Final Resting Place for Man's Ashes: 100 Countries

CJ Twomey's mom has made it her mission to ensure her late son sees the world
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 1, 2014 1:24 PM CST
Strangers Help Mom Scatter Son's Ashes All Over Planet
In this Dec. 17, 2013, Hallie Twomey poses with a photo of her son, CJ, at her home in Auburn, Maine. Twomey is asking people to help scatter his ashes throughout the world so he can become part of the world he never got to see.   (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

Over the past year, CJ Twomey has been scuba diving in the waters off the Dominican Republic, flown over Turkey in a hot-air balloon, and ascended Peru's Machu Picchu. He's visited more than 100 countries, thanks to the kindness of hundreds of strangers who are helping CJ—who died in 2010 at the age of 20—see the world, the BBC reports. His mom, Hallie Twomey of Auburn, Maine, who has been guilt-ridden since CJ committed suicide four years ago after they had a fight, decided to set up the "Scattering CJ" Facebook page for her son last year to ask people around the globe to spread his ashes in "some of the world he never got to see," Worthy to Share reports. He's even been able to go to parts out of this world: In October, his ashed rode into space on a rocket as part of a Celestis memorial spaceflight, the AP reports.

"It dawned on me that his ashes would be sitting in that urn forever," Hallie tells the BBC. "I wanted to give CJ something he didn't get a chance to have." She and her husband, John, anticipated a few hundred responses after their initial social-media appeal, but they've received more than 9,000 so far. Volunteers are sent a small bag of CJ's ashes, as well as a letter and a photo of the ex-Air Force member in his Red Sox shirt. Hallie asks that before they spread CJ's ashes, they tell him his mom loves him and that she's sorry. Hallie is even OK when she hears that envelopes with CJ's ashes sometimes arrive damaged or go missing due to postal problems. "We decided to believe that wherever CJ's ashes ended up, that's where they were meant to be," she tells the BBC. (Robin Williams' ashes were scattered over San Francisco Bay.)

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