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In loving memory of
Mark Allen Stout
  • December 16, 1950
  • -
  • June 02, 2013

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  1. Daniel says:
    02 Sep 2013
    When I was growing up I often heard that the chiacemls of which we are made are worth about 98 cents. Also I recall hearing that the total molecules of our body are replaced relatively quickly. So I really do not have any objection to environmentally friendly methods that return the dust of which I will be composed at the hour of my death to the common dust of earth as quickly as possible.The most important part of our physical reality appears to be our DNA sequence. There seems to me to be important medical, psychological and social reasons, perhaps some of which we will not discover for many years, perhaps centuries, for preserving family DNA. Perhaps there are also important theological reasons for preserving it. Isn’t it a kind of logos, the organizing principle of our physical existence, and uniqueness, and therefore in some way the physical expression of God’s imprint upon matter forming us?Beyond our DNA, it seems that our words, deeds, and social relationships are more a part of our embodied identity than the physical dust of the earth (even if it was born in the stars as Sagan used to like to remind us). We now have many ways to preserve electronically (forever? to be retrieved by a computer on some future Starship Enterprise?) substantial samples of our existence for future generations. In fact a great deal of that is already being collected in various and sundry ways. So do we really want future generations to reconstruct us in terms of our PrayTell comments?For my father’s funeral, I assembled family photos as icons for the prayer book of his vigil service. The family really enjoyed sharing and discussing them. I have noticed since then more funeral homes are providing services like this for people. So maybe the future of the funeral industry will lie in creating and maintaining family memorials, e.g. DNA, and various sorts of electronic and physical records long before and after the funeral service .

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