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Ashes, Ashes Part II - It seemed like a good idea at the time... [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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Ashes, Ashes Part II [Apr. 16th, 2008|11:35 am]
So, there Dad sits, in the Halloween room, with the Winged Skull of Death mask sitting on top of his box like some kind of bizarre bust. And now it's getting to be near family reunion time.

And Tim doesn't want to take Dad as Carry-On. So, I hit the 'net to find out how to ship Dad back out the Minnesota. And of course, as with any internet search,

Sure, I found out that you can't fed-ex a dead person and UPS wants nothing to do with you and your corpse. But the good ol' Post Office -- whom you think would be a little leery of powdered things, especially here in the DC area -- they'll take you. Ya, sure. (Sorry, I said "Minnesota")

But in that search I was distracted by all of the other things you can do with cremains. Sorry, ashes. Cremains is a stupid word. It sounds like a cheap chocolate, filled with some nasty ersatz vanilla filling.

Anyway, my personal desire is to have my cadaver go to one of those forensic research labs where they stick you in various conditions to see how quickly you rot, and how. If my family can't handle that or they don’t need me at the corpse farm, I found this company that will mix your ashes in cement and use it to form a reef ball – a special construct that they plant in the ocean that encourages reef formation. Frankly, just sticking me out in the manure pile would be fine – that’s what we used to do with everything else that died in our family. By spring, you’re pretty much gone and then, into the garden you go. But I think that’s still illegal.

Anyway – on the scale from “I dunno, maybe” to “now that is just wacky!” you can get your ashes mixed into all sorts of things. Made into a gemstone necklace. (Again, with the deadthing hanging around my neck...maybe for Halloween...but not on a regular basis. Although I’m liking the recoil possibilities when someone says “Hey, pretty necklace” and I get to say “Yeah, it’s my Mom, just really compressed.” And if you don’t want to walk around wearing your loved one, there’s an artist who will mix the ashes of your loved one with paint and then paint a portrait of them. Which makes me reconsider my nasty habit of licking the tip of my brush…

But here’s the wacky: some Australian chick put the ashes of her dead husband into...her breast implants. Really. Every man’s dream? Probably not her second husband’s!

Dad did make it to his memorial service and I was relieved to be done with that. Until I was cleaning out Tim’s stuff from his nightstand while he was overseas (for those of you who are thinking, that coldhearted...it was upon his request – we were separating and his plan was to come back and live with his girlfriend when his duty was up) and in the drawer, I found this little plastic twist-tied bag full of...

Oh, yeah.

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[User Picture]From: pyllgrum
2008-04-16 04:01 pm (UTC)
You make fun, but "out the Minnesota" is how the Mississippi River got started.
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[User Picture]From: fountaingirl
2008-04-16 04:02 pm (UTC)
Dude, he saved some? For what?? :shiver:
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[User Picture]From: ferlonda
2008-04-16 06:06 pm (UTC)
Sometimes you just can't let go. That's why of the keeping remains idea I prefer the compressed shiny pretty version as opposed to the box/urn variety. An acquaintance of mine kept the ashes of her late-term miscarriage, oddly in the laundry room, and when the landlord came over to do some work on the house (not in the laundry room) the box was opened and the ashes were scattered all over the floor. My acquaintance swept up the dust, put it back and next day it happened again. She was very upset by this as you might expect. So was I but I don't think for the same reasons.

Another aspect of hanging on to dead things is in some circles dead things are useful for what some might call spells. Though since you can actually mail order bones and such via the net I'm not sure why a person would use a relative's remains for such a thing... unless that was the point of the spell. Which come to think of it, people do fairly regularly- casting the ashes of your relative on water or in a wood is so much more satisfying than just emptying the vacuum cleaner bag...

In England they have "cemeteries" where you get buried in a cloth bag or a thin wood box with no preservatives and then a tree is planted over you. That really appeals to me.
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[User Picture]From: ferlonda
2008-04-16 06:38 pm (UTC)
Sorry! Your comment did make me giggle.

I've never understood humor. Love it, but don't get it and certainly can't do it except accidentally. I probably should laugh more...
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[User Picture]From: terribleturnip
2008-04-17 12:13 pm (UTC)
I can only do funny when I launch it...so freaking literal otherwise. Missed my boss's joke yesterday when I talked about Seattle's imminent ban on foam takeout containers and he said "I suppose they'll ban latte foam next" and I prattled on about foam cups and the plastic lined by 2010, until finally the little voice of humor at the back of my head got through to me.

I think I recovered well, though -- stopped abruptly, said "Oh, Jeezus, that was a joke." and slammed my forehead on the conference table dramatically.

Just so you know -- they have those "cemeteries" here in the US as well. It's a lovely thought -- I would just feel guilty about taking up that much space...the idea that that would be my "spot" and basically a lot of time would have to pass until they could plant someone else. Or Georgia-Pacific came in and logged the corpse forest.
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[User Picture]From: ferlonda
2008-04-17 04:58 pm (UTC)
Heeheehee... that's the kind of understanding and response to humor I have! Hope the bruise on your forehead is clearing up. :) How nice to hear Seattle is banning that foam crap. Funny I have to hear about it from someone three thousand miles away.

Well, the logging image is kind of dire- clear cutting a "cemetery"- how lovely. But I don't mind taking up that kind of space and in that way. So much more "green" than a burial plot or whatever though you calling it a "corpse forest" is a bit off-putting. (Where do you come up with these phrases???) I love the idea of my remains feeding a tree but I'll still opt for cremation. It's weird but... I don't like the idea of my body being in cold damp ground whereas a nice clean bonfire sounds good. Since my other preference is out of reach (a mid-sized pyramid complete with gold jewelry, food and other fun things I might need for the afterlife) I'll just go with cremation and being sprinkled somewhere out of the way.
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From: (Anonymous)
2008-04-16 04:27 pm (UTC)

Ashes to Ashes

Eternal Reefs does the memorial reefs and they now have a site near Washington in the Chesapeake Bay. You can visit their web site at www.eternalreefs.com I am their CEO
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[User Picture]From: sestree
2008-04-16 04:55 pm (UTC)
Yeah I can't figure separating ashes - I mean is it an arm? a leg? besides you know me - I'd open her up and either the cats would do something and I'd sneeze or I'd leave the lid off, or the window would be open, or I'd dump her on the floor......

I'm with the enquiring minds crew though - WTF did he save some out for?
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[User Picture]From: lowlandscot
2008-04-16 04:58 pm (UTC)
Cremains is a stupid word. It sounds like a cheap chocolate, filled with some nasty ersatz vanilla filling

I still can't buy the brand of dried cranberries called "Craisins" because the first time I saw the display out of the corner of my eye at Giant I read "Cremains."

that’s what we used to do with everything else that died in our family

I'm wondering how literally you mean that "everything." A chicken, sure, but a sheepdog? A mule? Grandpa? Of course, I'm a little more squeamish than anyone with my upbringing has a right to be; I still shudder slightly when I remember the squishy sound that ex-piglet made when I shovelled a big fork full of hog manure onto my strawberry bed.
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[User Picture]From: terribleturnip
2008-04-16 09:00 pm (UTC)
For the record, he wanted to make a shadow box containing memories of his Dad -- some pictures, some small items, etc., and some of his Dad's ashes in a clear glass jar.

Honestly, the fact that he wanted to use a clear glass jar is just the type of thinking that continues to endear him to me, even though we're beyond the being married part.

Okay, and I'm also glad it's not going to be hanging in MY house.
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[User Picture]From: stonethrow
2008-04-16 10:23 pm (UTC)

The Necklace things

I knew about the necklace thing from awhile back. My mother - yes I have one. Is normal - you can stop laughing, ask Becca. She used the necklace thing to stop the cemetary plot people from calling.

Image the call

"No dear, I love my husband. I would never think about putting him in the cold ground. No, I'm going to have him ultra cremated and wear him around my neck. I love him oh so much. Did you know . . . Click."

I love her.
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From: navycryppie
2008-04-17 03:46 am (UTC)
Most of my dad's ashes ended up at his favorite spot on the Willamette river (for a few minutes anyway), the rest sat in what his close friends and family would consider an "appropriate" vessel. Remember those 1 1/2 gallon or so mini-beer kegs in the late 70's early 80's? Yep, that's where he is now (Hamms if you must know), with a small portion on one of those necklace thingys for his best friend. I've thought about getting one too, but just don't do necklaces that much...with one exception...

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