Monday, May 30, 2011


I had the most trivial of exchanges with a fellow blogger in which he described what would happen to me at the rapture ... including something about my "bug-eaten corpse". Since death doesn't seem that frightening, and the rapture is howlingly preposterous idea, I thought I'd summarize what a quick scan through the interwebs can tell me about my impending corporeal demise.

When I die ...

I'll stop breathing ... my heart will stop ... brain activity will stop ... blood will recede from my skin and will settle in the lower portions of my body ... my corpse's temperature drops ... my limbs stiffen ... eventually I decompose.

Immediately after the heart stops, nutrients are no longer delivered to the cells, the pH level changes, and the cells own digestive enzymes begin to consume the cells themselves. Blisters may appear on the skin.

At the same time, oxygen that remains is consumed by aerobic organisms - paving the way for anaerobic organisms to flourish, and basically make a mess of things. The body starts to putrefy - and external organisms (flies and other carrion insects) arrive to join in the fun.

Once putrefaction has released enough gas into the corpse, it begins to bloat. forcing fluids out through the natural orifices, plus any blisters that may have emerged during earlier decomposition. If things get out of hand, the skin may rupture.

It's all downhill from here ... decay accelerates ... the corpse loses mass ... maggots are extremely active ... fluids are consumed or evaporate ... eventually there's not enough left for the cadaver to sustain pests and anaerobic organisms, so it is now essentially just dry skin, ligaments and bones.

How I'll Feel About It

A personal note - once I stop breathing, my heart stops, the chemical and electrical processes in my brain stop, and my cells have been deprived of oxygen long enough to prevent successful resuscitation and resumption of normal life, I will have ceased to exist. The ethereal entity I refer to as "me" or "my spirit" or "my soul" will have vanished from this existence, never to interact with it again. All that will remain of me will be the now-meaningless possessions I had, the loved ones I left behind, the memories they have of me, and the few kindnesses and good works that I was able to share with my fellow travelers on my way to non-existence.

I hope I made life more liveable for my loved ones and my fellow travelers while we were in this world together.


As for resurrection ... it appears that as recently as the late 1800's, hundreds-to-thousands of people were buried alive by accident every year. What are the chances that bronze age goat herders also encountered this? Do you think that this might be the source of resurrection stories?

From Wikipedia:
Writing in 1895, the physician J.C. Ouseley claimed that as many as 2,700 people were buried prematurely each year in England and Wales, although others estimated the figure to be closer to 800.

No comments:

Post a Comment