I have been thinking a lot about what it costs to pay for a funeral and what a horrible burden that would be on my family. I have also been thinking of alternatives. I am an organ donor and I want them to take anything and everything that is useful and to USE it...I would also like to give something more back. My first choice would have been a body farm where they take your body and allow it to decompose naturally, with the help of those animals and bugs that might feed on you. It helps to understand what happens when a body is lying outside and not found for some time. Unfortunately, in order to donate to a body farm, you need to live within a particular distance from the farm so they do not have to arrange to transport you too far. In other words, you need a funeral director to transport you and I would imagine that is rather costly. I found a site where I can donate my body for medical research, there is a shortage of cadavers for medical students to learn on...to practice surgery on...to help with research. I found one place that will transport your body to Texas, they will be certain that your wishes for organ donation are followed and that organs are harvested (I know that is a weird word for this but it is what is used) so that your body does the most good. After they use your body for students to learn on, they will cremate your remains and return them to your family, if you so desire, or they will release your ashes at sea. I told my husband about it and that I will be getting a card to carry and he will have one so that he can make sure my wishes are carried out. He is horrified. I asked him if he wants to do the same thing (somehow I don't think he is very comfortable with the subject). Realistically, and I told him this, it would take the burden off him and the kids if I died before he does and they would not have to worry about expensive arrangements. He says he has to "think about it." Funerals are incredibly expensive and I have not been able to get life insurance for some time. Have any of you thought of what your end of life wishes might be? I remember when I was working as a nurse and I had to ask families if they wanted to donate the organs of their loved ones...often times it was when the loved one was brain dead but still on a ventilator. I nearly got punched more than once, it was the LAW that I HAD to ask. I am really not trying to be morbid or to scare anyone but thinking about your wishes is something you can do FOR your family and make sure they all know and agree. My youngest daughter told me she wanted to donate her body months ago and said she hopes that if something happens to her that we will honor her wishes. She needs to get a card as well, it has to be in writing. On a happier note, I feel really good about this, like I might not be able to work as a nurse any more but I might be able to help a medical student learn something for another person.