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Cremation or burial?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on June 16, 2006

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Photo of Byron Sexton

“Burial. I really don’t know why. I think it’s a desire to hold on to the only thing you have left, and tradition plays a big part in it as well. I think most people pick without really thinking about it.”

Photo of Cathryn Chapman

“Cremation. I think death is a natural part of life and our bodies are just a vehicle. After I’m gone, my memory will live on with the people whose lives I’ve touched, but my physical body will be useless. To have it recycled by spreading my ashes somewhere I loved seems like a natural choice.”

Photo of Sarah Mohsen

“Burial, I guess. I don’t know; I’m only 20 years old. I don’t want to think about dying.”

Photo of Jason Anderson

“Cremation. I just don’t want to be buried. I don’t want to decompose in the ground. I want my ashes spread out at sea or something.”


classclown 11 years, 7 months ago

Whatever is the cheapest for my family. They can put me in a dumpster for all I care. As far as I'm concerned, when I'm dead my body will be an empty shell and should be treated as such. No reason to waste money on me. It's not like I'd be able to appreciate any of it.

On a side note, what's up with coffins that have a lifetime warranty?

average 11 years, 7 months ago


Orthodox funeral or cremation. Whatever doesn't involve the whole embalming/viewing garbage, and whatever gives the least money to the funeral industry.

Or, per the Packer Band... "send me to glory in a Glad Bag".

Grundoon Luna 11 years, 7 months ago

Cremation. And lots of Pink Flloyd at the funeral, especially "Shine on You Crazy Diamond."

Linda Aikins 11 years, 7 months ago

OK. I've left these instructions.

Put me in a concrete block 10x12 room. Paint fake storefronts around the inside walls (Victoria's Secret, Arensburgs, Kohls, Culvers, etc.). Set me on a bench in the middle with a credit card in hand (expired is OK).

I call it my mall-soleum.

Dixie Jones 11 years, 7 months ago

ahhhh wench your humor i laughed out loud when i read your post im thinkin big ditch for me, a lil ac/dc "highway to hell".. god bless ya all and may it be a long long while before we ever have to think about stuff and mounting you wench ....actually theres a line i never thought i would hear myself say .......LOL

jonas 11 years, 7 months ago

Catapulted limply into an open volcano. Maybe by a trebuchet for that added 500 yards of flight time or so.

Barring that, Ubermime and I have discussed going with the same idea as wench above, and keeping the other in our closets to scare guests.

southerngirl 11 years, 7 months ago

Cremation and then scattered at all of my favorite places. No big ceremony, just happy (I hope) memories of me. I'm more a fan of Louis Armstrongs "What a Wonderful World" and "Ode to Joy" being played.

Before my divorce I used to threaten to bury my ex in a hefty bag in the back yard and pour lime over him so the dogs wouldn't keep digging him up. But we're divorced now deadbeat dad is still alive and kicking.

acg 11 years, 7 months ago

Wench, your answer was great. I also laughed out loud. If I die young enough for any of my organs to be used for transplant, they can have as much of me as they want. If they want to give what's left to science for study or practice autopsy or whatever, I don't really care. If not, I want to be cremated. I don't particularly care where my ashes go, as long as they don't end up on someone's mantle because that totally creeps me out. Then I want my friends and fam to have a giant party, no black clothes or somber moods allowed.

Topside 11 years, 7 months ago

Burial. Put me in a box and send me out to Western Kansas where all my relatives have already been buried. I'd like to think that way our spirits could all be in the same area and have one eternal family reunion and play pitch and drink evan "Cough medicine" like we used to when they were still alive. That and bitch about the government.

Ceallach 11 years, 7 months ago

Cremation is my preference. I've told my chillin if they let me pick how I'm buried they can pick where.

craigers 11 years, 7 months ago

I would also want my family to enjoy themselves. However, I would like to be buried. The only reason is that I see that some family members like to go to the gravesite to remember them and sometimes even talk to them. Maybe it is a coping strategy. Who knows?

Ceallach 11 years, 7 months ago

acg, a "celebration of life" party also appeals to me much more than a "funeral." My ideal departure would be my ashes in the White River, just below Bull Shoals Dam in northern Arkansas (clear, pristine waters, just beautiful), and Tina singing me on my way, "Rollin, rollin, rollin on the river." :) My kids got very quiet about that one!! I let them decide the where because I know they are capable of ganging up on me and doing it however they please (from their father's side of the family).

mommy3 11 years, 7 months ago

I think cremation is the best way. My Daddy passed away at the age of 50 in 2004. He was cremated. I still have his ashes sitting in my living room. It might freak some people out, but I wasn't ready for him to go, and in a way it comforts me. I miss him so much!! He wanted to be put out to sea, but right now I can't afford the trip, so until then I'll just keep taking him down and dusting him off. When people come to my home, they ask about the urn, and in that way I get to talk about my Daddy. So I guess it helps me.

Chrissy Neibarger 11 years, 7 months ago

Cremation. and i want the words "Corpus Chrissy" on the urn...

I keep teasing my husband, whom also wants cremation that i'm going to take his remains to one of those places that will turn his ashes into a big ol' diamond ring for me to wear!

Liberty 11 years, 7 months ago

Burial near loved ones. That way when we are resurrected from the dead, (by the power of God the Father) to meet the Lord in the air, I will see my loved ones too on the way up to the Lord's cloud. Or if I am still alive, I will be translated or changed in the twinkling of an eye to an incorruptible body in the cloud, to live with the Lord forever more and reign on the earth with Him.

spoettker 11 years, 7 months ago

Funeral Pyre. You know...huge bonfire in the country. There can be another one near there for my family to sit around, drink and have a good old time. That's after the doctors have had their pick of my choice organs.

craigers 11 years, 7 months ago

Liberty I share your sentiments but do you think it really matters? When the Lord raises the dead in Christ, isn't that the same as raising ashes. If left long enough the whole body decomposes anyway.

conservative 11 years, 7 months ago

Doesn't matter to me. I'll be dead. Let my family decide what makes them the happiest. If they want a big funeral and a coffin go for it.

Ceallach 11 years, 7 months ago

Second choice: "When I die you can bury meeee, in Lubbock, Texas . . . . . in my jeans." Good old Mac!!

When my father made his arrangements he asked my mother to keep him with her until the two of them could be buried together. I'm not sure if it was due to him being such a romantic Irishman or just a jealous man :)

gccs14r 11 years, 7 months ago

I'd like to be tossed in a hole so that I could give something back to the Earth, but the PTB say that I have to be pumped full of chemicals, stuck in a box, and staked out on prime real estate if I do that, so I want to be cremated without embalming and then scattered. If I'm worth remembering, I'll end up in an encyclopedia.

enochville 11 years, 7 months ago

Whatever my family wants. Tombstones and urns are for the benefit of the living, not the dead. Therefore, I don't care. If my family wants a burial ground to visit then so be it. If they don't then they can do whatever they want with my ashes.

When I believed in God and an afterlife it mattered how my body was disposed of, but when I realized that there is no afterlife, it does not matter one bit.

Redzilla 11 years, 7 months ago

I'd like to add to wench's response, by specifically stating that I want to be stuffed in the "attack" pose. Grrr.

paladin 11 years, 7 months ago

Marion, take er easy, so you don't go over the top, again. I don't think this is any kind of thought pattern that good and healthy people shoud be thinking about. If you've ever been really close to death, like I have, then you know that it really doesn't matter. This is just a feeble attempt to get close to one's human reality and to attempt to grasp a devine thread or a glimpse of hope that there is, indeed, some kind of afterlife, and that you got a ticket there, when the time comes, as it will. I assure you all, cause I been there, that there is, and you should probly get your stuff together, while you can.

Ceallach 11 years, 7 months ago

craigers, the need for a memory spot is the main reason I told my children they could decide where they want my ashes buried. Since ashes can be interred in an existing (occupied) plot, it makes sense to "share" a space with another family member or loved one, making it easier for those who truly need the physical location to visit.

paladin 11 years, 7 months ago

Liberty, please wake up. Your body is temporal and will rot. It will not come back to life. Your devinity, however, will continue and live on. Your soul, if you will. That's what the whole Jesus metaphor was all about.

Liberty 11 years, 7 months ago

Quote from Craigers:

"Liberty I share your sentiments but do you think it really matters? When the Lord raises the dead in Christ, isn't that the same as raising ashes. If left long enough the whole body decomposes anyway."

I think that the way you decide to be buried (or toasted) is a personal choice. The state of your body will not matter to God. He can put you back together again with no problem.


God says that He will resurrect your earthly body, and convert it (or translate it) into an incorruptible body; (one that does not die anymore like Jesus has now).

For those that believe, there is a very bright and exciting future for you!

acg 11 years, 7 months ago

I love it when people can work "rue the day" into conversation. Yay OMB!!

staff04 11 years, 7 months ago

Wrap me in a flag and dump me in the river.

paladin 11 years, 7 months ago

With all due respect, I don't think the Big Guy said that. He is reported to have made it evident that the Spirit will live on. That's good enough for me. I'm not that crazy about my body, anyway. Too fat and too old. Although, I have lost some weight, and seem to look better when I look into the mirror. Praise God.

craigers 11 years, 7 months ago

Ceallach, I guess it wouldn't matter whether it is a tombstone or an ern.

On a side note, I was wondering if you have a plot, how many erns or cremated remains can you place in each plot? This would be a lot of cost savings for funerals. Group plots!

Kyle Neuer 11 years, 7 months ago

The organ bank gets anything they can use, then burn the rest. I won't be using it anymore.

paladin 11 years, 7 months ago

Oddly enough, I drove on through the cemetery this morning and stopped for a while at the grave sites of all my departed family, my father amongst them. I cried. And it was a moment that was very powerful to me. I don't think you can have that same experience over an urn full of ashes.

Linda Aikins 11 years, 7 months ago

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paladin 11 years, 7 months ago

I was a mighty warrior once. I killed many of the enemy, as was defined by my Govment definers, back then. And, they have spoken to me, over the years. They have told me that they want to be buried and all that, for some reason. That's all I know. Just thought I'd share that. For what its worth.

Linda Endicott 11 years, 7 months ago

As I said on the other thread, I don't want to be buried. I'm afraid of the dark. Seriously.

What with the cost of everything anymore, cremation is cheaper. If my family had all the money in the world, I'd have them stick me in a little mausoleum that's built like a bedroom, with a nice, soft bed and a TV hooked up to cable. My most comfortable spot! All hermetically sealed, of course. And no outer windows, so no one could gawk afterward.

But, money being what it is, and seeing that I don't have enough now, let alone for something like that, I guess cremation will have to be it. Doesn't much matter what they do with the ashes afterward, keep them or scatter them.

I think some of the native American tribes had the best idea. Put them in the trees, or out in nature somewhere, and let time take its natural course. You truly renew the earth that way.

Law won't allow it, though.

Kam_Fong_as_Chin_Ho 11 years, 7 months ago

I will be cremated and my remains will be compressed into a diamond so my wife can carry me with her and look elegant at the same time. This company will do the work:

james bush 11 years, 7 months ago

Cremated.........inadvertently typed "creamed" and then corrected. Must be some underlying Freudian meaning there somehow!

james bush 11 years, 7 months ago

Cremated and dropped into tributary to the Kansas River.Then I'll have that long float trip to New Orleans I always wanted to take after reading Tom Sawyer as a kid....if I don't settle to the bottom and get stuck somewhere.

Ceallach 11 years, 7 months ago

craigers, in the KC cemetery where most of my family are buried you may add up to two urns, boxes, etc., at the foot of each plot. Individual identification plates (available in very nicely engraved formats) mark the burial area of the add-ons :)

Confrontation 11 years, 7 months ago

My mom had a classmate die when she was in first grade. The girl died from a spider bite. Her parents knew she was scared of spiders, so they put her in an above ground vault. A little late for that, if you ask me.

If you die before the new overly-expensive library opens, are you willing to be grilled and served at the grand opening?

Ceallach 11 years, 7 months ago

We've pretty much beat this topic to death. Alll y'all have a good weekend!

oldfashiongirl 11 years, 7 months ago

Finally a topic I know something about. I have already made all my arrangements, inclulding cremation, have written my obit and have selected a program for my Joy of Life Celebration. I even went to Hobby Lobby, and picked out a really pretty little box, more like a trunk, that will hold the plastic container containing my ashes that the funeral home will provide for me. Someone will weld it shut, so as to keep out water.

I think caskets will be a thing of the past. My preacher brother died in Hawaii in 2001, was cremated and his urn was placed in a lovely place in Punchbowl cemetery. I don't know if everyone has to be cremated in the islands, or if that was a requirement of Punchbowl Cem.

Marion, I was going to eat some dinner, but after reading your tirade, "The Worms Crawl in" of 8:04AM, I just lost my appetite.

pooter 11 years, 7 months ago

there are two drunk guys at the bar and the one drunk says to his buddy, "hey, if I die before you would you pour a bottle of whiskey on my grave?"

His buddy replies, "sure will!" "just as long as you don't mind it passes through my kidneys first!"


sunflower_sue 11 years, 7 months ago

If I have any viable parts left for donation or study...get rid of them. Burn what is left. Please sprinkle me into the wind (you might want to be facing the right direction for this) over some beautiful place. I don't want any box, urn, diamond setting, or otherwise. If you are like my hubby and want a stone to cry over, buy one and stick it in the ground. You may weep there. If I am someone you really don't care for, bury me @$$ up and at least you'll have a place to park your bicycle. :oP

Old cemetaries are interesting places to visit. My favorite is still the gravesites of my grandmother's 5 brothers who died within 24 hours of one another (measels). How truly heart-wrenching! She did have other surviving siblings. I have an uncle burried in that same cemetary up on a hill and his grave overlooks the ball diamond below where he spent many, many days coaching and playing.

Another interesting grave marker I found was of a young girl of 12 years old. The marker said "Here lies our beloved wife and mother." YIKES! (It was a very old stone.)

trollkiller 11 years, 7 months ago

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