Hair decomposes after death

What happens to the body after death?

The inquest: If a person dies, a doctor must first come to officially determine the death. He notes the time, nature and cause of death. The criminal police will be informed if the cause of death is not natural. Depending on the investigation, the public prosecutor's office decides whether the body will be released for burial or whether it must be autopsied.

The pick up: An undertaker is needed to transport the body in traffic. A corpse can only be transported in a funeral vehicle. A pick-up can be delayed. The body can be kept at home for 36 hours. During the transfer, the deceased usually wears the clothes they were wearing when they passed away and is covered with a sheet.

The hygiene room: The undertaker's path leads either to the cemetery or to his own institute, depending on where the hygiene room is located. At three to five degrees, the deceased is placed in the cooling chamber there. If the body is severely decomposed, with peeling skin or clear veins, the process can be stopped by cooling the room to minus degrees. Before the funeral service, the body is washed and disinfected in the hygiene room. Depending on the wishes of the relatives, he is dressed in certain clothes. The hair is washed and styled as required, and stains can be covered with make-up.

The storage: Until the funeral service takes place, the deceased can be visited by the relatives. In the excavation hall in the cemetery there are separate rooms that can be entered with your own key. The deceased is laid out in the coffin, washed and dressed. The temperature in the room is six degrees to prevent progressive damage to the body.

In the following two pictures you can see the coffin lying in the cooling chamber. Below is a visiting room in the funeral hall.

The burial: There are two options for cremation. First: The deceased lies in the coffin at the funeral service, the body is cremated later. The urn will be buried in the cemetery on a second appointment.

Second: the body was already in the crematorium. The funeral and burial will be held with an urn. Basically, every cremation requires a coffin that is brought to the crematorium. Each combustion is given a number there. A firebrick with an impressed number is placed on the coffin. The ashes can thus be assigned to the deceased after the cremation. In the case of a burial, the body lies dressed in a coffin, which is lowered into the grave after the funeral service. The deceased is about two meters underground. How quickly the body decays depends on the material of the coffin. Also from the cemetery: the more oxygen in the earth, the faster the body decomposes.

"Basically, it is stipulated by law who is responsible for the funeral."

Heinz Vogt runs the oldest funeral institute in the Lake Constance area with his mother and brother. In an interview, the 35-year-old tells whether people can be buried in Lake Constance and who pays the burial for a deceased without relatives.

Mr Vogt, it is said that dying is getting more and more expensive. What does the price depend on?

The price depends on the type of burial, the grave site, the design and the desired services from the gardener and stonemason. Even the grave place can differ in price by over one hundred percent, the cemetery fees are determined separately by each municipality. Basically, the type should correspond to the funeral wishes of the deceased. Every funeral can be carried out as inexpensively as possible and yet with dignity.

Is there financial help for poor people?

If someone has social benefits, for example because their pension is too low, there is a possibility. A cost subsidy can be applied for at the social welfare office. Basically, it is stipulated by law who is responsible for the funeral. These are the spouse or life partner, the adult children, the parents, the grandparents, the adult siblings and grandchildren of the deceased person.

When there are no bereaved. Then what happens to a deceased person?

If no one can be found, we report this to the public order office, which starts their own research. If that is unsuccessful, look in the apartment for a copy. Did this person want a special form of burial? For example, if he has written down a request for a burial, it must be taken care of. Otherwise a simple cremation will be ordered. The municipality, i.e. the general public, bears these costs.

Back to nature after death, a nice thought. A burial in Lake Constance - is that possible?

No, it is forbidden. It is only allowed in the sea, we offer burial at sea in the Baltic Sea, North Sea and the Atlantic. But, the urn must be handed over to the sea at least three kilometers outside on the high seas.

Published in the Bodenseekreis section