This piece belongs to the series "Chicago Public Radio Documentaries by Melby/Richard"
Other pieces by 2 below zero
Posted on January 09, 2009 at 11:10 AM
Do you want a solid African mahogany casket with “Bolero” red interior or do you want to compost your body in a big old worm bin? That pretty much sums up this Chicago Matters piece about people’s changing views about what we want done with our bodies after we die. Includes a great description of resomation: a process I’d never heard of in which a body is boiled in a “non-toxic” chemical brew until it becomes dust. Dust, they say, safe enough to use as fertilizer. I don’t know about the actual feasibility of composting oneself or whether I’d want to use human remains as fertilizer, but interesting none the less. Listen. Air it.
Posted on February 27, 2011 at 05:58 PM
i asked a question in my comment of february 10, and also gave praise for the piece on "death's footprint". i hoped you would do another program on this subject. any feedback? dianne
Posted on February 10, 2011 at 04:15 PM
this was a wonderful and informative piece on "the american way of death". when jessica mitford wrote her book by the same name, i read it, in my twenties. since that time, i have always believed in cremation and no embalming, so when my mother died 20 years ago, i did not have her embalmed. the funeral home did not have dry ice available, but refrigerated mom for 3 days, and the casket, of course, was closed. when my brother came to the service from canada, he asked for it to be opened for him, so he could say goodbye. he always said, later, that he wished he had not done that. she indeed looked dead. bodies who are embalmed look dead, too, but somehow not SO DEAD. i was not able to have her cremated as i wished, because it was against my mother's wishes. my question, though, regards vaults. the cemetery where we put mom REQUIRED a vault, supposedly to keep the ground from caving in. so that added several hundred dollars to an already $5K funeral in 1991. i'd be interested in a follow-up program to answer this question and perhaps lots of others. again, thanks.