Wednesday, September 15, 2010

it matters how you scatter

Scattering ashes can be a dicey endeavor. After suffering the grief of losing someone we love, we mistakenly believe the universe owes us a poetic moment where everything goes right. We picture ourselves on a beautiful cliff by the sea, where after a few profound words the ashes simply flow away, dissolving into sea and wind.

But it rarely works out as imagined. Ashes can pour out in a clumsy, undignified manner. Urns can slip. And as we've seen in The Big Lebowski, the wind does not always cooperate.

Other times, good intentions (literally) fly out the window:

Before this happens to you, please take a look at Scattering Ashes, a site solely devoted to the art of scattering ashes (hence the name). From the practical to the poetic, everything is addressed here. This site provides a bevy of options, from hot air balloons to fireworks. I personally prefer a more intimate ceremony - ringing ashes at the base of a beautiful tree, or digging and decorating a trench in the sand before the tide comes in strikes me as a lovely way to say goodbye.

But my favorite? The Viking Boat. The ashes are set inside a model ship, then set on fire as it floats off into the sea. Very poetic, a hero's send-off indeed.


Anonymous said...

Viking funeral has always been my choice. I do remember John Goodman and the wind doing a lousy job.

Style Odyssey said...

a friend of ours passed away recently. it was while we still lived in islands. our friend was a traveler, and intended to visit us for a sailing trip. he never got the chance. so i scattered my portion of his ashes off the boat, in the middle of the sir francis drake channel, british virgin islands. what an honor that was for me.