A subject some folk are scared to talk about in case it brings The Day forward. They forget, that the event will happen at the right time. Not a minute before, or not a minute later. I am talking about the ‘D’ word. Death. One of the topics given an airing over lunch the other day was about funerals, burials & cremation. It came about in a roundabout way, we had been discussing Glasnevin Cemetry and the wonderful and sensitive restoration of the graveyard over the past few years. Now it is not alone a peaceful pleasant and respectful graveyard and crematorium, but also a real Tourist opportunity. A place to discover history of the State, a chance to visit the museum, coffee shop and tasteful gift shop. It now has a linking gate to the National Botanic Gardens, next door. In my young day the cemetry was dark dreary and overgrown. A place that would give you the shivers or have you wetting your pants, imagining all the ghosts and spirits of the past ready to jump out from the large shady overgrown trees. Brambles and weeds had taken over many of the old plots, making the perfect backdrop for a Bram Stoker novel, or an Alfred Hitchcock movie. Our discussion drifted to preferences for traditional Irish burial or cremation. The latter being my preferred choice. Our friend told us that “You cannot be cremated if you have metal implants e.g., metal hips, pins or pace makers”. I was somewhat surprised with this news, but decided to say nothing until I had checked the facts more fully. Later that evening I consulted my friendly search engine….. Since I am in the Republic of Ireland at the moment, the results heading the list were all from this part of the country. They were not alone informative, but very interesting. There was no need to change my plans. When the time comes, Elly can have me boxed and let slip behind the curtain. There is one thing sure, I’ll go out with a blast….. of Heat. Such a treat for my cold old bones! Mount Jerome Cemetery & Crematorium, was at the top of the list of suggestions. I know it. It was where my maternal grandparents were interred. It was the first privately owned cemetery in Ireland, when it first opened in 1836. It was also the first privately owned crematorium in Ireland in 2000. In the one hundred and seventy eight years since opening, well over 250,000 funerals for burial and 13,000 for cremation have been carried out. Ireland was a latecomer to ‘cremation’. Perhaps it had something to do with the catholic church and the years of hellfire, brimstone and damnation being bellowed down from the pulpit at regular intervals, on the congregations in the pews below. The process of cremation cannot commence until the cremation paperwork has been inspected by the medical referee. In other words, you are well and truly dead and not just signed off as ‘dead’ by one doctor, but two. For interment the one death certificate is sufficient. I also discovered through the Mount Jerome Cemetery & Crematorium website that:
Any residual metals (coffin nails, body implants, etc) left over after the “cremulation” process are recycled through a specialised Dutch crematoria metal recycling company called Ortho Metals. Monies received back from this recycling process are donated to Our Lady’s Hospice, Harold’s Cross, Dublin 6w.
So someone in their greatest hour of need would benefit from my metal hip! OrthoMetals Recycles tells us that they recycle to save our environment.
The efficient re-use of materials conserves energy and saves our environment. Recycling is the way of the future. We welcome you to take part in our green solution. All metals remaining after cremation are disposed of in the most suitable manner to reduce the impact on our environment. This will include the sensitive recycling of orthopaedic implants and metal residues in compliance with existing laws. Periodically, we collect all recovered metals and take them to a central point for recycling. We provide the logistics to collect and transport all metal remains and orthopaedic implants free of charge.
Then on a lighter note, I discovered Ashes into Glass Memorials. Loved One’s cremation ashes can be mixed with molten crystal glass and coloured crystals. Ashes into Glass Memorials are just as precious as the memory of your Loved One. Rings, pendants, earrings, cuff-links and paperweights are amongst the suggestions. I can just see my Elly adding me to a paperweight. Someone please tell her that a paperweight cannot sew!!!! 😉
UPDATE: I have recently discovered that Pacemakers must be removed before cremation, otherwise they would explode due to the heat.
Actually, I find the idea of jewellery made out of ashes rather creepy, I wouldn’t want it for myself. I like this idea instead, plant the ashes in this biodegradable container and a tree grows out of it! https://urnabios.com/
Elly, I like that idea. Trees are a great gift to leave for future generations.
Interesting commentary. My only issue with cremation relates of course to my wife Lynn’s recent passing. It was a paperwork issue the opposite of the one you mentioned – I could not get Lynn’s ashes released until the great state of Texas (extreme sarcasm intended) furnished the funeral home with her death certificate. That took 2 full weeks so poor Lynn languished on a shelf somewhere in the funeral home until the paperwork arrived. When at last it did, the funeral home called apologetically and said we could pick up Lynn’s remains.
Still though – it’ll be crenation for me when the time comes.Might as well get a jump on spending eternity in a warm place 🙂
Shackman, in Northern Ireland we are not allowed to open a grave or organise a cremation until the death certificate in in your hot little hand. Jack died on a Saturday and I went to the registrar’s office on Monday morning. I handed over the death certificate from The Hospice, and the registered it there and then. I was given the paper work there and then. In fact I was asked how many copies I needed – for banks, pension providers, insurance companies etc. They were free on the day of issue, but had I waited until one or more weeks later, I would have to pay for each one!
My David also passed away in hospice on a Saturday. I did the same as you, GM. Across the miles and yet…
a heart full of blessings ~ maxi
Yes, Maxi. Life happens much the same no matter where we are in the world.
I’m with you. Burn me up and scatter my ashes where you please.
Nancy, that was my plan, but I do like Elly’s idea of planting me with a tree.
That is a nice disposition, GM. It’s good that you and Elly can chat about it.
Once I’m ashes, others shall have to decide what to do with them. It makes little difference to me.
Nancy, I give it three weeks , then I will be forgotten!
Haha! I bet you’ll have a bit more longevity than that. I still think fondly of my grandparents and other relatives after 30 years.
Nancy, thirty years ago, we did not have all the ‘i’s and laptops to distract us! People move on very easily these days, even when we are still living,
I knew pace makers were recycled. My implants are titanium and could withstand much heat. Somehow, the thought of ending up as a pair of earrings is a bit off putting. What if you lose one? A paperweight would be better.
Dianne, I have to admit I am not fond of the jewellery idea, but Elly’s suggestion of planting me with a tree, is a good one.
Ranjan already has three implants saved up and plans to gather all the rest as they become available and mount them on a wooden base as a memento for the show case. The crematoriums here will sift the ashes and metal implants and hand them over to the family some hours after the process. No bans at all. I however like the recycling idea but wonder if it will come here before my implants become available.
Ramana, the recycling is a wonderful idea and I am glad to know about it.
Did you know the George H. Cronkwiler,the inventor of the Crossword Puzzle, was buried in Mount Jerome Cemetery?
It’s true! If you wish to visit his grave, it can be located at 12 DOWN and 42 ACROSS.
Nancy, you are such a tease. I think it might be a long walk to 12 DOWN and 42 ACROSS! 😆
Cremation is our plan… with little attendant fanfare. No particular desires as to what happens to the ashes, so long as it incurs little or no additional expense.
Elly’s instructions are to dispose of me quickly and then go party!
I am warming up to the idea of planting a tree with my ashes, a splendid idea. I never thought of that before. My tree has to be a Ginkgo tree.
Yes, the ‘tree’ idea appeals to me, not decided on the variety yet.
Love the tree idea myself, after recycling all the hardware that is 🙂 Laura
Yes, Laura planting is the final action.
I had wondered what became of the metal plates in the Cowman when he was cremated. I hope it was to the recyclers. When we scattered his and Max’s ashes where he wished there were no metal bits in the urn.
The tree idea is a good one, the jewelry is creepy. I want to be scattered where the Cowman and Max are, it’s beautiful there.
I like the idea of recycling the spare parts, the place where the Cowman and Max are, sounds pretty!
Cremation is my choice also. Was thinking of having ashes planted with a tree, but after seeing the glass option now I’m excited about having them put in candy dishes! Have candy dishes all over my house and keep them filled for the grandkids. Love the idea of future little ones lifting the lid to get candy, will be like I am personally handing it to them, lol. Bet the appeal of sweets will outweigh the knowledge that it was sitting on top of grandma’s ashes. Will also give them some insight into grandma’s personality. Thanks so much for this post!!
Margot, glad you found your way to my blog. I have missed you. I worry about little jewels in a candy dish, what id one of the grandchildren swallowed one thinking it was a candy?
I love this post, most informative, I had discussed previously of feeding a tree from the underside, so to speak. 😀
WWW, we would make sweet fertilizer for any tree! 😉
I found the idea of memorial jewellery very weird myself. But after both of my grandparents passed away within a few weeks of each other, my mum decided to get a ring made, with both of their ashes in. I was unsure but when it arrived i loved it so much that I ordered myself one! I absolutely love it and just want to show it off to everyone! we used http://www.togetheralways.co.uk/ who were so lovely. I’d really recommend them. They’re prices are really reasonable too.
I myself would not be comfortable with having ashes in a gem stone, but then I am not really a jewellery person. from the comments above, most people preferred the idea of planting the ashes with a tree!