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.