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"What was a physical body will become one with the sky"
January 31, 2011 11:19 AM   Subscribe

Residents of the unique town of Crestone, CO (and surrounding areas) are among the only people in the USA to have the option of a funeral pyre.
posted by Burhanistan (31 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
But what if I'm not really dead yet? What if I'm like paralized or something like that?

I'd really prefer a coffin with a nice bell.
posted by oddman at 11:31 AM on January 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


Following publicity on the densely populated MetaFilter, Crestone never quite recovered its tranquility after the population explosion.
posted by infini at 11:36 AM on January 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


the population explosion.

I see what you did there.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 11:36 AM on January 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


My husband got rescued by nuns there once.

He was a kid, hiking with his dad and sister. He got separated from them and lost. The nuns found him, and when his dad finally turned up, in beat-my-kid mode, the nuns sternly told him to instead go buy Ralph some ice cream.

He did.


Ralph has always loved nuns ever since.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 11:37 AM on January 31, 2011 [19 favorites]


RAAAAAAAAAAAALPH!
posted by liketitanic at 11:41 AM on January 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


With luau to follow?
posted by bonehead at 11:43 AM on January 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


I am not sure I understand this bit:
Bob Biggins, spokesman and former president of the National Funeral Directors Association, applauded the practice. "As a culture, we need to say goodbye," Biggins said.
I might be completely missing something here, but doesn't a culture of burial also have the same "goodbye" aspect as a culture of cremation?

Seeing the body being cremated can't be assumed to provide closure ("goodbye"), as I happen to know from unfortunate personal experience. There is more to "goodbye" than the funeral technique.
posted by vidur at 11:45 AM on January 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


♬ something something funeral pyre... ♫
posted by fixedgear at 11:54 AM on January 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


I might be completely missing something here, but doesn't a culture of burial also have the same "goodbye" aspect as a culture of cremation?

I think he was just saying that a funeral ceremony of some sort is necessary. I don't think he meant that funeral pyres are better than burials or "traditional" cremations.
posted by muddgirl at 11:54 AM on January 31, 2011


Crestone in a national treasure. The main industry of the city is providing lodging for religious pilgrims. They have a dozen facilities from different traditions, one of the world's darkest skies where there is electricity and sanitary running water, and the Sangre de Cristos right there. The only drawbacks are it takes a while to get to and it is at 8000 foot altitude on main street with the monastaries and whatnot even higher--many sea level people have a hard time functioning there.

Their obvious next step is to attract a Zoroastrian facility and have vulture "burials". (There was a sidebarred metafilter post on a Tibetan vulture "burial" here a couple years ago which was, uh, sidebarred.)
posted by bukvich at 12:03 PM on January 31, 2011 [3 favorites]


fixedgear: "♬ something something funeral pyre... ♫"

I'll never forget those lyrics Jimi Hendrix sang at Altamont
posted by wcfields at 12:09 PM on January 31, 2011 [3 favorites]


oddman: "I'd really prefer a coffin with a nice bell."

Here's what I've learned today: noted medieval theologian Duns Scotus was, according to tradition, buried alive. Whoops?
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 12:14 PM on January 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


Bob Biggins

Oh, please let his middle name be "Beau"...
posted by hippybear at 12:18 PM on January 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


As someone who occasionally has to deal with partially or substantially burned human bodies, let me just say: P.U. Crematories have filters for a good reason: burning hair and flesh are noxious smelling. Not to mention how hot you have to make a fire to burn all the flesh and fat. And what about the bones?! Good on them for finding peace in this, but I'm dumbfounded.
posted by ColdChef at 12:33 PM on January 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


> let me just say: P.U.

Yeah, the WaPo article indicated that all issues such as smell were "addressed", but didn't say how. The Crestone End of Life Project site doesn't seem to have any info on how they mitigate the smell either. Maybe it's just usually windy there?
posted by Burhanistan at 12:42 PM on January 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


Maybe the burning juniper helps.
posted by ColdChef at 12:45 PM on January 31, 2011


And then there's this from the article: "Amid the scent of juniper and burning wood was a smell of marijuana from a bag that someone dropped into the pyre."
posted by ColdChef at 12:50 PM on January 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is such a brilliantly amazing idea.
posted by parmanparman at 1:15 PM on January 31, 2011


"Crestone - That's where I'm a Viking!"
posted by notsnot at 4:18 PM on January 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


(actually, my wife has tossed out the comment that she wants a Viking funeral. I'm really not sure what to make of that.)
posted by notsnot at 4:19 PM on January 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


fixedgear: "♬ something something funeral pyre... ♫"

Can't start a pyre without a spark.

I love Crestone (it's a beautiful area), and I kind of like the idea of a funeral pyre. Facing west, at sunset. Ixnay on the vultures though.
posted by faineant at 4:38 PM on January 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


fixedgear: "♬ something something funeral pyre... ♫"

Can't start a pyre without a spark.


It only takes a spark to get a fire glowing...
And soon all those around are warmed up to its glowing.....
posted by hippybear at 4:47 PM on January 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


Cremation, promession, alkaline hydrolysis?

Science Instructional ceremony: body is cast into 7' x 2' polyester transparent block. Holes connect to feet bottom for drainage. Erected in cemetary plot.

July 4th: ashes loaded into star shell. Mortar launched.

Sky burial: body lashed to upper branches of dead tree.

The Oregon Whale ceremony: ten pounds of dynamite and a beach. Mourners issued umbrellas.

Hypervelocity incandescence: body supported in vertical access tunnel during Pakistani underground nuclear test. (Portion of ashes may attain escape velocity just behind manhole cover.)

Green, casket-free plants-friendly burial: frozen with liquid nitrogen, hammered into ground.

Airborne casket-free crops-friendly burial: frozen with LN2, head sharpened to point, dropped over farmland. (Add fletching to legs for proper orientation)
posted by billb at 5:15 PM on January 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


The only reason I would not get a funeral pyre is that I think it would freak out my friends and family. I think most of them might have a hard time embracing and accepting it while it was happening.
posted by CruisinForABruisin at 5:25 PM on January 31, 2011


The only reason I would not get a funeral pyre is that I think it would freak out my friends and family. I think most of them might have a hard time embracing and accepting it while it was happening.
I can confirm this. I live in Denver, a few hours from this town. I was just telling my wife how excited I was that I could have a funeral pyre. She wasn't too excited about it.

I'm kind of torn now. On the one hand, I wouldn't be around to enjoy my funeral pyre and those who would probably wouldn't appreciate how awesome it is. On the other hand, it would be really, really awesome.
posted by scottreynen at 6:27 PM on January 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


Pork chops will never taste the same.
posted by ~Sushma~ at 6:42 PM on January 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


add neon and
posted by clavdivs at 8:13 PM on January 31, 2011


No, I don't want my children (or other people's children) piling a cord of wood on top of me, and throwing a lit torch on me (or whatever's left of me) while I'm encased by grey cinderblocks and surrounded by a paid audience of shambala well-wishers. Does Stephen King know about this place?
posted by wallstreet1929 at 9:38 PM on January 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


I prefer burial at this point, bit a green burial, and I don't think that type of cremation is something my relatives could dig. I am from a multi-religeous family. Well I DO have afew Hindu cousins, but I bet even they could find this all a bit grim.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 9:58 PM on January 31, 2011


billb mentioned one I thought I remembered from awhile ago- thanks Homunculus. Something about hurrying along the 'dust to dust' thing appeals. Also- a sort of reverse family tree.
posted by LD Feral at 8:26 AM on February 1, 2011


♬ something something funeral pyre... ♫
blood rack, barbed wire, politicians funeral pyre... 21st. Century schizoid man, King Crimson.
I'll have the sky burial with condors please.
posted by hortense at 1:03 PM on February 1, 2011


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