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Monday, September 12, 2005

Personalized Send-offs

Americans are known for their diversity and individuality. We personalize our license plates, every home is different on the inside (even when they appear the same on the outside), and we buy decorations for our automobiles so that people we don't even know will have a sense of our personality as we drive down the road. Heaven forbid if two girls show up at the prom in the same dress. We are a nation of people who want to stand out, to be noticed, to leave our mark on the world.

We are also a nation of people who care about the environment (contrary to the world's popular belief). We have cleaner air in our country than we have had in 30 years. Many recycle or freecycle in our country. The road ways are cleaner (while there is still litter on the sides of the road, it is less than it was when I was a kid).

So what do you get when you add these two traits together? Personalized send-offs! Apparently, more and more people in our country are opting to have environmentally friendly, personalized ways to say farewell than a conventional funeral (not to mention cheaper). James Doohan (Scotty from Star Trek) opted to have his ashes sent into space. I can't think of a more fitting tribute to the Miracle Worker!

From the article in National Geographic:

For John Grayson Rogers, an avid fisherman and conservationist, a fitting
tribute was a return to his favorite fishing spot, the Chesapeake Bay. His ashes
were mixed into a concrete "eternal reef ball" that was placed in the Chesapeake
where coral and other sea life thrive.

So how do you want to say good-bye? Me? I think I would like to have my ashes scattered along the Blue Ridge Parkway...a place where I have found much peace and happiness.


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