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The Independent Culture
In Britain, the widow of an art-restorer announced plans to launch her late husband's ashes into the air, according to his dying wish, on a firework rocket; while in Cincinnati, at the National Funeral Directors' Convention, the Heirloom Pendant Collection was launched with necklaces in three designs, "Teardrop, Infinity and Love". Each is specially made to contain a lock of hair or small amount of ashes of the departed. "The trend in personalizing the death experience is something we've seen grow over the past 10 years," said the designer, Terry Dieterle, an undertaker from Illinois.

Other recent funereal tales:

In July a man walked into an undertakers in Mar del Plata, Argentina, checked that his insurance would cover a funeral, then shot himself dead.

Cut-price coffins have been doing good business in Zimbabwe under the slogan: "You bury your dead not your future".

In August Britain's first women-only funeral parlour opened in Watchet. "Single ladies of the older generation ... don't want to be messed around by a man they don't know," explained a spokeswoman.