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What a Way to Go

This passage from The New Yorker’s profile of Philip Pullman caught my eye:

When Pullman’s stepfather died, in 2002 (his mother died a decade earlier), they weren’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 stepfather’s ashes into the sky with fireworks. “The whole family went out to this little rocky headland, where the firework-maker had his place, overlooking the Firth of Forth,” he said. “As night fell, we’d all been drinking whiskey, having a good time.” His voice slid into a lilting whisper as he sketched the scene. “There 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 stars—a brilliant display. My sister’s little daughter said, ‘That’s the way I want to go!’ ”

Talk about going out with a bang.

Link: Philip Pullman’s website