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Over at LJ we were asked:

What do you want done with your body after you die? (View answers)


This is actually something I've thought about. My first priority is practical good. So if my eye corneas can give someone sight or my bone marrow can save a sick kid with leukemia, then I'm all for it. I spend too much time in the pediatric oncology ward not to be all for it. And yes, I am officially an organ donor.

Beyond that, I see three goals that need balancing: comfort to those I leave behind, a philosophical statement about my values, and ecological preservation. Personally I think there is something beautiful in cremation: the sudden reduction of the body to ashes, the reincorporation with the earth. Personally I would prefer to be scattered somewhere, perhaps in the wind, so I can think of myself as being reintegrated back into the things still alive. It's like embracing the world. Ecologically, cremation makes a lot more sense than burial, too.

That stands (maybe) against the views of those I'll leave behind. Some family members probably prefer a traditional burial, and I can understand that. I wouldn't have a problem with it for their sake; any benefit I get out of imagining myself cremated is negligible, compared to the benefit they get after I'm dead of seeing me buried in the traditional way (if that is what they want). But to the extent that what's done with my body - after organ harvesting, of course - should depend on what I want now, I think I'd prefer not to be eaten by worms. :-)

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