Most of us do not like to think of the bodies of our loved ones having to decay or be destroyed. It is certainly not a cheery topic, but a topic we need to consider because one day we may be called upon to take charge of the final details for someone we love. If we have not considered our options we might choose the least difficult option —a funeral home packages. I do not want to talk about the troublesome packages offered by funeral homes. I do want to address the fact that the industry offers two diametrically opposed choices, neither which is gentle on the environment. On one hand we are told we can preserve their bodies “forever”. On the other hand, we are told the body does not matter anyway—ashes to ashes. The funeral home will not likely explain the toxic nature of embalming fluid nor the amount of fuel needed to perform a cremation or any other troublesome facts of these two processes. In the end we are left with bodies that can no longer nurture the earth either by toxins in the process (embalming) or by destroying all the nutrients (cremation).
Why do we do this? I do not know. Maybe we do not want to really look at death. Maybe we are not offered the option that would better suit our values. Maybe we have been so far removed from the cycle of life that death is so foreign to us, and we just do not know what to do. Whatever the reason, we need to take time and look at options for the care of the dead so that we can make informed decisions when we need to. At the time we face the death of a loved one, we might not be as strong as we would hope to be. Making a stand can take a lot of energy that we might not have. Take a gentle approach with yourself and your choices you I continue to be shocked at how difficult it is to have a body simply washed and anointed with oils. This simple approach probably would not easily line the pockets of the death care industry, and that is probably the reason many find this so difficult to find. It should take a sheer effort of will to have simple and environmentally friendly options. When the time comes, be gentle with yourself and do the best you can with what you have to work with. That is all we can do anyway.