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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I don't know whether to believe this one or not. However, knowing how things work in our quirky little town, I am inclined to think that it just might be true.

A buddy of mine at work owns a limo business. It is a good side gig. One of his biggest, steadiest customers is a local funeral home.

This particular funeral home has a history in our fair city going back to 1789. The home and mortuary facilities have been located at its present spot on the main thoroughfare through town since 1952.

One of the funeral home's biggest lines of business is its crematorioum. The funeral home, of course, offers cremation services to its customers. However, wanting to get the most from their investment, they also do cremations for other funeral homes and the local authorities who handle unclaimed bodies at the morgue.

One of the nicest things about this particular establishment is the greenery around the building. Despite its urban setting, there are very healthy looking boxwoods, azaleas around the building and, on one part of the property, roses. Indeed, the roses always look particularly healthy.

Anyway, my co-worker was in the garage that is attached to the funeral home - it is the place where they keep the hearses and the extra equipment. Along one wall there is some shelving, and on that shelving are a multitude of neatly arranged little plastic bags - each about the size of a pound of coffee. The bags are tied off at the top with a twist tie. Each bag has a sticker with a date and a name.

My friend turned to a gentleman who worked at the funeral home. He says that the the resulting conversation went something like this:

"Are those...."

"Those are cremains. The ones on those shelves are all either unclaimed or we have not yet recieved payment for our services from the bereaved. Unfortunately, that happens more than you would think. We do not release the remains of a loved one until we have reached an....understanding...with the family."

"Wow. I can't believe that someone would have the chutzpah to stiff...sorry...the undertaker and skip out on the bill to bury Aunt Sarah or Uncle Ralph. What if they never pay? What happens then?"

"Under Virginia law, we are required to keep the remains for a year. After that, we may dispose of them."

"Ummm....dispose....?"

"Yes, dispose. With the cremains, I sprinke them on the roses. It's respectful, and the plants seem to love it. Our azeleas were wonderful this year."

"......"

"I've been doing it for forty years. No one has complained yet. And the roses are lovely, aren't they?"

Again, I'm not sure whether to believe my co-worker's story. It sounds like an urban legend to me. However, my colleage and I did a little mental math, and he figures that it is likely that (if he is telling the truth) three or four thousand sets of cremains may have been sprinkled on that particular set of bushes over the years.

And, yes, the roses are lovely.
 

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No hero that's understood
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This is absolutely a true story.

Every funeral home in the United States has a vast number of unclaimed cremains. The disposal method and holding time varies according to state law, but it is astounding the number of unclaimed loved ones that remain at the funeral homes.

It makes me a little sad to think about passing and having no one care that I am gone.
 

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Guess it's not so surprising, although definitely sad. Personally, I wouldn't mind being sprinkled in a rose garden, as opposed to going into the ground and nobody ever coming to visit.
 

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Lets Go Hokies!!!
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From a scientific sense, there are probably a lot of nutrients in the cremains that help create the perfect soil balance for the roses. Theoretically, we'd have some good N-P-K leftover for the roses to take up, and the ash may alter the pH enough to ensure the slightly acidic levels that roses enjoy.

Not your typical fert methods, but hey, you use what you've got sometimse.
 

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Personally, I want to go out like this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Promessa_Organic

freeze dried and turned into plant food. I'd much rather have a tree in my memory, something useful, than a cold slab of marble.

Plus, almost zero chance of zombification. That's gotta be worth something.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
buck-50 said:
Plus, almost zero chance of zombification. That's gotta be worth something.
I picked up "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" - pretty amusing. I liked it better than the original.
 

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No hero that's understood
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Another cremation trend is that people are having their ashes mixed with concrete and formed into giant balls that are submerged in the ocean and create an artificial reef.
 

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Lets Go Hokies!!!
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I remember a while back hearing about a large piece of open land in NM that had been purchased to prevent sub divisions (I think). The brothers that bought it turned it into an all natural cemetary. Dig a hole, toss in body (with no enbalming). Sounds good to me. I'll be bug food.
 

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q_and_a said:
Another cremation trend is that people are having their ashes mixed with concrete and formed into giant balls that are submerged in the ocean and create an artificial reef.
That's pretty cool, actually. I've always thought that I'd want to have my ashes mixed in with paint and then sprayed onto custom bike frames for my friends and family. A bit morbid, but if it would get them to ride more, it might be worth it.
 

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Just Plain Bitter
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Fish food for me please. Just take me out in the boat and dump me over the side. Let me go back to where I originally came out of.
 

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Call me a Fred
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I've opted for the 'I'm going to live forever' selection.
 

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Windrider (Stubborn)
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Once I'm dead, I really don't care what happens to my remains.

Len
 

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Frog Whisperer
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HokieRider said:
I remember a while back hearing about a large piece of open land in NM that had been purchased to prevent sub divisions (I think). The brothers that bought it turned it into an all natural cemetary. Dig a hole, toss in body (with no enbalming). Sounds good to me. I'll be bug food.
in the Jewish tradition, my dad was buried in a wooden casket, constructed with no nails, screws or metal fasteners, directly in the ground with no concrete vault, as were my grandparents.....and their parents....and on, and on.....

from dust to dust.........................
 

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HokieRider said:
From a scientific sense, there are probably a lot of nutrients in the cremains that help create the perfect soil balance for the roses. Theoretically, we'd have some good N-P-K leftover for the roses to take up, and the ash may alter the pH enough to ensure the slightly acidic levels that roses enjoy.

Not your typical fert methods, but hey, you use what you've got sometimse.
From my understanding they use harsh chemicals which would not be good for the flowers.
 

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haole from the mainland
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Cremation is sooo 20th century. Not carbon neutral at all.

Heard about resomation yesterday on the radio. A chemical is used to dissolve the remains.
 
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