I stumbled across this really interesting article in The New York Times Magazine about a happily married couple with one really big disagreement. As if it’s not hard enough already to spend your life with someone, Robin and Peggy Jackson have been married for 28 years and are fighting about how they will spend all of eternity. See, Robin, an economist and sci-fi junkie, plans to be cryonically preserved. Meanwhile hospice worker Peggy is not having it—she thinks of it as “an act of cosmic selfishness.” In case you forgot, cryonics is that creepy procedure where one chooses to freeze their body post-mortem with the hope that someday their brain will be resurrected. Walt Disney is in an ice vault somewhere waiting for this day to come. Since its invention in the 1960s, they’ve made little progress with figuring out how exactly to perform these Prometheus-like feats. Peggy thinks that the only thing to do is to embrace our inevitable expiration date despite the very human impulse to live at all costs. In fact, she is so morally opposed to the concept of cryonics that she refuses to send Robin’s body for freezing should he die before her. This has caused a stale mate in the Jackson household that neither will budge on.
Cryonocists call her reaction, which happens to be rather common, “hostile-wife phenomenon.” I don’t know if I’d go that far, maybe more like “creeped-out wife phenomenon.”
What I thought was the most interesting about this article was the bigger question their argument brought up; should those that spend life together be obligated to spend death together? Is it wrong for Robin to want to be cryonically preserved while Peggy wants to be buried six feet under ground? And does it even matter where our body ends up once we die? Is this something worth arguing over? Share your thoughts in the comments. [NY Times]