You can bury ashes in your local cemetery or in a natural burial ground. You can scatter them. You can divide them up among members of the family. You can get the crematorium to scatter them. You can do hundreds of things with them.
Many people only start to think creatively after they’ve brought the ashes home – sometimes long after.
During this time they may sit on the mantelpiece, the wardrobe, the boot of the car, dry, warm and safe. Of course, they’re more than just ashes and they deserve a fitting destination. This is a very personal thing, so does it matter in the least what other people think?
Rolling Stone Keith Richard snorted some of his father’s ashes. Patsy Kensit slept beside her mother’s for years. A distinguished pathologist, Derek Roskell, wants his ashes be scattered over Tony Blair. Denise Moon took the ashes of her late partner to court to prove that she was not evading council tax. Gene Roddenberry, creator of Star Trek, was shot into space. We make sense of things in our own way.
That way may not seem logical to other people, but logic may well have a negligible part to play in the matter of farewelling our dead or, indeed, of making sense of anything.
A favourite way with ashes is to scatter them at a spot which the dead person loved. But there are drawbacks you ought to consider.
First, if this is a popular beauty spot you may feel inhibited by the proximity of other people. You won’t have a good experience if you wait anxiously till no one’s looking, then do it surreptitiously in a cloak-and-dagger operation. So many people do this at Jane Austen’s cottage that fly-tipped remains have become come an unsightly nuisance.
Second, if the beauty spot you favour is a mountain top or an upland location, the phosphate in the ashes will upset the ecology. It’s a poor way to commemorate someone, to turn them into a bio-hazard. This is why football grounds will not let you scatter ashes on the pitch. It’d upset the fans.
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