Do You Know Anyone Who's Body Wasn't Buried Or Cremated

I am 45 and been to my share of funerals and known a lot of people who have died, but I have never known anyone who was dead and wasn’t buried or cremated.

I guess you could get buried at sea or sealed in a vault or cryogenic burial or donate your body to a medical college or whatever.

So have you known anyone who’s body was disposed of other than the two traditional ways of burial or cremation?

Zoroastrians in India leave their dead in a kind of well, called the Tower of Silence, for the vultures to feed on. So, yes, I’ve known some.

Donating your body to science doesn’t neccessarily mean that it isn’t eventually cremated and some ashes given back for disposal.

How long it takes depends on what they do with the body, apparently.

I have this information 3rd hand at best, but there are vague plans for a big family gathering when my grandmother’s ashes are returned/ready for dispersal.

I had a friend in high school who was murdered. Only some bits of her bones were found. So her body evidently rotted away (and/or was eaten by scavengers & insects) and thus was not buried. The bits of bones were buried in a baby coffin.

It’s understandable they’d have such a rule. Otherwise I image that place would quickly gather more live bodies in it than rotting, body fluid leaking dead ones, what with it being such an awesome place to be. Maybe they they had to start that rule to stop all the teenage couples from going in there to make out.

I had two friends who are entombed in a crevasse in Alaska, their bodies will probably never be recovered.

A friend of my family died about ten years ago and specified that her remains be cremated. They weren’t. I honestly don’t know what the final disposition was.

Lots of dead Americans are placed in coffins in mausoleums. Not buried, not cremated. Both my parents for example.

As to more exotic final resting places, I got nuthin’ I’m personally connected to.

Well, if you’re not gonna burn 'er, and you’re not gonna bury 'er. Then I guess you can dump 'er.

You know, dump 'er in the Thames.

One of my favorite professors willed her body to science to be used as a cadaver. I don’t know what is ultimately done with cadavers: anyone here know?

A friend of mine- and she is serious- wants a part of her insurance to be used converting her remains (which hopefully won’t be free of her for a long long long long time) into a life gemand worked onto some sort of family heirloom. Hopefully she’ll outlive me or I’ll be so old I don’t care, but it’ll be interesting whether the request is honored.

I think they’re cremated and returned to the family. At my medical school, we’re required to put any removed tissue in a container specific to each cadaver so it can be cremated with the rest of the body.

I haven’t yet known anyone who has been disposed of by burial or cremation, but my mother has willed her body, when she dies, to the University of Kansas medical school.

Dad isn’t so thrilled about it, but it’s her body and so he can’t prevent it. Mom is a retired RN and would also have liked to give a large sum for a nursing scholarship. That’s how she got through nursing school.

Similarly, one of my classmates was murdered (missing and presumed dead for years before any body was found) all that was ever recovered was a femur, and that was years after his death. I have no idea what was done with it though.

I have never known anyone who was not buried or cremated (eventually even) as part of the deceased wishes or anything like that. But I have never wanted to have a funeral (I just don’t want my family to go through that) and would prefer my body be fed to something (sharks, lions, etc.) if it would not be harmful to them, but apparently there are some kind of laws against that sort of thing…

I’d imagine the restrictions are an attempt to make sure family members don’t wander in and see a vulture rip the eyeballs out of mom’s bloated corpse.

My mother wants a green burial.

A friend of mine from high school, a Naval aviator, died in a ramp strike about 8 years ago. To the best of my knowledge the aircraft (and therefore his body) was not recovered.

In decades past, it took all of 30mins for the vultures to clean up and leave just bones. In more recent years, the vulture population has fallen drastically, and there is debate on whether this practice of interring should continue.

While I obviously did not know them personally, even to the extent anybody can be said to have known them, there are three plastinated remains at Mercer Medical Library in Macon, GA that I’ve held in my hand. One is a 9 week fetus- about the length of a pecan- that is in the also preserved uterus of its mother (who died in an accident while pregnant). The other two (I’ve mentioned them on here before) are stillborn conjoined twins who shared a liver.
Both are masterpieces of plastination and will last for decades; with both it is hard to remember almost that this really was alive once- especially the fetus. The conjoined twins seem like dolls until you touch their hair- the only thing that feels like baby hair is baby hair and this is baby hair. (The day I was there they were being passed around to a junior high class from a Catholic school! My understanding is that they got calls galore over that one.)

Here’s a weird story with pictures about a plastinated fetus that was stolen from its plastinated mother a few years ago. (Completely separate exhibit/collection.)

My cousin’s husband was lost in a boating accident, and his body was never recovered from somewhere out in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico.

A high school classmate was, like Airman Doors’s friend, killed in a ramp strike incident, about 15 years ago. His body was also never recovered.

My wife is bequeathing her body to the body farm at the University of Tennessee and I am bequeathing mine to the local medical school. We’ve both completed our paperwork but hopefully it will be a good long time before we are put to our respective uses.