Dear People Who Aren’t Ancient Egyptian Pharaohs,
It has come to my attention that some of you like to be buried with some personal effects. While this is a personal choice, it is a personal choice that defies logic. I’d like to take a moment to tell you why.
1. Most likely, the action of burying items with your body is in direct opposition with your religious beliefs.
It’s a little silly, really. Most religions have a belief in the afterlife and most describe it as something better than on earth. As a Christian, I know that nothing on earth can compare to the glory that it will be to be united with Christ. My appreciation for worldly things is lessened much when thinking about it. As such, it would be silly for me to pack up everything I love here – things that will rot in a casket – in preparation for spending the afterlife with Christ who is far more beautiful and worthwhile than any things I could try to bring with me.
I have never heard of a modern religion that teaches that it is necessary to be buried with one’s things. I may be wrong, but it seems that people who currently ask to be buried with their things are defying their own religious beliefs by action.
2. Those things will just rot away.
Really. You can’t take them into the afterlife with you. I promise. Your toy yo-yo from elementary school, your prized water beetle collection and your pet salamander all have this in common: upon being buried with you, they will slowly start to decompose. It’s just the way of life. And death. Even the yo-yo, which is made of primarily inorganic ingredients, will eventually end up as a useless pile of lead-free plastic and string that would make any child cry.
Also, the entire idea of taking physical things into a spiritual realm is ridiculous. If your body stays in the crypt, there’s no reason to believe your stuff won’t do the same.
3. Your friends and family – the living ones – could probably make use of the items.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about people, it’s that people like stuff. As much as I’d like to blame this on being an American or even just a Westerner, I’ve been to a couple of third-world countries and the fact remains: people like stuff. While I don’t think you should actively contribute to society’s constant lust for more material goods, if you can no longer use your personal items, you might consider that someone else can.
Perhaps you have a nephew that has always wanted a water beetle collection. Giving yours to him might inspire him to become a water beetle researcher. Gifting your salamander to your brother could mean that he now has something living and breathing to remember you by. It also means that the salamander won’t be buried alive, which is an end I think we’d all like to avoid.
So, though you may really want to take your things to the grave with you, your friends and family might find some of those things useful here and now.
I hope you consider my points. Burying yourself with material items is clearly not the way to go. In avoiding this practice, you’ll be acting on your personal beliefs, avoiding looking silly and helping out loved ones all at one time. Please keep this in mind.