Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. That is what we often here about our eventual re-joining of the matter from which we came. Then the funeral industry came along and embalming became the preferred method for “preserving” the body for as long as possible.
What about cremation? Cremation is a good alternative for those of us who are given very few alternatives indeed.
In most states, burial or cremation are the only choices. If you want your body to be left in the forest to disintegrate naturally, and/or to feed wild plants and creatures, that is likely illegal. Cremation is the closest you can come to such a choice. Once cremated you can designate your remains to be sprinkled to the four corners of the world, beneath a favorite tree in the garden, or to sit comfortably upon someone’s fireplace mantel. PLEASE tell your survivors which you prefer, don't make them squabble, or have to make a choice one or more may be unhappy with making.
Cremation is a good choice, (or as mentioned the only other) for those of us who are not thrilled about the idea of having our blood drained, being pumped full of ethanol, methanol, formaldehyde and “disinfected” by poisons that only humans, not God, could have concocted.
Most of us are socially squeamish about death and dying. That is why we know very little, and do not want to know what happens to our body after death. There are sutures, or at least glues, for mouths and eyelids. There are drains for veins, and disinfectant sprayed everywhere. Blood is siphoned off, and goes to no good cause known, although one would presume this protein could somehow nurture some endangered someone, somewhere, somehow?
Embalming is an idea is presumably based on the theory of keeping a “life like” appearance. What about death is it that we so strongly prefer a life like appearance that we’ll gladly shell out more than we probably ever did for plastic surgery and make up in all our living days? Of course, if we are spiritual or not, we know the real person is not "THERE" in any case.
Cremation may sound horrific to some, but in most cases that is because they do not know the alternative is rather grisly, toxic, expensive, and rooted in weird traditions.
One last word about cremation. Once you have become ashes, you are not adding quite so much to the toxins of the world, displacing much room in any eco-system, and you are free to orbit earth for eternity if your descendents can arrange it. This seems a far better, sensible, and noble way to return to the stars from which we came.
When it comes to other alternatives, eventually, we will have those too. Although, at present, many are cold, but few are frozen, as technology advances, we may choose preservation of our DNA and cellular materials to be rebuild later on with cryonics.
There are just a handful of people who are now frozen, and if it takes a thousand years or more to reconstitute, thaw, or clone them, isn’t that a slightly, every so slightly, better chance at another life, than not being frozen at all?