Green Death

Earth Day is next Wednesday, and as a public service we offer what’s being promoted as the environmentally friendly way to get rid of yourself: underwater burial in an artificial reef.

The death experts at Neptune Memorial Reef will mix you up with some cement, pour you into a mold, then drop you on the ocean floor off Key Biscayne with hundreds of your fellow cremainders in a living dead sculpture destined to become the backdrop for a live-action SpongeBob movie:

This reef with its 16 acres complete, will save as much as 100 acres of dry land; 120,000 of the average size cemetery plots (9’x4′) would take up over 99 acres. (Even if every person who chose to be placed in NMR were already going to be cremated, a 120,000 of the average size cremation plots would take up over 4 acres).

All ecologically appropriate, it would seem. Right up to the point where “the reef is busy on the weekends with private and commercial dive boats exploring the underwater city.” But we’ll presume that inconvenient detail will be finessed once gas hits five bucks again.

Neptune Memorial Reef

I want to end up as Liv Tyler’s navel stud. It is my dream.

@blogenfreude: That is so awesome. We need to get the pet franchise for this right away. I’m seeing the multi-stone “mother” rings that will keep your pets with you always. We could make a fortune just setting up booths at librarian conferences.

@Mistress Cynica: The girlfriend is trying to put weight on me, get me up to 3 carats.

@Mistress Cynica: It would be more convenient than the collection of small ash-containing boxes I have because I can’t bear to scatter my late pets’ ashes.

@Ewalda: Definitely. I’ve left orders than my pets’ ashes are to mixed with mine when I die so we can be together forever. Maybe in a rose bed. That would be nice.

@Mistress Cynica: Re: “We could make a fortune just setting up booths at librarian conferences,” I’m visualizing something like the parking lot at a Grateful Dead show. Yes?

@Dodgerblue: Sadly enough, this sort of thing appears in the regular vendor areas of major conferences, right there next to book jobbers, publishers, and technology companies. You’ll have Baker & Taylor (they give away bags with the company’s two-cat logo and so are very popular), Blackwell’s, Crowley Micrographics, and then cat sweaters. Flowy full skirts appropriate for Ren Faires also do well.

I buried the body of the dachshund who died last year along with the ashes of our big brown dog who died a couple of years before and then planted two scarlet hydrangeas over them. They’re quite near where I buried my mother’s ashes in 07 on the absolute last planting day of the year and put in a pink weeping cherry for her. Since they are, to my mind, the drama queens of the tree world it seemed a good pick to memorialize my mother who, while living a quarter of a mile away, was liable to burst into tears of joy if I so much as ran into her at our local grocery store. Her ashes were delivered to me in a bio-degradable packet meant for fertilizer which I found strangely touching and now there’s a whole corner of the garden that has an emotional meaning beyond the fact that the very pale yellow daffs with flat cups and white perianths are looking even better than I hoped when I put the bulbs in last year.

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