Something to dispel the gloom

Charles Cowling

Last Orders: Compost from Jason Hendriksen on Vimeo.

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Sonya
Sonya
9 years ago

Thanks your responce Rupert and Gloria. Not wanting to sound morbid but we (the mainstrem public) shoud all see more corpses. There was a vid posted on here somewhere where a professional make up artist was showing his craft on a plastic mask that was black in places but I recognise now that he was just taking an extreme. I guess i got the wrong end of the stick. He did do a fab job I thought, technically. Still, all that’s visual. I suppose there is a matter of odor aswell?

gloria mundi
9 years ago

Rupert’s point about emotional dissonance and feeling what you already know seems to me so important. Without this, in whatever form it comes, some people at least seem, by reports, to feel they are left hanging.

Rupert Callender
9 years ago

It is very difficult to say what a body will do in terms of rapid decay, it is dependent on what illness they have died of, and what drugs and radiotherapy they have been treated with. Most bodies are remarkably benign as long as they are kept cool. With decent refrigeration it is absolutely possible to keep a body relatively unchanged in its appearance for two weeks. It is here that we have a difference of opinion with embalmers as to what is acceptable for a family to be exposed to. Discolouration of the skin is subtle, it usually amounts… Read more »

Charles Cowling
9 years ago

Re wolfstones, precisely. But I think I favour family wolfstones. More personal, less municipal. Inscribed at each death they can be passed down the generations and become part of family history.

gloria mundi
9 years ago

Thanks for the info, very helpful. 2.5 feet still a bit deep for compost, I guess, but a lot better than 6 feet. (Unless of course you want to busy Mrs on top of Mr, rather than mooring her alongside?)Point about cold clay noted.

Wolfstones could indeed be used and re-used; could be owned by the community and passed along to the next leasee with suitable ritual?

Jonathan
Jonathan
9 years ago

Does the 2’6″ rule apply to privately owned burial grounds?

Charles Cowling
9 years ago

Official govt regs for burial require the coffin to be covered in 2′ 6″ of earth, or 2′ where soil conditions allow. Of course, soil conditions are all important. If you bury someone in cold, sullen clay they’ll hang around for ages.

I’ve asked Rupert to tell us more about discolouration of the body, and I hope he’ll have a few mins spare to do that. Stand by, please, Sonya!

gloria mundi
9 years ago

Good stuff. I wonder if many of us realise that a 6 foot deep burial results in methane and sludge? I think many of us think we turn into something like that chap’s lovely compost – certainly the person with whom I was discussing such matters yesterday thought so. I think the answers to Sonya’s questions are all to be found the the mighty Good Funeral Guide, though the travel speed necessary to save the family from freezing might depend on the stoicism of said family – in this weather here today, anything longer than a couple of hours would… Read more »

Sonya
Sonya
9 years ago

Yes, good clip Charles.
Before reading this marvelous blog I always thought that all this organic food I’m eating will one day turn me into valuable nutrigents for the soil or soil itself- and then I found out about the embalming proceidure! Quite a shock!
I would prefere not to poison the earth.
So how long do we have until the body discolores? How quickly must family travel if they wish to say goodbye to a corpse considering the heating is turned off?

Jonathan
Jonathan
9 years ago

I’d hazard a guess it’s our squeamishness and selective blindness that makes us prefer being turned into sludge and methane in a grave to being ground up and put in a wheelbarrow and made good use of, freeing up valuable land for our own bodies to contribute nourishment to.

It’s not legislation that’ll change things, it’s opening our eyes and stopping squeaming.