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Odd Funeral Requests

Novel send-offs a la Hunter S. Thompson help take sting off grief

End-of-life celebrations should reflect who you are, Lanigan said. “A personal stamp creates a memory. And memories are what we have after someone dies.” It’s actually comforting to the people left behind knowing you had a say. “The important thing is, we’re doing what my wife wanted,” said Lane, who in February, on what would have been Cécile’s 76th birthday, watched as her memorial reef was submerged off Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

With the help of Creative Cremains, which packs remains into anything from musical instruments to fishing rods, Cromer plans to play golf with her father long after he’s gone. “As a kid, we shared Sunday-afternoon golf outings,” she said. “When I told him I planned to have his ashes packed into the shaft of my favorite club, he smiled and said, ‘Well Michelle, it’s obvious that you have decided to put my ashes in your driver so you can blame me if you slice your first shot.’”

No matter what your vision of an ideal farewell might be, don’t be afraid to ask. Who knows, someone else may have already done it. Want your casket pulled to the cemetery by a Harley motorcycle hearse? Easy. Ditch somber hymns for a so-hot-its-cool jazz band? Done. Think your loved ones should keep you close at hand? LifeGem compresses cremated remains, converting the carbon into actual diamonds for setting into a ring, necklace, or earrings. “As long as it’s legal, we’ll try to do it,” Lanigan said.

After all, it is your funeral.

Laura Daily is a freelance writer based in Denver. Contact her at

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