You may have heard or read that Larry Hagman, best known for portraying J.R. Ewing on the long-running nighttime soap opera Dallas, met his maker last Friday.
According to news reports, Mr. Hagman had expressed a wish to, upon his death, be cremated. He then requested that his ashes be spread in the soil and a field of marijuana be grown. In due course the plants are to be baked into a cake so that 200 to 300 people may “eat a little bit of Larry.”
While working as a court reporter, your Columbia Cemetery Examiner once took the testimony of a man whose brother had died. The legal dispute involved the fact that the funeral home had made the mistake of neglecting to contact the family on the day the deceased’s remains were to be cremated.
Apparently the family had misgivings about the reliability of funeral homes and crematories to deliver to relatives the actual remains of the family member they’d been asked to process, perhaps — by accident or on purpose — replacing them with other cremains.
Your Columbia Cemetery Examiner has no information regarding the likelihood of family members receiving ashes not belonging to their departed loved one. She was, however, interested to learn that in the case at issue, the surviving brother hired a tattoo artist to mix his brother’s ashes into the ink used on some arm art.
While under oath the man expressed an urgent concern that each time he looks at the tattoo, he wonders whether that’s really his brother embedded in his bicep.
We may never know.
Other creative uses of cremains include all manner of glass ornamentation such as the animals, bells, candlesticks, lamps, cup plates, figurines, friendship balls, fruit, perfume bottles, oil dispensers, vases, rondells, and suncatchers produced by companies such as Eternal Memories in Sagamore, Massachusetts.
If you prefer to wear your loved one, Sue Regis of Regis Glass Art will custom-create a remains-infused round or teardrop-shaped pendant.
In an only-slightly different take on the practice, Ashes Thou Art, upon receipt of your loved one’s remains, will create from them a cabochon stone (your choice of color) which can then be mounted into a wide variety of “mourning jewelry” pieces including necklaces, rings, bracelets, brooches, or “whatever else we come up with.”
At Memorials dot com, one may order an original “Art in Ashes Oil Painting” using the cremains of a departed loved one. Designs include Pure Fabulous Life, White Cotton, Fruit of Life, and Travels to Paradise.
Prices start at around $600 and top out just south of $1,800.
Clearly when it comes to the final disposition of human remains, the sky — and your budget — is truly the limit.
Jennifer Weber is the owner of Angel Funeral Photography and Jennifer Weber Photography. When she’s not preoccupied with casual portraiture, funeral photography, or taking pictures in cemeteries, she blogs at I’m Having A Thought Here and A Route of Evanescence. She is a frequent contributor to Find A Grave, where she is known as AngelSeeker.