Dead and buried

People say that gravestones and burials are “for the living”, i.e. a place or a time to remember deceased loved ones. Fair enough. I respect that choice. I lost a friend, a 17 year old kid. He deserves a grave; he didn’t get his fair shot at life. His parents deserve a place to remember him.

And a trip to any graveyard gives you an unusual perspective, looking around at the markers, seeing how long (or how short) people’s lives were, and those who died early in war, and so on.

But I can’t shake the nagging suspicion that the modern burial process is a vestigal act. In the early early days, when somebody died, it presented the community with a problem: either they got eaten by animals, or they started to stink. Solution: Cover them with rocks. That handles the animal problem but not the smell. So how about a sarcophagus? How about embalming? Hey, if we embalm them , AND put them in a box, AND take that box and bury it six feet underground, THAT seems to do the trick. (This is what the security world refers to as “defense in depth”.)

Me, I’m getting cremated.

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12 thoughts on “Dead and buried

  1. Cryo! Great question for a future post!

    This present post actually started with a Google query on “funereal science” and then detoured through the Egyptian astronomer Harkhebi. Who has a lovely sarcophagus, as it turns out.

  2. once i’m dead, i dont’ really care what they do with my carcass. all i know is, i wanna die in my sleep like my grandfather, not screaming like the passengers in his car (sorry, i had to get that joke in there)

  3. Burial routines should be nothing if not practical. As for me:

    1. Have doctors pluck out remaining usable organs.
    2. Let family sell rest of remains to McDonald’s for use in their Big Macs. You know, so they can offset funeral costs.

  4. Donny – lovely sentiments both.

    Matt’s reference is to what looks like an icky people-eating-people movie from the 70s. A slightly higher-grade execution of the same themes from Motel Hell.

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