I’m just curious, is it possible to just be buried in a sack like on the last episode of Six Feet Under? I’ve been thinking about that for years. Though I’m not planning on dying anytime soon, when I do, I don’t want to be stuffed full of chemicals and thrown in a box. I just want to be put in the ground and have a tree planted on me.
Do funeral homes do that?
Depends on where you wish to be buried and what the local law requires, but in many countries there is a growing market for “natural” funerals involving no embalming, the use of a cardboard or wicker coffin, planting a tree instead of erecting a headstone, etc. Where this is lawful, I imagine that there will be funeral homes providing the service. And you may not even need a funeral home to do it for you; if your relatives are happy to deal directly with the registrar of deaths, and whoever owns the burial ground, and any other bureacracy that may be involved, they can.
Obligatory Simpsons reference: Hi! I’m Troy McClure. You may remember me from such self-help videos as Dig Your Own Grave and Save!
Some funeral homes will do a ‘green burial’, which is essentially what you’ve described.
Your body is not embalmed or preserved in any way, and is buried in a biodegradable casket, usually made from bamboo or even cardboard. Individuals graves can be marked with a tree or shrub, or not marked at all, but there’s typically a plaque designating the area used for interments.
Along the same lines, there are tons of biodegradable urns available now. They’re made out of things like papier-mache or rock salt and are intended to be dropped into the ocean, where they melt away.
Some states require vaults, so that would be troublesome. But you always – always – have the right to not be embalmed.
Can I be buried on my own land? Or do I have to have a permit for that?
I have actually thought about this and I would like to be burned in kind of a funeral pyre if possible, on my own land. Nothing that elaborate, just enough kindling and wood to have a raging fire and then burned. I figure I’d have enough fat to keep the fire burning hotly although someone told me the bones probably wouldn’t burn.
Why this bizarre idea? I’m claustrophobic (I know, I’d be dead so why worry) and I just don’t want to be buried in a field somewhere.
Once I drove to Chicago from the SE…on the way there there is a cemetary that must have 50,000 tombstones…all right next to each other. How about some privacy man! For some reason I found that very depressing. I don’t want to end up like one of those anonymous people buried in the middle of a field next to a bunch of strangers.
I found this by Googling ‘green burial’
Like others said, it depends on the jurisdiction. However, embalming is not mummifying by any stretch of the imagination. It is just used to keep the corpse semi-presentable for the purposes of a funeral. There is no logical reason why any jurisdiction would insist on that although I am sure that some do. There is such a thing as a family burial plot on private land where the recently deceased and the family can have their wishes honored.
Have you considered cremation? State laws vary on the disposition of ashes, but often the laws are less strict than on the disposition of bodies, especially unembalmed bodies. Many of the cremation providers will offer you lots of options for a funeral, from none at all to a full funeral.
Search on Google for “cremation society” plus your region/state/or city’s name.
For more information call or email your state’s regulatory board for mortuaries/funeral directors/embalmers. In my state it would be: http://www.kansas.gov/ksbma/
This is a good resource.
I want the same thing. But right now it’s hella expensive. Hopefully as it becomes more common, it’ll become less expensive too! Otherwise I’ll have to go for cremation.