Bitch on the Blog

October 24, 2013


A chunk of my life’s studies has been on death. The inevitability of death is awesome. I understand the deal: You are born, you will die. Not much of a deal but better than not being born.

What I’d like to know, and I am dead serious here: Why oh why oh why do people bother with embalming (a question hardly ever asked but brought, once more, to my attention just this minute)? I have stipulated in my will and testament, and told the Angel – poor sausage who will have to clear up after me – that I want to be discarded asap, not be drained and then pumped full with formaldehyde. The idea fills me with disgust. Once I am dead leave me alone. Please. Cardboard box. Lid on top. End of story.

To be continued….




  1. Embalming …perhaps it is an attempt to ” keep the features” intact…?
    A kind of false statue?

    Comment by fjohn — October 24, 2013 @ 15:05 | Reply

    • Of course, that is the reason, John. Oh Vanity. A fleeting moment for the passing mourner. And undertakers too need to make a living. Put me in a stock pot any time.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — October 24, 2013 @ 20:27 | Reply

  2. I’ve often wondered about that and why on earth do people spend enormous sums of money on fancy caskets?? Is spending vast sums of money the only way to show love/respect or whatever for the departed??? Personally I will be creamated and dumpd somewhere – surely my multi-x ashes would make good landfill. You oughta add to the list on the right U – right befiore Pretentious Shit you can add Preposterous Shit.

    Comment by Chuck McConvey — October 24, 2013 @ 16:06 | Reply

    • That’s why it pays to be Mozart, Chuck. Pauper’s grave.

      Thanks for making me laugh: “Preposterous Shit” to be inserted forthwith.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — October 24, 2013 @ 20:17 | Reply

  3. We cremate our dead. Simple. No fuss.

    Comment by Rummuser — October 24, 2013 @ 16:09 | Reply

    • Ramana, as far as I understand most people here too opt for cremation. It’s tidier, no worms involved. Which doesn’t stop custom of bodies being embalmed. With mercury and pacemakers flying out of the chimney. Yes, I know I am obsessed with metal. Have mentioned it before, and many times. It’s why I don’t like funerals. You can bet your bottom golden tooth filling that I’ll be the one hit by that which the dead doesn’t need any longer.

      Come to think of it:What do you mean “No fuss”? Don’t your women throw themselves on the pyre?


      Comment by bitchontheblog — October 24, 2013 @ 20:08 | Reply

      • Not any more. It is hard enough to stop our men from throwing themselves on the funeral pyres of their women! It took a gang of about 12 to stop me from doing so when Urmeela’s body was about to enter the box.

        Comment by Rummuser — October 25, 2013 @ 10:48 | Reply

  4. I love the idea of being swathed in cotton, dumped in the earth and a tree planted on top of me. Eternal life feeding the tree and its wee acorns.

    Comment by wisewebwoman — October 24, 2013 @ 16:18 | Reply

    • So do I, WWW. In fact, I have booked the spot. However, I have warned the Angel, and he is not amused, that roots might not take. Can you imagine how embarrassing that would be? My compost not even good enough to ferment a tree? Dear dog in heaven. If ever there was a damning verdict.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — October 24, 2013 @ 20:11 | Reply

  5. I couldn’t agree more. When I die, drop me into the cheapest possible box and cremate me. My mother thinks exactly the same (one of the few points on which we agree).

    Comment by nick — October 24, 2013 @ 19:40 | Reply

    • If you and your mother agree on such a fundamental maybe the two of you have more in common than you thought. United in death we stand …


      Comment by bitchontheblog — October 24, 2013 @ 20:20 | Reply

  6. You echo my feelings presackerly…I’m looking for the right sized cardboard box…and they can put a dandelion only on the top.

    Comment by magpie11 — October 24, 2013 @ 19:41 | Reply

    • Don’t be so modest, Magpie. Though I do love dandelions I will stretch to a sunflower for you.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — October 24, 2013 @ 20:13 | Reply

      • I have long said that the only flower, if any, should be a dandelion….

        Comment by magpie11 — October 25, 2013 @ 12:19 | Reply

  7. It seems to me that funerals and weddings are two events that people lose grip of their senses when it comes to spending money, and the various industries that attend to these events are more than happy to take advantage of everyone’s emotional state in making such decisions. I’d be perfectly happy when I’m gone to be turned into ashes and scattered about this planet wherever the winds and tides might take me.

    Comment by Phil — October 24, 2013 @ 20:37 | Reply

    • Phil, I understand the need to celebrate a beginning. As you have just done with your daughter getting married. And maybe, some time in the future, at a grandchild’s christening.

      The end? Yes, sure. Wet my dead head. What I lament is that when the time comes we have no say. Not that it matters because – as I keep saying – I’ll be the only one not knowing what’s going on. Shame, really: I’d give you my funeral of a life time. Do me a favour: Pass the Angel a handkerchief, help him to sort out the (paper) debris of my life and I will have died a happy woman.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — October 24, 2013 @ 21:16 | Reply

      • I have come to believe that the funeral ceremonies are less for the dead than they are for the living. While I can understand the desire not to be embalmed or put on display, there is an inherent need for people to gather and display their support for the survivors. A growing trend is a celebration of life ceremony, religious or not, completely devoid of corpus. That to me seems far more appealing. Either that, or go out in a barrel of laughter like a dear friend’s mother of mine, Chick, who I wrote about a few years ago:

        Best. Funeral. Ever.

        I’m sure there’s gold in that paper debris of yours, Ursula.

        Comment by Phil — October 24, 2013 @ 21:48 | Reply

        • Of course you are right, Phil: The ceremony is for the living. Yet, whilst I do not wish to be cremated but buried (let nature take its course) I would like my body to be squirreled away without being put on display, without artificial substitution of my bodily fluids. Those who remember me will remember me. Preferably alive.

          Thanks for reminding me of the link. Before it showed up I prayed, fervently, that just for once I hadn’t made a comment. My prayer was answered.

          Gold? Let’s hope it’s Platinum. The hardest of the precious.


          Comment by bitchontheblog — October 25, 2013 @ 06:47 | Reply

  8. I love the topic of death. Few in our Western culture are comfortable talking about it. I just brought up the topic last night at my sister’s house. We were having dinner. I’m donating my body to science. There is an organization that will come to where ever my dead body happens to be (that should be interesting) and whisk me away (no charge), do with me what they will (have medical student take a stab at me, send me to the Body Farm to study decomposition for forensic science purposes, whatever…), and, return what’s left in the form of cremains to my designated loved one. Alex (my son) get to do with me as I wish–scatter with the ashes of my former pets in the Adirondack mountains. No fee for any of it. The survivors may have a shindig if they wish–I hope they sing and dance…maybe read a funny story or two from my memoir or tell a funny story of their own.

    For some reason, people wanted to change the topic of conversation after I brought it up… 🙂

    Comment by Lorna's Voice — October 28, 2013 @ 13:59 | Reply

  9. Fear of death is an amazingly powerful force, and not always for good. Just look at so much religion …..Christianity especially.

    Llorna’s Voice has it just about right…… but in the UK there is an excess of bodies left to science I understand…… people have twigged that it is a way to defray the costs.

    Comment by magpie11 — October 28, 2013 @ 18:45 | Reply

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