X-Message-Number: 3391
Date:  Wed, 09 Nov 94 18:05:38 
From: Steve Bridge <>
Subject: CRYONICS and the Funeral

To CryoNet
>From Steve Bridge
November 9, 1994

     In response to:   Message: #3390 - The Funeral Part 1
                       Date: Sat, 5 Nov 1994 22:38:58 -0500 (EST)

     Mr. Coetzee posts part of someone's essay on "The funeral" and then 

>[ I find this document rather amusing and would like to share it. There
>are more parts to it. Let me know if you think it is not amusing]

     I'm not quite sure what he finds "amusing", and would be curious to 
find out.  Who wrote it and what is the context?  It is a piece of overly 
pedantic writing, and sounds like it might have been composed for a 
college research paper.  It might have some humor value if read aloud by 
John Cleese or Douglas Adams.  However, funerals themselves are not 
particularly amusing, and are quite necessary for most of the people in 
the world.  I even find them so in my own family.  I have a large number 
of relatives that I am very close to; it's one of those families for whom 
the phrase "blood is thicker than water" was made.  Yet none are involved 
in cryonics.  They all know about it but have not made that choice.  
Painful though it is, I have to respect their choices, as they respect 

     Gathering together for a funeral is necessary for a family to begin 
healing so they can continue living.  Telling stories about the deceased, 
touching base with relatives you haven't seen for a while, and crying on 
each other's shoulders are ways to work out our grief.  It may never 
completely go away; but funeral activities can make it tolerable.

     Now I admit I get annoyed with many of the idiotic-sounding remarks 
often made by religious relatives and ministers at this time, such as 
"he's gone to a better place," or the classic line of a preacher at the 
funeral of the two little children recently drowned by their mother, "they 
are now in the hands of a loving God" (wouldn't a loving god have 
prevented the mother from driving them into the lake in the first place?).  
Still, even these platitudes have their place in making some people feel 

     Instead of feeling amusement at these kinds of writing, it would be 
better if we *learned* from them what needs are being met by religion and 
funerals.  If cryonics is ever to grow beyond a few thousand scattered 
individuals, we must find out how to meet these needs ourselves, not 
merely ignore them or laugh at them.  The particular behaviors may be 
learned, but they are in response to real human emotional needs.

     As one simple example, I think it is entirely appropriate for us to 
participate in memorial services of various kinds for friends placed into
cryonic suspension.  It can make a big difference to the family, and it can
make a surprising difference in our own feelings.

Steve Bridge

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