In 2010, Christopher "C.J." Twomey died by suicide at age 20, cutting short his dreams for seeing the world. His mother, Hallie Twomey, is now using social media to send her son to the places he never got to visit.
Through her Facebook group Scattering CJ, Twomey has sent envelopes containing her son's ashes to people all over the world. Helping to keep C.J.'s memory alive and give him the chance to travel the world, these strangers have taken Twomey to nearly all 50 U.S states, as well as dozens of overseas locations, including Saudi Arabia, Thailand, and Denmark.
The young man's ashes have been to places of great natural beauty, as the Facebook group's photos attest, but a recent trip to New Mexico attained new heights. Thanks to a donation by the Celestis company, Twomey's ashes even visited outer space, blasting off, leaving the Earth's atmosphere, and then returning to Earth, landing at White Sands Missile Range.
For Hallie Twomey, this quest to send her son's ashes around the world has proved a healing experience. She told PressHerald.com that while she still feels guilt over her son's death, she is touched by the support and kindness that strangers offered through her mission: "I have never experienced such a collective sort of hug."