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emad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 09:57 AM
Original message
Sweden's new funeral rite - bodies freeze-dried, powdered and made into tr
Sweden's new funeral rite - bodies freeze-dried, powdered and made into tree mulch
By Kate Connolly in Berlin
(Filed: 28/09/2005)

A town in Sweden plans to become the first place in the world where corpses will be disposed of by freeze-drying, as an environmentally friendly alternative to cremation or burial. Jonkoping, in southern Sweden, is to turn its crematorium into a so-called promatorium next year.

Swedes will then have the chance to bury their dead according to the pioneering method, which involves freezing the body, dipping it in liquid nitrogen and gently vibrating it to shatter it into powder. This is put into a small box made of potato or corn starch and placed in a shallow grave, where it will disintegrate within six to 12 months.

People are to be encouraged to plant a tree on the grave. It would feed off the compost formed from the body, to emphasise the organic cycle of life.

The national burial law is currently being updated to accommodate a practice that is expected to spread across the country over the next few years.
http://news.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2...
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dolo amber Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 09:58 AM
Response to Original message
1. Sweet!
I'd totally be down with that. :thumbsup:
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mike_c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 10:00 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. me too-- the whole corpse worship burial industry thing...
...creeps me out.
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LynzM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 10:00 AM
Response to Original message
3. That's really cool
I would be all for that, especially the planting of a memorial tree or plant of some sort. People like to have a place of remembrance, so that's a nice way to do that in an eco-friendly way!
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electropop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 10:05 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. When people ask what I want done,
I say, "Strip me for parts, then dispose of the rest in a sanitary manner." I think of the afterlife as what I leave behind: how I change the world and how I am remembered.
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SlowDownFast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 10:03 AM
Response to Original message
4. Where do I sign up?
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hwmnbn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 10:05 AM
Response to Original message
6. hmmm... freeze-dried grandpa, how cool!
This is a great idea. Rather than than just taking up space in an underground casket, I'd be nourishing new life. Sign me up!
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CottonBear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 10:06 AM
Response to Original message
7. That's really cool. You get to come back as a tree!
I like the idea. Ashes to ashes and dust to dust, as it should be.
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global1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 10:06 AM
Response to Original message
8. I Guess Tree Mulch Is Better Than 'Soylent Green'....... n/t
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Tikki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 10:09 AM
Response to Original message
9. My great-grandchildren sitting under....
the "Grandma Tree" enjoying a family picnic.... :-)





Tikki
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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 10:12 AM
Response to Reply #9
12. I like that too
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SammyWinstonJack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 10:10 AM
Response to Original message
10. Way cool. Much better than digging a hole and planting a corpse.
A practice that really creeps me out.
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 11:00 AM
Response to Reply #10
19. Why is this better, from your point of view?
The corpse is still planted in a hole; this is just a smaller one, with the corpse in many small pieces. Is the thought of a body being in one piece really that bad?
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CatBoreal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 11:03 AM
Response to Reply #19
21. Because when a corpse is planted into the ground the old fashioned way...
...it turns into toxic waste.

Sign me up! I'll grow a tree!
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 11:15 AM
Response to Reply #21
23. I'm trying to work out how toxic human body disposal is
At an average of 130lb, and a life of 80 years, that's half an ounce of mammal per person per week. Are our bodies that much more toxic than the remnants of cows, etc. that our food use produces? Surely the living pathogens in our bodies don't last that long after we die (I'm not proposing chucking bodies into reservoirs, after all). Apart from that, this is just a quicker method of getting the bodies to decompose - but having it in small bits. presumably we could chop the bodies up to achieve the same results (and maybe cook them to kill the pathogens - cheapers than freezing in liquid nitrogen, I'd have thought).
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CatBoreal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:49 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. I was talking about the traditional embalming process...
which injects formalyn and other chemicals into the body.

Here's what I found out:

* The body is placed on stainless steel or porcelain table, then washed with a germicide-insecticide-olfactant. The insides of the nose and mouth are swabbed with the solution.
* Rigor mortis (stiffness) is relieved by massage. (Rarely but sometimes, tendons and muscles are cut in order to place the body in a more natural pose if limbs are distorted by disease, e.g., arthritis.)
* Massage cream is worked into the face and hands to keep the skin soft and pliable.
* Facial features are set by putting cotton in the nose, eye caps below the eyelids, a mouth former in the mouth (cotton or gauze in the throat to absorb purging fluids). The mouth is then tied shut with wire or sutures. (Glue may be used on the eyelids and lips to keep them closed in an appropriate pose.) Facial hair is shaved if necessary.
* Arterial embalming is begun by injecting embalming fluid into an artery while the blood is drained from a nearby vein or from the heart. The two gallons or so needed is usually a mixture of formaldehyde or other chemical and water. In the case of certain cancers, some diabetic conditions, or because of the drugs used prior to death (where body deterioration has already begun), a stronger or "waterless" solution is likely to be used for better body preservation. Chemicals are also injected by syringe into other areas of the body.
* The second part of the embalming process is called cavity embalming. A trocar a long, pointed, metal tube attached to a suction hose is inserted close to the navel. The embalmer uses it to puncture the stomach, bladder, large intestines, and lungs. Gas and fluids are withdrawn before "cavity fluid" (a stronger mix of formaldehyde) is injected into the torso.
* The anus and vagina may be packed with cotton or gauze to prevent seepage if necessary. (A close-fitting plastic garment may also be used.)
* Incisions and holes made in the body are sewn closed or filled with trocar "buttons." The body is washed again and dried.
* Nails are manicured, any missing facial features are molded from wax, head hair is styled, and makeup is used on the face and hands. The body is dressed and placed in the casket (fingers are glued together if necessary).

From http://www.funerals.org/faq/embalm.htm
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 05:13 PM
Response to Reply #24
31. Yes, you're right, "toxic" is the right word for that
I notice that also says "Embalming has no roots in Christian religion and is common only in the U.S. and Canada.". Here in the UK, I've never been to a body viewing, in perhaps 10 funerals I've been to (most were cremations; one figure I've found say 70% of people are now cremated in the UK; I don't know how common viewing the body is), so I don't think of embalming.

A lot of this comes down to the traditions your family follows, it seems to me; whether religious or not, members of my family don't think there's anything special about a body (and so, for instance, I think they're all enthusiastic about organ donation). The USA does seem to go to town on funerals:

The average cost of a funeral, as of July 2004, is $6,500. That cost includes an outer burial container, but does not include cemetery costs.

http://www.nfda.org/nfdafactsheets.php


The average cost for a 'basic' funeral in the UK, including cemetery costs, in 2000 was 2,048 (and that says "Embalming is very rare- instead "hygiene" treatment of the body typically costs about 65"). From what I've heard, funeral directors in the USA arre often accused of taking advantage of relatives at a time when they won't want to question things.
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meow mix Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 07:42 PM
Response to Reply #24
35. "The anus and vagina may be packed with cotton or gauze"
anus packing? ok getting vibrated into powder is starting to sound pretty good to me.
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SammyWinstonJack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 07:34 PM
Response to Reply #21
32. Yes exactly my thoughts! Thank you.
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emad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 10:11 AM
Response to Original message
11. D'ya HAVE to be dead for this to work?
Some people I know would look one hell of a lot better if they had this treatment instead of plastic surgery, dentist stuff, etc...
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Jose Diablo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 10:13 AM
Response to Original message
13. "Logan, you've been renewed." n/t
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phusion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 10:16 AM
Response to Original message
14. I'd like to be "buried" Tibetan style --
left on a mountaintop as food for the birds and other animals.
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Theres-a Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 01:38 PM
Response to Reply #14
27. Me too
I like that idea.I love birds,and what a cost efficient ending.
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formerrepuke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 10:16 AM
Response to Original message
15. Ironically, that was a minor plot point on last night's Law & Order SVU
(a doctor portrayed by Julian Sands was developing this technology- stating that it will 'revolutionize the mortuary industry')
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XOKCowboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 10:31 AM
Response to Original message
16. What my dad wanted...
He grew up on the family ranch and went on to become an agronomist. He was stridently against the use of chemicals for weed killing and in other agricultural uses. He was deeply affected by the book Silent Spring and it eventually caused him to quit his job as a seed salesman when the seed company he worked for was absorbed by WR Grace.

When he got older and developed Addison's Disease he told us what he wanted when he died. He'd point out the door of the house to a big oak tree about 100 feet away as where he wanted to be buried. He didn't want to be embalmed and didn't want a fancy casket, just a pine box. He'd have preferred no casket at all. When he passed away we fudged a little and buried him just as he wanted in the pasture on top of a small hill above the house (we figured digging a grave under the tree might harm it). He now lays at rest overlooking the pasture on one side and the farmhouses, barns and pens on the other side. It's really a beautiful view from his grave. He now feeds the earth that he loved so well. One day I hope to join him there.
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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 01:35 PM
Response to Reply #16
26. Love to you and thanks
for sharing the memory of your wonderful father.

I'm at the point of having to think about this and have decided it would be really cool to be cremated, the ash deposited in the soil near the river and an acorn thrown into the mix.
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XOKCowboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 02:16 PM
Response to Reply #26
29. You are certainly welcome...
What was wonderful was over 300 people showed up for his funeral. He was a great guy.

What better way to celebrate life than to give life, especially after you die. I really like the sound of your plan.
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Hand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 10:54 AM
Response to Original message
17. Deleted--dupe
Edited on Wed Sep-28-05 10:55 AM by Hand
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billyf65 Donating Member (179 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 11:00 AM
Response to Original message
18. Ick.
My dog is constantly eating my mulch. And then it gets thrown aroung by the mower.

Getting shot in the nuts by a hunk of cedar I once wrestled from the jaws of my dog is one thing...getting shot in the nuts by a hunk of grandpa I wrestled from his jaws is another altogether.
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 11:03 AM
Response to Reply #18
20. As others have pointed out in the LBN thread on this
the headline is misleading. They still bury the remains, but in a shallow grave. It's not true 'mulch'.
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billyf65 Donating Member (179 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 02:41 PM
Response to Reply #20
30. I know
I read the article. Just having a little fun with it (and the though of my goofy-ass dog chowing on my remains).
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gauguin57 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 11:11 AM
Response to Original message
22. "... and be there when I feed the tree."
From "Feed the Tree," by Belly

This old man I've talked about
Broke his own heart,
Poured it in the ground.
Big red tree grew up and out,
Throw up its leaves,
Spins round and round.
I know all this and more.
So take your hat off
When you're talking to me
And be there when I feed the tree.
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progressivebydesign Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:51 PM
Response to Original message
25. I like the idea of turning them into diamonds, instead.
The mulch thing is tres responsible, but it would be pretty wonderful to have a gemstone to keep forever of your beloved.
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noonwitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 01:40 PM
Response to Original message
28. Bury me in a wooden box, thank you!
I agree about funerals and the way people are about the "sacred" nature of corpses. I've told my family to not lay me out for people to stare at my dead body, a closed coffin with a good photo of me placed on top is fine.

The freeze-dried thing is just too weird for me.
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Rabrrrrrr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 07:37 PM
Response to Original message
33. That's awesome!!
I love Sweden. They're so progressive, and none of the shit-ass religious mumbo-jumbo crap we get here in America.
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paineinthearse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 07:40 PM
Response to Original message
34. WWWBC say?
What would the Swede-hating Westboro Baptist Church will have to say about this!
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LittleClarkie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 07:42 PM
Response to Original message
36. For a second there, before I clicked I thought "Soylent Green"
I was trying to figure out what "tr" was going to turn out to be. "Treats" came to mind.

I really should get more sleep.
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