Skip The Funeral. Take a Walk, Instead.

My wife and I often joke about what to do with our bodies when we die, as discussing the topic without humor is, well, AWFUL. My usual go-to is “stick me in a hemp suit, dump me in a hole, and plant a tree on top.” Death is hard to talk about, and the idea of someone planning my funeral is tough. So, instead of joking, I’m going to change it up because of a Kickstarter alternative to caskets or urns. Yes, yes, I know that sounds ridiculous, but hear me out.

A Dutch team has come up with the Totem of Life and Death, or TOLAD. I think that if you are here and reading Bristlecone Journal, the concept will appeal to you just as much as it does to me.

The premise is pretty simple: Scattering ashes is messy, generally over in a second, and not a particularly dignified way to dispose of the remains of those closest to you. The TOLAD, to put it bluntly, is a large, hollow walking stick/ash dispenser. In goes the ashes of your beloved friend or family member, and off you go to their favorite location. As you walk, a plunger at the bottom releases a small amount of ash, allowing you to take one last journey with those you love.

As the video below shows, the TOLAD can be passed around, allowing each of the bereaved to have an active role in the process. This helps give each person a more profound sense of closure, which so many of us need when losing someone.

(Turn on the CC, it’s in Dutch)

And, whereas gaudy caskets can cost thousands of dollars, the TOLAD is asking backers for less than $100 for each one.

You can check it out for yourself here: TOLAD on Kickstarter.

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