My upbringing was such that there was quite a sobering relationship to death. I don’t know why, but after 8 years old, dead bodies did not affect me. It just seemed that I experienced so much connection to death around that time in my life. Growing up a Jehovah’s Witness, we didn’t do Birthdays, Easter, Christmas, so my parents found their way to everyone’s funeral, and if I was lucky, the repast. So my memories with family were often shrouded with a body in the room, or at least an urn. Hey, at least I got to see my cousins! Well, what does this have to do with Tech Tuesday?… I just decided to do a segment on tech involving our last rites.
Most of us chose cremation or traditional burial. We may get an urn or lay our loved ones in a communal place or bury their ashes. Some people even choose to spread them out over the ocean. Humans have come up with some high-tech ways to deal with death and ash storage. It might inspire you to ask for something different when you are ready to go to the upper room.
Instead of just burial or a release at sea, why not create a 3D printed decorative urn of their head. So I discovered this scrolling through Facebook. This innovation has been available for over a decade, and this is about one of the highest tech ways to memorialize a family member I had seen. If you have an affinity to STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Art and Math), a 3D likeness of your head might be what you want to have for your family. With a price tag from 600- 3000 dollars, it might be an interesting way to keep an eye on everyone. See the link below for more information.
Furthermore, if you are worried about CO2 emissions during cremation, an alternate method to cremation is called Alkaline Hydrolysis (Bio-Cremation). It appears to carry a similar price tag as cremation, but the body is dissolved, and bones are crushed. The crushed bones are delivered to the family in the same method as cremation. If you are a firm believer in keeping it green, this might be a good option. Fewer greenhouse gases are released from the body, making Alkaline Hydrolysis a more environmentally friendly option. This liquified body becomes wastewater, which is then easily disposed of by usage sewage systems. Unfortunately, bio-cremation is banned in many states, but it is currently legal in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
If you believe in possible reanimation possibilities and have some money to burn, Cryonics might be a choice. It cost around $200,000 to freeze a whole body, or you can arrange to have only your head frozen for a little under 30,000.
Low tech is probably the option we will take here, but I hope I provided you with some valuable information. I intended to be informative with a touch of humor. If you have had a loss over this year, I sincerely apologize if I’ve come across as insensitive. I’ve had many losses within the last year that has forced my family and me to explore decisions. Ideally, making these difficult decisions early will help your loved ones. What will you choose? To Be Buried High Tech or Low Tech that is the question?