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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

PEARL'S ASHES: INTRODUCTION--The Legality and Logistics

Next week, this e-book on Pearl's Ashes will continue with Chapter 18, the tulips of Keukenhof.   Today, I thought I'd insert an Introduction, something I should have posted at the beginning. Further, I would like to inform those new to this blog site that there have now been 17 chapters, with, maybe, ten more to go.  Should you wish to read any of the previous ones, click on that chapter:
INTRODUCTION :  The Legality and Logistics

The traditional resting place for cremated remains is a columbarium.  This might have started in Roman times.

The receptacle is not unlike a safety deposit box, where the urn can be a ziplock bag or something more appropriate.  The most popular Amazon purchase is a $100 azure jar (right).  Pearl's is a bronze cube.

In my SIMPLE SOLUTIONS for Humanity, I suggest that someday there will be a third option to burial and cremation.   This future graveyard will be similar to a columbarium except that a drop of blood, piece of skin and bit of bone marrow would be cryogenically stored, or, perhaps, just a cheek-swiped cotton swab, and stored in a repository linked to the world-wide web.

You can visit the site at any time electronically.  I go so far as surmising that the Mormon Church had the credibility and links to carry this thought to reality.  What better way also to expand their membership?  Someday science might be able to reproduce your body.

But back to the matter of human ashes, how legal is it to toss them around?  We are talking about a sterile mix resulting from cremation at from 1400 F to 2100 F, followed by pulverization, leaving particles of phosphate (47.5%), calcium (25.3%), sulfate (11%), potassium (3.69%), sodium (1.12%), chloride (1%) and sixteen other elements and compounds, mostly the combined composition of our bones, nails and teeth.  This is too much detail, but cremation could take two hours and grinding about 20 minutes.  There is a slight pinkish tinge.

The ash comes from cremation, so there should not be any health problems associated with the ceremony.  Some, though, consider this practice to be offensive.  In the United States alone, cremation almost equals burial.  Reportedly, 338 tons--let me repeat that, 338 tons--of ashes are scattered annually.  The average weight is around 5 pounds ash/person.  There are, of course, many countries with strict religious standards, so I was very careful in certain countries.

Apparently in the USA, while there could be local regulations, there are no state nor federal laws on land.  Waterways?  Burial at sea must be done at least 3 miles away from the shore.  In Hawaii, I see surfers do it all the time only a few hundred yards out, so that must be illegal.  In addition, the Environmental Protection Agency must be informed within a month after the ceremony.  Clearly, governments seem not to want to prosecute, which influenced me to intelligently do what I wanted.

Two days before he was first elected to the presidency, Barack Obama's grandmother died.  He couldn't attend her funeral, so he (and half-sister Maya Soetoro-Ng) instead later tossed her ashes into the sea close to where their mother's were thrown at the Lanai Lookout on Oahu.

I did some research, and could not find any serious warnings, anywhere.  I came to the conclusion that I would ask no permission, but be very discreet.  Can you imagine what would happen in a bureaucracy like India if I tried to do this legally?  And at the Taj Mahal, no less.

While Pearl's ashes are placed in small gel caps, I let it be known through my blog site that some of these ceremonies would be symbolic, just in case any locale got really perturbed and followed up with me.

Next week Wednesday, Chapter 18:  The Tulips of Keukenhof.  This was one of just four around the world stops.


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