A few days ago, I sent out a story about How You Would Like to Be Dead, from the NY Times. It elicited quite a few of you to respond directly to me about your reactions. So, today, there is a posting in the same paper by the editors, who received many more responses to the story. These are passed on for your interest, entertainment, or disgust - whatever floats your boat:
How You Would Like to Be Dead
By THE EDITORS
JULY 13, 2017
Richard Conniff, a contributing opinion writer, recently published an article in the Times on his wish to be buried in a natural burial ground. "The basic idea," he wrote, "is that people who love to spend time in the woods pay to be buried there." We asked readers to tell us how they would like to be dead. Below is a lightly edited sampling of their responses.
I want to be cremated, squished into a hard ceramic ball and shot from a cannon of a pirate ship into the Gulf of Mexico. We all have our dreams.
I want my ashes spread on my favorite paintings around the world. My children will place my ashes in baggies and surreptitiously place some ash on the frames of each painting. I will probably end up in a vacuum cleaner, but while the process takes place, my kids can enjoy the art I admired during my life. — Joseph Marcucilli
On my first trip to New Zealand, I marveled at the lovely roses growing in a cemetery, but wondered where the dead were buried. "Under the roses," a Kiwi friend said. "The ashes are used as fertilizer to produce these gorgeous flowers!" So, grandma becomes a rose. Not a bad way to be remembered.
Cremated, and I want my ashes to be put with my dogs' ashes. — Monica Walsh
Simple straight burial in a biodegradable cloth cover as soon as possible after the death meets all the criteria of biological efficiency. No need to poison the food chain with formaldehyde, increase the carbon footprint with manufacture of elaborate coffins, mausoleums or wasting of the organic proteins with incinerators. Sometimes, basics are the best.
It has always struck me as horrible that the last act of many people is to put masses of chemicals (formaldehyde and other embalming fluids) into the ground with them — polluting the earth and their own decaying bodies.
Wonderful article to inform more people of a natural method of burial. It's the type of burial I want for myself, hopefully enriching the area I so love to wander in during my hikes.
— Ann Marie
My wife has been pushing us to buy a joint plot ever since her father passed away in 2010. I have been resisting. I just don't want to buy into the funerary industry where it costs $7,500 for a plot with gravestone. I'd rather buy an old '41 Ford with that money, drive it around and enjoy it for as long as possible and, when the time comes, have a deep hole dug in the ground and roll the car and me into it (I'll save the seat next to me for my wife). — CBT
I don't care what happens to my dead body. It is just a container for my living cells. I hope to donate my body to a medical school. Let someone learn from it.
Don't care. When we die, we die. We have no knowledge of it and no knowledge of what is going on in the world we leave behind. Whatever makes my loved one have an easier time coping with it.
— Daniel Wilson
I want my organs to be donated and what's left of my body to be buried in one of those organic cocoons that will spring into a tree.
— Kata Karáth
For those that live near the ocean I may suggest the deep 6 or Navy burial. Just weight down the cadaver and drop it in the ocean for the denizens of the deep to enjoy. — USMC1954
My wife and I have spent hours going through cemeteries gathering family history and local history from gravestones. These markers are our emotional links to the past. So please bury me in a conventional cemetery. Please use a vertical stone that has a chance of lasting two hundred years. No horizontal flat-to-the-ground markers, please. — Gary
When my body stops functioning, it is just medical waste. Deal with it as such. — Neil Joinson
I have the hope that I would be strong enough in body and mind to walk in the wild so far away from roads or people that I would not have the strength to make it back. Maybe in Winter to fall asleep before dying of thirst. I would love to be lying on earth and look at the sky in my last minutes the way I have lived my life- with dirt under my fingernails.
— Chloe De Segonzac
Patriotism is not a short and frenzied outburst of emotion but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime.
- Adlai Stevenson