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Ashes to Ashes

By Matt Wood in News on Dec 29, 2005 6:27PM

You have to hand it to someone who wants to be cremated when they die. Not only is going out in flames pretty rock n' roll--in a Darth Vader, Viking funeral pyre kind of way--but also because even in death you remain humble. It's your last act of consideration, telling your loved ones, "You know what? Don't spend all that money on a coffin and grave plot. Just torch me and put me in a ceramic jar. I don't want to take up too much space." The least you could ask after that is for someone to keep track of what's left of you.

David and Edward Erhardt are suing the Bohemian National Cemetery on the North Side for losing their father George's cremated remains, buried in the cemetery's Marble Room in 1981. They discovered that he was missing when they went to place their mother Delores' remains next to him in 2003. Cemetery administrators are scratching their heads and still can't seem to find Mr. Erhardt two years later. The suit claims that someone intentionally removed the remains from the niche, along with his nameplate.

2005_12_thompson_fireworks.jpgWe always thought keeping an urn of Grandpa's ashes in the house is a little creepy, so we understand why the Erhardts would entrust someone else with their parents' remains. But who's to say they'll keep track of you among thousands of other stiffs? Chicagoist likes Hunter S. Thompson's solution to this problem. His ashes were mixed with fireworks and blasted from a cannon after his death in August. You've already agreed to dispose your body, why not make a spectacle out of it?

Image courtesy of BBC News