Archive for August, 2009

Some thoughts about six feet under …

When it comes to graves, it certainly can help those people you left behind as a place to remember you.

However, the fact is that a couple of generations from now the only folks who will make their way to your marker will be the lawnmower guy that you paid for with the Perpetual Care option. Unless you died a real celebrity, you will be as forgotten as all the millions of shooting stars no one ever saw.

Maybe that’s hard to believe, so here are a few questions. How many people know where their parents are buried? How many know where their grandparents are buried. What about your great-great-great grandparents and when was the last time you went to their grave? See my point?

I am not putting down traditional cemeteries for people who like the idea of a permanent place of residence. If you choose cremation, you can have your ashes buried in a fixed spot. For example, Steve Allen, Lucille Ball, Humphrey Bogart, W. C. Fields, Marvin Gaye, Burt Lancaster, and Greta Garbo had their ashes buried in traditional graves.

With cremation, you can stay put or go anywhere you want. Your ashes can be interred in a cemetery plot, displayed in an urn on top of a mantelpiece, or scattered on private property or at a place that was significant to you.

You also have many options that won’t keep you grounded. It’s your choice. What do I mean by “more options”? Simply stated, with cremation, you are virtually free to scatter, consign, shoot, drop, bury, or throw your ashes just about anywhere you want. Your big sendoff can be fun or solemn, unique, or more environmentally friendly.

And you don’t have to limit yourself to just one scattering choice.

More on cremation and scattering your ashes later.

Share your cremation scattering stories

I thought it would be great to start this blog with people sharing their scattering stories after a loved one (person or pet) has been cremated.

I’d like to start with an account I heard that is one of my favorite ash scattering stories. It made me feel that what this couple did was comforting and even poetic. The story comes from a woman who I recently met. I told her about my book, “So You’re Cremated … Now What?” and shared the following. Her husband was terminally ill and chose cremation. So they both took part in discussing what he wanted to do with his ashes. His first choice for scattering his ashes was to be buried on the golf course we he had played with his buddies for years. The grounds keeper said no problem and said he could be spread on the first tee so he could watch over his friends. His scattering second choice was that his wife take a bit of his ashes on all the vacation trips she would have after he was gone and pick a nice spot to scatter his ashes. This gave the husband great comfort knowing what and where he would be. It also gave his wife comfort and a connection to him by having a meaningful and personal ritual to scatter his ashes that she could carry out after he went to the Great Beyond.