Monday, April 25, 2011

Jill wants my body.

Yesterday I got a letter from Jill Larson, Senior Vice President at Smart Cremation. Seems she's keen to throw me on to the woodpile. Though Ms. Larson is very premature with her pitch, I figure I've got a good 40-50 years before I make my last entry on roundseventeen. It's her reasoning that I find most troubling.

Jill and the people at Smart Cremation claim that by planning my cremation now I will be "unburdening my loved ones when they are most emotionally vulnerable."

Well, excuse me for dying, but I would hope my demise would burden my loved ones so they realize how much they needed and depended on me. You want to deprive me of that posthumous satisfaction? I don't think so.

I expect, and demand, a torrent of tears. If there is an afterlife, I want to be able to reach across the dimensions of time and space and hear my family utter phrases like, "what are we going to do without him?" or "I can't believe how much he did for us."

I have no interest in making life easier for them when I'm gone anymore than they're interested in making life easier for me while I'm still walking the streets of Culver City.

Over and above that, I find Jill's claim of "the many sound advantages of cremation" and the notion of "leaving the planet in good shape when we depart" quite amusing. Particularly since this letter crossed my desk on Earth Day.

I suspect the cremation of my body and the subsequent wood and fuel needed to fully roast my 200 + lbs. corpse would add significant carbon dioxide to the atmosphere and contribute to global warming. Whereas planting me six feet under and putting me on the menu for grubs, caterpillars and worms will have just the opposite effect and contribute vital nutrients to the biosphere.

But where you really lost me Jill, was the last line of your letter when you offer a 100% money back guarantee if any of my loved ones are not satisfied for any reason.

Perhaps I'm lacking in imagination, but I can't for the life of me --literally--picture a scenario of a cremation gone bad that would necessitate a refund, partial or otherwise.

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