Sunday, November 3, 2019

Lengthening Shadows

Let your final resting place be meaningful, not a hillside with bodies stacked like driftwood.
 - Ace Edmonds, Tenebrae 2018

I like nature. A lot.

I don't like graveyards. Not even a little.

It's not out of discomfort, dis- or respect. It's not fear of the inevitability of death. It's the artificiality and the crowding. I don't want my death to result in me joining the ordered rows peppering the landscape underneath well-tended lawns.

Graveyard plots are at a premium these days, given the endless march of everybody to their death and the limited amount of property available. And even with those inheritance-breaking prices, there's still no guarantee you'll be able to keep it--not even talking about the explosision of the sun--for the length of time you have people who miss you enough to visit. New housing developments and commercial spaces, not necessarily built on said burial grounds, need roads and infrastructure, and people are less superstitious about building water sanitation plants and landfills on such land.

No, give me the wide wild woods.

Washington State only just this past year has considered legalizing human composting, and it's the first.
The process involves placing unembalmed human remains wrapped in a shroud in a 5-foot-by-10-foot cylindrical vessel with a bed of organic material such as wood chips, alfalfa and straw. Air is then periodically pulled into the vessel, providing oxygen to accelerate microbial activity. Within approximately one month, the remains are reduced to a cubic yard of compost that can be used to grow new plants.
 - NBC
This doesn't account for the people who get cremated, and then have their family members spread their ashes in a chosen space, which, depending on jurisdiction, may be considered littering. Instead, this offers a completely legal alternative, and you can feed the growth of a new generation.

Just don't let any pequeninos try to dissect you.