As technology advances, more and more alternative burial options are available for loved ones who have passed away. The traditional burial is still very popular, but because of the large swaths of land this takes up, more space-efficient methods are being developed.
Cremating the body is often a pre-cursor to many other alternative forms of burial. Whilst the average cremation service may be hired to burn the body and grind it into a fine dust for scattering or urns, others may be employed to prepare bodies for use in space burials and greener options that see human remains being turned into compost and used to grow trees. Either way traditional burials and cremations remain some of the cheaper and more popular options available today. However, some rather unusual alternatives exist.
Burial at Sea
If you've ever seen a Napoleonic sea drama, then you've probably witnessed a sea burial, but this is different from just scattering ashes into the ocean, as there are a lot of things to consider beforehand. Burying a body at sea requires a permit from the Australian Government's Department of the Environment and Energy because you can be charged according to The Sea Dumping Act (1981) if the burial is not approved. According to the government's site on the matter, the body must be buried away from major trawling lanes at a depth of 3000m to avoid resurfacing, and covered in a shroud, which is a fabric case used for bodies. This option could be popular with people who have close connections to the sea.
Space burials are vastly different to how they are depicted in the movies. First of all, whole bodies are not launched into space; instead, some of the cremated remains are taken into space and either released during re-entry so that they dissolve in the atmosphere or released in deep space and on the moon. This stops human remains from becoming space debris, and using only a portion of the remains makes space burial more affordable for people who would prefer this option. Despite this option seeming rather futuristic, it has actually been around for a a number of decades.
Plastination for Research
Gunther von Hagens, a world-famous German anatomist, developed the technique of plastination. This is where the body's fat and water are removed and replaced with plastic compounds that preserves the body and prevent it from decaying. The samples are then stained and often sliced or positioned in various stances and used for medical study and art displays. The intention on Von Hagens is to assist the medical community with understanding the human body and how it is constructed, and many people voluntarily donate themselves for this purpose.Share
30 November 2016
Irving Berlin famously sang, "The song is ended, but the melody lingers on..." Anyone who has been in charge of funeral arrangements knows the importance of striking the delicate balance between reverence and celebration which helps us remember the true heart of a person. We admire incredible examples of funerals that faithfully commemorate a person's life such as those for Nelson Mandela and Joan Rivers. Unfortunately, funerals for our own loved ones often end up being generic or "cookie cutter" because sadness overwhelms us. This blog is designed to help by outlining the ways that funeral directors can personalise a service and providing imaginative ideas.