After life exits the body, the remains are embalmed, placed in a box and buried, or entombed in a shrine. I believe this does not complete the process of life. My intuition tells me that I need to be buried directly into the earth and not in a box. Unfortunately, this is illegal in most states, including the one where I live.
The nonsensical need to keep the physical body intact and not return it to the Earth is a testament to man’s ultimate fear of dying. And, to his selfishness for not wanting to give back to from where it was he came. All things that come from the Earth will eventually return to it, whether we want them to or not.
Death of the physical body is a natural part of life, and it was not until I fully accepted this universal truth that I really began living. Death, a morbid subject for most, is inevitable. As soon as we are pushed, pulled, or forcibly excavated from the womb, the process of living and ultimately dying begins. That’s life.
During the process of life we take nourishment from the Earth to build our blood that creates our cells, bones, skin, brain and every other part of our human body. Without nutrients from the Earth we wouldn’t be here – it’s that simple.
The Earth provides for us, unyieldingly, with fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, animals, and water that all creates our physical body. She is bountiful and generous.
I feel that I need to give my body back to the earth to complete the natural process of life and death, and then life again. Only in death can there be life. All animals and other living things, naturally, upon death, return to the Earth’s womb to continue on and nourish the future inhabitants of the world.
The fossil fuel we rely so heavily on was created from the decomposing remains of plants and animals that have died before us. Where would we be today if the dinosaurs had entombed themselves?
Granted, the Earth will sooner or later reclaim the remains of all things on the planet, but why should she have to wait? She has never kept me waiting. When I’m hungry I eat, and if I have to wait, I become irritable. The Earth needs food too, and she acquires it from the death of her inhabitants. I can’t help but wonder if the natural disasters and earthquakes that swallow entire towns in one gulp is the Earth’s way of telling us she’s hungry and needs to be fed.
The Earth has given me life, and I would be an ungrateful child for not giving back to her. Encasing, embalming and entombing is the refusal to release the body and move on. This much I know, I won’t need of this physical body after the life force has departed it. And, if I come back, I would certainly want to build a new one and not inhabit the one I had before!
I want to be buried directly into the earth so that my body can be used as nourishment for all other living creatures that are still here, or will be arriving. I want the worms and insects to feast on my remains, and they in turn will nourish the birds that fill the airwaves with song. I want my bones to return to their origin and become the minerals that create rocks and magnificently sculpted mountains. I want the soil to reclaim all the nutrients that once nourished me and feed the trees to bear fruit and oxygen for the living.
Locking my body in a box, or even worse, a stone mausoleum, is basically teasing the Earth. Giving her a hard outer shell to break through before she can enjoy the meal. I realize I could be cremated and scattered on the earth, but this mode of exit greatly offends me. I want to give the Earth a delicious meal, not a pile of ashes. I too, like my food cooked, but certainly not burned to a cinder. The thought of eating ash is not appetizing to me and I wouldn’t prepare it for any one else, especially not my mother. It may sound odd to speak of the Earth as if she is alive. Well… she is. And, if she weren’t, we wouldn’t be here.
Not being able to give back to this beautiful living entity and contribute to the eternal process of life offends me to the core, and in truth, to the core of the Earth.
During my lifetime I would love to witness the transformation of a cemetery into a lush forest bustling with life, instead of the haunted grounds filled with spirits of souls waiting an eternity for their death process to become complete before they can finally move on.
Not in a box, not in stone, not burned to a crisp – just gently sandwiched inside the layers of the Earth, contributing one final meal for my mother and future siblings.