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Death & Dying. Law & Technology.

"Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die"

Megan Yip

Willie Nelson with fan in Austin-Bergstrom International Airport by Henry Yip

Willie Nelson with fan in Austin-Bergstrom International Airport by Henry Yip

Willie Nelson's 'gospel' song "Roll Me Up and Smoke When I Die," which is also the title of his auto-biography, lays out his wishes for 'funeral' and disposal, or final disposition of his body.   Leave it to Willie to be a good example of talking about something openly that the rest of us would rather keep private or deny all together, namely our death.  

Over the past couple weeks, I've had the opportunity to discuss mortuaries, funeral services, burials and final resting places with a small group of people planning for their deaths.  We learned, we laughed - mostly at 'inappropriate jokes,' and we shared about our priorities and hopes in life and death.

If you don't have a plan for what you'd like to have happen to your body when you die, keep in mind that burial, cremation and donation to science are not the only options today. 

In California, The Cemetery and Funeral Bureau, part of the Department of Consumer Affairs, serves as a good place to start your research about what options are legally available for body disposal and final disposition.

Today, the Urban Death Project launched their KickStarter campaign to develop their green decomposition plan for the disposal (or final disposition) of the deceased.

Here are some more "Alternative Final Resting Places" :

(not all are available in California)

Your ashes can be turned into gems.

You can be turned into a tree.

A water-based chemical process can reduce your body to ashes.

You can become part of an underwater habitat.

Your loved one can have you incorporated into their body art as a memorial.

If you know of other alternatives, share them in the comments below.