Eternal Alaska, a private company based in the continental United States, is now offering a unique and personal service to fulfill a loved one’s final wish: premiere ash scattering in Alaska’s wild country.
“It’s an idea I thought about while hiking in Denali National Park”, says Eternal Alaska founder and President Stan Reese. “In Alaska, there was always something amazing. From the high peaks of the mountains to the peaceful valley streams, wherever you went, the beauty and tranquility just seemed to make everything else disappear. I knew then I had found my forever home”.
As a former nature guide in Alaska, Reese said he loved seeing people mesmerized by the 49thstate’s nature and he said he heard many people speak about their own request to return to Alaska for eternity.
“It fascinated me when I heard the first person request to have their cremated ashes returned to the wild of Alaska,” Reese continued. “But when I started hearing it more often it really hit home for me. Sadly, though, many people never get the chance to have their ashes spread in Alaska due to situations out of their control”.
Before starting the unique company, Reese said he did a lot of research and found that cremations are trending up in the United States and are forecast to continue a steady climb.
Out of almost three million deaths in the United States in one year, fifty-five percent result in a cremation according to industry statistics1. Of those 1.6 million cremations, the ashes, or cremains as they are often referred to, are returned to loved ones four times out of ten where they are placed in memorial urns to be displayed on a mantle or to gather dust in a closet.
“Personally speaking, I’d much rather have my ashes scattered in the wilderness than to end up in a closet,” Reese explains. “Maybe one of my children would keep my ashes neat and tidy for a month or two but after that, their own lives may get too busy. And I completely understand that. I wouldn’t want to be a bother because I would rather be remembered as full of life instead of covered in dust”.
Reese says as he made plans for his own ashes, eventually, to be scattered across the Alaska wilderness, he found no businesses who could carry out his request in a respectful manner.
“I found several companies who would scatter my ashes in the lower 48 but each one of these companies asked that the ashes be sent through the mail. I thought to myself that I was worth more than that,” Reese pointed out. “I wouldn’t want to put a stamp on one of my loved ones and take them to the post office in life or in death. That just doesn’t seem dignified.”
That is how the idea of Eternal Alaska began. Reese said Eternal Alaska adds respect and honor to the process.
“I personally travel to the surviving loved one and meet with them to receive the ashes. Then I take the ashes to Alaska myself. I never put your loved one in a mailbox. I just think they deserve better than that.”
Eternal Alaska provides tracking of the journey, a GPS marker at the site of the ash scattering, and a complimentary 24 x 30 framed canvas portrait of the actual scattering site – perfect for display over the fireplace.
“It’s a highly personal service that we offer”, Reese adds. “But for the distinguished nature lovers who want to be remembered in the highest regard, I feel like it is an honor to help provide for their final wishes.”
For more information:
Stan Reese, Eternal Alaska
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