Mixing ashes

My girlfriend who recently passed was very adamant about having our ashes put together. I doubt I will have a lot of control over that when the time final comes. It occurred to me that I could save up my hair from the next body trim I do ( not much on my head) but lots of body hair and beard. I might get a tiny amount of ash from it, would there be something wrong if I just secretly mixed this in with her ashes before I sent them off to her family in Wisconsin. Should it not be a secret?? Is it a stupid idea?

I would not mess with her ashes without her family’s knowledge, but that’s just me. I would seek their permission first, and if they say “no,” then I would respect their wishes and send them her ashes unopened. If you do not intend to ask them, don’t mix in your hair, anyway. I would treat your girlfriend’s remains with respect, and also consider her family’s feelings.

I have to divide up her ashes between her brother and her son who lives here in Ca. Or I guess I could have them do that before they are delivered.

Go for it. It’s what she wanted, and you probably won’t have another chance.

ETA: Yes, see if you can have her ashes split by the funeral home. I think that would be easier.

It’s not a stupid idea, but it’s not something that should be undertaken without the family’s permission. Granted, it’s likely her ashes are mixed with all sorts of other people’s ashes, but folks don’t typically know that (or think about it if they do), and it’s not intentional. The intentionality is what makes permission-getting important. Maybe they want to make a piece of jewelry out of her ashes; maybe they want to bury them in a family plot; maybe they want to keep them on their mantle and mix their own ashes in there when the time comes. Whatever they decide, they should also get the option of deciding whether they want your burned shaved-off hair as part of that memorial as well.

If you DO split the ashes at home on your own, I have a few suggestions as someone who has done that before:

  1. Make sure the air is still - turn off all the fans, close windows, etc. The fineness of the grind will vary a bit from one crematorium to another, and you won’t know just how fine, light, and fluffy the ashes might be until you open the box/jar.

  2. Use a funnel or something similar. You want one with a wider rather than narrower aperture. Depending on how finely ground the ashes are, you might get some slightly larger bits. Also, if your loved one had hardware like, say, bone screws those might also be mixed in with the remains so don’t be alarmed if you find something of the sort.

  3. Go slow.

Maybe I will just keep a small urn and instruct my kids to mix them at the time of my death and distribute them as I have already instructed them. She will be interned over her mother and fathers grave. She wanted me to be interned at the same site and I agreed to that but have doubts if it would actually happen.

Sorry for being pedantic, but in case it comes up again:

Interned = concentration camp

Interred = put underground

Having never met the parents of HoneyBadgerDC’s girlfriend, I’m perfectly willing to assume he chose the right word.

As to the OP, I’m a bit torn. Stuff that happens after death really doesn’t bother me so much. If I were GF’s family I wouldn’t care if you mixed in some you with her. OTOH, there are some people who care deeply. Since the burial, and in this case the cremains, are for the benefit of the living I would defer to the wishes of the family.

I’ll be the weirdo here and say that I think your idea is a perfectly good one, OP. She was clear about her wishes, not her family’s wishes. If this is what will make you feel as though you’ve kept to your word, then you should do it and not say anything to anyone about it. Sounds like she wanted some part of you and her to be together forever and you’ve thought of a sweet way to guarantee that w/o hurting anyone.

I say this from the POV of a daughter who had to face up to her late dad wanting only his son to have the things that were dearest to him (guns, tools, a car, family papers dating back to WW1, naval diary, all that sort of ephemera). Had I not asked Mom for his office library I would have gotten little of his effects. Seeing how stunned I was when she told me, my mom felt bad and offered to let me have anything I wanted before my brother came to take the last load, regardless of what dad wanted; after a difficult night’s sleep I declined all but the books b/c it was his decision and the respectful thing for me to do is abide by it. Final wishes are just that; why bother making them if they’ll be ignored by those you love?

Can human ashes be mixed with water and used as tattoo ink? Just another dimension to consider that would ensure some measure of the desired comingling.

Did you have any contact with her family when she was alive? Has she discussed this wish with them? Have you?

I am very close to the family and they consider my wishes to be first priority. She was estranged from the family including her children for many years and I was instrumental in rebuilding the bridges. I will be talking to her son in the next day or two. He and I discussed things right after she passed but after thinking things over I would like to have another discussion with him. Her wishes were to be interned with her mother and father, no doubts there. Her son wants to carry some of her ashes on his travels and disperse them in spots he thinks she would like. After thinking about this I remember her having funny feelings about being separated and spread, I believe she wanted to be in one place. We didn't discuss dividing up her ashes.