August 26, 2013

three things to do after you die

minneapolis lakewood cemetery in january

i've always enjoyed cemeteries. i did an independent study in college on photographing and collecting the histories on prominent minnesotans at the lakewood cemetery in minneapolis. one summer i participated in a walking history tour of the city cemetery where i played a "madam" from the wild west (no, that picture is not of me). my first date with a kid in college was to the cemetery to watch the groundhogs digging up holes. in 5th grade my mom would take me out to lunch where we'd picnic along the headstones. 

i've always wished cemeteries would go back to feel of the early 1800s ... when they were seen as a spot to remember the deceased and recreate. as this article talks about, cemeteries were a place to enjoy the outdoors. there were beautiful sculptures. flowers and wide open spaces of green. people picnicked, hunted, raced carriages. granted, the wonderful park systems we have in place now weren't all that popular back then, so cemeteries were the next best thing. but the idea that one didn't need to tip-toe around, that one could enjoy the space and enjoy the memories of their friends and relatives ... that's what i like.

if you're not one for laying away your afterlife in a box in the ground, i have some alternate options for you. and no (for the record), i did not seek any of these out. they sought me.

load 'em up - ashes in a shotgun shell
We offer a way to honor your deceased loved one by giving or sharing with him or her one more round of clay targets, one last bird hunt, or one last stalk hunt.

to infinity and beyond
Celestis Memorial Spaceflights place a symbolic portion of cremated remains into Earth orbit, onto the lunar surface, and into deep space. Your loved one will venture into space as part of a real space mission, riding alongside a commercial or scientific satellite.

recycle the proper way
Alternative Solutions
to provide america's funeral homes, crematories, and cemeteries an ethical, legal, environmental, and humane solution for recycling medical implants, dental prosthetics, and other metals recovered after the cremation process.
(okay, yes ... not so much an option for your ashes ... but your fake hip has to go somewhere. my pa didn't seem too thrilled when i suggested we use his hip as a paperweight after he passes ... )

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