Rethinking Death

Death is sad and depressing. Everyone knows that. I knew that before I started looking into it. Now I am MORE depressed about it! This is supposed to be my HAPPY NEW YEAR post. Oh well.

It all started with a car accident going to work. I made a list, chatted to my wife, and looked up costs online – where I found out that we are being ripped-off – the local authorities are using death as a source of income, that it’s causing debt and poverty, and that it’s a rigged game and a postcode lottery. My visit to the funeral parlour did not help – in fact it made it worse. I’m looking at having to put aside upwards from ELEVEN GRAND for the basic cover.

You can see why I am getting more depressed about this.

So I decided to search for ideas something creative, something that might give hope – anything really- and for that, I go to podcasts – in particular I looked at Radiolab, NPR, and TED. These were pretty cool.

On 20th December 2016 – before I started this blog, but just after my car crash, I had listened to a TED Radio Hour called Rethinking Death which had, in the third segment, a bit about a Mushroom Death Suit. I posted about it on Facebook.

This led to My Mushroom Burial Suit TED Video Talk by artist Jae Rhim Lee, and a Daily Mail article from January 2016 about how it should be available in the Spring to buy.

Before I heard the talk, I did not appreciate the following:

  • Embalming is bad for the health of undertakers and funeral workers;
  • Embalming is toxic for the earth;
  • Burial is bad for the soil due to dental fillings and other toxins in the body;
  • Cremation simply puts these toxins into the atmosphere;
  • Mushrooms can cope with all these toxins.

The suit is now in production as a development from the original – it’s now the Infinity Burial Suit by Coeio  – and you can get a suit or a shroud for 1500 USD, or a coffin liner for half that.

The cost is  nearly £1300, and weirdly, it takes 2-4 weeks to get one, although it says you can e-mail them if you need one in a hurry.  I don’t know if you can get one and put it in storage for years until it’s needed. I wouldn’t think so if it’s about mushroom spores and decomposition! Maybe if you die, you can be stored in a fridge or something until it arrives? Doesn’t seem quite so green anymore.

I wondered about this. The suit is instead of a coffin, so the cost is offset to some extent. I have no idea how a shrouded or suited body can be actually buried. But I like the idea of growing – and maybe a graveyard is not the best place then.

I need more ideas, and more information. This is not easy.



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