Where Will I Go when I Die?

No, I don’t mean heaven or hell. When it comes to that subject, I believe what the Bible teaches in multiple texts sprinkled throughout. I will sleep the deepest sleep ever known to man or woman until Jesus comes. What I mean is, will I be put in a grave or will I go where I want to go—Memphis, Tennessee?

Years back, one of the nursing home employees was killed in an automobile accident. I went to his memorial and found out there he had “willed his body to science.” I had often thought that was what I wanted to do and finding out he’d done it sealed the deal.

Then, long ago, I wrote a post about Death being part of Living. It was how my nursing home friend’s daughter brought in some information about Genesis in Memphis. I was impressed with the program there and I wanted to enroll.

Since then, my friend went ahead and signed up and when she died, Genesis made arrangements with an almost-local funeral home and whisked her away. She went to Memphis, home town of Elvis, and we don’t know what has happened to her remains but we can be sure she is being of benefit, whatever it is. The money Genesis had earmarked for her memorial wasn’t used so it was donated to the community kitchen in the city.

My friend’s roommate was interested in enrolling in the same program so I got a packet for her and asked for one for myself, as well. They only sent one so I had to be persistent and call them back. When it came, it was addressed to “Tanya” but that was okay. The forms were blank and could be filled in correctly.

After my brother-in-law passed away several months ago, the first, second and third sisters came over to do the tour Mother used to love. I met them at the motel where they were staying and, I don’t know how it came up, but we started talking about the disposal of our remains. I piped up and spoke aloud my intentions and my second sister was horrified. At least she seemed to be. She said she would never do that because her children would object. I said it was my body and I would do with it as I wished. She came back with they were her children and she didn’t want to cause them any distress.

That started me thinking which, as DS2 told me today, is one of the worst things I can do. I don’t want to hurt any of the three of my offspring. If they wanted to go to the trouble and expense to put me in a casket and plant me in the ground to rot away until the Second Coming, I guess I could afford them that privilege. I should, at the very least, talk to them individually about it.

My reasons for donating myself are not all unselfish. Sure, I want to be of benefit to whoever needs parts of me for transplants and then shock and amaze the medical community with the rest of me. The primary reason I want to do it is that everything associated with my friend’s death was made so much easier by Genesis. The nurse from the emergency room called them and they took it from there. No muss, no fuss and she was gone. There was no expense, no making of arrangements, no picking out of a casket or urn. Getting the memorial together was a bit of a business but I could outline what I want in that regard and save people a lot of trouble there.

So…I had talked to DD before my friend’s death and her response? She offered me two books, Stiff (I had mentioned it on my Death post) and Body Brokers. She had made some reference to the mistreatment some bodies receive but I told her I wouldn’t know it. I’d be dead. I don’t know that she was trying to talk me out of it as much as she wanted me to be informed. I have read possibly 1/3 of the first book and none of the second yet. Unless I’m doing research about a topic I’m going to blog about, I don’t get much reading done. I keep Stiff in the car in case I have to wait somewhere. Other than that, she hasn’t really expressed an opinion yet.

Thursday afternoon, I went to DS2’s home to spend the weekend. I probably broached the subject badly but how do you do it, anyway? I had taken the packet with me but it ended up never being accessed. He didn’t say much to begin with but, Sabbath, after he’d had time to think about it, he informed me that my body is the Temple of God and he didn’t think that would be a very respectful thing to do. Well, my body may be a Temple while I’m living but after I die, it becomes a stinking, rotting shell unless I’m cremated. I figured “a man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still” and let it drop for the time being.

Sabbath afternoon, I went to see DS1 and his family. When I got there, he was home alone. A perfect opportunity if there ever was one! I told him about it and he said, “You’ll end up doing what you want to do but I don’t see anything wrong with it.” Finally! an ally! It wasn’t long until DIL and my granddaughter came back and we told them. Still no adverse reactions. I breathed a sigh of relief.

I was talking to DIL2 and she said when she filled out the form to be an organ donor, DS2 wouldn’t witness it. So…it wasn’t just me. She agreed with me that it’s a waste not to donate.

When Jesus comes, I will be a new creation. He won’t need my body parts, ashes or mouldering remains to put me back together. I have no worries in that regard.

The packet is still intact. I may die before I get the form filled out and sent in. Not to be morbid but a plane could crash on my house while I sleep in my bed tonight. In that case, I doubt there would be much left that was usable. But, if I die a natural death at 120, I’m sure someone would want to study me and find out what made me tick. It would be a shame to be in the ground all by myself instead.

6 Responses to Where Will I Go when I Die?

  1. Lila June 1, 2009 at 8:12 pm #

    Tommie, I really wasn’t horrified. I had actually thought at times it would be helpful to donate my body to a medical school, but, as I told you then, I would rather not plan anything that would add to my children and grandchildren’s grief.

    If your family can agree to your proposal, there would be no reason for me to have a problem with it.

    Love you!

    • Tommie June 1, 2009 at 8:46 pm #

      If you will reread the paragraph, you will find it says, “…my second sister was horrified. At least she seemed to be.” I apologize if I misunderstood your tone and look. And, as you can see, I haven’t finalized on anything. The boy may come around yet. Who knows?

  2. Cassandra June 2, 2009 at 12:21 pm #

    Interesting topic. Hubby and I were discussing this yesterday. Both of us want to be cremated, though I really should sign up to be an organ donor before the remainder is destroyed. I hadn’t really thought of donating my body to science. It’s a bit of a morbid topic but the subject is close to home right now. 🙁

    • Tommie June 2, 2009 at 9:05 pm #

      Google it for Arizona and see what you come up with. Medical schools are a good resource. One in Tennessee will pay for the first 50 miles transport of the body but then it’s up to the family after that. You might contact Genesis and ask if they know if there’s something similar in your state. And what, may I ask, makes it close to home??

  3. Lila June 2, 2009 at 9:11 pm #

    Well, I won’t do any research, because I respect my children’s wishes.

    • Tommie June 2, 2009 at 9:13 pm #

      The response was for Cassandra. I’m sorry if you took it I was trying to talk you or anyone else into anything.

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