My dad just announced that he wants to donate his body to science. He’s feeling the big slide settling in and surprised me by mentioning plans for the first time.
He has a “Why not, who cares, I sure don’t” attitude and thinks the whole enbalming thing is pretty stupid. (his dad was an undertaker) Part of it is also that it is really cheap way to be done with the whole affair and he is concerned about burdening anyone.
I read the May Harpers article .Ressurection Men" and found that donating your body is like sending it to a rendering plant/ junkyard where you are essentially parted out to the highest bidder fetching up to 250,000.00 bucks for your various handlers. Quite the article… Surplus bodies are sold to the military to be blown up and analyzed. Yow… I then read the brochure that my dad got from the “Service” and it basically said the above, in carefully couched phrases that would let you think that this might actually be a great thing to do.
My question is twofold… one , is there a place you can send your body where it will do some good, be treated with some respect and you get the bits back for a proper finale?
And Two… If someone has done this, How do you handle the funeral? How do you get completion? If you do send it off to a “Service”, what’s the family feeling about just packing someone’s torso / neck/ knees off to be used at various medical equipment sales events. It seems to me that there is a gap there in the whole healing process. I.e. you may or may not get anything back,(ashes) you certainly won’t get it all back, and it’s highly unlikely that what you do get back is who you sent.
What I’m looking for is some experience with wrapping up a great life and helping a family feel complete. Though it does not matter to my dad, I am acutely aware of how treatment of ancestors figures into the cultures I am surrounded by and would like my own kids to gain something by being aware of what they owe their forebearers. I have planted and scattered enough people , but I’ve never parted one out… and am uncomfortable with that gap. BTW… this is not an organ donor scenario, Dad is a high mileage model
I’d like to hear from anyone who’s done this.