What Do I Do With The Body?

  by Mike Ecklund


I just read the article written by brother, Daymond Duck, and want to share another viewpoint that my family and I came to.  My wife of forty-two years passed away about six-weeks ago from complications of open-heart surgery. She and I had made the decision some time ago that we would be cremated. Both of us being in the medical field and exceptionally practical had made the choice because of several factors. Having witnessed many funerals over the years, we both noticed how very un-life-like most funeral homes present our bodies. While some might say, “They look like they are sleeping,” we found it was much more representative of something that might be found in a wax museum. My wife stated emphatically that she did not want to be remembered in that way. I will say up front that it is a personal decision that each person needs to make in advance to alleviate the need for the family to do so under stress.

From the Scriptural viewpoint, these bodies are corruptible and are in a constant state of decay even while we are alive. After death, natural processes involving bacteria, insects and other things will recycle the body on their own over time─until even the bones return to dust as the curse of sin promised. It is man’s attempt at immortality that makes him add things to a dead person’s body to try to prevent decay; most notably remembered from the Egyptian mummification process only changed in chemical nature by the mortuary systems of today. And make no mistake about it─the funeral home business is very lucrative and plays on the emotions of the surviving loved ones.

For us, the idea of putting up a monument to ourselves that no one in fifty to seventy-five years would remember is a waste of money and real estate; not to mention the total futility of stopping the decaying process for any length of time over what is necessary for burial.  My wife was an organ donor and I consented to let the medical community use what they could before she was cremated. As a result, two people who were blind can now see. 

Most important, it is not how we died or what we do with the body but how we served our Lord while we were here. My dear spouse had a life that exemplified the godly wife and mother, a servant’s heart to friends and family. By her testimony we gave the gospel message that her life well represented so well.

As Daymond pointed out, our manner of death and the destruction of the body by whatever cause does not matter to God who created us out of dust. Your soul and spirit will be clothed with that new and incorruptible body that will not wear out, but will still feel the joy of eating at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb and the warm hugs of Jesus and our loved ones that are there with us.