WITH AROUND 75% OF US CHOOSING TO BE CREMATED WHEN WE PASS, THE QUESTION OF WHERE WE WISH TO END UP IS BECOMING SOMETHING MORE OF US ARE THINKING ABOUT WHILST LIVING.
The overarching trend is to be placed somewhere meaningful to us and often in more than one location; this is in fact one of the reasons Reterniti was formed, a Reterniti Stone being a much more convenient way of transporting and placing ashes.
For inspiration, here are ten celebrities whose cremated remains were placed in places special to them:
1. DAVID BOWIE – BALI
Bowie, who died at the age of 69 in 2016, had for many years followed Buddhism.
He asked that he be cremated and his ashes scattered on the Indonesian island of Bali in line with Buddhist rituals.
2. OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN – BYRON BAY, AUSTRALIA AND CALIFORNIA
Newton-John embraced the concept of being in more than two places after she passed.
She revealed during an Australian TV interview that she wanted some of her ashes scattered in Byron Bay, some at her property in California and “in other places I love”.
The ashes of Newton-John’s late mother and sister were also scattered at Byron Bay, the popular coastal town in NSW, where the actress owned a property until last year. “. . .I’d like to be with them, that would be nice.”
3. ALFRED HITCHCOCK – PACIFIC OCEAN
Possibly the world’s best known suspense film Director, Hitchcock who passed away in 1980 chose to be scattered over the Pacific ocean
He quipped “There is nothing quite so good as burial at sea. It is simple, tidy, and not very incriminating.”
Interestingly, actor Steve McQueen who passed away in the same year as Hitchcock also chose to be scattered over the Pacific Ocean.
4. JOHN LENNON – CENTRAL PARK NEW YORK
John Lennon was just 40 years old when he was murdered by David Chapman in front of his home in New York. Lennon’s wife Yoko One had her husband’s ashes scattered within view of their home at New York’s Central Park. That site has now been turned into Strawberry Fields, a memorial to Lennon.
5. KURT COBAIN – WASHINGTON, NEW YORK AND A HANDBAG!
Cremated as per his request, Kurt Cobain’s ashes ended up being split up and reside in three places.
Some were spread into the Wishkah River in Aberdeen, Washington, a place special to Cobain, in fact his Nirvana bandmates named a posthumous live album after it.
Some of his ashes were taken to a Buddhist Monastery in Ithaca, New York for the monks to purify; it’s alleged that those ashes were never actually collected.
Cobain’s widow, Courtney Love also kept a portion of Cobain’s ashes for herself in a bear-shaped handbag, even taking it on tour with her. That handbag was subsequently claimed to have been stolen; then re-found!
6. ROBIN WILLIAMS – SAN FRANCISCO BAY, CALIFORNIA
Comedian actor Williams was a long-time resident of San Francisco, got his start doing stand-up comedy there, considered it home and was therefore fitting for his final resting place.
There was however another reason he chose the bay; a decade earlier his mother Laurie Williams had her ashes spread there, so with his final request, Robin Williams simply wanted to be in the same place as his beloved mother.
7. JIMI HENDRIX – WASHINGTON STATE
Regarded as one of the world’s finest and most influential guitarists, Jimi Hendrix was cremated shortly after he passed away in 1970 at the age of just 27.
His ashes were scattered on the waters of Puget Sound, near the city of Renton, Washington, his beloved hometown.
Fans still pay their respects by visiting a large granite memorial nearby at Renton’s Greenwood Memorial Park.
8. MARLON BRANDO – TETIOROA, TAHITI AND DEATH VALLEY, CALIFORNIA
The legendary actor asked that his ashes be placed in two locations after his death in 2004.
Some of his ashes were scattered on the tiny atoll of Tetioroa, in Tahiti which Brando bought in 1966 after he fell in love with it during the filming of Mutiny on the Bounty.
The remainder of his ashes were poured along with his close friend, actor comedian Wally Cox, who had died over 30 years earlier, onto the dessert landscape, where they once went rock hunting when younger.
9. MICHAEL HUTCHENCE – SYDNEY HARBOUR, AUSTRALIA
Hutchence, lead singer of Australia’s INXS, was scattered off a boat, floating near a tiny inner harbour beach called Milk Beach, in Vaucluse, Sydney at a sunset ceremony.
Passing away at the age of 37, his ashes were scattered on what would have been his 38th birthday.
Hutchence was born not far away at Sydney’s north shore suburb of Crows Nest.
10. FREDDIE MERCURY – POSSIBLY TANZANIA, POSSIBLY LONDON
Mercury’s long-time friend Mary Austin claimed she kept his ashes in his bedroom for over two years at the home they shared. Austin then placed his ashes somewhere secretly.
His exact resting place is highly contentious – some say he was returned to his homeland of Zanzibar (now part of Tanzania); others say he is beneath a cherry tree at his (now Austin’s) London home named Garden Lodge.
Yet others claim he is at his memorial plinth at London’s Kensel Green Cemetery.
Only one person actually knows – Mary Austin.
These examples illustrate a cemetery or memorial garden doesn’t necessarily need to be your final resting place.
Perhaps think instead about those places that are truly meaningful to you; that your friends and family associate with you and if you believe, a place your spirit may happily wander.
Anywhere in the world should be your final resting place!