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B is for...

...Burial Beads

The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?
---Edgar Allan Poe

The Pope

The world is reaching a population crisis. Better healthcare, better disease control, increased life expectancy--all combine to bring about a shift in the balance between birth and death. Though we haven't reached critical mass just yet, there are some small places in the world where the crunch is felt more than others.
REUTERS/Paul Barker

South Korea, for example, has literally run out of room to bury their dead. It was such a problem in fact that about 14 years ago, the country instituted a law that once someone was buried, their relatives would be required to remove the body from its grave 60 years later. This has, unsurprisingly, led to a marked increase in cremation.

And, with 70% of the country's grieving masses opting to skip the 60 year burial process, the idea of creating less "creepy" ashes/urn displays took hold. In a process that costs around $900 and takes a little over 2 hours, a special company can take the cremated ashes of your loved one and create something reverent and beautiful enough to display in full view---burial beads. 

The colors range from blue-green, to pink, to black--the color varying from person to person. The beads are placed in glass containers and kept where family members can pay their respects on a daily basis, if they so choose. 

I've never been too keen on being stuck underground and many times I've thought of different places where I might have my ashes spread if I were to be cremated. Now I can't help but wonder what color my own burial beads might be...

So, when can we expect to see the option, "bead me, baby" in the list of last wishes?


  1. Wow, of all the things invented, I never would have guessed this would be one of them, But it's pretty cool way of being cremated! Awesome!

    1. Yeah, it is definitely in the list of odd funeral traditions... though, I have to admit, it's a pretty cool tradition :-)

  2. I agree with Stephanie. Wow, that was quite unexpected but very interesting. I would probably go with a dark green. :)

    1. From some of the research I came across, it made it sound like you didn't actually get to pick your color--that it was a result of your processing-- but, I would totally pick a blue-ish color if I got my choice :-)

  3. I find those beats rather creepy but I'm also curious about my color.

    1. I know... creepy, but cool. It would be awesome if we could "know" what we'd look like in this form before hand so we could decline if we didn't like how we looked in bead-form, lol.

  4. You know, I actually like this idea. Less creepy to me than going to a cemetary and knowing whatever is left is mouldering underground. I also read somewhere that for a rather large amount of cash you can have remains turned into gemstones (by use of high heat and pressure). We are carbon-based, after all, and so are diamonds...Very cool post!!!

    1. ah, now diamonds, I'm sure there would be quite a few people who'd love to be "made" into those---- can you imagine your house getting robbed and someone swiping your grandma's gemstone remains?? I'd love to see the faces of the crooks when they found out what they'd actually taken :-)

  5. epic post! it's fascinating. and cool. and some many more words that i could fill the comment board!

    i think i just might have to use this in a story!

    1. Thanks! And go right ahead. I mean, who wouldn't want to use burial beads in a story... :-)

  6. Fascinating post, can't wait for the rest of the alphabet

  7. This is actually still kind of creepy for me, but I must admit they are prettier than ashes. Plus, I'd like to know what colour I'd be.
    I’m an A to Z helper this year, so I’ll be checking back to make sure everything’s OK :)

    1. Yes, definitely prettier than ashes, lol...


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