Wellness

Things you didn't know you could do with your body once you're dead

If a standard burial or cremation isn’t your (body) bag, here’s a few unique ways you can say goodbye with a dash of panache.
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Live in style...die in style? For an increasing number of people, death is not just the mourning of a loss, but more a celebration of a life well-lived and an expression of who that person was. More funerals and wakes are turning into a full-on good time; with the deceased's favourite music, people and food, so it's only natural that the disposal of one's remains could get a tad eccentric too. If a standard burial or cremation isn't your (body) bag, here's a few unique ways you can say goodbye with a dash of panache.

Mummification

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Do it like they used to. Mummification is one of the most precise and thorough postmortem processes, practiced for centuries by a variety of cultures and religions. But, with services like Summum, technology has met the traditional mummification to bring it up to modern times. First, your body is cleansed, then an incision is made to remove your internal organs, which are cleansed as well. Then (with your incision still open), your body and organs are submerged in a preservation solution, before returning your organs, closing the incision, anointing the body with oil, then wrapping the body in gauze, silk and fibreglass, sealing the process. Your body is then placed in a casing (or "Mummiform") that can include your life mask and a variety of customizations. If you're interested, you're going to need some time and money; the base mummification costs around $67,000 (USD) and takes around 90 days. They can also mummify your pets.

Natural/biodegradable burial

If you're returning to the dirt, you might as well be nice to it. Environmentally conscious burials are such a growing trend that there are networks devoted to helping you find a variety of "natural end" services around the country. With the overhead, limited cemetery space and eco-unfriendly materials (like brass and steel) of traditional burials, many find it more efficient to place the body in a simple shroud or a coffin of renewable materials. Natural burials are generally less expensive than traditional methods and there are even post-cremation urns that can turn your ashes into the tree of your choice starting around $150.

Cryogenic cremation

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Can't stand the heat? There's a process developed in the UK known as Cryomation, which freezes the body in liquid nitrogen (at -196 degrees Celsius) until it becomes extremely brittle, where it is then fragmented into pieces and then freeze-dried further, creating remains that are similar to standard cremation. While not offered to the general public just yet, the process claims to be an emission-free process that returns 100% of the deceased's remains (versus 2.5% via traditional cremation, according to the site).

Press your remains into a vinyl record

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If you'd like to make music with your mortality, And Vinyly offers a process in which your ashes are pressed into a playable vinyl record. Starting around $3,750, the process offers a double-sided recording of your choice (anything from a song to a personally-recorded message), complete with a custom cover for the full album experience. If you're a little less musical, your ashes can be pressed to the vinyl without a recording, so your loved ones can just listen to the pops and crackles of your own remains.

Launching your remains into outer space

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Finally, for more adventurous souls, you could end your days in orbit. With the dawn of personal space travel now upon us, there are companies like Elysium Space that would like to send your remains too. They currently offer two services that attach a "symbolic portion" of your remains to a space-bound craft; the Shooting Star Memorial ($2,490 USD), which orbits then returns to Earth (vaporizing as a "shooting star") and the Lunar Memorial ($9,950 USD) which actually deposits your remains on the surface of the Moon. If you'd like a return trip instead, Celestis offers an express service, where your remains briefly experience weightless space travel before returning back to Earth for only $1,295 USD.

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