I would most definitely want to be cremated. My ashes then divided with half strewn in the Atlantic at my favorite beach where I grew up (not far from our family farm) in NY. The other half tossed into the Mississippi River close by our home here after a Jazz funeral winding through the streets of my neighborhood ending at the river where there will be music, dancing, great food,(maybe a crawfish boil if they are in season), and lots of stories, (even the ones I hated), and Polish jokes told by my dear friend who relentlessly has done so for about 30 years now.
I find your comments touching, everyone! May that long home be a long time coming for us all.
I love the Frieda Lawrence story. I say that's the spirit: let the dead bury the dead -- though I realize this has practical limitations -- and concentrate on the living. Antigone got into her trouble by fussing over her brother's body.
Ideally evaporate at death, avoiding the embarrassment of leaving a corpse behind. Or, even better, just ascend into heaven.
My older sister is making me nervous lately by obsessing from the East Coast over maintenance our family plots, a rural one from the 1800's and the other in our home town. Her research shows that we have guaranteed free spots in the Otter Creek one, for the cost of $400 hole-digging and a winding sheet. I have the impression that the funeral industry gets its embalming oar in at some point, by law, even if a person is cremated. This drives up the cost.
I suppose it's most thoughtful of our survivors to think about this in advance. An old family friend and I have twice driven the three hours to our hometown for funerals. He's a wonderful public speaker, and I extracted his promise to say a few words at my final festivities; that's as far as I've gotten with planning.
Friday we will be attending the funeral of a dear friend and co-worker of my husband. He died this morning after being removed from life support on Monday, he was 45. He was involved in a motorcycle accident last Friday afternoon and was flown by helicopter to a trauma center about an hour and a half drive from here. Fellow Firefighters were making the trip back and forth each day supporting the family and saying their good byes to their dear brother. A full dress, honor guard funeral will held.
I like the idea of a tree sprouting from my remains too. Last week I had to have a root canal and I heard several bizarre stories being swapped between dentist and assistant. One was this ...
When a particular song came on the dentist said something along the lines of ...." Its a long time since I heard this, last time we were sat on top of a hill in the Peak District firing a rocket into the sky" Dental assistant " Was it bonfire night or a birthday?" Dentist " Neither it was my father in laws ashes "
I had never heard of this before so had a look - seemingly there are fireworks for the flamboyant personality or the more serene
I have to return to the ancestral village before long. The family friend who took care of the two family tombs (with payment twice a year for flowers -- Easter and All Saints Day are the important cemetery dates in France -- died several months ago, so now it is all up to me. Poor Gertrude even washed at least ten of the tombs every week. Her in-laws and, more importantly, her daughter, are in the cemetery. After all, it is not a major job and it probably guarantees a pretty good place in heaven for the believers. I'm not sure what happens to the rest of us.
In reality, I don't believe that it is important at all to take care of the tombs, but I am always happy to have an excuse to go somewhere.
I read somewhere recently of one idea that has me thinking... The departed person was a great traveller as were his family and friends. They had a memorial service and a wake, after which the urn was placed on a table with small seal-able plastic bags and a spoon. The guests were invited to take a small amount of ashes in a bag and on their travels release them in interesting places all around the world, then let his family know where. There followed a list of places where the ashes were scattered and the departed certainly covered much of the world.
I was wondering if somehow cremated ashes could be grouped and used as fertiliser for trees or a garden. By the way, Renzo's remains were cremated along with a "batch" of pets who had died that week, and buried. I didn't want to pay more for an individual urn, but I'm glad he didn't become dog or cat food.
Graves can be useful for historians and anthropologists. But there are just so many that they have to be recycled! The huge increase in human population obvously means an increase in number of dead, despite the much longer life expectancy in many countries of the world.
Greetings from smokey, hot Oregon! I haven't been here in ages, so I guess it's weirdly appropriate that I reappear in this particular post. Last fall I took a little 10-day trip to the coast, to Crescent City, California where I was born. I had a slight notion of the hospital where I was born, but of course it was no longer on the ocean bluff that I vaguely remembered (nope, don't remember my birth, but do remember having my tonsils out at age 5).
I happened to strike up a conversation with two Yurok men. One asked why I was visiting from Klamath Falls, one thing led to another and I mentioned I was born in the old hospital in Crescent City. Coincidentally, so was he. He told me where the site was, now occupied by a hotel, and I drove there the next day. There was the hotel...and there was the beach just below. I surprised myself by feeling moved. Intensely wistful, happy, thinking of the 69 year winding path that led back to that beach, from September, 1947 to October, 2017. It wasn't until I got home that I thought of it as my final resting place, where my son can toss my ashes into the surf. Or, into the kelp, I don't care. Might as well go full circle.
We're all at risk of losing a friend, or someone even closer, or ourselves leaving this earth any minute. Peace to all.
Hello Diane! It's a great pleasure to see you here again. And you've added to that pleasure and to this thread enormously with that very thoughtful post. Beautiful photograph of a beautiful place. What a great idea to make a full circle of your journey on this earth. Thanks for this and for the message at the end.