The last thing you might want to think about is how you want to be laid to rest. But what you decide to do with your remains can be a great way to honour your legacy and celebrate your life, particularly for those who are left behind. If you’ve already started to plan for your future, you might already have or be looking into getting Funeral Cover, but there’s no harm in looking into what kind of legacy you’d like to leave behind. You can fly your ashes out into space or donate your body to help future doctors develop their skills. You can even turn your ashes into something as beautiful as a diamond. With so many options out there, Hippo.co.za, with the help from a few experts, look into all the weird and wonderful ways those you leave behind can celebrate your life.
1. Have your ashes flown into space
An expensive but rather interesting option is to have your ashes flown off the planet. Your ashes then land either on the moon or deep into space. USA company, Celestis has been sending ashes off to space since 1998 and depositing them on the moon, while the UK company, Stardust founded in 2011 can launch them into space in an environmentally friendly balloon, where they scatter over the earth.
2. Be scattered over earth on a skydive
If you’re not so keen on having your remains blasted into outer space, but like the idea of going sky-bound, you can have a team of professional skydivers or even your own family members scatter your ashes. You can have the dive filmed while onlookers watch you fall from the sky.
3. Turn yourself into a diamond
By fast-tracking the three billion year carbonation process, your ashes can be turned into a beautiful diamond stone that is cut, polished and incredibly shiny. The diamond can then be set into a ring or a necklace, and kept forever. The company, Phoenix Diamonds, are known for creating genuine memorial diamonds.
4. Claim your place in your favourite music record
Have your ashes mixed with a solution used to make vinyl records and set yourself in your favourite record. And Vinyl, allows you to do just that. Once your ashes are pressed into a vinyl record you can then record your final message, your last will and testament or a mix of your favorite tunes allowing your family to cherish your memory forever.
5. Donate your body to science
The use of cadavers (corpses) in medical schools is vital for students to fully understand the human body, if they are to become doctors or health professionals. These bodies come from people who have donated their bodies for this very purpose. All you need to do is fill in a form that legally allows for the dissection of your body post mortem at a medical school. This is rather a difficult decision to make due to different religions and cultures believing in different processes after death, but it is highly appreciated by medical students and their respective schools who rely on bodies to become knowledgeable in their field, and hopefully save many lives in the future.
6. Donate your organs
By donating your healthy organs, you can save numerous lives after your passing. The use of organs and tissue in critically ill patients is vital in South Africa where there is a shortage of available organs. The process of registering as an organ donor is relatively simple. You can either register online or call the Organ Donor Foundation after which you will be sent a card and sticker to carry on your person. As the team at Funeral Guide emphasize, you can pass on the gift of sight or life just by being an organ donor.
7. Donate your body to art
By now, many of us have heard of the Body Worlds Vital exhibition, but if you haven’t it is an exhibition currently in South Africa, which showcases the intricacy and fragility of the human body and what lies underneath our skin. The exhibition features real bodies and organs that have been preserved and moulded into poses by the method of plastination, founded by Dr Gunther von Hagens in 1977. All bodies have been donated by willing donors. You could have your remains turned into an art form used to educate and create awareness about the functioning and beauty of the human body.
So will you go the traditional route of being buried or will you choose to go for something a little more unique and interesting? With so many options available to say your final farewells in a memorable or even life saving way, it is important to think carefully about what legacy you’d like to leave.