Tuesday 3 August 2010


I recently read an article about the bizarre places people want their ashes spread when they’re cremated. I have to say, it was quite the impressive list, not to mention imaginative. One guy, a long time comic book editor, had himself mixed with ink and put into a comic book. Hunter S. Thompson asked to be blasted off in a firework display. If you’re going to be spread all over creation it may as well be in a theatrical artistic way. Another guy was shot into space; one was buried in a Pringles can, a fitting casket, as he invented them; another’s ashes were converted into a synthetic diamond. Hell if I’m going to wear fake jewelry it may as well have some added bonus, like a relative stashed in there. Talk about a party conversation piece. “I love your ring.” “Oh, thanks. It’s my Uncle Frank.” The other places were definitely two of the rarest I’ve heard of in some time. For about four grand, you can be mixed with cement and added to a reef under the sea – sounds very Tony Soprano. The other is more sentimental and eternal, not to mention painful. Apparently, your ashes can be mixed with ink and then tattooed on one’s body. I’m thinking I’m going to write this one in my will for my partner to do, (something subtle, like my name across his forehead) just in case I go first and he has any ideas of showing up to my funeral with a twenty year old.

I’ve always wanted to be cremated. The notion of being buried in a box and buried beneath the dirt surrounded by maggots and bugs, left to decompose, well it never appealed to me. Can’t imagine why. The idea of cremation always seemed so quick and easy. One minute I’m of body, the next, I can fit in an ashtray. A bit messy for my tastes, but I’m ensuring that whomever is doing the spreading of my ashes knows what a neat freak I am.

I even have my places picked out where I’d like to be spread. One is in the town where I grew up. It’s a place my best friend and I used to go after school. We’d drive down the coast in her Volkswagen bug, top down, feeling like the world was ours, and we’d park at this special spot (not to be revealed of course). There, like any predictable teenagers, we’d get up to no good, talk about boys, and debrief our days at school…the usual stuff. The view is unparalleled and I remember the day I decided that right there in that very spot seemed like a good place for my remains to be chucked in the ocean. The other spot is in London off my favorite bridge. Again, it’s all about the view – I’m thinking when I’m dead this won’t be of a concern to me.

A few years back my sister and I spread my grandparent’s ashes. We took their urns to their favorite drinking/people-watching haunt, and of course ordered their beverage of choice. Then we took them down to the sea across from the building where they lived and dumped them in. Okay, we had to do this at night, as it’s illegal – which I’m sure my gramps loved - and my sister ended up wearing half of my grandpa due to the high winds, but the sentiment was in the right place. 
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