Is there life after death? That’s one of the big mysteries of life. There are many different beliefs about what happens to our soul after we leave this world. Where there is no debate is what happens to our bodies.
What happens to the physical form of someone who has passed is a personal choice sometimes made by the person before death and sometimes made by the families after death. Some people donate their bodies to science, some choose a traditional burial, while others prefer cremation, where the ashes remain in a special place or returned to the soil in a location that has significance to the family.
There is a new company that is offering a new option. Bios Urn, whose taglines are “back to nature, back to life” and #lifeafterlife, has developed a fully biodegradable urn. What makes this urn special is it includes a tree seed, a specialized soil mixture, and an expansion disc. It is specially designed to provide an environment conducive to growing a tree when ashes are added, and the urn is buried.
The idea is the brainchild of CEO Roger Moliné:
“One afternoon my brother was planting some vegetables with my grandmother. They were in the orchard when suddenly our grandmother found a dead bird lying on the floor. Instinctively, without thinking too much, she took the dead bird, made a small hole in the floor and threw on it both the dead bird, with some of the seeds she had on her hand. That action or better said that reaction was what inspired the Bios Urn. A product that could use the remains of someone or something that passed away, and convert it into a new form of life.”
The benefits to our environment are pretty obvious, but the Bios Urn has benefits beyond the tangible. Everyone handles grief differently, but there is something symbolic and spiritual to seeing a loved one live on in nature. The company says, “Bios Urn turns death into a transformation and a return to life through nature.”
The tree resulting from the planting of a Bios Urn will offset carbon emissions that the cremation process creates, but that was never the goal.
“We’ve never wanted to be connected to the death care industry,” Moliné told The Huffington Post. “We want people to rethink the concept. That person has just had a bad moment in their life.”
The decision of what to do with a loved one after they pass, especially if their wishes aren’t known, is a difficult one and is often made in the midst of intense grief. It is a vulnerable time, and it is hard to make rational decisions. Bios Urn wants to create a new ritual that takes care of the grief while explaining death from the viewpoint of life.
Moliné is sympathetic to the grief and the process of making such an important and personal decision. He recounts his story:
“When my father passed away a year ago now, I had what’s probably the worst moment of my life. All the process was horrible, from the hospital to the funeral home … everything was so badly designed. Nobody took care of the emotions or the experience and loss of the ones who go through that process. I just felt alone being in front of a company who wanted to take profit from the situation I was living,” he recalls.
“That made me realize how much we can change with Bios Urn. Going to a mountain or a forest with family or friends and planting a tree instead of burying a (casket), makes the process much more appealing. With Bios Urn, we can propose a different ritual that takes care of the emotions in a different way and explains that process of death from the side of life. That’s why I will always admire those pioneers who in the middle of the worst moment of their life, they opened a website, bought a Bios Urn and had the strength to replace a cemetery with a forest.”
When purchasing your Bios Urn, you can choose between one of five different types of trees or supply the seeds for a tree that is indigenous to your area.
On their website, Bios Urn shares a variety of #lifeafterlife stories, and one such story is about Little Snowflake, an albino Western Lowland Gorilla, the only one of his kind. What made Little Snowflake different is what kept him in captivity. He touched the lives of many and still does thanks to Bios Urn.
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Like Little Snowflake, we can also continue to live on through nature providing beauty and positively impacting the planet. We will be able to touch the lives of those we love in physical form while transforming our death into something that lives on forever.