Hanging Around - Five Novel Ways to
Live on After Death
By T Roberts
Think of death and you'll likely automatically conjure
up images of a church service culminating with a wooden
coffin being lowered into its designated plot alongside
an intricate headstone.
Or maybe you think of some of the alternative methods
available nowadays, such as natural burial (also known
as green burial), an eco-friendly practice which sees
the deceased placed into a relatively shallow grave
without having gone through the usual embalming process
so as not to inhibit decomposition. The body is usually
housed in a shroud or biodegradable coffin rather than a
wooden casket for similar reasons.
But for the person who wants a more unusual way to live
on after death, there are a number of increasingly weird
and wonderful options on the horizon. Read on for five
of the more unusual alternatives:
Designer Nadine Jarvis suggested a unique way for a
loved one to remain useful after passing away - by
agreeing to have the carbon from their cremated remains
used to help create a lifetime supply of pencils. Her
proposal sees 240 pencils -each foil stamped with the
name of the deceased - encased in a commemorative box
which also houses a sharpener. As the pencils are used,
the sharpenings begin to fill the space left behind,
gradually turning the box into an urn.
The birds' best friend
Another of Jarvis' creations is a bird feeder made from
a combination of bird food, beeswax and human ash. As
the birds take to pecking away at the feeder, the urn
slowly disintegrates - eventually leaving behind an
inscribed wooden perch featuring memorial details of the
person in question.
Don't lose your sparkle
UK-based company LifeGem offers to take the carbon from
a loved one's cremated remains and use it to create a
diamond for use in jewellery. And its not limited to
humans - LifeGem's website even has a section dedicated
to fashioning stones from the remains of beloved pets.
The diamonds don't come cheap but as far as bling goes
they do offer something undeniably unique.
Sleep with the fishes
We've all heard of burial at sea, but Eternal Reefs of
the USA has been providing a different marine-based
resting place since 1998. The company provides a service
whereby the deceased's remains are mixed with concrete
to provide a memorial reef which is placed in the water,
providing a new marine habitat for fish and other sea
life going forward.
Remain in charge
Designers James Auger and Jimmy Loizeau have created the
Afterlife concept, which sees a custom-made coffin
fitted with a microbial fuel cell to create electricity
using the acids released by the human body as it
decomposes. The charge is then used to fuel a memorial
dry cell battery for use in an apt appliance.
But don't worry if none of this takes your fancy, you
can still go with a traditional funeral and headstone.