Final Anchorage

Sooner or later it happens to us all. We DIE! No escape. No bargaining. Kaput. It’s over.

Then what happens?

I’m not going to get into a philosophical discussion about heaven and hell or gods which, for the record, I believe are all male bovine excrement. NO, I mean what happens after your carcass is cold and immobile…??

Burial never appealed to me. It’s creepy when you consider cemeteries: all those people in boxes, six feet under, the dirt, all facing towards the rising sun. Nah, never wanted that.

When my mom died she did something that blew me away. My brothers Jimmy and Howard, both dying in infancy from viral pneumonia, were buried in my dad’s family plot in Woburn, Massachusetts. Mom’s family were planted in Westminster, Mass. She had herself cremated and part of her was laid to rest with the boys in Woburn and the rest in Westminster. How cool was that??? She was also ahead of her time. When Jimmy died, around 1945, despite her grief, she thought of others and donated his corneas so someone else might see! Because of this I’ve had “Organ Donor” on my driver’s licenses, both here in the states and in the Republic of Panama for years.

My dad was also cremated. Some of the ashes were scattered off the Venice, Florida, Inlet. He and mom lived there for years and she LOVED to fish, so the inlet had special meaning. Most of his ashes were interred in Woburn with his family. My brothers, David, Mark, Jeff, and I were each given small Ziplock͢™ bag with some of his ashes. We drove out to Westminster and scattered them on our mother’s grave so they were together again.

I’ve always wanted to be cremated and have my ashes scattered in the Gulf Stream off of Fort Lauderdale, FL. Symbolic in a way. I spent about 36 years of my life, off and on, in Lauderdale. I could envision my ashes drifting up the eastern seaboard that I’d traversed many times in a boat. Perhaps some tiny molecule would make it all the way over to England from whence both of my ancestral families came back in the 1630s.

I’ve read stories about people having their ashes put in bottles and thrown in the sea and the people who find them years later and miles away. Always thought that would be a cool way to go.

I even have a playlist of songs I want played as my ashes are scattered and Amazing Grace ISN’T one of them. No, I’d like:

I’m makin’ you click on ‘em to find out what the messages are…and they ARE messages.

Planning for the future has never been one of my strong points. That’s why I’ve ended up living on a small sailboat at anchor and depending totally on Social Security to survive. Like most people, I suppose, I never spent much time thinking about what would happen when my cold, lifeless corpse was discovered. I’d become someone else’s problem. After all, I’D be dead, and the dead don’t seem to care much about anything.

I’ve known about the Neptune Society for years. They do cremations and ocean scattering. But while they’re less expensive than regular funerals they still cost a couple of grand. I don’t have that much set aside and it’s not right to lay that tab on my brothers.

Is there an answer? Well, yes. A little while back I came across a link to It’s a “whole body” donation program in which you donate your remains to medical science. ALL expenses are taken care of including cremation and, as they mention on their site, scattering ashes at sea.

Perfect. I’ve signed up.


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One response to “Final Anchorage

  1. christopherjh4

    “I’D be dead, and the dead don’t seem to care much about anything. “ lol