Ash astray

Charles 3 Comments

A man suffered humiliation and distress at the hands of an airport security agent when she insisted on opening a jar containing his grandfather’s remains and then dropped them on the floor.

John Gross, of Indianapolis, was trying to bring Mario Mark Marcaletti’s ashes home from Florida and had them in his bag in a tightly sealed jar clearly marked ‘Human Remains’.

The 91-year-old’s remains had been divided up among family members after he died in 2002 and Gross had been given a share by his uncle during his trip.

He was confronted by the TSA [Transport Security Authority] officer and explained what was in the container.

‘They opened up my bag, and I told them, “Please, be careful. These are my grandpa’s ashes.”

‘She picked up the jar. She opened it up.

‘She used her finger and was sifting through it. And then she accidentally spilled it.’

As a third of the jar’s contents fell out onto the floor Gross frantically tried to gather it back up, a line of passengers waiting behind him.

‘She didn’t apologize. She started laughing.”

Full story here.

Hat tip to Evelyn Temple


  1. Charles

    When I was visiting a client who had previously lived in South Africa, she shared a little tale with me, regarding a relative’s funeral in that country.

    Following the funeral, which culminated in a cremation at the funeral home, she, and a friend, returned to the home to collect the ashes.

    She was met by a very apologetic manager, who told them that there had just been a fire, caused by an overheated cremator flue. He assured them that the cremation of their nearest and dearest had been completed quite successfully. Absolutely nothing to worry about there.

    Unfortunately, the fire brigade had been somewhat over enthusiastic with their hoses, and the mortal remains of their dear departed had been flushed into the nearby field, and were now almost certainly in the process of floating down the nearby local stream.

    My client was somewhat philosophic about the whole thing….. the ashes were due to be strewn at sea anyway….

  2. Charles

    Overheated flues cause a fire hazard and the reason they overheat is not very nice. I am not sure if you wish me to elaborate?

    As for the TSA – they tend to be very officious and abrupt so it is not surprising that they were like this – shame civility costs nothing. The gentlemen should really have sorted out this in advance as just because he said it was ashes means nothing these days and as they had no advance warning puts customs in an awkward position, I remember them inspecting my sons baby milk (he was aged about 1) as it was above the 100ml limit!

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