I found this interesting link about the confessions of a funeral director and a pastor’s disagreement about the cremation of the body. I found it to be quite hypocritical, considering the history of all the victims being burned by the church in history.
I have willed my body to our medical school n my state and it becomes their property once they take possession. Once they have finish with their use of it, they will cremate my remains and return the ashes to my family if my family wants it, if not the ashes will be spread in a garden on their premises. I am OK with that.
I have tried to let my children know I want the cheapest and easiest option available which I assume is cremation. I would care if they could legally dump my corpse in the desert for the vultures. I obviously won't care, whatever makes them happy.
Ive done paid for a $8,000.00 funeral that cost $3000.00 A long time ago. That's what it's worth today. I told my wife to just cremate me if possible and save the rest for her to be cremated. Or visa versa. The easier thing to do for both of us.
There are exposure traditions as well as cremation/burial traditions(the antithesis of Antigone) and also a nautical path of burial at sea.
This is a good prompt to get me to discuss eventualities with my kids. My culture (not theology) is Jewish and I know about the theological stance and am not bound.
Another thought: I'm a performing storyteller and I tell many family and autobiographical stories. One is about my mother--her life and her death. She always aspired to higher education but it wasn't her lot. But she arranged for an "anatomical donation"--her body went to the medical school at the University of Chicago (and would ultimately be cremated). So when she died, (as executor) I honored her arrangement. Some people were shocked.
"How could you?"
I would always answer with true filial piety and as much solemnity as I could muster: "Well, you know, my mother always wanted to go to the U of C."
I like the idea of the body farm in Tennessee. When I was a grad student there was a donation program for the skeletal collection here at the University of New Mexico. I like the idea of contributing something to science when it's all said and done.