Monday, May 12, 2014

Ashes to Ashes

Today I didn't go to work.  I took the day off to recover from the weekend.  It was a long, hard weekend.  Saturday we arrived late morning.  Bickering ensued.  Difficult.  I love my family but sometimes the dynamics are difficult challenging.  Camille, Kyle and my sister's daughter, Kristin, went surfing in the afternoon.  It was fun watching them -- Camille trying to surf for the first time, Kyle swimming along between them, Kristin trying to stay up, and them all battling the wonky surf which was pulling everyone towards the pier.
Headed to the beach

Camille, Kyle and Kristin

Kristin explaining to Camille how to lay on your board and then pop up to standing.

Saturday night, I couldn't sleep.  My mind was filled with images of my mother's ashes swirling around the boat.  We were scheduled to go out on my brother's boat Sunday morning.  When I woke, I texted my sister and told her I didn't think I could go out on the boat.  I cried while I got dressed and I cried over my coffee.  My sister asked me to try and I knew she was right.  We all needed to be together to support each other as we carried out my mom's wishes.   My sister tried to explain to my dad that I am moved by images and this was why I struggled so much more with the scattering than I did with the memorial.

After breakfast, we piled onto my brother's boat.  The grand kids all sat up by the prow of the boat with the cold wind blowing in their faces.  My sister, dad, Brett and I sat in the back with my brother as he steered us out of the harbor and into the open sea.  The sun was out and the wind was up so my brother put up the main sail to stabilize the boat in the swells.  My brother sprinkled the ashes into the ocean, where it swirled in an iridescent cloud dipping deep in the clear turquoise sea before floating away on its jade blanket.  We tossed roses and watched them coast over the swells, following mom's ashes, on their final journey.  My father poured a glass of wine and poured it over the side, to mingle with the salt water, roses and swirling particles.  It was very beautiful and very sad.  

On the way back in, we were escorted by flocks of pelicans; some flying in formation and some swooping low to skim the water next to us.  Pelicans were my mother's favorite bird; her favorite animal.  She was with us and I think they felt her spirit.

As we re-entered the harbor, we passed seals sleeping on buoys.  My brother, Ted, took the boat as close as he could so the kids could all get pictures.

 We took the last flight home Sunday night and arrived home after 1 am.  I'm exhausted.


  1. I'm sure it would be an emotional experience for did the right thing in going. If you had not, you would probably have been sorry later. That kind of closure can be a heartbreaker. Glad you were able to take the day off. That last photo is so precious.

  2. more emotionally than physically, i am sure. bless you for carrying out her wishes.

  3. This must have been so hard for you but you did it and I heard you working through it ~ the beauty and the sadness ~ so understandable under the circumstances.
    May you come to peace with your journey and find relief and some good memories.

  4. What a hard day. So sorry for the sadness and your loss.

  5. Oh you had to go . It sounds perfect sending hugs lots of hugs. B

  6. Your mother would be very proud of you. You did the right thing.


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