Rip Van Winkle
I hate cold weather. Any temperature below 80 degrees is not my friend. I was born, raised and lived in a hot climate until I came to the USA thirty years ago. I have never adjusted to the cold. I love the seasons of Spring, Summer, and early Fall, but Winter is a health challenge for me.
A few years ago, I was discussing buying a cemetery plot. My dream was to be buried back in my hot country, then I changed my mind. I told the cemetery consultant about my dislike of the cold and my horror at being laid to rest in the damp, cold earth. He promised that he would place an electric heater in my grave. We had a good laugh about that.
Now, I realize that cold may not be a bad thing. Other people are discovering this as well. Besides traditional winter sports, hot chocolate and skating at Rockefeller Center, people are now paying to have their bodies frozen for one to two hundred years, until scientist hopefully finds a cure for their disease. Then, hallelujah they will be brought back to life.
Cryotechnology is the science of freezing the body or head after death and preserving it in chemicals such as Nitrogen. The body is placed in a chamber that has a temperature of one hundred degrees below zero. The cost is not cheap ranging from thirty-five thousand two hundred thousand dollars. Yet, there is no guarantee that you will live again. One challenge for scientist using this technology is preventing the body from breaking down over time.
For the person who cannot tolerate the idea of being dead and buried, this technology offers an alternative that you may life again. Even if medical doctors have found a cure for your disease, they have to figure out how to bring you back to life.
The big question –will this procedure work? The idea of freezing bodies after death was first introduced by Robert Ettinger in his book The Prospect of Immortality, which was published in 1965. He was inspired by a science fiction story The Jameson Satellite. At first, his idea was thought of as pseudo-science, but there are many people who have caught onto the idea, and there are several labs around the world who are using this technology.
Imagine what life will be like when you wake up after one or two hundred years later. If only your head was frozen where will you get a body to match? Like Rip Van Winkle the world around would have changed significantly. Would you be able to recognize anything in this new advanced technological world? What about your family and friends? If they were frozen as well would they recognize you? If you died at ninety years, how many more years would you have to live? And would you want to be frozen again? Could a catastrophe event destroy the storage lab and all its data? Is this a fad or a guarantee of life after death? There are so many questions with no guarantees.
Many of us believe that we will live again in a new dimension, but no one is sure. Currently there are about one hundred and fifteen people in the US whose bodies are being preserved in this way, and about two thousand have applied for this technology.
In planning for your death would you consider this as an alternative to being buried or cremated? Would this technology cause a conflict with your religious beliefs? Will this technology cause undertakers to lose their businesses? There is a lot to ponder.