speaking of wasting and wanting…

Mr FD has gone to collect his father’s ashes today. When he rang to make the appointment, they asked where the ashes were going, and Mr FD replied that his father had selected a wall niche at their parish church.

Mr FD was then told that wall niches are smaller than urns, and often not all the ashes will fit into the niche. He was asked if he wanted the leftover ashes!

How macabre! I have visions of a little box and a doggie bag of left over ashes! FIL was only a very small man, about 5 foot 3 inches, so one would think that if anyone was going to fit into a niche he will!

One can but wonder why they can’t build a brick wall a little deeper to contain an entire body! This is just stupidity gone mad!

We thought that if there are extra ashes that we will take them to the bay where FIL liked to fish many years ago, and scatter them there, but how distressing for the family to be faced with a double farewell.

The whole cremation process really does feel like a very impersonal conveyor belt process. I have, once again, instructed my children not to cremate me. I want to be buried and have a HUGE monument to mark my resting place, so that all may come and worship me, tearfully. And should an old foe pass by, I shall topple my monument on them!

As it is easy some days to annoy me, I may need my monument to be placed on hinges and a pulley system installed so that it can be repeatedly flipped on foes and then righted again, to fall another day!

What a crazy world we live, and die, in!

18 thoughts on “speaking of wasting and wanting…

  1. Depth is not usually the problem, it’s height (of the niche). Usually. But I agree… rather morbid and distressing for there to be “leftovers”.

    I ONLY want to be cremated and, hopefully, mixed into an Eternal Reef. http://www.eternalreefs.com/

    And it is really disturbing to smell ashes while I’m typing this (true story – I think someone is smoking, illegally, in the building)


    • The eternal reef sounds lovely. I have been stunned about how cremation is marketed as convenient etc. but it actually calls for a far greater involvement by the family than a traditional burial. There is one place in Australia, where they can bury you in a basket in a forest. That sounds lovely. I don’t know about overseas but here you only get a 99 year lease on the grave site, and after that the council can come in and move you!


  2. a wonderful post and once again I am pleased our blogs found each other. I love the vindictive humour in this piece. As I have claustrophobia and am haunted by such tales as ‘The Premature Burial’ I am opting for cremation and hope they have a niche big enough to contain me


    • We heard of a man who died in his 40s and he was cremated, and his son went on a world trip and he dropped some of his father’s ashes everywhere he visited, so that his Dad got to be part of the world! Those sorts of stories are nice. I am not one for going into a brick wall and waiting for some backhoe to reverse into my wall at some later date, I would at least go for my ashes to be mixed with the earth.

      You are yet to read of my “stick list” – all the people I am going to hit on the last day. Revenge is sweet, if not lasting


  3. My Grandmother is similar to you but she has a space reserved for her above ground in a mausoleum she has some phobia about being under the ground…. I am a big fan or cremation but who knows….not sure where I would want my ashes to hang. Or the leftovers. My goodness!


    • Friend has her mother in a box in a display cabinet in the lounge room, waiting for Daddy to join I think! I was all for cremation qa few years ago, and wanted to be scattered at the base of a big tree, but having experienced both methods for family members now, my preference is for a traditional burial. The costs appear the same, and for the family, I actually think having a nice grave site to visit is better than this whole brick wall niche. I expect few will spend time there visiting. Much more drawn out for the family.


  4. I told my family they can cremate me and flush me. I don’t care. I won’t be there. 😛

    My mom doesn’t like cremation either, but I think she thinks that means you don’t have a funeral, and funerals are important for her, so that family and friends can have closure. I don’t see why there has to be a body for a funeral/memorial, but that’s her take on it.


    • Or I think I remember reading about some company that can take ashes and compress them into gemstones. That would be kind of cool! And I know my younger niece would wear me. LOL!


      • At one stage I wanted to be scattered near the lighthouse at Byron Bay in New South Wales – a pretty spot. I have now opted to be buried, but the thought that I could have all those who have annoyed me at the scattering of ashes and ensure that they are in the right wind direction that my ashes end up all over them still has some appeal! It is the ultimate in having the last word!


    • We had a church service with a priest and then the coffin was taken away in a hearse to the cremation (cremated a couple days later). I have also been to services at crematoriums and they do say prayers and have music, but it doesn’t have the same closure. .

      I look at it more from the point of view of the grieving family, for as you say, dead is dead and moved on, and this whole cremation process has been very long and emotional.


  5. My wife’s father died before I met her. She says he was cremated because he didn’t like the idea of being buried alive. Personally, the idea of being burned to death doesn’t appeal to me either …

    The ‘leftover’ remains is creepy for even me. I mean – “Sorry, all of him would not fit in the casket. Would you like to take his legs with you?”


    • We were told yesterday that when they “fail” to fit in the box, it is usually a poor cremation process – large bits left due to dense bones. Luckily little grandpa fitted in his box. He has been handed to the church but is yet to go into the wall. Waiting on the plaque to seal him in! If I was not a drinking woman this would drive me to drink! Grandpa was a difficult man in life and it appears in death as well!


  6. When the husband of a friend died here I was surprised at how much (many?) ashes there were. I had always thought the urns we see in movies etc contained everything but that was clearly not the case. There was an urn and a shoebox-sized box of Larry’s ashes. The family took him to a beach and scattered him about. I’ve told the manservant to cremate me and just mail my ashes back to Australia – it might be a big package but it will be light! (It might also get confiscated at customs!!)…..


    • Do you have a designated recipient for your earthly remains, or is the Manservant just to address it To Whom It May Concern, or To The Householder?

      Mr FD was handed a foam box! His father was a very arrogant man, it is hilarious to think he is now being carried around in a foam box!


  7. I saw something I like the look of on a nature program – a sky burial it’s called. In Tibet, up in the mountains, they can’t bury people because it gets so cold that the ground freezes solid so what they do is a chap from the village and some buddhist monks trundle up to the top of the mountain and the body is, to put it bluntly, dismembered into smaller bits while the monks pray and sing. It’s then offered up to the mountain birds to continue the circle of life. I liked the idea of flying about the beautiful Tibetan mountains inside a big bird. Mr V however thinks it’s vile…


  8. I am quite astonished that there is not some standardisation of urns and wall niches.
    I’m also disgusted at the present trend of having limited tenure on gravesites….20 years later they dig you up so someone else can use your space.
    All in all I’m opting for ashes… I have selected a special spot in the National Park rainforest for Inga to at least have the opportunity to revisit an undisturbed site if she ever feels the need.


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