Sunday, January 14, 2018

Death rituals

When Step Father died in 2009, the husband of Mother's best friend collected his ashes from the undertaker. Eventually Mother asked if he wanted to give her the ashes and he said he was quite happy to keep them for a while. He kept the ashes in his study and said he has a chat with Step Father every so often.

On Boxing Day at Ex Sis in Laws, Mother's friend had sent a gift via Tradie Brother, a special powered fertiliser in a box for something. I cried out, It's Step Father's ashes! M and N are sick of having them lying around. It was very funny at the time.

Eventually when we add Mother's ashes, we will scatter both at the lovely Rose Avenue Beach, Cowes, Phillip Island, a place where the whole family remembers for wonderful holidays.


I think this is a bit icky but I probably shouldn't think so. Tradie Brother bought two magnolias trees to plant in celebration of the birth of his twin grand daughters. As Hippie Niece rents, he decided they would be planted in his garden. At the planting ceremony, the placentas (Are there two if they are twins? Forget the question mark. I don't need to know. Ok, go on if you must) were added to the planting soil. Bit strange, I thought, and it was a few months after they twins were born. Had they been in the household freezer? Were they thawed out first? I didn't ask questions.

So far, the magnolias are doing well with such an usual fertiliser.

41 comments:

  1. I suspect in many parts of the world that wouldn't be an unusual fertiliser for a special tree.
    Ashes sounds so much better than the term cremains doesn't it?

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    1. Cremains EC? Not heard of the word. Ghastly.

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    2. Funeral homes use it. We first came across it after the smaller portion's mother died.

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  2. Nathan's cousin did the same thing and planted a tree over the placenta. I once saw a documentary talking about people who eat the placenta to recoup the nutrients. I think burying it is a better option!

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    1. Ad Rad, I think hospital disposal is preferable.

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  3. Planting the trees is a lovely gesture.

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    1. I really liked that too Victor.

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  4. The planting of the trees is a lovely idea...not sure about the rest, though. Each to their own ideas and choices, I guess. I've heard similar is being done by others. Maybe it's a craze like glass jars as drinking vessels...it will pass!!

    I do like the chosen area for the scattering of the ashes when the time comes, however.

    Have a good week, Andrew. :)

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    1. Lee, one thing that caught on with me was drinking wine from tumblers, rather than wine glasses. I do it at home and have for years, unless we have visitors. I wasn't fond of the glass jars as glasses.

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    2. I hate the glass jar craze; and coincidentally, mentioned the fact in a round-about way in an article I wrote this past week.

      I still like wine glasses...the look and the feel. I'm just old-fashioned in some case, I guess. :)

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    3. Yes, a proper nicely balanced wine glass is good to use, but they can be delicate and are easily knocked over.

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  5. planting trees is common in Europe too

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    1. Gosia, it is a nice thing to do.

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  6. My fridge broke down at Christmas time and I buried in the garden all the fish that was frozen good for the soil but a bit smelly.
    Merle..............

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    1. Merle, very smelly, I should think.

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  7. OMG what a gruesome story. Are you bumping off your mother already? the placenta story is real hippie stuff I bet.

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    1. Diane, I guess Hippie Niece would something hippie like. I think of ways at times to bump Mother off. We all do.

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  8. Funny about the Step's ashes. Lovely idea of where to spread them someday.
    Interesting about the placenta.

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    1. Sandra, at least you didn't say bizzare about the placenta.

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  9. What a lovely spot to scatter the ashes Andrew, my Mum and Dad's ashes went back to one of their favourite spots in Scotland. Always like to hear about trees being planted as a memorial, the placentas I'm sure would have given them an extra boost :)

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    1. It really is a lovely spot, Grace, as I am sure it is where your parents went. No doubt the placentas are good fertiliser.

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  10. I was just about to have my breakfast. I plant fruit trees to welcome my grandsons. They love it as much as I do.

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    1. Sorry Cro. I hope I didn't put you off your kippers. Nice for your gs' to know their tree.

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  11. I'm not much on flowers for the dead. I rather donate to a charity of the decease. As for my ash I guess it will go up to our local graveyard.
    Coffee is on

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    1. I agree Dora. The money is better spent helping someone.

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  12. Two placentas if the twins are fraternal, one if they are identical. I love magnolia trees.
    I think it's lovely of you to be eventually scattering Mother's ashes on a happy-memory beach.

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  13. It's not so different from a gardening tip I heard long ago, that planting a section of raw liver either side of the main stem of a passionfruit vine gives it a growth boost and presumably more fruit.

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    1. River, I knew you would know about the placentas. It is as I thought.

      I am sure the liver and passionfruit info will be useful one day, perhaps for trivial pursuit.

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    2. I was about to impart the same - my mother would always insist on adding "the pluck" (heart, liver, etc) to the soil before planting a passionfruit vice.

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    3. Jayne, such organs must be rich in something for the soil. That type of thing normally has some truth.

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  14. In most of the European countries you have to disperse the ashes in the Crematorium's field, foreseen for that, or in an urn and leave it there, or you have to bury it in a graveyard as I had to do with my parents in Germany. In Belgium it's like in Australia, you can do with it what you want or almost !

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    1. Gattina, interesting. The ashes are sterile so why not anywhere.

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  15. Nice that you will scatter the ashes on a beach that brings you good memories. A bit iffy about the placentas, I thought the hospital would dispose of it. Now, keeping it frozen with other food, strange...I liked the idea of planting a tree for the birth of the grandchildren.

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    1. Sami, yes, I would have thought so about the hospital too. I guess if you ask to keep it?

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  16. Miss Daisy was cremated after her death. In part when deceased pets are cremated, full of death drugs, it keeps them from the food chain and often euthanized pets get back into the food chain, sold to companies who take dead pets, road kill etc, back it goes, into pet food. A dog recently became ill in WA state from too much death drug in dog food that obviously was made from euthanized pets. I have Miss D's ashes now in a cupboard. I haven't spread them anywhere yet. I will, at some point.

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    1. Strayer, I though all that would be destroyed by cremation. It sounds like a serious problem. Probably a good idea for pets to avoid processed pet food.

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  17. One time I ended up at a New Year's Eve party up in Summit, a woodsy hippy community. A couple of teens were there, with a backpack and were smoking joints. They sat down by me at the bonfire and asked if I wanted to see their father. I said sure, is he here. The kid pulled a box out of his backpack and said Yeah, we brought him. It was his ashes. Kid said their dad died a few weeks before but would never miss a good party like this so they brought him along and again he offered a toke off his joint in memory of his father, who loved weed. I could not refuse.

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    1. Strayer, I think it is rather sweet that the kid was carrying around his father's ashes. I am sure you did not inhale!

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    2. Of course not. Being such a Puritan as I. (said straight faced)

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  18. Nice idea of planting two trees, you wouldn't get me having the placenta under the trees - yes they would have had the placenta/s frozen Andrew otherwise it/they wouldn't be in the best condition (smelling wise).
    Ashes, lots of stories about human ashes.
    One cousin has her mother in the cupboard will she decides what to do with her.
    Friend has her husband on a bench in the lounge room and talks to him, oh dear me and so it goes on.

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    1. Margaret, we were going to spread Step Father's ashes, but we asked Mother and it was her idea to just wait until we can add hers. A cupboard is fine to store ashes, but I would not want them where I can see them all the time.

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