Wednesday, June 17, 2009


A bamboo coffin

Just last week, hubby showed me an interesting article about eco friendly burial methods. Apparently, there's sustainable bamboo weave coffins which are supposedly better than wooden coffins. Cheaper too. I think it's absolutely wonderful. In theory it's great, but think about it, in a lot of cases, families of the deceased may be coerced to buying a very expensive and not environmentally friendly coffin by the "coffin salesman" for fear of looking like cheapo skinflints who can't be bothered to provide the best for the loved one who have since passed.

Me? I want my healthy, working body parts to be donated to be transplanted into bodies of people in need, like my cornea, heart, or whatever that is in good condition. I have reminded hubby not to donate my body to science and any medical facilities. My dead body is still my temple, and I want it to remain that way LOL. Oh yes, and after the good docs are through harvesting my body, I wish to be cremated and my ashes dumped in to the nearest sea, just like my paternal grandparents. Still not the most eco friendly method, due to the energy needed for the cremation, but this is how I want my Buddhist body to be handled.

Slightly off topic, my granddad passed away when I was 17. After the funeral, my dad put my grandpa's ashes and bones into a cloth bag. He didn't close the cloth bag all the way before he dropped the bag into the sea. When I asked why, dad said it's so that granddad can swim out anytime he wants to. Anyhow, I always thought everything would be burned down to ashes. I mean, that's what I see on tv, but apparently, not in Malaysia. There was still half a femur bone here, parts of the rib bone there. Grandma passed away a few years back, and yes, they did not fully burn her body down to ashes as well.

Nowadays, there's all sorts of eco friendly burial products. There's bio degradable urns. But why urns when a cheap cotton cloth bag will do, since someone's going to bury the urn anyway. You can't have a biodegradable urn sitting on top of the living room mantle anyways. It would look nasty as the urn start to bio degrade. There's also special burial parks that looks exactly like parks with no burial stones to mar the landscape.

However, in my book, the best eco friendly burial is still the muslim burial. They use a simple white shroud to wrap the body, and then they bury the body in the muslim graveyard. Two simple burial stone marks the grave. Flowers and fragrant flower water is sprinkled onto the body and onto the grave. Prayers are made without much fuss and pomp.

Ever thought about your funeral? Told anyone about how you wished your burial to be conducted?


karenL said...

jasmine, when i die i would like my remains...ashes and the bones to be strewn over the sea as well. but apparently the permit one has to get presently, allows this to be done only at a certain part of the sea. an uncle whose mom-in-law passed away last had to charter a boat out to a certain part of the Straits of Malacca off Port Klang to throw the remains in the sea. let me find out more and will post more comments.

RawFoodie said...

Thanks for sharing Karen.

I gotta ask my dad about this, but he's in Sarawak right now doing some land survey work.

My dad and his family gathered all grandpa's ashes and bones, placed into a gunny sack. They then took a boat out to sea at a popular beach in Port Dickson and just dropped the sack into the waters.