design thinking initiatives for a better urban life
The following are speculations on why people fear death and their body’s decay:
Ingmar Bergman’s portrayal of death seems very classic, with his flowing black robes and intimidating features. The main character in the movie later states that he fears dying because he wants a guarantee that heaven awaits him.
The Hearse Song
Don’t you ever laugh as the hearse goes by,
For you may be the next one to die.
They wrap you up in a big white sheet
From your head down to your feet.
They put you in a big black box
And cover you up with dirt and rocks.
All goes well for about a week,
Then your coffin begins to leak.
The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out,
The worms play pinochle in your snout,
They eat your eyes, they eat your nose,
They eat the jelly between your toes.
A big green worm with rolling eyes
Crawls in your stomach and out your eyes.
Your stomach turns a slimy green,
And pus pours out like whipping cream.
You’ll spread it on a slice of bread,
And this is what you eat when you are dead.
This song was a popular “scary story” used to frighten friends at sleepovers. When my aunt explained that she wanted an airtight casket because the thought of worms eating her body terrified her, this is what came to mind. Through my conversations with people outside of the funeral industry I have found that many people do not understand the process of decomposition, especially the fact that it is inevitable. Many still operate under the misunderstanding that embalming preserves you for eternity, when, in fact, it merely used a highly toxic fluid to preserve your body for the short amount of time between your death and internment. Everything from your body to your “airtight casket” will eventually decay and return to the earth.