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What Happens After We Die

Eric Liu, Contributor

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Dying is something everyone does, its something that will undeniably happen unless we become robots with brains in jars. Everyone around us is sad after our death, loved ones, friends, blah blah but what happens to us after we die, scientifically speaking?

 

How does anyone know I’m dead?

Well, your death is usually confirmed by an electroencephalogram or EEG for short which will tell you that your brain has no electrical activity anymore and nothing is happening which really puts the term “empty-headed” into perspective. Machines may keep your physical body alive longer, but your conscious is no longer there, bye bye. However, you can also have a cardiac death which means the heart has stopped working and blood is no longer circulating through your body, but this doesn’t necessarily mean you are dead dead. This is what is known as a clinical death, but your heart can be restarted with electrical impulses within the next 4-6 minutes or else you die die which is called biological death.

 

Uh I’m dead, now what?

Well, you are dead now and the first thing that happens is that your muscles relax because there are no more brain signals telling them not to. Basically, if you were holding in your lunch, that’s not happening anymore, and neither any juice you drank earlier; it’s all coming out. Coffin births can happen is a pregnant lady dies, and the baby is pushed out by bodily gases mainly coming from the abdomen. As “internal substances” are pushed out of the body, many noises occur along with this process and the body will make moans and groans along with twitches that come from muscle contractions. After this, the body soon begins to cool down because no more warm blood is flowing through it and calcium gets into the muscle cells. This is known as “rigor mortis” when you are completely stiff and cold around 3 hours after biological death. No more blood flow also causes cells to start dying and bacteria replace them and the body starts the decomposition process. The hair and nails will appear to have grown but really this is just skin recession, then the skin loosens and blisters will paint the body. Putrefaction time, bacteria and microorganisms start the chomp on the yummy carcass that was you will smell absolutely foul. Anything soft will liquefy with the exception of bones, cartilage, and hair which can happen within a month. In 10 years when buried underground, the body will be reduced to a skeleton, and in 50 years, nothing will remain, happy thoughts!

 

This is all science, how does this cost anything?

If you think any of this is cheap, you’re in for a fun surprise! A study done by Arcadia  Healthcare Solutions showed that dying in a hospital costed $33,000, and dying at home cost around $4,500, 7 times less!

 

How does it cost so much?

A viewing of the body can cost up to $450 and that’s just for the body storage. A venue including staff will set you back a $500 bucks and this is before anything else. In order for the body to be presentable and without maggots and other nasties, the body must be embalmed which is the process of stopping natural bodily decay through the use of various chemicals. The embalming charge is $700 and the body must be pampered with hair and makeup so it doesn’t look like a corpse and this is priced at $250.

 

Dying is expensive, that’s it, right?

Ha, no. That was only for a viewing so think about if you really want one. A gravestone which is a staple for a burial will cost you an arm and a leg at $2000. But that’s just the physical stone. The plot and the service that entails an opening and closing of a plot costs another $3000. Still, you will probably have to get a memorial service which costs $1500. If you want a funeral provider to speak at this service, the price tag will be $2000. Why is dying so expensive? Moving the body to the service is $300 and having a funeral coach with a hearse is priced at another $300. To organize, you’ll need guest books which will set you back around $150 and another $300 will likely be spent on flowers. Finally, a requirement is a casket and although it literally gets buried in the ground, a normal casket costs $2000, ranging up to a high-end casket for $10,000. A no shenanigans funeral will cost you a grand total of $11,000, but hey, at least it’s not your problem.

 

Cremation

A cremation will cost $1,000 without a memorial service and there are still many options, like putting ashes in an urn that costs around $100.

 

So, the takeaway…. uhhhh, is that everything about dying sucks, and it’s really expensive. So try not to die and your loved ones will stay out of debt, I guess.

 

Happy Not Dying 🙂

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