[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text single_style=””]Guest Post by Elise Pennington

The options are not limited when it comes to choosing how you would like your body to be cared for after you die, and truthfully, you’re not only choosing for you. You are choosing how your family will walk through the days after your passing as they carry out your final wishes

While your choice of disposition is certainly intimate and personal, it takes on a whole new meaning when it requires the people you love most to follow through with your end-of-life plans.  For MOST of us, our families have nothing to worry about….

I might venture to say that most people lean one of two ways. Traditional burial that includes a visitation, formal funeral service followed by a police-escorted procession to the cemetery for the grand finale, or some version of cremation that may or may not include a memorial service of sorts.

According to a report on April 15, 2022, the National Funeral Directors Association reported the most current statistics show that a whopping 57.5% of people prefer cremation to the 36.6% that are still clinging to old traditions (https://nfda.org/news/statistics). That only accounts for 94.1% of the population. What does the fringe 5.9% of people consider where last rites are concerned? Let’s look at some of the options for those that prefer the path less traveled and what exciting journey might be in store for their families.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”1354″ img_size=”medium” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Tame Cremation Options You Have Surely Heard Of…Or Have You?”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text single_style=””]Beginning in the shallow end of our ocean of options, one might opt to have their cremated remains:

  • scattered somewhere special,
  • turned into a diamond,
  • shot into the air with fireworks,
  • sent into space to remain on the moon,
  • turned into a vinyl record,
  • used to paint a portrait,
  • made into a set of 240 pencils using your remaining carbon,
  • combined in tattoo ink,
  • turned into stained glass,
  • captured in a time capsule to be deposited on the ocean floor, or turned into a tree for those nature loving folks, to list a few.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Or…Something a Little Wilder…”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text single_style=””]

    For those a little more curious, like me, there are other options that might send your family members into a frenzy should they read them in your plans at the funeral home. Let’s wade into the deep end and take a look.

For the individual not quite ready to leave this place behind, you might consider cryogenics. Following death, your blood is replaced with preserving fluids and special agents to avoid freezing. You are then packed on ice until you reach a certain temperature followed by submersion in pure nitrogen and maintained at -196 degrees Celsius until further notice. Should technology allow one day, you may be able to be resuscitated!

If you are an art lover and don’t mind the idea of a different sort of body donation, you may consider Gunther von Hagen’s Body Worlds. His concept is “to educate the public about the inner workings of the human body and to show the effects of healthy and unhealthy lifestyles.” (https://bodyworlds.com/about/philosophy/) The way that Dr. von Hagens and his wife, Dr. Angelina Whalley, have accomplished this is creating a curated display of human bodies in all shapes and forms that have completed the process called plastination. It takes roughly a year for the process to be completed. When you have been fully preserved, removing the water and fat, replacing it with different plastics, you are added to their travelling exhibition. It is there that people from any of the one hundred and fifty countries the exhibit visits will observe and learn from the inner workings of your being. Talk about leaving a lasting impression!

Believe it or not, if you had enough money, you could still choose to have your body mummified as the ancient Egyptians once did. The process is lengthy and expensive. Costing in the neighborhood of $67,000. Following mummification, your family will still need to find a place to lay your exquisitely treated body. If this is your preservation of choice, best start saving your money now!

If there is anything all of this tells us, it is that we are in no shortage of memorialization options. The same can be said for the memorial that we choose to place in the cemetery or on personal property that will represent our existence here on earth. A legacy is important. Do you want to leave the story of your life up to those left behind, or will you make plans on your own behalf before the final date after the dash is added to your timeline?[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”1346″ img_size=”400×150″ alignment=”center”][vc_single_image image=”1345″ img_size=”large”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text single_style=””]About Our Guest Author

Elise Pennington is an Arkansas Licensed Funeral Director with a sense of style and personality. While others may think her choice of careers to be a little unusual, it is a career she loves and is passionate about.

Do you have questions about funerals, graveside rituals or memorials? If so, leave it in the comments and we will answer it![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]


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