Does anything sound colder than those 4 words… ‘disposing of a body’?
I’ve just been talking to a journalist, keen to know about the options for disposing of a body and this has prompted me to share this information. (It still surprises me that this isn’t stuff we all know by now since it’s the one sure fire thing in life – we will all die.)
When someone you are close to dies, optios for ‘disposing of a body’ come into sharp focus. It’s a harsh reality; it’s the first thing we’ll be confronted with when someone close to us dies: “burial or cremation?” That could be a tough call. And it could be your decision on behalf of someone near and dear, if they’re not on the ball and using our Life Planning Tools to record preferences. (So before we go any further, please take personal responsibility and record what you’d prefer in your Wishes on Final Fling. Save someone else the tough call.)
The options for disposing of a body
There are two main options for disposing of a body: burial or cremation.
There are ways to make choices that offer you something as close as possible to your values; what really matters to you.
- the choice may depend on your faith – for example Jewish people are all buried in the same black box the next day (or as soon as possible). See more about traditions and beliefs.
- you may prefer a natural burial ground to protect the environment and have a peaceful place for family to visit.
- you may want to go out in beautiful wicker coffin or felt shroud – and not be too bothered where it ends up. See our Marketplace for ideas.
- you may fancy cremation but don’t particularly want a service in a crematorium. In that case opt for direct cremation (your funeral director can help or you can think about a DIY funeral).
There is another way to consider if you’re thinking about disposing of a body – donating your body to science. Don’t assume this can be written in a Will and forgotten. Check out our page.
If you do opt for cremation as your preference for disposing of a body, then you might want to think about options for ashes.
Bios Urn is a funerary urn made from biodegradable materials (coconut shell and cellulose) that will turn you into a tree after you die. Inside the urn there is a pine seed (it can be another seed or plant) that will grow as a tribute or memorial for the person who’s died. Instead of disappearing at the point of departure, we more clearly become part of a lifecycle.