Thursday, June 12, 2008

My Remains

My friend and I once had a very long series of emails discussing what should be done with my remains (Don't ask. -Ok short version, I was very sick, needed surgery, thought I was going to die.) Among other things, I told her that I wanted to be cremated, I wanted my ashes mixed with my pets' ashes, and I wanted all of us to be put into something plain, simple, and silver colored-ish. Like a thermos.

From our emails

ME

Ultimately, I'm not sure if it'd be better to be buried in the container, or buried loose, or scattered. I don't want to be scattered over an ocean though. That would separate all of us [my ashes from my pets' ashes.] And I don't want to be dropped in there as a container either so we wash up on a beach as someone's found treasure. Maybe if we made good fertilizer...maybe a garden. My ferrets would like that. But I don't want to get raked away the next year! -Oh and I don't want to be sent into space. Don't shoot us into space! As cool as that might be in theory, I'm afraid someone would find us or that somehow our molecules would go through a black hole and be re-integrated, and we'd come back as some kind of deformed, very unhappy, multi-headed human/ferret hybrid. And no cryogenics. For one thing, I wouldn't be able to be with my pets then.

(You're saving this email right?)

J
_I_ want to be shot out into space!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Well, first any of my useful bits can be used for science or donated or whatever.

ME
Does your husband know? If I have the money I'll shoot you into space!

J
It's kind of cheap actually. Well, if you let the Russians do it that is. They cremate you and seal you in a little capsule thing and launch you with any trash they purge from the space station. Kind of an odd concept but hey, it's space!

There is also a Japanese group that launches ashes for a bit more. They do it for about $5000 (about the cost of the typical funeral). It is very respectful and all that. They showed it on tv the other day.

ME
I'm making a note in my PDA... "Shoot J into space with Russian Garbage."

J
Re: The Cryogenics: What if we just preserve your head and pack your ferrets and the rest of your ashes in the container with it for the future to fix?

ME
Tempting, but no, I don't think so. I don't trust people in the future not to screw up. Besides, you'll be out in space. Who will I talk to when I'm reanimated? ;)

J
I still think we should freeze your head.

ME
If I wake up as a head sometime in the future, I am going to grab a vacuum, go into space, and suck your ashes back down here! :P

 

11 Comments:

Hillary said...

Uhm.... wow.

Vanessa said...

I hope you fully recovered from what was making you ill. We all have wishes for what we want done when we pass on, and they should be honored, but at the end of life, meaning later years. I think anyway. Or maybe I'm just really introspective about this right now because a close friend just lost her baby at 44 hours old. Yes hours.

mysecondjournal said...

OK..I love that you kept this email..
People have "last wishes" for their remains. I always wondered if there is any "caring" to it when it's all done w/ you know what I mean?

Athena said...

I'm glad I'm not the only person who thinks about this!

I think the fertilizer thing is the way to go. You can be buried under a little tree and the little tree can use you to grow. I don't think this way you would be "raked" up.

OK now you either think I'm extremely profound or extremely weird. That's ok.

Really. That's ok. Either one. :)

Athena

Hillary said...

Just for clarity's sake... my "um... wow" was at the hilarious antics. This post totally made me laugh!

Pamela said...

Your posts crack me up! Thanks for making my day a little lighter. :)

Melissa said...

Hillary: We already spoke! LOL! You crack me up. I hope the computer finally un-froze.

Vanessa: I'm so sorry to hear about your friend's baby. That's awful.

MP: That's an interesting thought. I guess it depends on who's doing it. I know that there's definitely been caring by me where my friends were concerned. I loved them and everything I did was 100% about treating them, their remains, and the people and things they left behind with respect, and love. I'm not talking about erecting a statue or anything, but just honoring, taking care of and finishing things up for them the way they wanted.

When last wishes are carried out by people who weren't closely involved in someone's life, I don't know. I'm pretty sure that when I pass away, carrying out any wishes I leave will be seen as a kind of chore by my family! Something on their list of "to dos."

Melissa said...

Athena: THANK YOU! You were the first person who said something funny in their comment and I was beginning to worry! Lol!

Yeah, the fertilizer thing... I have a book for you. The 10th good thing about Barney. I have to say that I did not find the 10th thing to be comforting at all, and it kind of creeped me out, but you would most likely find it absolutely lovely and heartwarming! -As did many other reviewers. (Ok, in finding the link for you above, I read through the reviews, and *my* feelings closely paralleled Claire McCarthy's, beckyjean's, and some of the other "non 5 star" reviewers. But I'll add that the thought of *ashes* planted beneath a tree doesn't affect me the same way.)

As for ME thinking YOU'RE "extremely profound or extremely weird" -Did ya READ my post?! Lol!

Melissa said...

Hillary: Thank you for the clarification! :D

Pamela: Thank you! And thank you for stopping by again :)

Alice said...

HAAAA. that's awesome. i had never thought about it much until a pretty awkward convo with a guy i'd only met the day before (groomsman in a wedding where i was a bridesmaid) as we were walking through town the day after the wedding. i think i'd go cremated too, after donating any bits people might want to use. although.. uh.. i'm not sure what i'd want done with the ashes at that point. i don't want to be mixed with russian garbage, that much i know!

Melissa said...

Alice: Neither do I. My friend, however, is not as picky. She said, as far as she's concerned, either way her capsule would end up floating around in space, so what does it matter? Which is actually a very good point!