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Use Your Loved One on Your SATs!
March 10, 2010 5:04 AM   Subscribe

8 Unconvential Ways to Be "Buried." We've all heard about strange practices surrounding the remains of the deceased, but even I (who am morbid to a fault) hadn't been aware of half of these.
posted by grapefruitmoon (61 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
I'm considering plastination.
posted by not_on_display at 5:11 AM on March 10, 2010


There's always the Soylent Green option too.
posted by XMLicious at 5:12 AM on March 10, 2010


Pencils? Gimmick. Diamond? Hideously tacky and wierd. The coral reef thing, however, makes some sense.
posted by molecicco at 5:14 AM on March 10, 2010


When I first found out about Lifegem I immediately informed my mother that this was to be her fate. She likes the idea of being sparkles, so that's good. It's fairly reasonably priced compared to a more traditional burial, plus my family's sense of humor is definitely tuned to the "Oh, this? It's my mom" frequency. I'm not going to say my sister and I are looking forward to it, but...we do both really like jewelry.

I'm crazy about that pencil idea though. I'm going to start writing longhand more, just for practice, while I'm trying to decide who gets made into pencils someday.
posted by padraigin at 5:15 AM on March 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Nine ways: Chinese granny buried alive by property developers. That's pretty unconventional too.
posted by three blind mice at 5:17 AM on March 10, 2010


The pencil idea is kind of interesting. Weird to think of yourself being used to jot down grocery notes or phone numbers (which might then travel home with someone else who probably has no idea they're carrying a wee bit of human remains around in their pocket.)
posted by usonian at 5:18 AM on March 10, 2010


the life gem gives me visions of a black widow with her deceased husbands turned into a string of jewelry.
posted by leotrotsky at 5:28 AM on March 10, 2010 [6 favorites]


My sister's ashes have been sitting on my parents' mantel, alternately infuriating and haunting me. I haven't been able to get them to buy into anything for various reasons. The reef idea is awesome. The pencil one is interesting, but I'm not sure how I feel about how traditional pencil fades over time. Maybe it's good, it's still early in the morning for me.
posted by nevercalm at 5:35 AM on March 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


...I lick pencil points.

Ew.
posted by MrVisible at 5:36 AM on March 10, 2010


Diamond? Meh. Fireworks? So-so. Brownish liquid? I am THERE.
posted by shakespeherian at 5:37 AM on March 10, 2010 [6 favorites]


My will states that I wish to be pulverized and snorted by Keith Richards.
posted by Pollomacho at 5:41 AM on March 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


The pencil one.
posted by sneebler at 5:43 AM on March 10, 2010


I plan to be cremated and have the ashes put into maracas, which should then be left on the coffee table. Who can resist the urge to shake maracas if they're sitting right of them? It'll be my way of entertaining guests long after I'm gone.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 5:52 AM on March 10, 2010 [24 favorites]


I'd quite like to buy one of the reef things, but do I have to die first?
posted by Phanx at 6:03 AM on March 10, 2010


Tibetan sky burial FTW. (I enjoyed the dead flesh of countless animals. Only seems fair they should enjoy mine.)
posted by stringbean at 6:03 AM on March 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


What? No mention of Viking funeral ship pyres? Death...that's where I'm a viking.
posted by briank at 6:11 AM on March 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


I always wanted to be encased in perspex. Preferably with a stern expression, and pointing accusingly. Then I could be used as a coffee table.
posted by bifter at 6:14 AM on March 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


I had the ashes of Jack Smith, mixed with glitter from his performances, thrown on me during a performance piece in a basement. Getting them out of my sweater was a brush with fame. I think I may still have some somewhere. It seemed undignified to throw them away.
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:16 AM on March 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Foolish mortals. Your burial costums are very amusing. When I go I plan to take several aspects of space-time with me. I hope you're not too attached to the weak nuclear force.
posted by The Whelk at 6:27 AM on March 10, 2010 [6 favorites]


shakespeherian: "Diamond? Meh. Fireworks? So-so. Brownish liquid? I am THERE."

STERILE brownish liquid, that can be safely poured down the drain!
posted by idiopath at 6:28 AM on March 10, 2010


stringbean: Tibetan sky burial FTW.

There's no winning in reincarnation.
posted by at the crossroads at 6:30 AM on March 10, 2010


There's no winning in reincarnation.

Tell that to someone who came back as a cockroach.
posted by Forktine at 6:43 AM on March 10, 2010


I've always planned to be cremated and handfuls of my ashes thrown at people I don't like. I rather like the pencil idea too, then my lived ones could write them nasty notes with me.
posted by Aversion Therapy at 6:53 AM on March 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


If you like this post, you may enjoy Rocket Gibraltar; even if you don't like this post, it's a terrific, family-friendly(human-friendly) movie. With Burt Lancaster, who is awesome.
posted by theora55 at 6:57 AM on March 10, 2010


Or my loved ones even. I always manage at least one typo per comment, grr
posted by Aversion Therapy at 7:05 AM on March 10, 2010


Hmmm....Fred Phelps has gotta be, what, 80 now? I'd like to see his ashes blended into a glittery mica eyeshadow for drag queens.
posted by applemeat at 7:06 AM on March 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


I rather like the pencil idea too, then my lived ones could write them nasty notes with me.

Or my loved ones even. I always manage at least one typo per comment, grr


"I just don't understand why Johnny is getting such poor grades in spelling!"

"It's the pencils ma'am. I would swear they're cursed!"
posted by hippybear at 7:13 AM on March 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


I want to be buried, but buried really, really deep, so the odds are against anyone ever digging me up. But I want it to also be a sort of time capsule, just in case they do.

"Holy fuck. An undisturbed grave from the 21st century. And it's stuffed full of [I don't know -- some kind of hilariously embarrassing porn? Probably some sort of ephemera that might not commonly survive to the 24½th century]."
posted by pracowity at 7:16 AM on March 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


Pracowity, much better is a Motel of The Mysteries situation" There's a big dark age and they're only back to roughly 1880s level of technology and are amazed by your silver brick and delicately painted images of goddesses, surely this must have been a very important person!
posted by The Whelk at 7:20 AM on March 10, 2010


I believe I have made my feelings on the subject clear.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:43 AM on March 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'm a fan of the diamond idea. Seemingly the only one, but that just increases my resale value.
posted by vbfg at 7:55 AM on March 10, 2010


I want to be buried, but buried really, really deep, so the odds are against anyone ever digging me up.

That's funny, I always wanted to be buried really shallow, so my zombie has less work ahead of himself.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:00 AM on March 10, 2010 [4 favorites]


I'd heard the pencil idea before but the adding of a sharpener that collects the ash shavings amuses me so.
posted by beautifulcheese at 8:08 AM on March 10, 2010


In my line of art, this comes up quite often, and while I haven't actually been given anyone's ashes yet, I have a couple of people who want me to take possession of some of their cremains for the purpose of being used in a ceramic glaze, and I'll be more than happy to do it. I haven't lined anyone up to have mine yet, but I've made it very clear to my friends and family that this is what I want done. I've even gone so far as to suggest that if I die in my studio, shove me in my kiln with a pot under each arm and fire it up one last time.

One of my good friends passed away after a bout with cancer and a mutual friend of ours got all his ashes with the understanding the he would scatter them liberally over his ceramics. The last time I was at his studio "Jim's" baggie was on his work table and pinches of "Jim" were all over the place. I joked to my friend that he was getting more of "Jim" in his lungs than on his work, and he laughed and told me he once got the ashes mixed up with his non-dairy creamer and is pretty sure he's ingested even more of him.

I can think far worse fates for my mortal remains to spend their time than by hanging out in a clay studio and drinking coffee with a good friend...
posted by 1f2frfbf at 8:15 AM on March 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


I want to be buried with my ass sticking out of the ground, so I can be used as a bike rack.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:16 AM on March 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


Missing something creative with dermestid beetles, and of course the cremain dong.
posted by BrotherCaine at 8:30 AM on March 10, 2010


The pencil thing seems much less like something that's appropriate for the remains of a loved one, and much more appropriate for the remains of an enemy. How appropriate for the modern corporate warlord to be able to vanquish his foe and write memos with his enemies' skulls. That's something I see a character like Widmore from Lost or a Bond villain doing.

The only flaw is that the impermanence and implied cheapness of pencils undermines the weight, authority, and bad-ass-itude of the concept. Much better, I guess, to go the LifeDiamond route and have it embedded in the end of a weighty, expensive pen:

"What happened to Benjamin Linus? I killed him and turned him into a diamond. This diamond."
posted by explosion at 8:39 AM on March 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


I want to be buried with my ass sticking out of the ground, so I can be used as a bike rack.

You better get yourself on a StairMaster.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:40 AM on March 10, 2010


There is something delightfully evil overlord about having someone rendered into a diamond.

"Ah yes! Your beloved Prince! Where could he have gone? perhaps Mi'lady, you should inspect the your wedding ring...BUWAHAHAHAHA!"
posted by The Whelk at 8:41 AM on March 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


If you'd like to keep the skull.
posted by ColdChef at 8:46 AM on March 10, 2010


i would like my head removed, and my face to be formed into a rictus of a comedic overbite. Once this process is complete, I would like my head/face to be covered in some sort of perspex-like substance. Finally, my head could be mounted next to the fridge, and used as a bottle-opener. I'll be the life of the party, long after I'm dead.
posted by jivadravya at 8:48 AM on March 10, 2010


No no no, Skull goblet.
posted by The Whelk at 8:48 AM on March 10, 2010


Yeah, the list is a bit incomplete. It doesn't cover my preferred plan, which is to have my body dried, pulverized, and compressed down to a high density cannon ball that can be fired at whoever tops my enemy list on the day I finally go.

Because I believe that death is no reason to stop causing misery for the people who've wronged you.
posted by quin at 9:03 AM on March 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


I believe I have made my feelings on the subject clear.

As have I.

I still don't see why any of you would want to outlive me anyway.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:04 AM on March 10, 2010


Living mummies
posted by BrotherCaine at 9:09 AM on March 10, 2010


"I don't want anybody to make any fuss. When I go, I just want to be stood outside in the garbage with my hat on."
posted by PlusDistance at 9:15 AM on March 10, 2010


"Jimmy, can you give me back the pencil I lent you?"

"Oh, sorry. I lost it."

"YOU LOST IT? THAT WAS MY MOTHER, YOU DICK."
posted by Joey Michaels at 9:16 AM on March 10, 2010 [9 favorites]


On the one hand, I'd like to be buried, unembalmned, beneath a fruit-bearing tree so that my body can provide nutrients for it, and eventually the people who eat that fruit.

On the other hand, I'd like to be turned into charcoal and used to filter the whiskey everyone will be required to drink at my funeral.
posted by Jon_Evil at 9:42 AM on March 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


I believe I have made my feelings on the subject clear.

So have I. Really, either one of those work great.
posted by Caduceus at 9:53 AM on March 10, 2010


I would like for my corpse to be left out in the woods to be eaten by a bear then shit over a cliff.

Because I have spent many of my living days feeling like this.
posted by Danf at 11:14 AM on March 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


When I was a child I saw a WWII movie (Alan Ladd) and there was a scene with a burial at sea. The body was put on a plank with a sheet over it (flag?) and then the board was tipped so it slid into the deep ocean. I remember nothing else of the film.

That will be me. (My kids have asked if it can be a glass bottom boat).
posted by Surfurrus at 11:49 AM on March 10, 2010


Pencils?

Pencils?

Pencils?
posted by Splunge at 12:23 PM on March 10, 2010


The pencil thing is an art/design project. It seems unlikely that you'd actually be able to get that done.

I think the idea of my loved ones writing notes with my mortal remains is kind of attractive. I can imagine them writing love notes to their spouses, poetry, beautiful words. I can also imagine the grocery lists, phone numbers for Chinese restaurants, angry letters to their cell phone providers. Lofty stuff, but also banal stuff.

Then again, I'd be paralyzed whenever I used a pencil made from a loved one. "No, no, that's not a word mom would approve of. No, not that one either. I don't want to use mom on a to-do list, it's just not special enough."
posted by Barry B. Palindromer at 12:58 PM on March 10, 2010


Vanquished Foe's Skull Makes Surprisingly Bad Wine Goblet
posted by Rhaomi at 1:40 PM on March 10, 2010


All of these methods seem environmentally unfriendly and expensive. I would like to be "buried" as Shinran was. Just leave my body in a river for fish and bears to eat.
posted by shii at 2:19 PM on March 10, 2010


After I shuffle off, I want my eyeballs plastinated and converted into real versions of these
posted by lalochezia at 2:33 PM on March 10, 2010


"I just want to be lain out on a rock in the middle of the Ganges, Darling, and then just pecked by birds."
posted by applemeat at 2:33 PM on March 10, 2010


I just want to be mellified.
posted by rikschell at 3:25 PM on March 10, 2010


Barry B. Palindromer: "53Then again, I'd be paralyzed whenever I used a pencil made from a loved one. "No, no, that's not a word mom would approve of. No, not that one either. I don't want to use mom on a to-do list, it's just not special enough.""

The first thing I thought of when reading about the pencils is what a great short story hook: imagine the anxiety involved in trying to write with a loved one's remains and-- worse horror to come--watching the number of pencils dwindle. It would be like death all over again.

I just today finished reading The Dolphin People in which burning your loved one's corpse and adding the ashes to plantain soup for consumption is a major plot point.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:54 PM on March 10, 2010


Vanquished Foe's Skull Makes Surprisingly Bad Wine Goblet

Or, in webcomic form: Skulls!
posted by splice at 4:04 PM on March 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


I like the pencil idea and will never look at the big bin o'pencils littered all over IKEA the same way again.
posted by mazola at 10:18 AM on March 11, 2010


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