But that’s not why I’d like my own remains to turn to ash before touching earth. My own “brave decision” right now has my ashes scattered in many places, from the Pacific shore that Bob has chosen, to favored grave sites here. My final word to my children is, “Take them home and put them in your gardens.” Good fertilizer, I hope (and joining a garden is one way to go on living).
I remember reading once that treatment of the dead distinguishes we humans from our close relatives in the animal kingdom. Going way back, our human race has treated its dead with respect – from funeral pyres, to river placement, to country graveyards. We here in Marion County show respect by supporting our Cemetery Commission as it protects pioneer cemeteries – worn grave sites out amidst the cornfields.
May it continue. The newspaper article reported that this request for zoning to allow for a crematorium had been denied. Perhaps just not an appropriate setting, certainly not wanted by neighbors. But crematoria can be places of love and honor, and they will come one day to Marion County. The decision is hard because it touches those “grave decisions:” First, accepting that all of us will die. Second, realizing we need to plan ahead so our remains will get respectful care as they wait patiently to turn to dust.