Miss Manners: Is it rude to ask for a body part once a loved one is dead?

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am of an unorthodox religious persuasion which holds the belief that the dead may be contacted, and that there are various aids to this process.

Anything tied to the dead person may be used, although the more intimately tied, the easier it is to establish the connection. The most intimate items, of course, would be segments of the deceased’s own body. So, to the question.

Is there any polite way to make it clear to a loved one that you hope, when they pass on, to inherit some part of them? I have racked my brain on this one and even done some research, and I am failing to come up with anything.

I suspect that if any rules apply, they would be the same that concern making it clear to a loved one that you hope to inherit any specific item — which is to say, it’s very rude to ask at all.

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But I think in this case it’s something not likely to enter most people’s minds. I would also like to make it clear that I wouldn’t be making this request to, say, anyone who may believe that it is necessary to their resurrection that their corpse remain intact. Rather, I would be asking friends and family who are (for instance) Buddhist or atheist, and therefore not likely to be overly concerned with what becomes of their physical remains, or co-religionists, who may be sympathetic to my inquiry, but still distressed at conversations involving their own mortality.

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GENTLE READER: What did you have in mind? “Mind if I borrow your eyeballs when you croak?”

Miss Manners is afraid that she is unable to help find a polite way to say this — as there is a reason it never entered anyone’s minds.

If you truly think that certain family members or friends might be amenable to it, she supposes that you could ease into the conversation by telling them of your beliefs and asking their general thoughts on organ donation. If they’re squeamish about that, then you can be reasonably certain that they will not want their body parts used to get a call from you in the afterlife.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I hold different political beliefs than many of my friends and family, although I don’t generally advertise …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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