My father's ashes were buried not quite in a local beauty spot, but an area my mother found peaceful and tranquil. We did not ask the permission of the farmer at the time (as there was a right of way on the land). The family dug a hole, buried the ashes and replaced the turf afterwards, followed by a "remembrance picnic"... the only sign of us ever being there were some bluebells we'd planted on top. Subsequently, my mother met the farmer and informed him what she had done. The response was that where my father was "buried" was of no concern to him, and moreover, the spot on his land was a far better place to reflect on someones life than a crowded remembrance garden. The only issue now is that a precedence has been set and my wife was pretty much non-plussed with my assumption that I'd eventually be placed under that same old tree. All-in-all, everyone was very happy with the alternative to the local crematorium.
RicTS, Manchester, UK
One needs to be careful. A deceased colleague was a private pilot. Touching ceremony on the ground and then two friends took him for a last flight over the Essex countryside. At 2000ft, the window was opened and his ashes were tossed into the slipstream...whereupon some attached themselves to the fuselage and the rest blew into the backseat. His final resting place was a Dyson.
Some railway enthusiasts have had their ashes shovelled into the firebox (from whence they go up the chimney to be distributed along the lineside) of a steam engine running on their favourite line.
Ken Ricketts, Wokingham, UK
I was at a drag race meeting in New Zealand two years ago at which the ashes of a recently deceased driver were packed into the folds of a braking parachute. When the car popped the chute while doing 200 mph at the end of the run the deceased's ashes were scattered.
Gordon, London, UK
I find an idea of allowing fish and sealife to eat remains fascinating. The dead are replenishing the sea, but of course may eventually end up being served as part of a crispy cod fishcake at a chip shop in Bridlington. My father asked if human ash be turned into fabric? He would love to be made into a womans dress, perhaps for the Oscars as he will likely never go in his lifetime. I still do not know the answer!
Amadeus Anwar, London
Keith Richards' idea isn't quite as original as it sounds. According to the Roman writer Valerius Maximus, a woman called Artemisia drank the ashes of her husband in order to become his living tomb. At least it is space-saving!
I once heard of a widow whose recently deceased husband had always been very lazy. All of her efforts to get him to work had failed during their marriage so she decided to put his ashes into a home made egg timer. She was reportedly delighted to finally see her husband working!.
Simon Ricketts, Isle of Man
Eugene Shoemaker the astronomer's ashes are on the moon. Which makes him the 13th person to reach it.
Stephen Hollinshead, St. Ives, England
A friend of mine died tragically in his early 30's, and in accordance with his wishes, his ashes where also made into 12 firework rockets and launched from the garden of his local pub It was a fantastic remembrance of him
Jay Seldon, Surrey, UK
I once heard someone say that if she died before her dog, she would want some of her ashes scattered in his food, that way she could "live on" through him. I kind of liked the idea of that...
Kerry, New York, NY, USA
In Ontario, under provincial legislation you may dispose of cremated remains only in an authorized cemetery or your own private property. Anywhere else is illegal, although people do it. To sniff the ashes up your nose would bring a charge by the police under the Criminal Code of Canada, (federal), "Of suffering indignities to human remains".
David Skene-Melvin, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
My husband was once held up on a golf course, while a group of middle-aged men walked onto the green and scattered their dead mate's ashes. 'It was his favourite hole,' they said. 'Don't mind us, play on.'
Kath, Bournemouth, UK
I have asked that my ashes be scattered in woodland so that my physical remains can help the growth of something beautiful. I hope that, when the time comes, there will be appropriate advice available to my executors.
Tony, Watford UK
Funeral homes ship ashes to relatives, but they arrive by registered mail at the local post office. People in the queue tend to back away from you when you exclaim "Oh I know what it is now, it's Aunt Thelma!"
Candace, New Jersey, US
What are the EU restrictions about ashes and the North Sea coast? We scattered my father into the sea just off Bridlington in May of last year and no one told us of any restrictions. In August we scattered his mother into the sea at Shotley, where we had scattered her husband five years before. Again, no one told us of any restrictions. I have also asked that should anything happen to me, I am to go into the sea after cremation, although the problem there is the fact that I converted to Judaism and the wife might just bury me. Hope not, I want to get wet with the rest of the family.
Andie Riley, Leeds, England
Cremation is clean, saves space and avoids the sad look of neglected burial plots. The body is only a carrying facility for what makes us 'us'. If the loved one wants to be scattered in a special place so be it. After all it is there wish. Volume is another matter. If the 'coffin' was reduced by using wraps or simple cardboard the volume of ash would be reduced. If people find that offensive, remember the dead aren't aware of the funeral and showing them love and respect in life is more important than wasting money on something to be destroyed. The actual Christian form of burial service does include the word, dust to dust, ashes to ashes. Not embalmed or buried.
Sandra, Ontario, Canada