Katie LaPotin, Red Alert Politics, December 23, 2013
The mother of a Maine teenager who committed suicide in 2010 is dealing with her grief in a very unique way – by helping to spread her adventurous son’s ashes across the world.
Hallie Twomey started the project “Scattering C.J.” on Facebook in November as a way of helping her son’s memory live on. So far, C.J.’s ashes have already made their way to California, Tennessee, and Japan – and are en route to Haiti and Indian as the #ScatteringCJ project grows. According to The Associated Press, about 150 packets of his ashes have already been mailed out and another 300 people have offered to get involved in the project.
“It’s just another way to ensure that my son isn’t forgotten, which is my single biggest fear in life, of all. He’s so worth remembering and I just don’t want him forgotten,” Twomey told the Lewiston-Auburn Sun Journal.
C.J. was 20 when on April 4, 2010, he took his old military pistol and shot himself in the head while driving on the street outside his family’s house in Auburn, Maine. C.J., who had recently received an honorable discharge from the Air Force, and his mother had been in a fight earlier that day over his future, and to this day Hallie blames herself for his death.
“[Grief counselors] made me understand, logically, that I cannot be fully to blame,” she told the Sun Journal. “I can’t be 100 percent to blame. But I’m telling you, my heart does not believe that. I believe I let him down.”
Twomey has one catch, however, for those who agree to spread her son’s ashes on her behalf: That while they empty the bags they tell him how his mom will always love him and that she is sorry.
“YOU MUST AGREE TO SAY THAT,” Hallie Twomey wrote in the original Facebook post. “Because I am and I need him to hear it as the last thing he hears before he takes off.”
Twomey was so inspired by the amount of people who’ve become involved in the project that last week she donated one of her kidneys to the New England Organ Bank; proceeds from #ScatteringCJ will also be sent there.