Lately I’ve been thinking of dying less as your life ending and more your death beginning. While that makes things slightly less depressing when people I care about die, it does create an actual fucktonne (metric system) of further questions.
After all, if death is a new place rather than a new nothing, I need to make sure I arrive there in style. When I was still convinced that death was nothing but a black hole, I didn’t care what happened; I could be stuck in a shallow hole for foxes to chew on, for all I cared.
But now I want something more for myself when I die. I don’t wanna be committed to the earth under a stone slab, especially not one with something disingenuous carved into it: Here lies Rosie; overall excellent person and outstanding sister to all. Lies; fucking lies.
Instead, here’s my five contenders for where I’m going after I’m gone.
When my death starts, I don’t want all the other dead people to look at me like, there’s the gal whose final act was contributing to the drawn-out murder of our planet. I want them to look at me like, there’s the hero who had her family spend way more money on not releasing any greenhouse gases.
Promession, a technique developed in Sweden, is basically cremation with the posthumous guilt. Through freezing and cremation, one’s earthly vessel is simply and effectively broken into a fine powder. Disappointingly, the article about it didn’t specify what colour the powder is, but I imagine grey.
One benefit is that once the promession process is finished, the body doesn’t decompose any more. That means you could do whatever you wanted with it without any adverse smells – at least not from the dead body ha ha ha! You could keep your loved ones about without resorting to taxidermy or living without a nose, and you can’t say fairer than that.
But what if I want a more permanent resting place than, say, the bottom of my fishtank? Natural burial, a process that seeks to enhance the environment rather than fuck it up, springs to mind. The embalming process is eschewed, as is the traditional coffin – the body is laid to rest in a shroud or biodegradable coffin.
This appeals to me particularly because my doctor recommended that I spend more time in the fresh air. Plus, instead of a lying headstone, you can opt for a tree or shrub. This satisfies the requirement that your close ones have some site to visit, although admittedly it would be hugely traumatic if the not-headstone died.
That said, I very much like the idea that my dog could pee on my grave without being shouted at; furthermore, it means I don’t have to give up on my dream of being eaten by hungry badgers (maybe that was more of a nightmare).
However, I don’t want all the other dead people to think I’m some hippy. I need them to identify me as a lady of means while also admiring my multi-facets and rainbow refraction. Luckily, a Chicago-based company has my back, synthesising diamonds from people’s dead relatives and even pets.
Aside from the popularity of the company (apparently available in a quarter of American funeral parlours), the most surprising thing was the sheer quantity of diamonds that can be squeezed from a single corpse – between fifty and a hundred.
At a certain point, you’ve got to wonder what people do with that many cadaver diamonds. There’s only so much glittery jewellery you can own without being called a weirdo, and that threshold is much, much lower if the jewellery is made out of dead people.
That is, getting frozen into a lolly. To my intense disappointment, this article contained no mention of one day getting thawed out to live amongst the future people, although it did hint at being used as tree-fertiliser, which is pretty fun.
What happens if it’s a fruit-bearing tree, though?
Aquamation is where the body is dissolved and the bones are ground into flour. The human soup can be poured over flowers and trees so that they absorb all your XP.
Once again though, would you eat fruit from that tree?