Death is an old and familiar companion to humanity, older than life and just as well understood. A predator that haunts our every step in a very literal sense. We are so aware of it, in fact, that a great many people actually fear it.
That fear has caused, in part, the need to remove the dead from our sight, but paradoxically, given rise to high ritual and ceremony for the occasion. Funerals. An occasion that gives us an illusion of life to say goodbye to with a stunning array of preservative science before we entomb a beloved’s body in a way that could give a zombie army too intact soldiers. Anyway.
But like all things involving this fish bowl we call Earth, we’re running out of space for the burial practices we participate in currently. Literally, I might add. And to meet new demands, in usual heroic fashion, science is swooping in to save the day with alternatives.
But this is just a start. I wonder what other methods, elaborate and simple, will arise to both preserve our human disdain for actual remains and our need for ritual observance to cover that disdain. What offers will science bring to the table in this, the final, arena of life.
Author of LGBT romance and speculative fiction.