Thanks for sharing, but I do hope you don’t get those tattoos. Just give good instructions to those responsible for taking care of your remains.
I’m not certain, but I believe that the blood is drained from the body before cremation, so that there is no question that the person is “dead.”
Embalming is another subject, but indications are that it is not in the best interest of the soul, at least the spiritually challenged soul. Embalming supposedly makes it more difficult for the soul who doesn’t fully grasp the fact that he/she has died to detach itself.
Michael Tymn, Tue 7 Aug, 08:26
I’ve just read most of “Premature burial, and how it may be prevented, with special reference to trance catalepsy, and other forms of suspended animation” One can find the book on Archive.org
The book was written over 100 years ago, but it is horrifying to see that this continues to happen.
And one can guess that very few of these current stories are ever discovered.
My Mother is still alive but when I was a child suffered from a catatonic episode for nearly a month.
Reading about catalepsy freaked me out hard.
I’ve been very disturbed about premature death since my boyfriend’s Dad died in April.
The circumstances surrounding his death are highly disturbing.
To wit, he developed a lung clot while recovering from a broken ankle.
He then developed community acquired pneumonia in the ICU.
A Doctor from India who apparently purchased his Medical Degree from Ukraine’s utterly corrupt #odessamedicalcollege urged my boyfriend’s Mother to send him to Hospice just 6 days into his recovery treatment for lung embolism.
Amazingly, this happened in DC ‘burbs. This Doctor, who couldn’t answer the simplest of medical question by my boyfriend is somehow in charge of a Pulmonology division.
I just had to sit by helplessly as BF’s Dad was sent suddenly to hospice.
Just before he was given morphine and sent to hospice he told his wife to shut up and stop nagging and let him rest.
But the wife was in charge and sent her husband off to hospice.
He was pronounced dead within an hour of arriving at hospice.
I know that his body was then transferred to the funeral home.
My boyfriend asked the Funeral home to collect DNA from his Dad in order to do an Ancestral DNA test sometime in the future.
But they stated he was already embalmed within 24 hours and it was too late.
The viewing was very troubling as my boyfriend’s Dad looked angry in his open casket.
The whole thing bothers me.
One reason I stumbled upon all these stories of premature burial/autopsy/embalming.
Wonder how much it happens in for profit Hospices in America….
Anyway, I’m so freaked out that I will probably get my only tattoos ever.
Probably will request pin through heart and/or back of neck.
Plus since my Mother experienced catalepsy and I have fainted before, I will also get a medical ID bracelet to that effect.
I’m a very solid and calm person, but woah reading that book has left me wide eyed in horror.
To end this comment on a happier, I noticed that two stories of Indians reviving before they were buried/cremated/eaten by vultures (the latter being the best scenario since carrion only eat the Dead) stated that they had spiritual experiences they recounted.
One was a 10 year old girl who shared that an old woman on the other side told her she wasn’t needed yet and to return back to life.
Really old NDE stories!
So that was cool to read at least.
Ariel Skye, Tue 7 Aug, 01:06
You know more about psychics than I do, but I wonder how anyone would know that the psychic is correct in her or his conclusion. Even if there were some way to certify psychics for such work, I doubt there would be enough of them to go around.
Other questions that come to mind:
Michael Tymn, Sun 8 Jul, 20:40
1) Does the consciousness all leave at once or does it leave gradually?
2) Does the consciousness leave and then come back, such as during sleep?
3) What are the implications here relative to organ removal for organ transplants?
I can’t think of anything more terrifying than the idea of those scratch marks inside the coffins! If anything, even worse than the thought of being cremated while conscious, because the torment would last so much longer.
So much of this, including what poor Jahi’s family went through, could be avoided or at least mitigated if we would have competent psychics check out the situation and see whether any part of the person was still active in the body. It would not be difficult, honestly.
Elene, Sat 7 Jul, 20:53
My guess is that Jahi’s soul, her real self, left her physical body when she became “brain dead.” She may have reattached to the body now and then, but for all practical purposes her soul had left her body long before the body “died.”
Michael Tymn, Thu 5 Jul, 08:41
Mike, what’s your take on Jahi McMath, the girl that was declared brain dead almost 5 years ago. Her parents refused to accept her death and had her moved from Oakland CA to NJ where her body lived on almost 5 years until she died at age 17. Meanwhile thru brain death she went thru puberty and certain bodily functions were reported as still occurring.
Dale, Thu 5 Jul, 03:33
The word I see in the image below is “shot85”.
Thanks, Elene, for pointing that out and for sending me the additional reference at
Yes, most of them seem to have been discovered in hours, but the case of Dr. George Rodonaia comes to mind as one that took 2-3 days. And there seem to have been countless cases in England where coffins were dug up for one reason or another and scratch marks observed on the inside covers of the coffins.
Michael Tymn, Wed 4 Jul, 21:51
The cases referenced in Mike’s last comment were of people who “woke up” hours after being declared dead, not days. No one would be cremated within a few hours. It’s typically days.
Having said that—these are very scary cases to consider. Even just putting the not-dead person in the fridge for hours could kill them, especially if they are in a fragile condition.
Elene, Wed 4 Jul, 18:10
one more reason to wait at least three days. See
Michael Tymn, Wed 4 Jul, 06:47
One more case of someone declared dead coming back to life. See
Michael Tymn, Mon 15 Jan, 09:42
I came upon this news item today. It is about a baby pronounced dead and then coming to life at the crematorium before dying again. See
Also, I have since learned that 48 hours is about the average time after death before cremation is carried out.
Michael Tymn, Thu 6 Apr, 07:57
I adore the writing of Michael Tymn and find this blog a place of sanity, erudite wisdom and a safe place for posing the questions of the unseen and unknown. Mike, I find your work on this blog incredibly reassuring and inspiring. Your work on premonitions allows me to sit in mine with confidence. Your work on ectoplasm affords me the confidence and courage to sit patiently when I am in development, especially when I feel the tugging and unusual movements in my physical body. I often remember your words when my work as a trance medium gets difficult. Please keep writing. And keep provoking us to think, feel and find our edges.
As a trance medium, we work collaboratively with spirit guides in all facets of this life and realms beyond. I have worked within hospice on the earth plane, transitioned souls through the veil, experienced the afterlife and consciously travel there when coached by my guides to access education and data to bring back - relevant to my learning and of use to the earth plane. I have experienced several life reviews: I have undergone my own current life review, reviews of past lives, a collective humanity life review in what were spiritual emergences. I have had several near death experiences - with same idea, different flavours. I would not call myself an expert by any means here, but I am an experiencer and have a lot of direct experience. I have past life memories of being burned alive. I have past life memories of being responsible for prematurely cremating others. I atoned this in the life review. I don’t have a right or wrong here about what to do with the body or any direction from spirit. What spirit do love is watching us have a good chat about it. I was very inspired by this blog post - so much that I researched natural burial grounds (I don’t favour this - this was instigated by my guide as an avenue for learning) and found one in the area in which I live, run as a non-profit. After saying what I see, the director asked to meet for coffee and I am very much looking forward to this. I said on the telephone “What makes us strange is our strength!”. I am British, living in America, and I am learning about American beliefs and culture concerning death. My guides ask me to study death and dying as part of my mediumship training - e.g. a fortnight ago, I sat with a deceased mum (suicide) as she explained her reasoning to her living son that she had given up for adoption. With understanding, I can bring an open space of unconditional love and compassion to both. I am reading The Way of Death in America Revisited by Jessica Mitford which is incredibly enlightening. I don’t wear make-up daily in real life so the thought of wearing it eternally with formaldehyde is bizarre, macabre and terrifying. I’d love to work voluntarily and sit with bodies as they are pronounced clinically dead until I can see them pass, safely in the hands (metaphorical) of wisdom beings into the next upper realm. I believe we can all protect the space for the passing - and protect in a way to make it as safe, peaceful and as calm as possible so the soul and guides can do their work uninterrupted. And I’d love to narrate it for research. I have travelled with compliant and not so compliant souls during exorcisms (I abhor this word, but it conveys the essence of this work) and dropped them off with their helpers for the next stages of their spiritual development beyond earth bound.
The book “Midwife for Souls” was pretty spot on for me describing what the life review part looks like to an outsider and struggles prior to passing. I recall it’s religious in basis - I’m not religious but honour that others are. From my experience, if there’s anything anyone can do to prepare for the death transition - it’s the life review part (bardos). That’s the hurdle and rightly so. The more we can do to make amends - and that doesn’t have to be directly to the actual person we harmed - whilst living, the quicker and more seamless is the transition into the afterlife.
Jess, Fri 24 Feb, 15:05
On the more positive side, Victor Hugo reported a communication from André Chénier, a French poet, who was executed at the guillotine on July 25, 1794. He tapped out the remainder of the poem he had been working on just before his execution. It was in the same style as his work when living. While there is apparently an opposing view holding that it was more in Victor Hugo’s style, it was recorded that Victor Hugo was not present at that particular séance. Chénier also produced new poems in the highest literary style, joining together a number of the poems he wrote when alive.
Chénier told of his last moments on earth, seeing the slop basket swaying beneath his head, half-filled with blood from those executed before him, and, suddenly, hearing the odd creaking sound above his head. After the sensation that his head was falling into the slop basket, he found himself far above his headless body, his soul body being enveloped in a diaphanous sheath. He then felt the presence of his mother and mistress. He observed a luminous line separating his head from his body as his head rolled into the gutter and his body was dragged away.
Michael Tymn, Tue 21 Feb, 06:33
Yvonne Limoges, Sun 19 Feb, 19:45
I humbly send these points for your consideration.
Let’s not forget the words of Jesus…the greatest medium that ever lived upon the Earth….
He said to them, “Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?” Then he got up, rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was great calm. —Matthew 8:26 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
We are only partially aware of the mechanics involved with the physical death of the body and
the spirit’s detachment from it, we don’t know everything. But, where is our faith, that Jesus spoke of, regarding the Creator?
Other factors to consider:
- In The Spirits Book published by Kardec the superior spirits mentioned what they called the “vital fluid” separate from the physical body and the ethereal body. It was considered the material used to provide physical body movement, not the spirit or ethereal body (or as Kardec calls it, the perispirit).
Could it be that this vital fluid, although the spirit may have already left the body, this energy could still be within the organic body causing movement?
- The Divine laws of cause and effect based on the freewill actions made by each individual
determine merit and/or suffering…which applies to every aspect of material AND spiritual life.
Including, its transitions - BIRTH as well as DEATH.
Therefore, a person can make whatever arrangements they will, but if due to the law of cause and effect a person is to suffer during the separation of their physical body/spirit at their death, nothing can prevent it.
The reverse is also true. If they are NOT meant to suffer, they will not.
Why would the Creator make someone suffer for no just cause? The average person who does not make special arrangements for their death.
- Also, to be considered if someone is NOT to suffer…let us not forget the beneficial influences of the superior spirits who can intervene preventing any suffering if it is not deserved.
THE INFLUENCE OF THE SPIRIT WORLD CANNOT BE UNDERESTIMATED…
We cannot forget also the power of prayer.
And, good intentions are rewarded, as it would be in organ donation, for example.
Finally, the Creator knows past, present and future….and what must be, comes to pass, we must have a reasoned faith in the Creator and the Divine Wisdom…being able to take into consideration any eventuality.
Bottom line, we reap what we sow.
Spiritist and medium of over 40 years
I had an interesting experience regarding this with my own father. I discussed this issue with the undertaker, and he informed me that state law required cremation within two days, however the law also required that I sign off on the process before it could happen, and that he couldn’t make a move until I did, so if I forgot to finish the paperwork, there was really no way the cremation could happen on time. As it happened, my father died on a Thursday, and there was no way I could get the paperwork back before Monday, even if I had wanted to.
Michael, Sun 19 Feb, 15:05
I think you missed my point. My concern is with those “rare” cases in which the person in not physically dead, or brain dead. The question is really a matter of how rare they are. Indications are that they might not be as rare as you think. I am not concerned with the materialistically bound soul who is physically dead. That is a totally different matter. You might check Cardiologist Pim Van Lommel’s recent book, “Consciousness Beyond Life” (pages 334-343), for his concerns about when someone is really “brain dead.”
Michael Tymn, Fri 17 Feb, 20:36
The question about chickens is extremely interesting. Here’s an article on the headless chicken phenomenon, including the famous case of (would you believe) Mike the Headless Chicken, who lived an additional 18 months with only a brainstem.
I don’t know why the headless chickens don’t run into things, though. A major issue here, that probably no one fully understands, is the consciousness of the body itself, the aggregate of all the cells and organs, plus the parasites and the microbiome, vs. the consciousness of the “person,” the part that leaves the body upon death. They seem to be two separate but intertwined things. I don’t yet know what to say about that. I’ve begun to see myself, that is, the part I identify as “I,” as the captain of a cruise ship filled with incredible numbers of passengers and crew who are all making the ship function and be able to sail, while I decide where it goes.
I have some vague understanding of what can happen when a person dies of natural causes and it takes a while, but I’m wondering if a person who is killed quickly in an accident, in war, etc. (or by having their head cut off) also goes through the same steps, only more quickly?
To the best of my knowledge blood is not drained from the body except for embalming.
Elene, Fri 17 Feb, 20:07
An email from a friend suggests that I am unnecessarily frightening people with this post and even discouraging organ transplant donors. However, in the absence of any clear-cut information on the subject, I do believe it is worth some consideration and discussion.
The link referenced by Wendy certainly highlighted my concern, although I am not sure that being buried alive is much less inviting. I believe that blood is drained from the body before embalming, so there is no question the person is physically dead; however, I don’t know if blood is drained when the person is not embalmed or cremated.
Again, I think the distinction has to be made, as Kardec pointed out, between the severance of the silver cord and the cutting of all the magnetic binds to the material life. The severance of the silver cord might be much more immediate than the more gradual severance of the magnetic ties. If the physical body is indeed extinct, it would certainly not be a physical sensation involved in premature burial or cremation, but rather a “fire of the mind” or like a bad dream.
I recall that during World War II, my family began raising chickens because of the shortage of poultry and eggs. I witnessed my father decapitate the chickens on a number of occasions and further observed the headless chicken run all over the yard for 20-30 seconds or so after losing its head. I don’t recall the headless chicken running into any fences or other obstacles. It seemed to steer clear of them. Is there consciousness in the headless body of a chicken so that it avoids running into things? It is all very curious and my apologies to anyone who is frightened by it all.
Michael Tymn, Fri 17 Feb, 04:40
I trust my own observations more than I trust what someone says, even if he’s written a lot of books. I have zero fear of being cremated.
Why should it be a problem for a Jew, Muslim or anyone else to be buried within 24 hours (except in those very rare cases where the person was not truly dead)? The body is not embalmed—now, THAT would be a shock if the person were still aware in the body, no less than cremation!—so if the spirit happens to still be attached for a while, it can do whatever it needs to do the same as if the body were above ground. It’s not like that body needs to breathe, for heaven’s sake.
While we can give a mystical explanation for the rule of burying within the day, there is also a practical one. Bodies lying around without refrigeration, especially those who have died of communicable disease, are a public health menace. Jewish and Muslim culture were much better about hygiene in past centuries than Christian societies.
Regarding getting longer-term storage for one’s body before cremation: I think the only difficulty would be whether the mortuary had space. Otherwise, you would simply pay extra and they’d likely have no problem with that.
Elene, Thu 16 Feb, 18:08
Thank you, very interesting.
w becker, Thu 16 Feb, 02:01
Michael, this is such an important topic. My husband and I have already had this talk, and we had settled on a 3.5 day postmortem waiting period prior to cremation (because that is the Rosicrucian recommendation). but after reading this post we are adjusting that to 7 days.
The thing is - where would storage take place? It would have to be in a very cold room, which would likely be uncomfortable (not to mention lonely) for the soul. In addition, I don’t know of anyplace but a morgue or mortuary where a body could be stored for that length of time, and I can just imagine the reaction such a request would produce.
There is also the issue of whether or not strangers (most of whom would probably not share these beliefs) would treat the body with respect.
Packing the body in ice at home would be feasible for 3 days, but 7?
These kinds of details drive me crazy, because we want to do what’s right and compassionate for our loved ones. It is important to have plans in place while we’re still alive and conscious, because no one will be thinking clearly when death actually occurs.
Thank you very much for this blog post.
Bonnie, Tue 14 Feb, 23:10
That’s an interesting question, and I can give you one concrete answer that only applies in one case.
My mother died at the age of 92 on Sunday, January 22, after having a stroke on the 12th. She was very ready to go. By the middle of Friday night, she had mostly detached from her body; I observed the event. There was a kind of band or ribbon (it didn’t look like a silver cord to me but maybe others would have seen it that way) still connecting to her body, but the connection was tenuous, and there was no sense that she was really present inside it. By the time her body went through the full process of shutting down, my experience was that she was entirely out of there and was busy embracing me rather than being very involved with the unpleasant stuff her body was having to do. This certainly made the whole thing a lot easier for me and I assume for her as well. So there was no question about having it be OK to cremate her body, but that didn’t happen for a few days anyway so it would likely have been “safe” one way or another.
In the midst of this, during that Friday night, I stayed at the hospice and for a while I was in contact with Fryderyk (spirit guide). I asked him what he perceived was going on, and expressed some fear that my mother might pass when I wasn’t there and I would miss the moment. He said, “If you wait to see it, you will already have missed it.” He conveyed the idea that death is a series of steps, not just one discrete event. From what I was able to observe after that, this seemed very true, and it was very much what Linda Emanuel was talking about in the quote you mentioned.
My mother has been around quite a bit, including during her memorial service last Friday. I am deeply grateful for my small abilities as a medium through all of this. It astonishes me more than ever that anyone questions whether we live beyond our bodies. It seems so obvious. It seemed just as obvious that the “light” had gone out of my mother’s body and no one was home anymore.
I was a little saddened to think that all the individual cells, which might have been quite healthy in themselves, would soon have to die, and that the same would be true for the legions of bacteria and other tiny creatures who inhabit and travel along with us. But that is the way of things.
I’m working on a blog post about all this.(see http://elenedom.wordpress.com)
Elene Gusch, Tue 14 Feb, 22:24
Hans Wilhelm, Tue 14 Feb, 19:31
Great article and thoughts. Guess I have to have a little talk with my wife too.
Totally agree with the dangers of organ transplants and made even a short video about it. https://youtu.be/UAcOvvnJkr0
Thank you again.
Mike - The Tibetan author, Tuesday Lobsang Rampa made a point in one of his many books that creamation in Tibet should not occur until 48 hours after death.
Paul Hauser, Tue 14 Feb, 18:12
Interesting article. A friend of mine who was Jewish died in Houston. His parents went to great trouble (and expense) to get his body back to London the following day for burial. It made me wonder why the Jewish tradition insists a body is buried within twenty-four hours. I looked it up and this is what I found.
Jews normally bury the dead within 24 hours, however, there are exceptions. A funeral could be held up for a day or two if it would save a mourner the additional pain of missing the funeral. Second, we do not bury people on the Sabbath or any of the holidays on which work is prohibited.
Why do Jews do this? The most straightforward reason is that the Torah says so. In discussing capital punishment, the Torah says the body must be buried before nightfall. And if a murderer deserves that much, so ought any deceased person.
But this isn’t enough? Why might there be this commandment? It’s considered disrespectful toward the dead to leave the body unburied. Perhaps it’s because it means people will witness the body’s decay, or see and remember something that seems like the person, but is inanimate and without fears or dreams.
There is a second reason, based on kabbalah. During the course of a lifetime, a soul forms an attachment to the body. Part of the punishment for sins committed out of a pursuit of the physical is the subsequent disillusionment with the body and with the values that lead to that pursuit. This is called “chibut haqever” (attachment to the grave).
Burial hastens the end of this punishment, by bringing the soul “closure” in its relationship to the body. It is therefore merciful to the deceased to bury as soon as possible.
Jon, Tue 14 Feb, 13:56
Very interesting post. One of the reasons people feel uncomfortable about organ donation. And it worries me that Moslem burials are usually held within 24 hours of death.
Are you aware of mystic Jozef Rulof’s teaching about cremation? Pretty horrific https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bN2Tl6KV3fg
Wendy Zammit, Tue 14 Feb, 10:56
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