Movies and TV shows often make it seem funny to scatter someone’s cremated remains. The fake ashes almost look like gray baby powder instead of the real thing. Cremated remains aren’t ashes at all. They are pulverized bones.
On Saturday evening, the crowd stormed the field after Auburn defeated Alabama with an incredible touchdown at Jordan-Hare Stadium. The next morning, the turf and grounds crew found what appeared to be cremains on the field and posted a photo of it on Twitter. They dug up the patch of soil with the cremains and removed it.
The news story on AL.com included the following quote: “‘It could have been grandma or it could have been grandma’s dog,’ said Scott McElroy, associate professor for turfgrass and weed science at Auburn University.”
When I looked up “turfgrass and weed science,” I found that the University of Tennessee also has such a department. UT has had fans scatter cremains on the football field too. Sam Venable wrote about it last year.
Despite the stories about scattering cremains in the wind or wherever, many people, myself included, feel that cremains should be placed in a cemetery or columbarium. They should be treated with the same respect as a non-cremated body.
There’s a another reason why it’s a bad idea to dump cremains outdoors. In talking with some local funeral directors, I learned that if cremains get wet, they smell awful.