When I Die: Get A Little Piece of Me

February 2, 2012 at 6:29 pm (When I Die) (, , )

Those who are in charge of my medical proxy and other sorts of post-Del arrangements already know this, but I figured it would be a good installment to the When I Die series.

I, like most Pagans I talk to, would prefer to have my body burned in a Pyre, but that’s pretty illegal in the US. The best legal option is cremation, and as someone who holds on to 2 sets of ashes (my late familiar’s, and a piece of my father’s), I know how healing and comforting it can be to have a physical reminder of the person who has passed on.

Because of Ninja’s Jewish beliefs, he can’t bring a dead body into the house. So Blue (which is not her real name), my sister, will be in charge of my ashes. She will retrieve them in an open container, and bring them to whatever celebration is planned for my passing. Those who wish to have a small share of my ashes may take some at that time, as long as they bring a container to put them in. (A ziplock bag is just as good as a fancy box or urn.) For the next six months, people can contact her to obtain a small amount of my ashes until there isn’t any more to give away.

What you do with those ashes is your business. I’d love it if someone went to Riverfront Park in Beacon, NY and put them in the Hudson River by climbing on the bluff of rocks that lead away from the park and into the river, if the bluff still exists. It would be cool if (after obtaining Harry’s permission) if some could be added to the center of the labyrinth at Ramblewood, or maybe planted alongside some sort of plant around Cabin 1. I’d like some to end up at Cauldron Farm, either in Raven’s care or somewhere on the property that would be appropriate. If Emily felt so moved, she is invited to take some to the Gazebo at Camp Quinpet (or the swing at Epworth, if it’s still there) and sprinkle some there.

But mostly, I assume I’ll be on various people’s altars. I am totally okay if you end up putting them into the ink for a tattoo. (Send Ninja pictures if you do that.) I’m sure you guys have some interesting ideas as to what to do with them to keep me a part of your life after I am corporeally absent.



  1. sarai addams said,

    Can I pull a Keith Richards?

    • dying for a diagnosis said,

      If you so desire. I’ve heard that hurts like a bitch, though. Especially since cremains still have bits of bone in them.

  2. Alex said,

    I love that you’re doing this series of posts. I definitely will be stepping up for my piece of Del.

    • dying for a diagnosis said,

      I figure making stuff like this public will help my post-Del team when I depart. Even though I have documents that lay all this stuff out, they can also just go to the blog and click on the “When I Die” tag and find all the weird stuff I want there for the picking.

  3. Heathir said,

    My father — who passed away in 2007 — so wanted a ‘set the body on a boat, set the boat ablaze, and push it all out to sea’ kind of funeral for a dozen great reasons…none of which were because he was Pagan. (He was actually a ‘sometime lapsed Catholic/often agnostic, ‘ even though I think that he would have definitely fit as either an Odinsman or Lokisman.)

    He was very disappointed to discover, like you, that burning bodies in that manner is illegal, so he left instructions to be cremated.

    And, like you, he came up with all sorts of interesting suggestions of things to do and places to go with his cremains.

    So, there’s a bit of my Dad at Rialto Beach, at a small winery in Napa Valley, on a street corner in San Luis Obispo, several places in Massachusetts…and the list goes on and on.

    He even begged us to promise to use some of his cremains to fill an Etch-A-Sketch or maybe get some pencils made to have a picture drawn of him, since he was an artist.

    But sadly, after his death, my mother hoarded the rest of his cremains (in a fancy green marble box) after all the whirlwind trips to all of the places. She thinks it weird and disrespectful to think about making pencils out of him, much less making an Etch A Sketch.

    Sometimes I wonder if my Dad pouts from the hereafter to realize that his wife actually won’t allow him to be in an Etch-A-Sketch.

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