is the practice of burial humane?

why is it that we in the West bury bodies in a tight enclosed tube and shove them underground, as if we did not want them to ascend any higher than a worm? not that it is any more humane than burning every bone, hair, and fingernail and sticking the ashes in a container. The latter seems to suggest that the person was taking up too much space on this planet to begin with. Both suggest that the deceased body is as worthless as a rotten side of Beef, or the contents of a vacuum dust container.

Which brings me to a retro idea. Why not leave the body wrapped in oils and herbs inside a hollowed out tomb? Why not be buried like Jesus was buried? Why not construct catacombs? At least then the body is open to the air, and not suffocatingly hot inside that tube, where it will rot fast regardless of what is shot into the veins.

And that bothers me too. Why does every body that is “enclosed” need to be filled with a lethal liquid? Isn’t that “overkill?” Why does anyone need toxic fluids inserted into their veins to preserve them? What about the ones who wake up in the coffin? Yes, there have been such instances…in countries where they do not drain the body of blood and then stick formaldehyde inside. That, in itself, should tell you that the practice should be abolished, that it is inhumane, and in rare- but factually proven cases- quite possibly, murder.

There was a time when a dead body could be left on a nice hill with a view, a pleasant place should the rapture come early. Or, along a nice, pleasant stream, reminiscent of the 23rd Psalm. Or, maybe not beside calm waters, but on a park bench, along a pleasant trail. With a plaque beside it of course….”Here sits Harold Carmichael, Baron of Williamsted, who enjoyed quiet walks with his dog Teddy on this once pristine trail.” I would whole-heartedly support such a move, as long as there was room for me to sit elsewhere.

….which brings me back to that mound of mud in the cemetery…and that body encased within an absurdly heavy piece of discarded furniture…and the grief that clings to the air…and I wonder, how lacking in honor, how lacking in humanity, how lacking in love…it is…to bury the body of a loved one deep beyond reach…even if they are no longer there.

About thelostkerryman

Thelostkerryman is an author, and entrepreneur, living in the forests of a consistently confused country. Here in this hill country, hurling doesn't usually involve a hurley; store-made soda bread has the consistency of a sea sponge; and Kerrygold butter has finally found a permanent place on the grocery shelves everywhere. His blogs are an account of his adventures, thoughts, eclectic -and eccentric- ramblings, random or insightful poetry, humor and non-humor, pictures (photos), video, essays, fiction, poetic fiction, nonfiction, drama, and writing he has not classified in the description above. All of his posts from,,, and are copywrited according to international copywrite law.
This entry was posted in an alternative, catacombs, Cremation, Death, Death Burial, Humane, Life, love one and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to is the practice of burial humane?

  1. smilingtoad says:

    Such thoughts I have had, meself, many times. How deeply I loved this line, “I would whole-heartedly support such a move, as long as there was room for me to sit elsewhere.” I would, too, avidly so. I was reminded, by some of your imagery, of an early scene in “The Seventh Seal” where the squire came upon a dessicated body. I remember thinking what an extraordinarily beautiful place to become a part of again, decomposing into the grassy feathered earth upon a great sweeping cliff, eyeing a metal sea below. Warm humming earth, with distant scamel screams and the din of clattering waves filling one’s final thoughts with peace and music, I can think of nothing better. Superb write.

    smiling toad

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