The Afterlife

A Youngstown State University professor of geological and environmental sciences was made into a diamond after he died in October 2018.

One pound of Ray Beiersdorfer’s ashes underwent a 10-month process to turn him into a diamond. This inspired The Jambar’s editors.

So, we thought we’d share how we’d like to be buried after death, or an alternative to being buried, with our readers. 

Rachel Gobep: I’ve never wanted a traditional burial when I die. This is something that I have thought about a lot throughout my life because seeing my loved ones in an open casket at their funeral has made me feel uncomfortable numerous times. I want my ashes to be placed in the soil with a seed to plant a tree. Not only is this environmentally friendly, but it can provide a beautiful place for my friends and family to celebrate my life. Please have a wine and cheese celebration, too!

Alyssa Weston: Some may call me old fashioned or traditional, but when my time comes I’d like to remain comfortably in my coffin. I’m so busy in this life, just leave me to rest. Although I want an old-school burial, I want my funeral to be a celebration of my life. Funeral guests will be encouraged to listen to a playlist of my favorite songs (mostly showtunes), eat French macarons and toast an Aperol spritz while sharing stories of my life.

Amanda Joerndt: Bury me with my glam box so I can look pretty in the afterlife. 

Frances Clause: I never thought I would want my remains to have a sound, but then I learned you could have your ashes pressed into a vinyl record. And since I am a bassoonist, it only makes sense that I stay musically inclined in the afterlife. All those years I annoyed my family with my practicing until the late hours of the night can continue — because each track would be me playing all the bassoon repertoire I learned throughout my life. If you’re lucky, contrabassoon won’t be involved. 

Brian Yauger: I don’t want anything fancy. Just throw a roast in my honor and make sure it ends with “Celebration” by Kool & the Gang.

“When I’m dead, just throw me in the trash.” – Frank Reynolds

Harvard Feldhouse: Much like Rachel, I also want to be planted as a tree. There are these awesome urns called EterniTrees specifically for this. After cremation, your loved ones put your ashes in the urn and plant it in the ground. The urn has a mixture of nutrients that, combined with the ashes, help the tree seeds germinate and grow. The container is also biodegradable, and I’m all about that. As humans, we have done enough to hurt the environment, so I’d like to start my afterlife by healing the planet.

Jambar editors reflect on their future burial or alternative burial. Photo by Heather Newsome/The Jambar