At first glance, this sounds gross, but hear me out (a great way to start any story).
When it comes to death, I’m on the fence about it. Not actually doing it. I’m aware it has to happen. I don’t like it, but I guess I’ll do it. It’s what’s to be done with my physical body after I kick the bucket that concerns me.
Burial or cremation? Those seem to be the two most popular (legal) choices. Neither sound appealing to me. Sit six feet under and take decades to decompose as insects chow down on an all-you-can-eat Cory buffet. Maggots or even worse… spiders crawling all over me? No thank you. Plus it seems like I’m taking up a lot of space that I don’t need on an already increasingly overcrowded planet.
Or I could get stuffed into an oven and be reduced to dust and bones, only to sit in a container on someone’s mantle as a decoration and conversation piece during future awkward family Christmas gatherings. And let’s just say for the sake of argument/fact that I die before my wife. Sure, she’ll want to look at that “modestly priced receptacle” that is now my final resting place, but then what? She dies, and our kids now have two containers of their parents’ ashes. Then they die and their kids are left now with four containers of ashes, two of them their grandparents that they don’t really remember anyway and then one day they say during Spring cleaning 2068 “What should we do with these? I didn’t even know them” and then you end up in the trash or scattered in some place that doesn’t even mean anything to you. Gone and now forgotten.
Besides, cremation just seems very… permanent. What if we do have a need for our physical bodies after death? Like you die, get to the afterlife, and the first thing they say is, “Welcome! Did you bring your body? You’re going to need it for orientation!” That would suck. Like showing up to take your SATs and the instructor says, “Hope you brought you pencil, we don’t have any.” You quickly glance around for that one guy who brought the same plastic box full of pencils he’s had since 6th grade in hopes he’ll lend you one. I’m assuming no one has a box of extra bodies in the afterlife for the folks who decided to go with cremation. And even if that guy does exist, who knows what body you’ll get. Probably the equivalent of the pencil that needs sharpening and then once you do get up, walk over to the pencil sharpener and manually and very loudly crank it for 20 seconds, you walk back to your desk and the lead tip falls out. Probably a long shot, but you never know.
Two very different processes that ultimately end in the same result, but I think I’m going to gamble that I won’t need my body any more and opting for reducing my body to it’s smallest physical form in order to save the rest of humanity the space. Plus, these days if you want to be cremated, they can take your ashes and turn you into a tree. That would be cool. Just hang out with other trees for a couple of decades. Better than the aforementioned “Grandkids Spring cleaning scenario.”
The point is, death isn’t pretty, but one company is offering to make it a lot less pretty. Basically, they want to flush you down the toilet. That doesn’t sound appealing, but after hearing about it, it makes some good sense.
AquaGreen Dispositions near Ottawa will take your remains and soak them in a powerful alkaline solution that will turn you into a beige sludge, and then drain that sludge into the sewer. Your remains will run into the drainpipes of Smiths Falls.
- It has a very minimal carbon footprint. Apparently cremation releases 551 pounds of climate-warming carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. This process is much more environmentally friendly.
- You still get ashes. Your bones and artificial joints won’t dissolve. So they crush your bones into a fine powder and give them to your family so they can throw them away in 50 years. If you have artificial joints, they can take those and send them to poorer countries that lack those materials.
- You get to go on an eternal river rafting adventure. I went river rafting once, it was fun.
- You’re basically poop. They send you down the sewer and before you even reach that magical river rafting fun, you’re basically sewer soup among turds. Like Tim Robbins in the Shawshank Redemption, except in a liquid form. But you’d have the same reaction as Tim once you reached that river.
- If enough people do this, will that pollute the river system? I’m not sure.
It sounds gross, but makes sense. What to do? What to do? I’m not sure. I guess I just better not die anytime soon.
Let me know what you think about it on my Facebook page.