This is a post about what to do with dead bodies. Now that I have your attention, please read my disclaimer.
We do not have a dead body nor do we anticipate having one in the near future. But life is fragile. You never know.
Planning what to do with your body after you have finished using it is a personal decision. One size does not fit all.
So your journey and decision making may bring you to a totally different destination from ours.
Jay and I have been researching a suitable place for our earthly remains when transition time arrives.
We believe that when the time comes, it will be easier for those left behind if some advance planning has been done. Those faced with the need to put the next steps into play will know what to do.
Considering the options has touched off quite a discussion within the family, as we each considered our views of death of the physical body.
The first thing we discovered was we were considering everything from the point of view that we would still be aware of our earthly bodies after our death.
Even though we believed our spirits would leave our bodies behind, we still resisted the thought of being buried in a box underground or being burned in a fiery furnace.
Then there was the issue of having a “final” resting place. None of us liked the idea of being in one spot forever. We wanted lights, sound and action! We were not sure we wanted to just “rest,” even “in peace.”
We did believe that whoever had departed, had truly departed. Whatever plans we made would be for those left behind.
And if we had truly departed, then all our concerns about how we would feel about the various ways to handle our remains could be set aside.
We agreed that whatever we did, we wanted it to be done in a way that would reflect our gratitude for the life we had been blessed to live.
We also wanted to leave a message that would communicate ongoing praise of our Creator.
We wanted to find a way not only to release our bodies, but also to give our bodies. We agreed we wanted to donate all organs and tissues that could be used to give life to others.
Having agreed upon those points, we began our research.
Jay and I both grew up in a culture that always seemed a bit strange to me.
Dead bodies were pumped full of chemicals and attempts were made to make them look alive when in fact, they looked dead. And then people paraded by the made up replicas to “say goodbye.”
Even as a child, I was aware of the disconnect between whether they were truly in heaven or whether they were in the casket.
Bodies were buried in air tight containers. This also seemed a little strange to me — sort of like saving spoiled food indefinitely in a Tupperware container in the refrigerator.
I puzzled over the practice of visiting the dead at the Cemetary. Hadn’t they already left?
As I got older, I began to have concern for our environment as well. It seemed sad that farms that once grew food and still had the potential to do so were being dedicated to rows of containers of dead bodies that could not give anything back to the people of earth or even earth itself.
I realized I did not want my remains to be in some sort of “holding cell” to be mourned. I wanted what is left of the old me to return to the earth in a “dust to dust” way.
I wanted to be freed to become a part of the earth and receive the sun, rain and snow.
When I was a little girl, I frequently went barefoot outside. I remembered making my footprints in damp earth. I became a part of the earth. I left my mark there.
I remembered lying on the grass and looking up at the blue sky and tracking the clouds as they moved by. The ground seemed to be my launch pad to the great beyond.
So it felt right to somehow have my remains begin their transitory journey from the earth itself.
So the next question was how to get my remains to the earth.
It turned out there were various options, some more freaky than others. I will not go through the lengthy list of all we considered and rejected for various reasons. I will only tell you what we decided and why.
Today we purchased the right to be interred in a beautiful garden. We found beautiful spots near the water and trees.
However, we do not plan a traditional burial. Those of you who know us will know the Jones rarely do anything traditional!
Stay tuned for more on our thoughts. I will write more in the next few posts.
Gardens were very important throughout The Bible. Earth’s first story began there!
We found the trees planted by the water!
“Blessed is the one who trusts in The Lord, whose confidence is in Him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit” Jeremiah 17:7-8