With people focusing more on spiritual essence than religious notions today, the idea of using the four elements of life and death-earth, air, fire, and water-in funeral services is taking center stage.
Throughout history, our ancestors developed different theories to explain how the universe was formed. But one theory commonly shared by almost all early civilizations was the creation of the universe with four fundamental elements: earth, air, water, and fire. Our ancestors also believed that the death of a person refers to reuniting with these elements.
In astrology, each zodiac sign is also connected to one of the four elements: earth, air, water, and fire. The elements associated with each zodiac sign define a person’s personality or characteristics. For example:
- Earth represents reliable, practical, patient, and hardworking
- Air means intellectual, social, communicative, bright, and stimulating
- Water – emotional, intuitive, sensitive, compassionate, nurturing
- Fire – passionate, driven, enthusiastic, confident, and bold
If you want to learn about funeral alternatives that properly capture an individual’s personality as depicted by the above zodiac sign elements, here are a few suggestions:
In 2016, Francesco D’Angelo and Adriano Del Ferro, two Italian designers, introduced the concept of green burial, also called Capsula Mundi. The idea focuses on storing the human remains inside egg-shaped pods after they have been wrapped in natural fabric. A tree is positioned above this pod once it has been buried in the earth.
As the body decomposes, it releases nutrients and microorganisms that nurture the tree above it. In short, the corpse’s decomposition results in the birth of a new life. The primary consideration is that the body not be embalmed or incinerated, though, in some places, biodegradable urns may be planted instead.
Egg-shaped pods or Tree pod burials look promising as more and more people are fascinated by the idea of turning barren gray cemeteries into green forests memorializing our loved ones.
Although it may seem fictional to some, thousands of individuals worldwide are putting their faith in the modern burial technique known as cryogenic freezing. The practice of freezing a body in antifreeze soon after death in the hope that cutting-edge medical technology would one day be able to resurrect the dead appears to be drawing more and more attention on a global scale.
The promession process starts with placing the body in a cryogenic freezing chamber. The body is then sprayed with liquid nitrogen that is -196 Celsius in temperature (approx. -320 Fahrenheit). Once the body is cold enough, it is relocated into a liquid nitrogen tank like a Thermos, where it will remain for an uncertain period, hoping that future medical technology can revive them.
Dr. James Bedford became the first person to be preserved using the cryogenic freezing method when he passed away in 1967. The US baseball star Ted Williams, who died in 2002, was also cryonically frozen at the Alcor cryonics facility in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Resomation or Water Cremation
Most people have heard of the late Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s request for a resomation, also known as “water cremation”. This technique uses an alkaline solution to hasten the decomposition process in a matter of hours rather than months or years, as in traditional burial or cremation. The ashes are then handed over to the family members.
The process, also called Alkaline hydrolysis, begins with placing the body for a few hours within a pressurized metal cylinder. A potent alkaline solution, such as potassium hydroxide, is also added. After that, it is heated to roughly 150 degrees Celsius. The body usually breaks down to form bones, but the alkaline hydrolysis process accelerates this process. The bones are then subsequently dried in an oven, becoming white ashes. They can then be placed in cremation urns and returned to the deceased person’s relatives.
Cremation with fire remains the most preferred technique for releasing the soul from a dead person’s body. In most religions, including Hinduism, fire signifies purity. Hence, when a body is disposed of using this method, it is believed that the fire God intakes the physical body and creates its essence in heaven.
The ashes are then stored in a meaningful way by the family members to honor the deceased person. Turning into diamonds, sending them to space, scattering them in water, keeping them in burial urns, etc.
There is no way that an individual or a family is adequately prepared for losing their loved ones. Even if we have enough time to make arrangements and bid our goodbyes, we still experience a sense of loss after death. But some ways and technologies can help us to pay tribute to them in the best possible manner that would bring peace to all, including the person who has passed away.