.by Anura Guruge
This morning, in the regular spam we get (despite GoDaddy e-mail doing a fairly decent job of trying to weed it out) we both got this e-mail for burial insurance.
Independently, we both had the same reaction. There are a number of things in life where Deanna and I think and feel exactly the same. One of them is the desire to donate our bodies to science when we die.
My adoptive grandfather, who was quite a guy, got the ball rolling as far as I was concerned. When he died, 92, he had his body given to a local university. He did not have a funeral per se. That made quite an impression on me. I, in my 30s at the time, hadn’t really given much thought to this, but as soon as I heard what he had wished, I promised myself that I will be doing the same. It has now been over a decade since I had my trust, will, living-trust, power-of-attorney etc. updated. I am pretty sure that my current will is specific that my body should be given to a hospital or university tout suite when I kick the bucket. I tell Deanna this on a regular basis and each time she gets mad, but I think she has a fairly clear idea as to what I want. I don’t want her to even tell my kids when I die. I just want her to make one call. Get my body to Dartmouth (or wherever) and then proceed with life as if nothing happened. No obituaries, no funerals, no phone calls. Nothing. She says she can’t do this, but we will see. This is my ardent wish.
Deanna too wants her body to be given to science, but she wants her death to be made known. That is where we differ.
Anyway, what is important is the DONATION of your body to science/medicine. Don’t be greedy, don’t be selfish. The Catholic Church now says it is ‘OK’ to be cremated. If so, it has to be even better, to donate your body to science. Come on, are YOU that gullible, that YOU think that your old, decrepit body is really going to rise from ‘the death’. Plus, isn’t it ‘dust-to-dust’. So if it is dust, what is there to rise (even with the help of Viagra)? So don’t cling to beliefs from the dark ages. If Catholics say you can still go to heaven if you get cremated, you sure should be able to do so, even quicker (with less time percolating in purgatory) IF your last act is truly selfless.
I have heard that Judaism is even stricter about the burial thing. So be it. BUT, if you can … PLEASE think about donating your body. Just think of the good. They can use every bit of you to help others.
Yes, I need to do some work. I would like my skeleton to be preserved. Yes, part of that is my irreverent humor. Nearly all real skeletons you find in the West came from India. Then in the early 1900s the Indians put a stop to that. So most skeletons you see now are plastic. So since people think I am ‘Indian’, I want my Indian skeleton to be put to use. The next bit of my logic is a bit more subtle. A skeleton has no race! Anybody looking at my skeleton will not be able to tell that I was not white. That amuses me. So, I want to make that point too. Plus, as I tell the kids, and it amuses (at least) Devanee, I want them to be able to come and shake my hand when I am dead and gone.
Right now, I think my paperwork, has Dartmouth-Hitchcock as the recipients of my body. But, I have spoken to them about my skeleton. They refuse to agree to that. Well, screw them. You can’t have my body. I will find somebody else. That is what I need to do. IF you know of a hospital or university that will preserve my skeleton, saving me the trouble of Googling, let me know and I will get my lawyer to update all the paperwork.