Friday, March 30, 2007

Here’s something that sparked my interest. Certainly the Ladies in White have a clever business idea. I dreamed up this business (although I’d never actually do it), so I understand seeing an opportunity to exploit the way our society handles death. But after reading the article, I am left wondering why this market even exists. Must we subcontract everything in our lives? As I mention in the linked post, I’ve heard from florists that on Mother’s Day, they get a lot of orders that are delivered to cemeteries. These customers don’t actually visit the cemetery. I’m not passing judgment on whether people should visit cemeteries, but why are they bothering to have flowers delivered?

I do know a few people whose ashes have been sprinkled in a wilderness area, scattered into a body of water, thrown out of a plane, or sadly, misplaced (to maybe wind up in a landfill). However, most people I know who choose to be cremated have friends or relatives who either 1) keep the ashes in a decorative container in a bookcase or on a fireplace mantle; 2) bury the ashes in the yard and plant a tree; or 3) buy a cemetery plot for the ashes (actually two cremains will fit in one standard grave) and put up a monument.

As it happens, I do visit cemeteries, including some where no family or friends are buried. I have always loved cemeteries. Many are so beautiful. I’m a trustee for Mt. Pleasant Rural Cemetery, and Mountain View Cemetery is behind my Castleton house and that was Rudy’s favorite place for a walk. My brother lives next door to Bushkill Cemetery, and a little section containing Ashokan Reservoir removals borders his house. As a history buff, I believe the cemetery plus monument route is the best, regardless of whether the grave contains cremains, or remains.

An aside, Ladies in White reminds me of this.

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