If you are still on the fence about whether or not you favour cremation or burial, check these celebrities whose last wishes were to be cremated. Many famous people choose cremation instead of burial, due to personal preferences, believes and special reasons. Is cremation a decision that was made when they were still alive and did they had some special thoughts on the cremation process?
Amy Whinehouse (1983- 2011)
Amy Winehouse, a famous singer and a songwriter, was a follower of the Jewish religion and her last wishes were to be cremated. According to the Jewish dogmas, all human bodies are sacred, should be treated with dignity and the process of disposing the human corpse would be regarded as a disrespect for God. Although Amy’s cremation launched a huge conversation in the Jewish community about the rising cremation numbers, the cremation ceremony was held in the Golder’s Green Crematorium. The private funeral ceremony was held at Edgewarebury Cemetery, where her father gave a eulogy saying, “Goodnight, my angel, sleep tight.”
Albert Einstein (1879- 1955)
You might be surprised that Albert Einstein expressed his desire to be cremated. Once the genius passed away in 1955, he was cremated and his cremains were scattered at an undisclosed place, many suggest that they were dispersed in a river. His brain, however, could not be cremated as Dr. Thomas Harvey, a pathologist had removed the famous physicist’s brain for the purpose of scientific study without the Einstein’s family permission. The pathologist believed studying Einstein’s brain would explain the reason behind Einstein’s intelligence.
Today the brain is well preserved at the University Medical Center in Princeton as an important piece of scientific memorabilia.
John Lennon (1940- 1980)
As being the co-founder of one of the highly rated bands of all time – The Beatles, in the December of 1980 John Lennon was shot multiple times in the back which lead to his unfortunate death. The legend’s body was cremated due to the will of his wife at that time- Yoko Ono, but a funeral ceremony was not carried and the ashes were scattered in Central Park.
David Bowie (1947-2016)
The iconic rock star David Bowie had a deep appreciation for Japanese culture and religion,which reflected his musical style, his life and even his last wishes. As the Mahayana Buddhism follows the beliefs of reincarnation, individual search for liberation and etc., the eccentric artistic, being entirely comfortable with the questions of dying, made it clear that his last wish is to be cremated. Bowie was diagnosed with liver cancer and later died from it at the age of 69. He was cremated in New York without any ceremony, with no friends or family in attendance and his ashes were scattered in Bali, Indonesia.
Heath Ledger (1979 – 2008)
Famous Hollywood actor Heath Leader suddenly passed away on January 2008 due to unforeseen overdose. Ledger had two really emotional funeral services, one in Los Angeles and one in Perth, Western Australia. At the ceremony Michelle Williams, his wife at that time, read William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18 as a way of appreciation.
Sir Alfred Hitchcock (1899 - 1980)
The famous film director and producer Alfred Hitchcock died suddenly in his sleep on April 1980 in his home in Bel Air, California. He would have wanted a tombstone with the words “This is what we do to bad little boys,” however this wasn’t possible since his ashes were cremated and strewn on the Pacific Ocean.
Sigmund Freud (1856 - 1939)
The father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud was also cremated at London’s Golders Green Crematorium, after his death aged 83. His ashes are were transferred in a Grecian-style urn which he had received as a gift from Marie Bonaparte, great grandniece of Napoleon who helped the Freud family escape from Vienna in 1938 as the Nazi grip tightened. The urn was stored in the same crematorium’s columbarium until a thief robbery in 2014. The thieves smashed the Greek vessel while trying to steal it.
Walt Disney (1901-1966)
Walt Disney is known for the creation of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, the incredible work in animations and the production of multiple cartoons. As being a lifelong smoker his habit caught on him when an ordinary health checks revealed a tumor on his left lung. Two days after his death his body was cremated. There was a widespread rumor that the remains of Disney were being frozen, confuted by Disney’s daughter Diane. Today the remains are kept in a mausoleum at a cemetery in California.