What We Do with Our Bodies After We Die Can Change Our Views of Mortality

Why be buried when you can have your ashes turned into a tattoo or flown into space?

It can be scary to think about planning your own funeral. For many of us, death is a soundless and gaping black hole that plagues our minds and bodies, only serving to remind us about the impermanence of our fleshy vessels.

But instead of mourning the loss of life, some companies are finding new ways to remember and celebrate it by offering alternatives to the traditional pine box or stout urn resting on a bookshelf somewhere. In a way, exploring your post-mortem options can help you find solace in the fact that, after death, you can still be a part of some pretty kickass things.

Those who wish to visit the heavens after they die can do so with Celestis Memorial Spaceflights. Fly to the moon, float among the stars, or explore Earth’s orbit with a number of different flight options. They assisted in Star Trek actor James “Scotty” Doohan’s flight when his ashes were sent into orbit in a SpaceX rocket, and are trusted by NASA.

Memorial body tattoos are allowing people to stay close to their loved ones by mixing ashes of the departed into tattoo ink. The process is the same as a normal tattoo, though not every artist will participate in a memorial tattoo, so it’s important to find someone experienced and confident. It’s not uncommon to see someone with ink to remember a loved one by, and now people have a chance to make that art extra personal.

Others can shine on by having their ashes transformed into diamonds from Heart in Diamond. Two-thirds of a cup of ashes are used to extract carbon, which is then pressed and added to a foundation. The mixture is placed in ideal conditions for diamonds to grow, after which they’re cut, polished, and graded before being shipped to their receiver.

When exploring post-mortem options, some people might want to think about how they can give back to society. Registering to become an organ donor is perhaps the best way to celebrate life in death, as one body contains the ability to save up to eight lives.

According to BC Transplant, less than one per cent of all B.C. deaths are eligible for deceased donation. Requirements include that one must die in a hospital, after all life-saving measures have been exhausted; and that they must already be in a critical care unit and attached to a ventilator with zero hope for survival.

Even if your body doesn’t end up qualifying for organ transplants, there are a variety of ways in which someone may celebrate life with their mortal remains. The list of potential options for honoring one’s life should not be seen as morbid or intimidating, but should encourage you to think about how your life can continue to impact others after you’re gone.

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