On the record
The item that caught my eye was a piece about Madge Hobson and her son, John. John has a vinyl record that plays a recording of conversations with his late Mum. It’s mostly small talk. So what, you may think. Well, Madge’s ashes, approximately a teaspoon of her cremated remains, have been combined with the vinyl, so when John listens to his Mum chatting, part of her is actually present.
The discs are produced by Vinyly. Each contains a photo and details of the deceased’s life.
Physical memorials to our loved ones are becoming increasingly popular. Once upon a time, you could have a stone in a cemetery, a bench overlooking the sea, or you could be stowed in an urn on the mantelpiece, and that was about it. Nowadays there are numerous ways your cremated remains can be disposed of, and you can be uniquely remembered.
At Vinyly, human and pet cremated remains can be added to the vinyl making process when the disc is in production. Jason Leach, the founder of the company, notes that “It’s a balance between adding enough ashes so as to be seen, but not so much as to affect the grooves’ smooth playing.” The ensuing crackles you can hear when you listen to the record, are your deceased’s remains. The basic package starts at £900, and you can choose from 7-inch or 12-inch, clear or coloured vinyl.
Go out with a bang
My personal favourite has to be a firework. Talk about going out with a bang! Hunter S. Thompson, author of the novel, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and a journalist who worked on a number of newspapers and magazines before becoming famous with his book about the Hell’s Angels committed suicide in February 2005. It was known that he wanted his cremated remains scattered by firework, and Johnny Depp, paid for that to happen. His ashes were fired from a cannon on top of a 153-foot tower. As the cannon fired, Norman Greenbaum’s Spirit in the Sky and Bob Dylan’s Mr. Tambourine Man played. Red, white, blue and green fireworks were launched along with the ashes.
Shine bright like a diamond
Return to the earth
You might consider using your cremated remains as compost. ‘Living urns’ consist of ashes mixed with other nutrients which are then used to grow a plant or a tree.
Hug it out
To the moon (and not back?)
It is now possible to have some of your remains taken into space. The first outing of crem remains in space, fittingly belonged to Gene Roddenberry who created Star Trek in the 1960s. A NASA space shuttle Columbia carried some of Gene Roddenberry’s cremated remains into space and returned them to Earth in 1992.
James Doohan, who played Scotty and died in 2005 was launched into space by the company Celestis, who specialise in space burials, in 2007 and 2008. Celestis offer one-way and round tickets.
Did you know that the funeral industry is estimated to be worth £1billion annually? Over 600,000 funerals take place each year, split between approximately 4,000 funeral directors. Apparently, because the industry is unregulated, anyone can enter it, and exact numbers or income is unknown.
Over to you
What do you fancy happening to your ashes when you’re gone? Leave a comment below or come and join the conversation on Facebook 🙂.