back to top

We’ve updated our privacy notice and cookie policy. Learn more about cookies, including how to disable them, and find out how we collect your personal data and what we use it for.

This Mother Used Facebook To Send Her Son's Ashes Around The World

Hallie Twomey's son C.J. died in October 2010, and 12 months ago she began asking strangers to spread his ashes around the globe. A hundred countries later, she's still asking.

Posted on

This is C.J. Twomey, a former member of the US air force from Maine who died aged 20 on 14 April 2010. He took his own life.

Facebook: scatteringcj

In November 2013, to help them come to terms with her loss, his mother Hallie decided to do something to help preserve the memory of her son that would be in keeping with his lifelong love of travelling.

Instead of leaving his cremated ashes on the mantelpiece, she set up a Facebook page, Scattering CJ, to ask if people would help scatter them.

Hallie sent respondents a package containing a letter, some ashes, and a picture of C.J. in his Red Sox T-shirt.

Facebook: scatteringcj

In her first post, Hallie wrote: "Our son did not get to see the world as he might have if he had lived. Our son did not experience travel as he might have if he had lived. Our son did not experience adventures as he might have if he had lived.

"He just didn't. And it breaks my heart.

"And it makes me want to give him these things if I can.

"John and I want our beloved Shmoops to see the world, to BECOME part of a world he didn't get to see."


Hallie told BuzzFeed News about the mix of emotions she's felt from so many people sharing C.J.'s memory and helping to spread his ashes around the world:

It's been the best kind of exhaustion. Seeing the response from so many people across this vast planet leaves me feeling breathless, eternally grateful and hopelessly sad all at the same time. I want my son back.

If he was here, none of this would be happening. The Scattering CJ journey will always be incredibly bittersweet for that reason. No mom wants to mail their son's ashes to anyone anywhere.

To do so means he's gone forever and that continues to break my heart each and everyday. But starting this journey for my beloved son ultimately was the right thing to do. I truly believe he would rather "see" the world then spend eternity in an urn.


Hallie wrote yesterday that there isn't much of C.J.'s ashes remaining

She said it will take until next year for all the ashes to be sent. "Thanks again to each of you for simply taking the time to read about my beloved son," she wrote. "C.J. was awesome and I miss him more with each passing day."

She said C.J.'s ashes have yet to make it to Rio, the Galapagos Islands, and the Great Pyramid at Giza, Egypt.

Hallie said the main thing is that the project means C.J.'s memory lives on:

I know if he had lived, he would have traveled as he was always up for an adventure. I hope in some small way that this last global adventure helps ensure that C.J. won't be forgotten. He is simply worth remembering.