Content here represents the voice of SIGNATURE SUNSETS, an informational initiative designed to broaden and brighten horizons in the funerary domain.

The material is an outgrowth of a pre-planning reference book, Pondering Leaves: Composing and Conveying Your Life Story's Epilogue, written by the author of this blog.


Wednesday, March 19, 2014



Today in Sweden the wheels of progress are in motion.  After twelve and a half years as a company cultivating an alternative concept for bodily disposition, Susanne Wiigh-Mäsak is on the threshold of realizing the physical actualization of it.  Within the boundaries of an established factory, specialists will begin assembling components for the prototype promator that subsequently will be used to introduce the process of promession.  

People throughout the world have shown interest in this burgeoning technique that, as the name implies, promises to return human bodies to the earth from which they came.  The biologically logical approach allows “biodegraders” – useful bacteria and fungal contributors along with purposeful small animals and their larger cohorts – to fulfill their ecological roles as decomposition agents.  For this to happen, bodily substance is first reduced, after which the transfigured remains are buried. 

A freeze-drying process begins within one and a half weeks after death when a body, frozen to minus eighteen degrees Celsius, is submerged in liquid nitrogen (readily obtained as residual portions of supplies delivered to medical facilities for varied purposes).  This causes it to become brittle, whereupon a vibrating mechanism then transforms the body into an organic powder.  About seventy percent of human composition is water, so a vacuum chamber is used to extract the moisture by way of evaporation. The final procedural step is the removal of surgically implanted parts and mercuric elements through the use of a metal separator.   

The organic remains, in their sanitary and odorless state, can be placed in a coffin made of cornstarch and buried in the topsoil of a shallow grave.  Both the container and the contents become nutrient soil, or humus, once decomposition has occurred within six to twelve or eighteen months, depending on environmental conditions.  Since this material can nourish vegetation through its root system, a family may choose to plant a tree or shrub over the burial site in recognition of ongoing life and symbolic of the individual whose substance contributed to it.     

Contrast the sight of burial territory dominated by stone structures with property accentuated by blossoming trees and foliage.  Of course, personal appeal is in the eye of the beholder, but if you’d like to “become” a rose bush or a cherry tree situated in a fertile field of nature's colorful masterpieces, there’s a way you can fortify a potential for it to happen.

Besides following the progress of promession via Facebook, you can register to be part of the Promessa Organic non-profit organization’s fan club, possibly engendering potential interest in this form of disposition for yourself:  
Based on your whereabouts – without revealing your name – your support will be noted through the placement of your general location on a world map.  From that you’ll be able to see if you reside in one of the hot spots of interest.  

Before this end-of-life biological salute to the earth can be operative in the United States, it will require the voices of many to be heard by the powers that be.  So if this alternative form of disposition makes sense to you personally, you have the capacity to nurture its grass roots and help bring it to fruition. 

For further information:  http://www.promessa.se/en/

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