Warning: This post may be considered by some to be beyond the pale of decency. If you suspect that you may be someone who is easily appalled by borderline indecency, click here to be redirected to something more innoucous.
You have been warned.
Death is a natural part of life, so I'm told; thus far, personal experience has confirmed this notion-- I have never met a centenarian (though Willard Scott assures me that they exist). Thus, from a very early age, I have braced myself for the eventuality that I will someday cease to exist in the manner to which I am currently accustomed. I know that some people think a lot about their funerals... who will be there, which people will be crying or laughing, what they will say about the dearly departed... Some wonder about the after party: Will the attendees be somber or jovial? What will they serve? Will there be assigned seating?
These are interesting questions, but, to be honest, I am most concerned with the after-after-party. I am preoccupied with what will happen to my body once my soul has, umm, left it for dead. For some time, I have been torn between the options of cremation and burial. Despite my multiple close calls with fire (see this entry for an example and a Christmas remembrance soon to be posted), the idea of being condensed to a few pounds of calcium phosphate and minerals sort of freaks me out. I know that I will no longer be inhabiting this ultimately temporary structure of oxygen, carbon, nitrogen, and hydrogen, and that burial only postpones the inevitable decomposition of this organic container of soul and mind and blog... but I have a deeply rooted visceral opposition to being reduced to an urnfull of ashen remains.
The only problem I have with burial, however-- in addition to the impending cemetery space crisis-- is that I am sort of in love with the romantic idea of having my remains scattered over places that mean a lot to me. I've heard lovely stories about the charred remains of loved ones being redistributed (downwind, hopefully) by family and friends in the mountains, rivers, trails, and foreign lands they once held dear-- becoming one with nature in the truest possible sense. I find this idea to be truly beautiful.
While beard trimming a few weeks back, I found myself pondering my ostensibly incompatible desires for corporeal integrity and decorating nature with ashen yajeev remains. As my shavings drifted to the saran wrap trap I had rigged for their easy disposal (to prevent their clogging our bathroom sink drain), I had an epiphany. As if by angelic courier, the solomonic solution punctured my awareness with the perfect cadaveric remedy. My body could be preserved for burial (or taxidermic treatment if anyone would like a lifesize Land of Yajeev souvenir in their living room) and a certain portion of my remains could be scattered amongst the locations dearest to my heart: rather than prepare my ashes post mortem, my loved ones could collect dispensible parts of my organism while I walk and breathe. Previously trash-bound personal components such as excess hair, fingernail clippings, and dry skin-- all legitimate members of my cellular composition-- will hereby be preserved for their future distribution. My body will remain at peace, and I will be eternally connected with my favorite locales: Chick Fil A, cyberspace, the yeast lab, and movie theater.
May I rest in peace.