I’ll be honest with you, I don’t think about death a whole lot. I have my beliefs and have an idea of where I’m going whenever my Creator decides to call me home (which ideally would be about 10 years after I win the multi-state lottery) but I digress. As I age, and my loved ones around me as well, I’ve begun to think of death more often. First….I don’t fear it. I’d prefer to go quickly, in my sleep, after a great day and night of doing my favorite things, but as luck would have it I’ll probably be killed by a falling piece of space junk, which would be a wonderful epithet “Here lies Richard Ripley. Killed by space junk shooting from Uranus.” Short and to the point.
Anyway, we visited Effigy Mounds by Marquette Iowa this past Sunday and that prompted me to think again about death. The natives that lived in North America, at least for several thousand years, buried their dead then mounded dirt on them. Then as the years passed they continued to pile dirt on them, making the mounds quite large and especially noticeable in the plains states. Some mounds are in the shape of bears, birds or have other distinguishable shapes. No one knows for certain why these ancient people did this; some theorize it was an act of ceremony to honor their family gone before them, or whatever. This I do know…it was a lot of hard work. Maybe it was to keep the critters of that time from carrying off the dead in shallow graves, but this went on for thousands and thousands of years. Interesting stuff. Google it if this interests you.
Anyway…all that talk of mounding dirt on the dead got me to thinking about my death and the arrangements for my interment. My wife doesn’t like to talk about these details so I’ll just put this out there….I wanna go “green”. Just leave me out in the open; in the country…in some farm field in the middle of nowhere…on a rusty mattress springs. Let my body return to the earth…then after a few summer months old mother nature and her critters will have left nothing but my bones to address. Just take them and pitch ‘em in the nearest woods, or river. I don’t wish to be buried for prosperity inside a nice cedar coffin inside a concrete vault (what’s the point?). Anyway…I’ve read the “Body Farm” and feel that, that particular way to decompose would be good and a lot less harmful to the environment. Take the money saved on the coffin and vault and cater in some kick-ass BBQ and throw a nice party; now that’s the way to go, in my humble opinion.