Fact: You are going to die. Take a moment to digest that idea, if you haven’t already.
Now, how would you like your loved ones to commemorate your inevitable demise? A solemn Christian funeral? Someone throwing your ashes off a Washington state ferry? Nothing at all?
As she lay dying, 42-year-old artist Briar Bates had a lot of final wishes. “At any given time, she was probably cooking up 20 to 30 different things,” her friend Katrina Morgan said.
From her bed and couch on Vashon Island, Bates proposed that her friends build a secret, speakeasy-like “juke joint” in the woods. She wanted her corpse to be the first in a prototype at Washington State University of the Urban Death Project — a local attempt to compost bodies as an alternative to the usual, environmentally wasteful funeral-home pageants.
And she wanted her friends — mostly artists, but mostly nondancers — to perform a joyful …