I was tidying my office to make space for Belinda, my wife’s planned new venture when this feature I wrote in 2003 fell out of a cupboard. I kept it for two reasons. One it was my first national broadsheet feature and second, the headline (not written by me) rather appealed.
Of course I am far from skinless, being rather assertive when on a mission, but factually it is correct. You see when I die I’m skipping a funeral and being shipped to the Bodyworlds factory. There I’ll be stripped, preserved and posed for the education and no doubt entertainment of many.
I was one of 10 UK body donors to visit the factory in China with Von Hagens in 2001. We’ve kept in touch since and so far, two of our number have died and made the post mortem journey to be plastinated. It’s becoming rather like an Agatha Christie novel in that respect.
As the article said, it all started with a visit to an exhibition in London and then one thing rather led to another. In fact it was a fellow donor that encouraged me to accompany him to Hull recently to take part in the Spencer Tunick ‘Sea of Hull’ installation.
Later today, as a Trustee of our local Healthwatch I’ll be discussing end of life care. Seems few let their wishes be known and so end up with a different death to the one they’d hoped for. I’m voting for a quick, no lingering, exit so I can arrive for processing intact and undamaged. You?