August 4, 2021

What Should I Do With These Mysterious Cremains?

Dear Ashes to Ashes,.
Wow, what a predicament youve got, uh, developing. Usually people in ownership of ashes understand where they came from. You, however, are in the unenviable position of having mystery ashes: all that stays of someone (or somethings) quick time on Earth– but whose? Thats heavy. Our liked ones actually can haunt us after theyre gone, or at least cause us to stress over unusual ethical problems.

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This circumstance is amusing in a method that recalls the cast of Monty Python overturning an urn that allegedly contained the ashes of their co-conspirator Graham Chapman in front of a live audience (though thats exactly what you do not wish to do). In a method, what youve come across is kind of stunning: You hold in your belongings a symbol of a life completed– a life that has actually passed into a world genuinely unknowable to humans. And from what I gather, whether human or animal, all of the lives that could potentially belong to this stack of ash truly implied something to you and your spouse.
You struck the nail on the head when you discussed “the transient nature of human and animal life,” and youre perhaps fortunate, in the sense that you have in your possession a capsule symbolic of lifes universal secret. No matter who/what is inside this vessel, it represents both the impermanence of life and the unknowable enigma of death, your own Tomb of The Unknown Soldier (in a teapot).
The possibility you are holding onto a physical representation of one of the lives you pointed out certainly stimulates memories of those beings. Keeping the remains in a receptacle somewhere in your house, then, might be an ever-present pointer of lifes fragility, and the importance of enjoying our experiences with others before (and after) theyre gone. We all only have so much time till we too are ashes in an urn (metaphorically or literally).
You could, in theory, pay for a DNA test, however the results might be uncertain, as sequencing ashes is no place as easy as performing a DNA test on an exhumed body, not to discuss a living individual. (Online opinion on DNA testing for cremated remains is divided, so do your research if you truly desire to decrease this roadway). Another option might be asking your friend or your other halfs ex-wife if they have more specific memories of these ashes, however that also may be useless.

Often your problems warrant a bit of unvarnished sincerity from a man geared up with absolutely nothing more than a computer and a conscience. Invite back to Tough Love.

Today were discussing a strange dilemma a lot of people will (probably) never face: What to do with the ashen remains of someone– or something– that have inexplicably entered into your ownership. How do you pay tribute? Should you?
Keep in mind: Im a columnist, not a therapist or qualified health care professional. If you have a problem with anything I say, file a problem here.

Dear Sam,.
I have an ethical predicament and possibly you can help solve it.
My hubby and I just recently moved. In sorting and unloading through our household ownerships, I found a plastic bag complete of “cremains.” The issue is that I do not know whose they are. Numerous products were saved away as we didnt have room for them in our old house. This move has disinterred a variety of things we d forgotten, including these ashes. There are no identifying markers or tags among the ashes, so we cant recognize them, but there are three possibilities:.
We had a beloved canine cremated several years ago, and my kids and I spread the ashes on a hill where we used to go for household strolls, but possibly not all of them were spread. I poorly remember promising to save some for my ex-husband to spread. However I remember not desiring him to have any part of the memorial for the canine, so it makes sense that they wouldnt be left over from him.
A dear buddy of mine also video game me a few of her other halfs ashes for safekeeping while her real estate circumstance was unsteady following a fire and she dealt with me, so they could also be his. I believed I had returned them all to her at one point, but I do remember there were 2 bags of ashes as she was planning on spreading them at different locations. I d be embarrassed to inform her, however shes pretty chill and would probably simply find it welcome and funny the opportunity to bear in mind her husband again.
My hubby believes they might be his ex-MILs. His ex better half brought them home with her, but they have not spoken in about 20 years.
Whats the moral/ethical thing to do? Do I go to the trouble of having them evaluated (is that even possible?) to figure out if theyre animal or human? Considered that we apparently share 60% of our DNA with bananas, I dont wish to pursue what might be a completely unproductive (reason me) workout. Or do we keep this discovery to ourselves and simply spread them in our wooded home and invest a peaceful minute assessing the transient nature of human and animal life and any of the 3 beings they might have been?
You can probably tell were not skeeved out about having unidentified ashes in a teapot in our kitchen, but we do wish to do something about them, now that weve found them. What?!
Signed,.
Ashes to ashes.

We had a cherished dog cremated many years back, and my kids and I spread the ashes on a hilltop where we utilized to go for household walks, however possibly not all of them were scattered. A dear pal of mine also game me some of her other halfs ashes for safekeeping while her real estate situation was unsteady following a fire and she lived with me, so they could likewise be his. I thought I had actually returned them all to her at one point, however I do remember there were two bags of ashes as she was preparing on spreading them at various locations. And from what I collect, whether human or animal, all of the lives that could potentially belong to this stack of ash actually implied something to you and your spouse.
Another choice might be asking your buddy or your hubbys ex-wife if they have more specific memories of these ashes, however that also might be useless.

Spreading them someplace stunning is constantly a great choice, though in this instance, it might serve more as an act of housekeeping than a homage paid to an anonymous beings life and legacy. In any case, think it over, and do what will give you assurance.