We often imagine eternity will be spent playing harp on fluffy clouds next to hordes of heavenly angels or being tortured by armies of vicious devils.
But dead people might soon have to spend the rest of forever laying in rest next to a motorway or trunk road.
A doctor has said that ‘green burial corridors’ should be set up across the country to house the ever-increasing number of cadavers needing a permanent home in the ground.
This means you could end up being laid to rest next to the M25, or perhaps just off Eastern Avenue on the way to London to Southend.
Writing in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, Professor John Aston said we could run out of burial space within five years.
He pointed to the recent announcement of a scheme to plant 130,000 trees in urban areas to reduce pollution and global warming as an example of the sort of strategy we should take to tackle the grave deficit.
He said: ‘A glimpse of what might be possible with political will and imagination can be seen by what has happened alongside long-forgotten canals by neglect and default where wildlife corridors have evolved over time.
‘It is time to revisit the public health roots of human burial and connect them to a new vision for a planet fit for future generations.’
And if you think being laid to rest by the M1 is too grim to countenance, just wait until you hear about a scheme in Washington which turns dead bodies into compost.
Professor Aston wrote: ‘The latest American offering is that of human composting using a process in which corpses are placed in reusable steel vessels together with wood chips, straw and alfalfa after artificial limbs, joints and pacemakers have been removed.
‘This creates the conditions under which it takes about 30 days for the body to decompose into a compost mulch that can be used to plant a tree or grow vegetables.
‘The early indications are that this method of disposal will prove aesthetically acceptable to many people and bring with it financial and environmental benefits.
‘If so, it is coming not a moment too soon in the latest chapter of the long history of human responses to a fundamental dilemma which is being exacerbated by global rapid urbanisation and continuing population increase.’
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