed.

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NATURAL BURIAL – A return to simple ways, no embalming, no concrete, no artificial stuff. Bodies are wrapped in a bio-degradable shroud or placed in a biodegradable casket, the idea being that they will decompose naturally.

An all-natural cemetery opened in 1998 in the Ramsey Creek preserve in Westminster, South Carolina. Mark Harris, author of “Grave Matters: A Journey through the Modern Funeral Industry to a Natural Way of Burial” (Scribner, 2007) told LiveScience, there are at least fifty natural cemeteries in the USA, and “scores more” regular cemeteries with sections for natural graves.

“Most people, when they find out what happens in the embalming room, they’re pretty horrified,” said Harris, who blogs at grave-matters.blogspot.com. “They can’t believe the cost, which is
outrageous, and then there is this growing concern about the environmental effects of all of these procedures and of all of the goods and resources devoted to this modern method.”

Many natural cemeteries double as nature preserves, and many people like the idea of contributing to the ecosystem after death. “You’re actually benefiting the environment,” he said. “You’re allowing the body to rejoin the cycle of life” – and you’re freeing up some natural land.

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HUMAN COMPOSTING – or ‘Natural organic reduction,’ may become available some time. The technique accelerates the decomposition process, turning bodies into soil within 4 to 7 weeks. Its supporters say natural organic reduction has a smaller carbon footprint than cremation or burial. Recomposition uses about an eighth of the energy of cremation, and also has a significant carbon reduction thanks to carbon sequestration when you return your carbon to the ground.

Maybe a good idea right now would be to simply add to our last will: Please get rid of the old carcass in the least environmentally-destructive way available at present.

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Stephen Reed wrote: Ja. Topical subject. I have been listening to radio talks about options for carcass disposal, doing away with embalming etc

A coffee and Bagel shop in Hobart is called ‘Bury Me Standing’ – which is a good space saving idea, huh?

Natural burials on donated farmland – each body would fertilise about an acre …

Our local hood has quite a large cemetery – part of an occasional walking route along the Brisbane river, and across the river from the university. We were just walking through there there a month or so back. A good place to visit if contemplating mortality is your thing. Also a good reminder that in times gone by you would more than likely be gone by 55 years old.

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Me: This is encouraging. Hopefully we’ll move to parks instead of cemeteries. I’d much rather that wildlife is gamboling about, poo’ing on the ground above me, than people in black tip-toe’ing around on wasted land with pebble paths and concrete slabs with lies engraved in them.

If they’d Bury Me Standing with head n shoulders sticking above ground, you could balance a coffee cup on me nut. A donut on one shoulder. Might be a nice idea for outdoor coffee shop décor . .

My suggestion along the parkland lines would be to also have – at each lovely indigenous park – an app. You key in a name on your phone and it leads you to where Wally is buried; or you key in ‘random’ and it takes you on a walk telling you about Joe here, Sally here and so voorts, complete with a brief CV. Maybe you could even key in ‘criminal’ and it shows all the crims who chose this spot as their last pozzie. An additional carbon saving is Aunt Matilda wouldn’t have to fly in from Scotland to put flowers on your grave. She could zoom in and check you out online.

We could © and TM this virtual grave app as ‘The Last Thing You Need’ ©

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Africa, Aitch, Life, Nostalgia

Forest Lawn, Elston Place

Our services were like this –
except for no silver caskets, no drums n bugles, and no liveried employees!  

When Bella died we buried her in the garden under the copse of trees over the birdbath. Then Aitch died and we – well, “we”, read about that! – buried her ashes there too. Then Blackie the gundwane (gerbil) and Cheeky the other gundwane (hamster) followed.

Then Janet and Trish’s dear old Dad Neil died and not too long after that – a year or two – their Mum Iona died. Neil’s ashes waited for Iona, and then when she was ready, Janet laid them both to rest in the same spot as well, with good ole Tobias Gumede’s help. He needed to re-cut the path so she could get there, the lovely remembrance spot had become very overgrown!

Lots of laughter and tears. Just like life with them all, come to think of it!

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Since then Sambucca the 12yr-old labrador has been plugged into the Elston Place earth, as has Flaky the 12yr-old American corn snaky! Both buried by TomTom – for a fee! Talk about a garden of remembrance!!

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gundwane – mouse; rat

Bella – dog; Aitch would say ‘doberman-ish; I’d say Canis africana

Aitch – Trish; dear wife; boss of the household; dog purchaser

Neil & Iona – outlaws; in-laws

Janet – twin sister of Aitch; sister of mine

Sambucca – only dog we ever paid for

Aitch, Family & Kids, Home, Life

Solemnish Ceremony

I gathered the kids and said “Let’s go and bury Mom’s ashes with Bella. We’ve been meaning to do it for ages, let’s do it now.”

Her ashes had been keeping an eye on us from the mantelpiece. Now it was time for ceremony.

We trooped down under the trees to the spot where Tobias and I had buried Bella and where we had prepared a hole for the little box containing Aitch’s remains.

I gathered my thoughts and cleared my throat and . . .

“ANTS!” the kids shouted, slapping their legs and running away back to the house.

Ah well, I had a little private ceremony, shaking with laughter. Aitch would have enjoyed that (though she’d have had something to say about decorum).