Life's a Bitch and Then You Die
20 brilliant things you can do with your ashes
As I get older, I think about the unthinkable more and more.
I don’t want to be buried so that just leaves one option really, to be burnt to a cinder or cinders, to be precise. Except this Cinders won’t be going anywhere, let alone to the ball.
There is another option that I often think about but have never got around to doing anything about, and that is to donate my body to medical science, but somebody once told me that too many bodies are left for research so I’ll go back to the drawing board on that one - or make some inquiries to the appropriate authority.
So, having been cremated and my ashes poured into an urn or disposed of in whatever way my family sees fit – I see no point in stipulating where I want to be scattered as (a) I won’t know where I am and (b) I don’t want to ask my family to go traipsing off half-way around the world to some long-forgotten destination, just because I thought it was a good idea at the time when I visited half a century before, here are some options to consider.
Being transformed into a painting. I quite like this one. Some artists use the ashes of loved ones to create portraits so, as I stare down from above the mantlepiece, just like those enormous oil paintings in stately homes, my eyes will be following you…
You can also have your ashes made into jewellery so that loved ones can wear them as a ring or necklace. I wasn’t sure about that one until I did some research and found this beautiful ring. A tiny part of the cremated remains of your departed loved one is mixed into a narrow band of resin in the ring. I quite like the thought of being with my daughter after my days, if she could bear it. I would quite understand if she didn’t though.
Here is a brilliant list of 20 things you can do with your ashes after you die:
My favourite one on that list is definitely to use a radio-controlled helicopter to disperse ashes. How about that? I also like the one about burying a biodegradable urn so that a tree can be planted and help the tree to grow. I think that’s the idea, anyway.
Creating a vinyl record however, just doesn’t appeal. What would the record be? “In Hell, I’ll be in Good Company” or “Knocking on Heaven’s Door” or “Please Don’t Bury Me”.
My Mum was buried (or should I say her ashes) under a rose bush in the garden she shared with her second husband – my step-father – who she married after my Dad died. Then he died and the house was sold but there she remains, in the garden overlooking the river in the home that she shared with a man she loved, albeit for a pitifully short space of time.
I am not a fan of tattoos so I would never get a tattoo done in memory of a loved one and certainly not using their ashes. Apparently, that’s something else you can do. Amazing. I’d be afraid I would get a reaction and a body part drop off. No thanks.
I thought the story of a little old lady who carried her late husband’s ashes around with her in her handbag was quite sweet. I only hope she had him contained tightly and didn’t keep dipping her hand into him whenever she rummaged for some loose change.
I heard another story at a dinner party once where the lady in question had passed away and had made a specific request about where her ashes were to be scattered. She wanted one half of her to be interred with her late husband and the other half with her ex-husband. Interesting decision.
More recently, I heard about a farmer who had died and made a request that his family honoured, and this one really appealed. He wanted to be buried in his car on the family farm. Now, I don’t know about you, but I have an image of a man sitting behind the wheel of a car six feet under. That does appeal to me as a petrol head, but I don’t think I would want my gorgeous sports car to be defiled in that way.
I wanted to ask the purveyor of this tale whether he was in a coffin inside the car and did the car have the interior taken out to accommodate him? Or, was he propped up in the driving seat? So many questions went unanswered.
Out of all the suggestions, I think that helping a tree to grow or being buried in the garden of a home I have shared with my (current) husband, would probably be my preferred options. I would have to be in a biodegradable urn, in the shape of a heart, naturally. But like I said, it’s really up to my family because they are the ones who will have to perform the ceremony of unceremoniously scattering me to the four corners of the earth on a strong breeze. Unless, of course, it’s raining. Or worse, snowing. In which case, they would have to leave me in the urn on the mantlepiece until warmer weather arrived. After all, they know how much of a fair-weather person I am. And besides, I might not be ready to leave them all just yet.
P.S. Please forgive me if I have offended anybody with this tongue-in-cheek look at what to do with your ashes. I do have a black sense of humour which sometimes gets the better of me.