Burial or Cremation?

Warning: Some of this post may conjure up graphic images.

As a youngan I used to deliver circulars (aka Junk Mail) for a bit of extra cash. One of the houses had the word Death written on the letter box. Later I worked out this was pronounced De Ath.

What has this got to do about my travels in the Netherlands? I don't know but its certainly a more religious country than NZ. The question arose one day Burial or Cremation? The answers I'm sure vary greatly depending upon your religious beliefs, the impact on the environment and a number of other factors.

Whilst staying with a friend in London a few years back he comment that they may be doing "double-decker" burials at the local graveyard soon. I certainly didn't think would happen but many city graveyards are simply running out of space.

It was only in 1963 The Pope lifted the ban on cremation however some cultures have bans on burial. Some believe the body is just a vessel for the soul and the body has no use after death and others belive its scared.

Some might say having insects nibble away at you might be a more natural way for your body to return to the earth, and others may not be able to bare the thought.

The scattering of ashes although restricted in some countries might allow for a memorial place somewhere a more relevant. It may be under a tree, the top of a mountain or out at sea rather than in a graveyard with thousands of others.

Which is the more environmentally friendly? Surely having your body go up in smoke must release some pretty toxic chemicals but how does that compare to people being buried? Do those same chemicals seep into the ground?

Respect of the deceased must always be paramount but with cremation it all seems very industrial. What happens to all those left over bits and I'm sure they cannot get every little bit of ash.

Just before posting this, Renate pointed out that in Prague (Czech Republic) more than 200,000 Jews are buried in an area only 100 metres by 100 metres some 12 deep.

I've made up my mind, have you?

PS: Apologies for the heavy nature of this piece.