Friday, April 30, 2010

Have you made your final plans yet?

For most of us, one day, our bodies will die. Then, of course, something must be done with them. For most people, the bodies are placed in a very expensive coffin that is eventually placed into an expensive vault and then dropped into a 6-foot grave and covered with dirt. Hmmm...that doesn't exactly sound like a good time, does it?

A few decades ago, KU Medical School began asking for donations of bodies so that greatly important research could be done that could lead to major advances in the medical field. Therefore, many other lives could go on longer than they would have otherwise.

Daddy's brother, Lewis, who was just 11 months older than Daddy, passed away shortly before Daddy. Before he died, he made arrangements to donate his body to KU. Daddy was so impressed with the idea, that he did it also. Daddy believed that if by doing so he could save even one more person from going through the hell that his cancer had produced for him, was well worth it. After that, both of Stan's parents, John and Joyce Blau, followed suit. I am proud of all four of them for the giving of so much!

Soon after death, a mortician places the body into his hearse and transports the body to the research center. After that, the research can be done for anywhere from a few months to two years depending on what kinds of research are done. In Daddy's case, his body was used for 1 1/2 years. When all is done, the body is cremated. The family is then sent a very nice thank you letter and advised as to when the ashes should be arriving to the family. (Usually, the mortician brings them to you.) Then, the family makes the decision as to what becomes of the ashes. Some are kept in urns at a home. Some are buried in small vessels in cemeteries. I know of one family who put most of the ashes in a cemetery but kept out just enough to be placed in small locket-type necklaces for the man's wife and daughters to wear everyday.

In addition to the much-needed research that is done, the family does not have to spend thousands of dollars to bury their loved one. I simply cannot think of a better idea than this.

If you are interested in doing this, I would suggest that you notify your family doctor and family of your desire to do this. If you have an attorney, please tell him/her also. Your doctor can give you all of the written information that you need to bring this into reality. Your mortician will have to deliver your body to the med center. I have heard of a lady who attempted to transport the body of her husband over state lines to the center via camper. Along the way, she had a minor accident. Once the police found out about the body in the camper, she was in a lot of trouble.

In Daddy's case, he wanted Stan, Rob and Leif to accompany him to the research facility. The mortician was very happy to accomodate Daddy's last wishes.

Maybe you do not live close to KU. NO problem. Do some checking. I am sure that you will find at least one local facility in your own state.

In my case, I had originally planned on donating my body parts to whomever needed them. Because of my Tachyasus, doctors do not want my organs to be given to others. However, my disease is quite rare so they are very interested in taking my body for researching to see if any cures can be done someday.



  1. Lynn,

    If donating your body to KU for research is someone's wish, they need to complete a form with their mortician.

  2. vickie and I are planning on donating to medicine as well. Cost of bury just seems so sensless.


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