Fox’s green burial

Boy, when you’re dead, they really fix you up. I hope to hell when I do die somebody has sense enough to just dump me in the river or something. Anything except sticking me in a goddam cemetery. People coming and putting a bunch of flowers on your stomach on Sunday, and all that crap. Who wants flowers when you’re dead? Nobody.
~J.D. Salinger, “The Catcher in the Rye”

I’ve always wanted to decompose.

After I’m dead, of course. If I start rotting before then, I’m seeking medical aid. Rotting while you’re still alive is just gross.

I’ve always joked that I want to be stripped and tossed into a ditch after I die. Say a few words if you like, then go to the pub. I’m not big on permanent memorials and the whole buried-under-a-tree thing seems kitschy, especially in an area where natural fire has been suppressed leading to the problem of too many trees.

But a conversation with some friends offered an interesting revelation…that I can opt to donate my body instead to the Sam Houston University’s Forensic Science department, where I’ll be dumped off somewhere (be it on the land or in the water) to rot so students can learn about various types of decomposition. I get to decompose while at the same time providing a learning opportunity. Fuck yes.

Of course, if I don’t die within 200 miles of Huntsville, Texas, someone has to arrange for my transportation to Huntsville. Although I imagine those costs would be fairly minor compared to the costs of a typical funeral.

Sam Houston isn’t the only university that does this…there are several. The University of Tennessee, Western Caroline University, Texas State University, and the California University of Pennsylvania also have body farms.

In the meantime, I’ve got paperwork to fill out and next-of-kin to inform. My mother’s reaction, be it shock or resigned acceptance, should be amusing.


One Response to “Fox’s green burial”

  1. You can also donate your body to be used by gross anatomy students to dissect and learn about the various bits. A buddy of mine had an awesome time playing with some old dude’s corpse this summer. I’m sure they pump them full of pickle juice, though, so decomposing would be a bit hindered.

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