Life After Death - It Depends On What You Do With Your Remains

If you are like most people, and someone were to ask you, what do you want done with your body after you die, you would probably answer burial, or cremation. This is because these are two of the most popular mainstream options that most people are exposed to. While both of these are viable options, there are several other cremation alternatives that may appeal to you, and they are becoming more mainstream day by day.

Alkaline Hydrolysis

Does the thought of your body being burned turn you off of cremation? There is another way to reduce your remains that does not involve fire. With alkaline hydrolysis, your body is placed in a mixture of water and potassium hydroxide, and then heated to a high temperature. This process basically breaks the body back down into the basic chemical components that it is comprised of within a couple of hours. Your bones will then be pulverized, which will turn them into a dust that can be returned to your family.

While you may not see this process widely advertised in some areas yet, it is available not only for human bodies but for your beloved pets as well. You may also find the service listed under other names such as:

  • Aquamation
  • Bio-Liquifaction
  • Water Cremation
  • Bio-Cremation
  • Green Cremation

These ashes can still be used in a wide variety of ways to benefit the environment.

Eternal Reefs

Have you always loved the ocean? How about giving back to the place that have always brought you so much joy? If you choose to participate in an eternal reef program, you can do just that.

When you are cremated, or you undergo alkaline hydrolysis, your ashes, or cremains, will be mixed with concrete and placed in the ocean in areas in where the reefs need to be restored. Once placed there, these man-made reefs will attract a mix of ocean life who will make the reefs their homes. Would this not be better than just having your ashes scattered out to sea?


Do you have a body that you are proud of, or you do not mind people looking at you for decades to come? If so, you may choose to go through the process of Plastination.

During this process, the water and fat composition of your body will be replaced by a plastic mixture. This mixture will be harden which in turn will allow your body to maintain its appearance and its shape. Once completed the body will no longer go through the process of decomposition.

This process can be used on your whole body, or it can be used on parts of your body. Although your family will probably not want to place you on display, the process can be a wonderful way that tissues can be preserved for the benefit of science. Specimens have been used around the country at medical and dental schools as teaching tools.

Donate Your Body To Science

If you really want to help support research with your body after death, consider donating your body to science. This will allow the medical community to use your body for research that may benefit generations to come. It is not as hard as you think. Here are a few steps to get you started.

  1. Find an accredited tissue bank. Not every company that advertising are doing what they say they are, but you can find accredited tissue banks through the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB). This organization ensures that your remains will be handled using ethical guidelines, which will respect your wishes along with the wishes of your family.
  2. Ask the questions that will give you the information that you need to chose and organization. Some places charge to accept a donation, whereas others do not. If you are only planning on donating certain organs, or tissues, ask what will happen to the rest of your remains.
  3. Once you are satisfied that you have chosen the organization that you will be using after death, ensure that your family knows your decision. Certain organs must be harvested immediately following death. If your family knows that this was your wish, it can help avoid some timely delays.

These are just a few of the options that are available to you after death, there are many others. How you choose to dispose of your body is entirely up to you, but just know that your body really can live on after death.