Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Ashes To Ashes


Another guest post by Dana


I have a bit of an obsession with death. Not in a "I want to die," way, but in a "If you bury me when I die I'll come back to haunt you" way. The thought of having my flesh eaten by bugs for decades so that family members can stick a plastic vase of fake flowers on my grave once a year just creeps me out. It won't happen ... not over my dead body!

So, since I was updating my will due to some significant life changes, I thought I'd include instructions on how I wanted to be "disposed" of.

*We now interrupt this blog post for a public service announcement*

Y'all do have wills, right?? If you don't you need to put one together. You can do it online in about 30 minutes. LegalZoom offers a basic will for $69.00. It's important. Everyone should have one even if you don't think you need one.

*We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog reading*

I thought it was time to do a little research. What? Researching funeral/cremation plans is morbid?? Nahhh ... it's practical! And honestly, a little fun in an odd sort of way.

I discovered there all some really imaginative ways to "dispose" of one's ashes. For example, you can be launched into space with a little help from Celestis.

Celestis made headlines in 1997 when they launched the cremated remains of 60’s icon Timothy Leary and Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry into space. For a fairly reasonable fee, you can send a “symbolic portion” of yourself on the next available mission, riding alongside a commercial or scientific satellite.

You can come back to Earth after the flight, or pay more to remain in orbit. You’ll stay there for an estimated 10 to 240 years before reentering the atmosphere in a blaze of fire. In the future, Celestis plans to launch cremated remains into the moon’s orbit, to the surface of the moon, and possibly into deep space.

But I'm thinking I might want more of a celebration than that. I discovered you can go out with a bang - literally - with the help of Heavens Above Fireworks.

Heavens Above Fireworks can pack a small portion of your ashes into professional-grade fireworks and stage a memorial display for your survivors. You can choose a big, noisy, colorful display or a quieter, more understated event.

Or, you can have your ashes stuffed into small, self-fired rockets, so your family can have their own private "safe and sane" fireworks ceremony at home. It would probably be the only time any part of me was considered safe and sane.

If I decided a more permanent display was up my alley, I could go with an Eternal Reef.

Have you always been an Ocean lover? You can create your own “living legacy” by having your ashes turned into an artificial coral reef. Your remains will help restore damaged reefs and create a nurturing marine environment for fish and other forms of sea life.

Eternal Reefs will mix your cremated remains (all of them) into concrete, shape the artificial reef and place the reef out on the sea floor.

I haven't decided yet, but whatever I decide I know one thing - I want friends and family to celebrate my life, not mourn my death - and in my will they'll be directed to wear Hawaiian shirts and flip-flops at the BBQ celebration ... yes, even if it's January in Chicago!



Boonsong said...

I’ve not made a will because what little I have I’m taking with me. I shall donate my body to the company who lent me the money for my DVD player. They already have all my vital organs.
Thanks for an amusing post.

All the best, Boonsong

Karen said...

I know where I want my ashes to go and I have told my family. My step-mom and her brother want to go in those fireworks.

But Karen's community service announcement: Do not put those instructions in your will. In general your will is not reviewed until AFTER you have been disposed of. You have to tell your family or put it in a letter of instructions that is placed with your important documents. At least that is what I learned in my Trusts and Estates seminar earlier this year.

Jeanne said...

I really like the reef idea!

Vinny "Bond" Marini said...

I have requested I be scattered in the ocean, so the living reef idea is similar

I also have a CD of music which will be played at the service and I have certain requests regarding items I want to go with me.

george said...

Eternal Reefs encourages family members and friends to participate with the creation of their loved ones memorial. They can mix the concrete and remains and cast the reef. They have the opportunity to personalize the Eternal Reef with handprints and written messages in the damp concrete. The entire process is a positive experiance that helps to heal both the sea and the soul. AND, most of our families show up in Hawaiian Shirts and flip-flops.

Phfrankie Bondo said...

...I wanna be a reef!...

Jay said...

I have a living will. In it is all my instructions and the important people know all about it. It includes pulling the plug on me so that Sean Hannity and other whack jobs can't show up outside the hospital and do what they did during the entire Terri Schiavo fiasco.

I'm not obsessed with death, I'm just opposed to it. ;-)

Mike said...

How about ashes to bird poop.


Melissa said...

I'm considering having my survivors send my remains to a crematorium, that will agree to being temporarily renamed, Hades. That way, when people ask, they can say, "Oh,the poor girl! She burned in hell." :-(

Melissa XX

Another Suburban Mom said...

I love the reef idea. I want to do that when its my turn to go.

yogurt said...

I like your idea of a funeral. And yes, have a will. Sitting in a folder. Unsigned. Gave it to husband two years ago to read it over and help make one final executor-guardian type decision. Now I don't know where it is. Gah! Thanks for the reminder.

Anonymous said...

天生我材必有用,千金散盡還復來。.. ...............................................................

nitebyrd said...

Stuck in a box, moldering in the ground, gives me the heebie-jeebies, too. I want my ashes to become a huge diamond. There's someplace that does that.

Party? Yup, way better than crying.

J.J. said...

When mom's hubby died, she had his ashed buried in a shared plot so his kids/grandkids could 'visit'. An aunt had her ashes scattered at sea, even though she had a hubby, 3 kids and 5 grandkids. I think that's weird. lol!

I'm VERY claustrophobic so I'm being cremated (being in a box for all eternity terrifies me) and I want my ashes scattered in my favorite place - Sequoia National Park.

王辛江淑萍康 said...

好熱鬧喔 大家踴躍的留言 讓部落格更有活力..................................................

Volly said...

I love Eternal Reefs! When they tow my concretized cremains out to sea, I want a singer on the boat, with a guitar, leading the other passengers in a singalong of "Octopus' Garden."