Death: The Ultimate State of Self Sufficiency

This has been a joke of mine since high school. When you’re alive, such as I am now, many things can happen. Mostly injury and death. Yet being dead means you  can’t change any farther. You’re already at the dead end of existence. This brings in ideas of undead, such as zombies and vampires. Yet even those folk can be destroyed.

This gets me thinking about burial. What options are out there other than your typical RIP gravestone and green plot? Cremation is there, but it actually pollutes so badly, you’d make BP look like a green company. I’ve always wanted to have a tree planted above my grave so that it’s roots would grow through my body. Then I would fertilize the tree and ultimately live through it again (a sort of rein-tree-nation).

It turns out I’m not too far off from current trends. Green graveyards are springing up. The green here refers to environmentally sound rather than green grass. Deceased are buried in natural environments. No grave marker. Instead, they get a GPS marker that loved ones can seek out.

Another trend that fits the body-as-fertilizer trend is being worked out by the Swedes. A company called Promessa Organic freeze dries bodies and then turns this into fertilizer. The body weighs significantly less when freeze dried (the process removes the water—and we’re mostly water). It also allows for a cleaner decomposition. It turns out that rotting underground, though it may seem wonderful that the body remains intact for so long, actually produces some nasty chemicals that can sully local drinking water. A freeze dried body is interned in a biodegradable coffin. With a tree or bush planted above ground, the body and coffin become a high nutrient loam in about sixth months. That’s full circle baby.