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Table Topics

By Priyanka Kumar
Posted: 05/01/2023

The Pasadena Village “Table Topics” program provides an informal forum for discussing a topic of interest to our members.  Gathered around a table enjoying a meal together can be an easy, sociable way to discuss difficult topics.  The April Table Topics covered a rather macabre subject: what would you like done with your remains?  The members around the table had a variety of fascinating insights into this topic. 

Toni Cavanaugh Johnson, who had brought up the topic, was not able to join us, but her choice is literally out of this world!  She and her husband decided to have their remains launched into space as part of the Celestis space burial service.  Toni said, “When I die, both of our ashes will be launched together so we can circle around our children and grandchildren and all of you. We like to travel together…”  For more information, check out Celestis here.

Other members were more “grounded” when thinking about what they wanted done with their remains.  Dave Folz would like to be part of the forest near Lake Arrowhead!  He has fond memories of Lake Arrowhead from the many summers he spent there as a child. It turns out that Lake Arrowhead is one of the locations used by “A Better Place Forest”.  This organization “will return your ashes to the earth beneath a memorial tree your family and friends can visit for years to come”.  The tree replaces the customary tombstone.  See the Better Place Forest website here for more information.

Anne Hill has a relaxed approach on what should be done with her remains.  She has let her children know that she wants to be cremated and wants her ashes to be scattered near water or in a forest.  She is not so relaxed about the other details of her passing.  She has meticulously organized her wishes, from her memorial service to her account passwords to where she has stored the extra house key!  She has written down all of this information for her children so they have everything they need at her passing (even though her children tell her they don’t want to think about this topic!)

As someone who falls in the category of “child,” I totally understand what Anne’s children are thinking.  However, I admire all of these Village members for being so diligent as to plan ahead.  Such forethought will make things so much easier for us “children”.

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