This passage from The New Yorker’s profile of Philip Pullman caught my eye:
When Pullmanâ€™s stepfather died, in 2002 (his mother died a decade earlier), they werenâ€™t all able to gather immediately for a service, so they arranged to meet in Scotland the following May. Pullman hit upon the idea of shooting his stepfatherâ€™s ashes into the sky with fireworks. â€œThe whole family went out to this little rocky headland, where the firework-maker had his place, overlooking the Firth of Forth,â€ he said. â€œAs night fell, weâ€™d all been drinking whiskey, having a good time.â€ His voice slid into a lilting whisper as he sketched the scene. â€œThere were seals basking on the shore, the lights of Edinburgh were just coming out, and there were big naval vessels maneuvering in the firth. The firework-maker, this amazing guy, was busy fixing all the fuses and wires. My stepbrother gave a little address, perfectly judged, and my sister lit the fuse. And it was the most wonderful display! The sky was full of starsâ€”a brilliant display. My sisterâ€™s little daughter said, â€˜Thatâ€™s the way I want to go!â€™ â€
Talk about going out with a bang.
Link: Philip Pullman’s website