X-Message-Number: 3406
Date: 15 Nov 94 01:36:46 EST
From: Mike Darwin <>
Subject: CRYONICS Funeral and misc.

I have not read over Mr. Cotzee's postings about funerals with great care.  But
I found them by and large reasonable; obviously written by someone with
considerable experience in dealing with death and bereavement in the *real*
world.  As Steve Bridge points out, the prose may be a little stilted, but the

message is an important one.  I commend Steve for his thoughtful and even reply.

That Mr. Cotzee found this material humorous or something to be made light of
strikes me as especially inappropriate and counterproductive.  Death has been

with us longer than cryonics, and I'll  hazard that with or without cryonics, it
will be with us yet to come for a  long, long, while.

Funerals and the varuious other ways people use in  dealing with the impossible
can be viewed with either compassion and understanding, or reviled and made fun
of.  It is the mark of a truly civilized man to see the *common* threads that
unite humanity in confronting grief and death and loss, rather than to focus on
the specific "peculiarities" which each culture or individual employs.  I
suppose it is would be easy enough to laugh at the Native American or the

rain-forest people's rites and ceremonies for dealing with death and disposition
of the dead.  Similarly, the ancient Egyptian's efforts may be seen to be a
monument to futility. 

Time has taught me that the price of such hubris comes high.  One of the reasons
cryonics has not grown as rapidly as it might have has to do with a failure to
understand the importance of ritual and loss.  And of one of the major barriers
to achieving good cooperation between next-of-kin and cryonics organizations is

*precisely* the attitude towards the conventional ways of dealing with death and
bereavement which Mr. Cotzee exhibits.

Mr. Cotzee would do well to reflect on the prospect that someone, sometime may
be laughing at him and his equally (from their more "advanced" perspective)
foolish efforts at dealing with death. 

Finally, and perhaps most sadly (or fortunately) I get the impression that Mr.

Cotzee has never suffered deep personal loss.  There can be two reasons for this
at a minimum: luck,  or lack of opportunity.  For his sake I sincerely hope it
is the former and not the latter.

Mike Darwin

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