Happy Disposition

The opening scene of last Wednesday’s episode of “The Middle” should be enough to earn award nominations for each of the five main cast members. The actors playing the Heck family displayed great comedic timing while driving home from Aunt Ginny’s funeral. Frances Bay, the actress who played Aunt Ginny, died in September. The characters talked about how Aunt Ginny looked less wrinkled laying down. Embalming will often make an elderly person appear younger.

Like the Hecks, my family’s tradition is to choose embalming and burial. In the old days, the question of whether to be buried or cremated rarely came up. With the rise in popularity of cremation, the question is a valid one, as pointed out in a blog on NPR’s website last Thursday. The writer, Barbara J. King, adds a third choice of donating one’s body to science, specifically the Body Farm. Because I sometimes volunteer as an emcee for Bone Zones events, I am often asked if I want my remains to decay at the Body Farm. I respect those who choose differently but I have repeatedly said that I want my remains to be exhumable. I haven’t purchased a cemetery plot but my inclination is to choose one a Catholic cemetery.

A “NIMBY” controversy has erupted over plans for a new crematory in Fountain City. Eric Botts, the manager of the Gentry-Griffey Funeral Chapel was my guest on the public affairs program that aired this morning. You can listen via the podcast link below. We spoke about the controversy, about changes in the funeral industry and about the increased demand for cremations. The people who have complained about the crematory are uninformed. Newer technology means there will be no smoke or odor. In fact, the neighbors won’t notice anything. After the interview, Eric and I exchanged Facebook messages. He invited me to tour the facility once it’s up and running.

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