Seattle should build one of these on Elliott Bay:
Instead of tossing ashes into the great blue yonder, you can stow them on a floating columbarium moored to the main land. Think of it as a cruise ship, of sorts, but for permanent vacationers.The dead would very much love to be on a floating columbarium with a view of the lights (and life) of downtown Seattle.
From the harbor, visitors pull up to the columbarium by boat, then set the ashes in a designated niche or sprinkle them overboard into the murky depths. Seascape at every turn provides a picturesque environment in which to pay respects and a fitting cosmic tribute to those who've shuffled off this mortal coil. The harborside location doesn't get in the way of urban development plans.
Seattle should also consider this recent development in Tokyo:
Last year, as Bloomberg reported, city officials dropped by a colombarium outside Tokyo where families swipe a smart card to access ashes from an underground vault, turning the somber act of remembrance into something like an ATM withdrawal. Visitors can bring flowers and tchotchkes if they want, but they have to remove them as soon as they leave. And if they're too lazy to make the trip, they can always pray in front of an image of the urn online.The Japanese are the masters of the post-human condition.
And what about this new but very cold Swedish approach?
In eco-conscious Sweden, it's now legal to freeze bodies in liquid nitrogen, then shatter them. (This is supposedly gentler on the environment than burning bodies, if somewhat disturbing to family members.)Something in the culture of the Swedes has prepared them well for life after God, life in an indifferent universe.