What Will Happen to Your Body After You Die?

Writers after deathSome people do not like speaking or thinking of death, but is a part of the process of life, its only predictable part, the very end. Writers routinely deal deaths to their characters, and readers often bemoan these.

Death will come to all of us, and the body that has been ours for all our lives will be ours no longer.

Religions prescribe what should happen to a body after the person has passed on, but some countries allow its citizens to donate their bodies for research. I recently read about one such ‘Body farm’ in Texas— on a writers forum, of course.

I confess to not bothering too much about what will happen to my body once I die–in Singapore you are a compulsory organ donor, you have to opt out of it if you don’t want to donate. Beyond organ donation, I’m not really bothered about what happens to my body. I’d love for it to be of use to other humans, animals, plants. From dust we rise, and to dust we shall return.

Writers are often called upon by their art to imagine various situations, and readers/ TV audiences absorb a variety of stories about people, living and dead. Based on these, and your life experiences, what are your thoughts on your body after you are gone?


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32 comments

Add Yours
  1. The Gamer Author

    I probably spend way too much time thinking about this. I’m not concerned much with what happens to my body, but as a Christian I wonder how I’d be reborn on Earth if I chose to cremate my remains. I’m secure in what happens to my soul after this body passes, but I hope to find a way back to tell people that all of what happens in the afterlife is real.

    • datmama4

      I plan on cremation, and my thoughts (also as a Christian) are that it’s not going to create any hardship for God to do what he needs to for me to have a new body when the time comes. Think of people who have been in horrific accidents . . . God’s pretty capable of taking care of that. 🙂

  2. cleemckenzie

    I’ve donated everything, but I’m afraid I’m going to use it all to the max before I exit. I’m trying. The body isn’t who I am, but it has been a very convenient package, and I’m grateful for it and my parents who gave it to me.

  3. macjam47

    An interesting post, Damyanti. Our family has opted to donate our organs for the same reasons you mentioned. Here, in the US, it is something you have to sign up for when you renew your driver’s license if you want to be a donor.
    Have a wonderful week, my friend. <3

  4. hilarycustancegreen

    I read a fascinating book titled Stiff, by journalist Mary Roach, on the subject. It is very detailed so you need a strong stomach, but she writes with a lovely humorous style. I am very keen to be recycled if possible.

  5. ccyager

    My body shall be cremated. It has too many medical issues to be of use as an organ donor, actually; e.g. right now I cannot donate blood because of those issues and the medication I’m on for them. I had thought about donating my body for medical research, but then decided that I’d prefer to be ALIVE and see the research progress and possibly result in something. To that end, I am enrolled in several on-going studies regarding a couple of my medical issues. I participate in the appropriate ways as asked. I’ve also had medical peer-reviewed papers written about me because of the rarity of some of my issues. It pleases me no end that I can be of service to the medical community in this way so that perhaps someone else won’t need to go through what I’ve gone through the last 20+ years. I think it is crucial for an individual to insure that his or her wishes are known by next of kin, and that those wishes are in writing in a legally binding form.

    Killing off characters in my fiction is not really much of a pleasure. I find it shocking at times when a character dies. But death is a part of life, and I know that it’s really not as scary as most people think. We each have a time to leave this life.

  6. Shilpa Garg

    I am an organ donor too. I keep telling my husband to remember that and not forget in the heat of the moment 😀 I am not at all worried about my death, but I do fear the loss of my loved ones!

  7. simonfalk28

    It will decompose and provide nutrients for the earth and on goes the cycle. I kind of like that my body can give in that way. Coming from a Catholic-Christian tradition, I’m happy to believe that our soul lives on and still has a loving connection with loved ones.

  8. idonateagiftworthdiscussing

    There’s only one thing certain in life and that is death! We’re so pleased to read your open minded thoughts regarding death and your willingness to share them publicly. In Australia we have an opt-in system so it can be challenging to convince people to register their donor decision. We think it is important to break down the barriers that prevent us from talking about death and make sure you know what your loved ones want at the end of life. We appreciate reading what you want for your body when you die and we hope this inspires others to think about what they want, but most importantly to share that decision with their friends and family.

  9. Glynis Jolly

    I will be donating my body to science. I just think taking up space in the ground is wrong. Although some go with cremation, that seems like such a waste when maybe someone can learn from my remains.

  10. ShoePenLens

    I think the body goes back to the dust, the earth as you mentioned but the soul lingers on or dissolves in to the cosmic…. Well that’s food for thought ☺😇

  11. hilarymb

    Hi Damyanti – everyone’s given much the same answer I’d give … cheap and cheerful and spread if possible in Cornwall in a Cornish churchyard … cheers Hilary

  12. Eileen Sim

    I told my husband I don’t care what is done to my body after I am dead. He can donate my body/organs if they are of use. If not, my body should preferably be disposed in the cheapest way possible and a funeral is not necessary.

  13. Peter Nena

    I think of death at least once a day. I’m no longer scared of it. I’d love to donate my body, though. And then get cremated afterwards. I think it is a terrible waste of excellent trees to build coffins. People waste the earth enough when they are alive. They shouldn’t be allowed to waste it anymore once they are dead.

  14. datmama4

    All I know is that once I’m dead, I’ll have no further use for my body where I’m going, so if anyone wants it, they can have it. Organs can be donated if needed, but otherwise, my kids have orders to cremate me and put my ashes somewhere fun.

  15. marthaspencil

    My body is old and worn out; nobody wants my donated eyes, heart, etc., so I have a paid-up international cremation card. International so that if I am visiting any of my children when I die, they can make one phone call and everything is taken care of–even the removal of metal knee and ankle. And they in time will be presented with an urn and will scatter my ashes at my favorite spot–the flea market at the Opera in Santa Fe. “It may be illegal,” I cautioned them. “No problem,” they said. So I can imagine them leaving me there, where the shopping and the view will satisfy me forever.

  16. Louise Foerster

    I’m about to let a character meet her inevitable end — it occurs to me that I better figure out really fast her attitude and decision on what happens after she dies!

  17. Damaria Senne

    I’ve thought about death and had numerous conversations with my family about what I’d like them to do – cremate me, then bury my ashes in the garden at the family home. My older sister, who is a strong proponent for our traditional burial rites, was unimpressed and said: “You won’t care what we do with your body. You’ll be dead!” But all my other siblings agreed that cremating me and letting my dust be fertiliser in our garden in a good idea.

  18. Joseph E Bird

    Yusuf Islam, aka Cat Stevens, said this in his song Miles from Nowhere:

    Lord my body, has been a good friend,
    but I won’t need it, when I reach the end.

    and then…

    I love everything
    So don’t it make you feel sad
    ’cause I’ll drink to you, my baby,
    I’ll think to that.

    Yeah, everything for me can be found in a song.
    Or a Seinfeld episode.

  19. Billybuc

    Well, I’m sixty-nine, so I guess I’ll find out sooner rather than later. LOL Seriously, I don’t give much thought to death. I’m too busy living.