Ashes to Ashes…

by A-Badgero

Volcanos such as these in Haleakala National Park, Maui Hawaii, have become a popular site for people to scatter cremains.

As the number of people choosing to be cremated continues to rise, the number of creative options for the spreading of the cremains is also increasing. The alternatives are growing so fast that the U.S. Patent Office has granted over 40 patents concerning human cremains in the past year. Some of the most popular choices include scattering cremated remains in the favorite place of the deceased, having ashes mixed with soil and used to grow a tree or spreading them at sea.

A young boy, aware that his end was coming, discussed with his mother what he would want done with his remains. He declared he did not want to be placed in soil where the insects and worms would have access nor did he want to become fish food by being placed in water. He asked to be cremated and have his ashes put in a volcano so that he would become a part of the rock that will be on earth for centuries to come.

This may sound like an outrageous request however according to many websites for Hawaii Volcano tours it seems to be a pretty popular option. Many of the parks and tours that escort tourists throughout these volcanic sites have created specific permits and conditions for those wishing to visit the sites for the sole purpose of scattering ashes. However, the scattering of ashes in a special location such a volcanic park should not be done on a whim. Your desired ceremony should be a planned, private affair ideally held away from high traffic areas. Every location has its own rules and regulations, however most of them are quite similar.

Below are the permit conditions for scattering ashes at the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

  • Scattering is not permitted at or in the Halema?uma?u Crater‚ as it is a sacred site to many Native Hawaiians.
  • No memorials, plaques, photos, or flowers are to be left in the park.
  • Entrance fees to the park must be paid as well as the purchase of the permit.
  • The permitee must agree to perform‚ this sensitive act in a discrete and private manner.
  • All instructions by National Park Service personnel must be followed.
  • All local, state and federal rules and regulations must be followed.
  • Scattering must be done in a location where the ashes will not be located and identified as human remains.

The majority of active volcanoes are outside of the U.S. which is most likely why this option for scattering is not more popular. If volcanoes were more accessible, it is likely their popularity would grow to match that of sea/water scattering.

The young boy wanting to become part of the volcano explained that because rock stays on Earth for centuries, he made a volcano his choice because he didn’t want to dissappear into the ground or water. These new personalized and creative options for what can be done with cremated remains seems to give those choosing these alternatives a sense of immortality or even reincarnation. It is not uncommon to hear people say “I want to live on as a tree” or “I will provide nutrients to sea life and live on through the fish”.

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