There is a song that is popular at African American funerals. The song is called “I’ll Fly Away,” and it refers to departing this life and going to heaven. There’s another unique journey that involves ﬂying that’s available upon death. And that is the scattering of cremated remains (ashes) by airplane.
Most people know that a person’s cremated remains can be taken home, buried or placed in a niche at a cemetery or buried at sea by boat. But there is also an opportunity to have ashes scattered by airplane. Ashes can be scattered over the ocean, over a State Park or a National Park, over a special mountain range, or over the desert by private companies. The family can 1) Accompany the pilot on the ﬂight and assist with the aerial release of the ashes, 2) Witness the scattering from a selected location on the ground, or 3) Have the ashes scattered by air, unaccompanied and not witnessed. (Of course the site needs to be an uninhabited area.)
Who chooses this as their desired interment? Pilots, nature lovers, hikers, etc…
People choose places they loved to visit or places they longed to visit, such as the Grand Canyon, Catalina, Santa Monica Mountains or at sea.
Each State has laws regarding scattering of ashes and the Federal government has say so over scattering as well. The ﬂight company you choose secures the required permits.
If you are interested in exploring this ﬁnal resting place, ask your local funeral director for referrals.
[Gail Valentine Taylor Funeral Director Woods-Valentine Mortuary woodsvalentinemortuary.com (626) 798-8941.]