"she should certainly be treated with greater respect than last night’s potato peelings"

The dead body is no longer grandma it is her earthly remains. Her heavenward remains (intellectual, soul) are now in purgatory, awaiting reunion with her body. Read Dante's purgatorio, canto 25, very inspiring (read esolen translation). In a mirror of Grandma's original embryonic development which featured senses first and intellect later, the purgatorial grandma begins as intellectual soul and only later populates with bodily senses.

Our focus on grandma at burial should be on her purgatorial self. Her molecules will find their way to her self. But if they should find a benevolent intermediate use on earth as in composting that could be a monument to their destined recomposition of the heavenly grandma.

Expand full comment

I feel this metaphor could be extended to the living grandma who is suffering dementia. Perhaps the intellect in her body is vanishing only to be (already?) reawakened in purgatory. This could be a useful way to care for (and pray for!) AND *ask* for prayers from Grandma.

Expand full comment