/ Your final resting place
Anyway, it got me thinking about whether there is something to be said for knowing where you will end up at the end of your days. I would guess that a lot of the UKC collective would rather see themselves scattered in the hills or have no particular feelings on the matter. I would probably have said the same myself only a few years ago and I confess I have no belief in an afterlife. However, I wonder if there is some comfort in a sense of belonging somewhere and knowing where you will meet eternity?
I'd love to be scattered in the Burbage Valley having walked there with family and by myself since I was a kid.
I think there can be some comfort from knowing where you'll end up, it's a very human and emotional thing.
The remains of your physical being is one thing, and I can understand the emotions people have in 'resting' in a particular venue, amongst the remains of ancestors and family.
I suppose though we also have to consider our 'digital' remains. Some of us will live on via data storage facilities for a cultural eternity. It is almost as relevant a question to ask which 'folder' you would wish to end up in?
My father in law is very Welsh. He wants to be scattered on Snowdon. We've told him that when he's dead, on the back of a strong south westerly, that we will scatter his ashes in the hope that he lands in Liverpool:-)
Not bothered I'll be dead. Just hope I will have left behind a few people with good memories of me. Maybe leave some money for people to do cool stuff.
Sorry - don't wish to cause offence - but I think the whole idea that a little pot of ashes of your burnt bones is 'you' is just utter bollocks. I can't think of anything less emotional than that little bit of meaningless ash, that actually has almost nothing to do with you. That, BTW, once scattered, disappears in a fantastically short time.
They only cremate the bollocks!?!... Why has nobody ever informed me of this before now?
I'm Welsh too, but I've only recently found that out. It's a little complicated but, whereas my family are English, I'm not. In fact, it's so close that I may as well be scattered somewhere around Tremadog. I was looking at my sis's grave wondering where she was from too.
It made me think of the final scene in True Grit (the original) and where, if anywhere, I would really like to end up. Strangely it does matter to me now but I've not resolved it.
The best place to climb ever
I agree with my analytical head on, but with my sentimental head on I don't.
In truth I don't much mind either way. No offence taken.
The Lost valley in Glencoe.
A true story this. We played Rugby at a club whose Chairman had not long passed away and his final wish was to be scattered on the club's pitch. Our game was chosen to be the one where his wife would do the deed so to speak. A minutes silence was observed. The Urn was opened and......Well it was very windy that day and needless to say, not all of the old boy made it onto the pitch.
That was the sort of response I expected from UKC and I don't object. I think that was me once. The thought of being buried amongst loved ones appeals somehow. It's accepting your place in a little piece of geography and time. My problem is resolving where I really belong.
I'd like a woodland burial to feed new life.
I'm keen on that too. I know it makes no difference blah blah blah but on many levels and for many reasons this is what I want. Why waste energy being cremated when you could put back some of what you have consumed?
Also, I quite fancy the off chance of being dug up in 5,000 years - like the Otzi the Iceman - and some university professor scratching his head and saying 'who the chuff was he?':-)
I don't see anything in the OP or Timmd's reply that says that. Isn't it more about the survivors of the bereavement finding a symbolic way to come to terms with it?
This might help
I think you underestimate the emotions attached to your loved ones ashes (they certainly don't feel as though they are just 'a little bit of meaningless ash').
Also they don't disappear in a fantastically short amount of time, as they do not much resemble other types of ash, and are quite dense and subsequently lie on the earth for quite a substantial amount of time and even partly sink into it.
I've asked the missus to scatter my ashes off Pordenack Point in Cornwall.
I remember reading about some bloke whose final resting place was the hearts and minds of those around him, I've always liked that.
The whole rigmoral surrounding disposal of the dead is emotional bollocks which does nothing for the deceased. Such ceremonies are done for the benefit of their relatives and friends
By all means carry out a funeral with dignity but better remember them in your thoughts, not by meaningless scattering of ashes, erections of memorials, bunches of (real or artificial) etc
Each to their own.
I absolutely do not care in any way what happens when I die. It's just a meat casing I leave behind.
However...I do understand the need for loved ones to have that ritual of closure, so in that sense I'm happy for whatever brings them peace.
With that in mind though, I do think the notion of an expensive funeral with all the trimmings is pushed on us 'as a mark of respect' by society, probably by funeral companies. (In the samw way that the tradition of spending a months salary on an engagement ring was probably started by the jewellery industry ...heheheh), and so I've made it know to my lot that I'd like a real spartan, humanist send off, spending as little money as possible and leaving as little mess behind as possible.
Thats not for any sort of belief on my part, it's just so they'll think they're 'following my beliefs' when in reality I want to stop them being guilt tripped into spending thousands on a posh wooden box.
Hope that makes sense...
It's a funny one, split and scattered a friends ashes on a selection of mountains, some he had climbed, some that were on his tick list. It felt like the right thing to do.
Myself, probably eaten by cats! :-/
There isn't anything that can be 'done for the dead' though for their benefit is there, that is obvious, to place the emphasis on it being only of benefit to relatives and friends is far too simplistic.
The part where you remember them in your thoughts is the part after the funeral for the rest of your life, this goes without saying? Having a funeral however, ostentatious doesn't change that.
Also you are not taking into account the dead persons wishes on the 'meaningless scattering of ashes' believe it or not many people have a particular preference as to where they want their ashes to be scattered, therefore, the family etc are carrying out their wishes.
A lot of people feel a strong sense of protection over the deceased loved one's body, however pointless that may be in reality, the 'emotional bollocks' is a predictable human response to the loss of a loved one for the majority of people. You would have to be quite a cold odd person to not care at all.
However, I agree; that absolutely does not have to extend to the erecting of hugely expensive memorials or solid oak coffins etc.
Interesting. Hadn't thought about it much; I can't stand urban cemeteries etc but am content for the family to do whatever they want at the time. For preference, of course, I'd prefer my ashes to be scattered in the mountains.
I am not sure that "where I belong", for any of us, has any relationship with where the body/ashes ends up.
I had occasion to scatter a terribly small box of ashes under a tree in our churchyard, a lot of years ago now, and I touch the tree with love as I pass it. But where that person belongs, and remains, is in my heart.
Agree, any ceremony is for those still alive, that said I've given my partner two places which mean a lot to me (one in Scotland, one in the Alps so depending on where we'll be when I go)- if she wants to scatter my ashes there, fine (I won't be around to notice).
I wouldn't want to put that amount of strain on their legs mate, :)
This is my dads bench, his ashes were scattered all around it, it was his favourite place in later years overlooking Forge Dam in/near Sheffield, This was the place where we last walked as a family. I told him on his deathbed that I would be doing this and he thought it was completely brilliant.
This was taken by Geoff Birtles who passed that way on a walk a few months ago, it needs a bit of teak oil repair but maybe I'll get to do that when in the UK next month.
I have a space booked. When my husband died a few years ago we gave him a burial in a woodland graveyard, a fairly new place but with a forestry management plan which should result in the coming decades in a mixed woodland environment. They leave it beautifully wild during the year to allow a meadow type appearance with some simple mown access pathways between graves.
Anyway, it took me quite by surprise to be asked if I wanted the grave dug double depth and out of a sense of panic and why not (don't have to use it after all) I stumped up the extra fifty quid and reserved my plot.
So yes, I know where there is a space with my name on it. I don't think it does offer up comfort particularly as I realise I'm not really concerned about what happens to my body once it's stopped breathing. Dead is dead. Having said that, the biggest impact the knowledge has on me is that on those odd shiver down your spine occasions when you say "goose just walked over my grave" I can picture with absolute clarity that grave. And the goose.
So, no, in my view I don't feel it makes a difference knowing where I could end up. Might even give the site away to another member of his family if needed in the next 50 years that I intend living.
Thanks for your response - that's what I was interested in. I suppose it could have an almost morbid quality to knowing where you might end up.
Incidentally, I have no idea what a woodland burial really entails (other than it being in a wood, of course).
In a sense I agree with all of that although there is something to be said for family and friends remembering a life in some way. If you read my OP again, that wasn't really what I was talking about.
The thing that struck me yesterday was that, if I wanted, I could end up next to my family in a rather lovely spot which is where the rest of my family would think of as their spiritual home. Even for someone with no belief in the afterlife (or perhaps because of that), I find that a rather nice thought. In the modern world I guess that family burial plots etc are less common and I was wondering if that actually means anything to anyone nowadays.
I agree that being scattered in the mountains or wherever you choose to spend your living days is a nice thought too. For those who don't believe in a life after death, it is of course no more logical than some other options. It's almost your final statement, saying "this is who I was when I had my choice over the matter"; an idealised view of yourself. Romantic, in one sense of the word.
I used to belong to an archery club and stll have my kit in the attic. I think I would like to follow Robin Hoods example when they propped him up on his death bed and he drew his bow, telling his friend to bury him where the arrow landed.
I'd like to pull my bow at Crook o Lune looking across the river towards Ingleborough and Aughton Woods.
A lot of my family, both older and younger, come from a particular area and remain attached to it, often living there for much of their lives and in some cases returning to be buried. Even the burials themselves follow a pattern, ending up in the lovely old pub which everyone knows and to which many of us return only on these occasions. There is a sense of family community almost. I stand a little outside that but there's a strong sense of the place being important to the family.
Think of the old legal concept of domicile and the importance of your place of burial.
But I agree, I think that it is less where you "belong" and more about being with or near loved ones. As you know, I struggle with the belonging bit but I was moved to think I could end up next to my sister. Also under an old tree.
Potentially makes any memorial stone cheaper.
In memory of Ann S ....
Hiker A murdered at this place by an unknown archer.
Tend to agree. It's the ritual attached to the disposal that's the thing.
I remember having my brother's ashes blow back in my face when sending them into a river. At the time, the fleeting notion was that I had inhaled him.
There's a high probability I've stood in ashes scattered on the mountains, and carried them elsewhere. Perhaps they were still on my shoe down at the road when I used a twig to get the dogshit from between the cleats.
I've shat, pissed, cut toenails and hair whilst walking in the Scottish Highlands- probably a greater weight of me than will be produced when I am cremated.
As to being buried with the ancestors, personally,it makes me shudder. For me,connection with those gone before comes from recognising acts of humanity and being involved in use of the land in ways that are little changed over centuries- drystone construction for example.
There may be something comforting about an old cemetery or woodland but there's no guarantee it'll remain there into the future.
That's a bench I know well - never realised its your dad !
My dad wants his ashes scattered along loughrigg terrace in the lakes, so I've told him I'll do it by riding along there on my bike, which he likes the sound of!
And we now have a new boiler name Ethel, after the great aunt who left us some money. I'm not sure if she would have appreciated the joke, but I'm sure my great uncle would!
Ah, yes - domicile = where you intend to die. I'd forgotten that!
I think my un-bothered-ness comes from the fact that I live in a place where the available conventional places are wholly unattractive; I think that if I had any sense of a family group returning to a neighbourhood, and being buried there - better still with a pub that everyone returns to - I would feel entirely different. I understand what you mean!
Next to your sister under an old tree; yes indeed, that sounds very belonging.
I know a not too well trodden spot in the Lakes where my parents ashes are scattered.
The rest of the family also know the location.
I guess in time there could be quite a few of us who end up there.
I was talking about this with some friends a couple of years ago and we thought the following plan could be good for friends and family.
1) Plan out places that you like and would like your ashes scattered at.
2) Meet with an unfortunate accident
3) Get cremated and let people grieve over your death a bit
4) After a few weeks (dont really know how long, it probably depends) get friends and family to take a bit of your ashes to places that you like. It doesnt have to be everyone at each site or even in a single trip. Instead it could be an excuse for some old friends who dont see each other much to get together for a weekend, then something family related etc etc.
It probably quite hard work for your loved ones and we thought it up in the pub and is pretty self centred but hey, it's my funeral.
I would request a temporary closure notice-a sign to say. "Warning-bows being drawn at a venture."
I have tears in my eyes that you know the bench, thanks for telling me Chris, it was the first time Geoff had seen the bench when he realised what it was and took the photograph. He was a modest man but a great dad, it is pleasing to both me and no doubt him that he has left behind something useful to people in a beautiful serene spot.
Since my body is of no use to me after death, it might as well be of use to someone else. I'd donate my body to medical science, although in reality this would probably mean having a bunch of medical students calling my dismembered head by the name of Geoff whilst they dissect my eyes.
With the money saved on burial/ cremation I would pay for a nice little remembrance plaque somewhere that my family likes to visit.
We walk, run and cycle past there all the time, plus the café does an excellent chip butty
Are you aware of the plans to restore the pond by removing the silt
It's a pity they still haven't got their online donations sorted out, but you can donate at the cafe
There's a very good book called "Stiff, the curious lives of human cadavers" by mary roach that lists a lot of 'novel' uses for your meatshell when you've gone. Ballistic testing, forensics, imaging, even practice materials for plastic surgeons.
Quite a good book, very light hearted (given the subject material). Very interesting too.
I was hoping that anyone who wanted could take a small sample of my ashes and pick a place I've climbed. It would be nice if I had enough friends and family to 'do' the 2010 Froggatt Guide (note to self: better not get too angry in my dotage).
Thanks for that link Chris, I hope they don't move dads bench. I have maybe wrong memories of there still being boating on there when I was young. But we used to walk there from Endcliffe Park so I might have got it confused with one of the lakes on the way.
Apart from dads bench the last time I was there was going to the cafe for a stop off on the 'round Sheffield Walk' which goes directly past there.
Suprised nobody has opted for donation to Gunther Von Hagens. Have your skin removed and body plasticised and put on display all over the world , possibly sitting on the back of a plasticised horse carcass, or playing a game of chess with another cadaver whilst scratching your brain in thought or cleaning your eyeball in the plam of your hand. You could be sliced into many pieces and formatted on large backlit glass displays so children could gawp at your intestine profile like rings in a tree trunk.
or you could have your ashes scattered over a favourite walking spot.
I'd like to be buried in Holly Willoughby
Once you realise that the molecules which make up your body today would have ended up being flushed down the toilet if you hadn't died it becomes much less important where they end up. About 60% of your body is water anyway and that is not going to stay put - it'll be up the chimney if you are cremated or mixing in with ground water. It's only your bones that stay in your body for more than a few weeks, everything else is being continually recycled.
People are more like a wave moving over the surface of a pond which is made up of different water molecules at different points in time than a hard body like a stone that stays much the same over time. It's the wave that is special and interesting, not the material that happens to form it at the time it breaks on the shore.
When I stayed at the Eagles pub in Penmachno recently, it was fascinating (rather than comforting) to wander through the two graveyards spotting the headstones of do many of my ancestors which came from the area.
I find the cultural aspect of all this very interesting, too. My wife is Indian, so cremation rather than internment is the norm. To her, burial is quite off-putting - much as westerners might view the Tibetan tradition of sky burials, where esteemed members of society are fed to the vultures (viewed by practitioners are Dakinis (Tibetan equivalent of angels from what I understand).
All sorted, I bought a plot in our local cemetery when my father died 15 years ago, (even though he was cremated) . I bought a big enough stone for his name and then mine , to be added sometime in the future.
My in laws have a couple of family plots nearby too, so the family all go up on Christmas Day , and visit my father and mother in law,( 20 m apart) and walk round to the in laws parents memorials too.
I had considered saving a few bob , by adding my name now and leaving the date blank, but my wife persuaded me not to.
(She may regret that, when she has to pay for my full inscription instead of just the date.)
My mother ( who has paid her funeral) has asked to go in the same plot .
( unusual only that she and my father were divorced , so united in death ;)
I am not bothered who all goes in the plot I bought, the more the merrier, my wife and kids can follow me if they want- but they will need to put the stone on a plinth to get room for more inscriptions.
Anyway , it is , I guess, comforting to think that in the decades to follow my daughter's and grandchildren , can visit us all there.
If you have done any family history, then you will have spent quite a bit of time in graveyards (and libraries)
Just been visiting my elderly aunt in hospital with a lawyer and in her will, she has wished that her body is donated to the department of anatomy , and she has signed the relevant papers and has given them to me as next of kin. So not GVH, but probably a bunch of students.
I say that because , I recall my daughter telling me when she was at uni ( degree was speech and language pathology) had a lecture where a decapitated head, that was presumably donated, had been sliced down the middle to reveal the throat parts relevant to speech . It creeped her out a bit, when she saw it still had half a moustache.
My wife's family are all buried in the same church yard in Herefordshire in all the graves directly next to the church, we'll probably be buried there too
I plan on coming back as a Zombie, so will have no final resting place. Just a pit stop.
Jings!, you have got me going now Al.
I often walk along the beach at Crail near St Andrews, and sit on the many inscribed benches there , surrounded by the wild flowers always blowing in the sea breeze, and I think, (that even though I am a West a Coaster,) a bench would be something I too would like to have for my family, and others, to enjoy when I am gone and probably there on the East Coast at Crail .
I was sitting on a bench at Luss( another possibility) when a middle aged woman approached me and asked if I minded her taking a photo of the bench ( that was not inscribed)
Puzzled I agreed, and before I could get up, she lay down on the ground , and shimmied under the bench, snapped a few shots , thanked me and sat down with me and explained there was a nameplate UNDER the bench.
I had my camera with me, and after she was gone, I stuck my camera under with flash, and after a few shots, sure enough, a metal nameplate , simply two names,
Words to the effect, engaged here on , and the date ( a few decades previous)
So the next time you sit on an bench in a beauty spot........
It is not that easy Jimbo, you probably need a pretty exotic medical CV, to be of interest to them.
Even my aunt, who has had some pretty rare conditions like Guillain–Barré syndrome , and tuberculosis, is not guaranteed to be accepted. She has signed the donation papers, but it says that it is at their discretion )
( there are a lot of folk who have had the same idea of dodging the cost, )
I'd like my ashed to be mixed with latex and formed into a dildo for fit girls....
When my Mum lived in Macclesfield we used to take her out for a picnic at Teggs Nose - she loved it. We took a picture of her with us and our kids on a bench by the entrance and she cherished it. When she died we collected her ashes and went up to scatter them there but we were aware that it would be best to put a rucksack around them so as not to offend. We took the same picture with the rucksack instead of Granny and it gives us all great amusement to look at it again. We left her ashes up there under a clump of heather - hope she appreciates the wonderful views.
I want my ashes placed in a chalk bag and used by someone to do a climb I never quite managed to do - Cenotaph Corner would a good one. Not thinking of dying just yet but any offers?
During the Foot&mouth episode in 2001, a locally living Irishman who had died wanted his ashes spread at the same viewpoint, but his relatives weren't allowed to go up there. After looking at the cost of spreading them by helicopter, they bought a large firework rocket, replaced the starburst with some of his ashes and fired it over the hill from a car park by the road. His family said he would have loved the idea of doing it this way.
Ashes mixed with a small amount of chalk, all dropped in a chalk bag and given to a friend or relative who then climbs the dead persons favourite route. I heard that was someone's request after they have died.
I'd like to be jettisoned into deep space. Just my ashes to save weight.
I think there's a dragons den pitch in that
Darn! It's been done...http://newsfeed.time.com/2013/08/13/sending-your-ashes-into-space-just-got-a-lot-cheaper/
I recently made a new will, and stipulated that my ashes are to be scattered on all 47 tops of the Meirionnydd round in Wales.
I haven't had the courage yet, to tell my two best running friends that they have the job of doing it!
That is a lovely thought - thank you!
After my Dad died from cancer I offered his body for medical research. They wouldn't accept it saying that they wanted "healthy" bodies, and the younger the better!
Such ceremonies are done for the benefit of their relatives and friends
And my family seem to get some comfort from all standing at my MIL's grave together on special dates. Usually Christmas Day (she died suddenly on Christmas Eve 3 years past)
Individually , I know they also go there just when the feel they want to. Just after her G granddaughter ,that she never saw was born was one that my daughter wanted to do .
Of course imagine you could afford to be sent with a craft like voyager out of the solar system. Your final resting place may be many light years away, after humans no longer live upon Earth.
My father too died of cancer at 69 after 3 years of treatment for ( non Hodgkin's lymphoma ) Although he was a heavy smoker from his early years at sea ,apparently, this cancer was not smoking related .
( as a non smoker, I was not particularly enthused by this news as you can imagine)
That said , he had no wish to donate his body, but he knew of his sisters wishes when he was diagnosed.
The discussion my Aunt had with the medics started when she was about 70, ( over 80 now)! so acceptance on the basis of 'youth' was off the agenda, but I can see that there may well be more than one criteria.
My aunt was/is a smoker ( they have loads of bodies with smoking related diseases, so they were not interested in that, they were a little interested in her childhood TB, but still non committal.
After being in a coma for months with GB syndrome, they started to show a bit more positivity, of acceptance as it is a rare condition. But no decision is made until the death,
Not surprisingly, there is a glut of old people who have died, and much fewer( thankfully ) very young ones.
The older ones, apparently, need to stand out of the crowd to get picked by the Department of Anatomy.
You can then apply to the council to bury a body in your garden , (but remember if it is a body, it might have an impact on the resale value of your house:)
This is a nice thought too. Rather like the thought that we are in fact all made of stardust.
I like this sort of sentiment. I don't in fact think it is a long way from my thought about knowing where you end up in your small part of space time - a piece of history almost. It's just the micro rather than macro view.
Elsewhere on the site
On Sunday 12th October the Depot Climbing Centre Leeds held its 5th annual Battle of Britain competition. The competition has... Read more
Aiming at designing and producing the best belay glasses to protect climbers’ necks, Y&Y focuses on every detail to... Read more
Climbing as a discipline offers plentiful metaphors for tackling life's obstacles - bravery, courage, climbing to... Read more
Pete Whittaker has flashed the 32 pitch route Freerider 5.12d on El Capitan in Yosemite Valley over three days,... Read more