The average human body is made up of 12 percent lipids (or fats) and sixty-five percent water. We also have lead, arsenic, aluminium, bromine and zinc in our bodies, as well as naturally occurring silicone, and for some of us, a bit more NON-naturally occurring silicone. Broken down further, Almost 99% of the mass of the human body is made up of six elements: oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorus. We are, basically, a bunch of gasses held together by water and minerals. Seven percent of our body weight comes from blood. No wonder we are popular with vampires. In the movie Soylent Green- which you must watch for Charlton Heston’s acting skills alone- we are turned into food. If we choose to be buried, we also become food for bugs and trees and things, like in the case of Burial Pods, which are currently all the rage amongst those burying people.
If we get cremated, we become a candle for a while. Which is pretty, in a slightly gruesome kind of a way BUT if we get cremated and turned into things, that’s cool.
The company ‘LifeGem’ will turn your ashes into a man-made diamond that your loved ones can wear for eternity or until you get lost down the sink at a drunken dinner party, or accidently flushed down the toilet by a great-grandbaby. LifeGem will pop your ashes in a crucible that is heated to around 3,000 degrees Celsius, converting the carbon into pure graphite. This graphite is then placed into a diamond press that replicates the heat and pressure generated by the earth in order to form a jewel. After oxygen, carbon is the thing we next have the most of, so, depending on how big your body is, you could make a hefty rock for a grieving, or glitzy, relative.
If you were thinking that you might want to go out with a little more wiz and bang the company Angel’s Flight will mix your ashes with combustible powder and turn you into colourful and noisy fireworks. Angel Flights offer either a marine fireworks service on the ocean, or a beach fireworks service on the coast or at a lake. The cost of the fireworks includes transportation of the ashes from the mortuary and actual construction of the pyrotechnics, as well as all required licences, insurances, and permits. Somewhat ironically the standard fee does not include Fire Department inspection fees, and you will be billed separately, so if something or someone catches fire and dies when you are being blown to bits up in the sky, and you do NOT have that covered your relatives will surely be stung for extra cash and they may end up getting less bang for their buck in the long run, as it were. Also for an extra fee you can get professional stills and video photography, and matching music. In case your relo’s want to pop on a music video for their guests at their next bar-b-que.
You can even have your ashes added to ink and be tattooed directly under someone’s skin, yes, you will become body art on another person’s body. Known as ‘Morbid ink’, this service is widely available in most countries, however, some tattoo artists point out that the ashes do not always mix well, there is a small question of hygiene, and that some crematoriums are a little lax when cleaning out the….ovens….so you might end up being tattooed into your loved ones buttock, along with the Granny who died a day before you did, and that weird bloke who lived under a bridge.
If music is more your thing, the company ‘Andvinyly’ will press your ashes (or just part of your ashes, they say they accept just cremated body parts as well), into vinyl records with your choice of tracks. When the family sit around together for a catch up and a sing along in your honour, you will still be part of the action. Added bonus, if you chose the song ‘I’m spinning around’ by Kylie Minogue, you’d bring about the lols in what could be a trying time.
Whatever you decide, food for vultures, used for science, made into pencils, blown into space, or just popped into a plot or an urn, your body will eventually become the air we breathe, the dust we wipe, the water we drink. We are atoms, and we are made from the same atoms that go around and around on this planet much like a vinyl record. And much like a wake is seen as a celebration of life, being grown into a cactus, or becoming a sparkler, or being pressed into black plastic with Kylie might also bring about some extra tears…….of hilarity.