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Here’s the complete list of everything you can do with your body after you die

Contemplating what can be done after death

If you’re not already thinking about dying, you should totally consider it.

Well, maybe not the dying part, since that’s inevitable; more specifically, you should think about how you are going to arrange your affairs for when the inevitable comes.

So what is going to happen to your body? Let’s find out about what can happen, and then you can start planning to make it happen.

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Here’s the complete list of everything you can do with your body after you die

YOU CAN DONATE YOUR BODY TO SCIENCE

A sciency-spacesuit man contemplates body donation

You can donate your body to science for use in medical education, scientific research, organ donation to save and improve lives, and more. Click To TweetWith body donation you know that your body will be used to benefit others. At the same time, you will save on funeral costs because the facility will return your cremated remains to your family at no cost.

Here are some of the ways you can donate your body:

YOU CAN PRESERVE YOUR BODY IN SEVERAL DIFFERENT WAYS

Many different options for preserving your body after you die

Family and friends often want to say one last goodbye. So most often the professionals prepare your body in some way to look as best as possible for viewing. This also keeps the natural decay to a minimum in the time between death and final disposition.

There are several different ways to do this:

  • Refrigeration, keeping the body cool to slow down the decay process
  • Ice or dry ice, same idea as above for when refrigeration space is not available
  • Embalming, with chemical injected into the body to replace fluids
  • Eco-embalming with what amounts to essential oils
  • Plastination, with plastics replacing the body’s water and fat

And then there is the opposite, in which the body is not preserved at all. Here are several choices:

  • Direct cremation, in which the body is cremated right away (one of the lowest-cost options)
  • Burial/funeral immediately or within a few days
  • Funeral and then cremation within a few days

YOU CAN GET BURIED IN A BUNCH OF DIFFERENT THINGS

Burial After Death

From the traditional to the minimalist to the ostentatious, there are lots of ways your body can be buried. Including:

YOU CAN CHOOSE ONE OF THESE ALTERNATIVES TO “TRADITIONAL” BURIAL

Alternatives to ground burial of your body after death

Not everyone wants to be buried in a box in a cemetery. Here are some of the common and not-so-common things you can do with your body after you die:

YOU CAN GET YOURSELF MADE INTO ALL SORTS OF FANCY MEMENTOS

Get Made into Mementos & Memorials Like This Glass Hummingbird After You Die

If you get cremated, you can use your ashes to be made into:

YOU CAN PUT YOUR ASHES INTO ALL SORTS OF CONTAINERS, MONUMENTS, AND URNS

A cremation urn is one destination for your body after you die
The “Serenity Cedar Wood Urn

YOU CAN HAVE YOUR ASHES SCATTERED IN SO MANY WAYS

A hand casting cremated ashes - one of many things your body can do

  • At a favorite hiking spot
  • From a helicopter
  • From a drone
  • In the ocean
  • In a lake, pond, river, or stream
  • Raked into your garden
  • Trenching, ideal for the beach
  • Sent into the stratosphere in a balloon
  • Launched into outer space

That’s pretty much the complete list of everything you can do with your body after you die. Care to share your preference? Or any clever variations on a theme noted above?

Or did we – gasp! – miss something?! Let us know in the comments below!

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The complete list of everything your body can do after death

Ok, all right, fine, would you like it all in one place? Here is the complete list of over sixty options for handy reference.

Everything you can do with your body after you die

  • Body donation at a university
  • A body farm for forensic anthropology research
  • The Mayo Clinic
  • Organ and tissue donation
  • Plastination
  • Refrigeration
  • Temporarity preserved with ice or dry ice
  • Embalming
  • Eco-embalming
  • Direct cremation
  • Burial/funeral immediately
  • Burial/funeral within a few days
  • Funeral and then cremation within a few days
  • Casket (wood, metal, stone)
  • Eco-friendly woven willow casket (“green” burial)
  • Burial shroud or blanket
  • Stone crypt
  • Mausoleum
  • Sewn into a mushroom suit
  • Sea burial
  • Composted in a facility designed for bodies
  • Buried in a pod that grows a tree
  • Cremation
  • Alkaline hydrolysis, aka resomation
  • Cryogenics
  • Buried in a “green cemetery”
  • Plant your ashes to grow into a tree
  • Freeze-dried, vibrated into dust, and used as flower fertilizer
  • Mummification
  • Viking sendoff
  • Burned in an open-air pyre
  • Tibetan sky burial or Zoroastrian “towers of silence.”
  • Placed in a Balinese-style burial tree
  • Ashes made into a diamond
  • A vinyl record made from ashes
  • Remains made into jewelry
  • Ashes made into glass sculptures
  • Photo frame made from ashes
  • Ashes in shotgun shells
  • Ashes in fireworks
  • Remains in an underwater reef
  • Mix ashes into paint
  • Mix ashes into ink for tattoos
  • 3D wood inlay urns
  • Urn engraved with your photo
  • Hourglass urn
  • Urn that can be used as a birdhouse after scattering
  • Clock urns
  • Tealight candle urn
  • Fingerprint engraved urn to hold a tiny amount of ashes
  • Urns made from traditional materials like wood, ceramic, metal, stone
  • Urns made from alternative materials like paper, plastic, salt, cornstarch, sand, gelatin
  • Create just about any urn shape using a 3D printer
  • Inexpensive urns from Amazon, Alibaba, other online marketplaces
  • Handmade urns from Etsy and small artisans online or locally
  • Scatter ashes from, with, or at:
    • A favorite hiking spot
    • A helicopter
    • A drone
    • The ocean
    • Lakes, ponds, rivers, streams
    • Raked into your garden
    • Trenching
    • Sent up in a balloon
    • Launched into space

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One thought on “Here’s the complete list of everything you can do with your body after you die

  1. Thank you. Great article Well written. Fun and easy to read.

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