GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.
The pandemic has changed many things including the way we grieve. Funeral Director, Richard Lewis, with Martin Mortuary says, “It was very sad this time last year because of so many families that were losing loved ones to the virus, and having their grief extended because they couldn’t have a service they way they wanted.”
Cremations can cost $1,300 up to $10,000 and $5,000 up to $15,000 for burials according to Lewis, but now end of life options might soon change in Colorado. State Representative Matt Soper says, “They can take a body and put it in a sealed container with alfalfa, straw, and some other grass, and a little bit of water, and the body will naturally heat up to about 131 degrees Fahrenheit over the course of 30 days. Along with microbials, it will break down the body including the bones, and what’s left is about 1 cubic yard of compost.”
The Human Composting Bill is an additional end of life option besides being buried and it’s on the governor’s desk waiting to be signed, and it’s very expensive. “I believe the first group of people paid upwards of $30,000 to have this done,” said Soper.
But, not nearly as expensive as the emotional currency your loved one’s spend when end of life options are not arranged. “Your wishes are known. So, you don’t have to have your family sitting around a table after you’ve passed away spending a lot of time trying to figure out, “Did I do what the person wanted to have done,”” said Lewis.
Colorado would become the second state to legalize the choice of human composting, after the state of Washington, which helps your loved ones say goodbye by using your remains to help nature live on. Representative Soper says, “It will help enhance the lawn in the cemetery. It could be placed on public lands to help a tree grow better. It could be in your own flower garden at your house. It actually speeds up what happens in nature, naturally.”
Representative Soper says selling the remains of human compost or using the remains to grow food will be illegal, and prosecuted to the highest extent of the law.